Best Picnic Baskets Reviewed & Rated for Quality
What’s a picnic, without a picnic basket? We love picnics, we love picnic baskets. But the trick is you have to use the dang things. So, if you buy one take the time to at least once a month (during the warm seasons) to fill it up and take the family or your best person out of the hassle and just sit in the sun and have a nice meal. While the image of a family sitting peacefully in a green field under a clear blue sky atop a silky plaid blanket with a picnic basket in hand may sound a bit cliche to many, it’s no less romantic an idea.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Bonus wine opener and cheese knife
10 Best Picnic Baskets
1. Imperial Home
Bonus wine opener and cheese knife
Can only be used for two people
Starting off our list, we have the Imperial Home Blue Insulated Picnic Basket. Appearing more like a standard lunch box than a picnic basket, this picnic basket for two is probably one of the best of its kind that you can find on the market. What makes it so great?
This picnic basket comes with an insulated interior lining that maintains just the right temperature that you need. So, if you’re having a picnic on a hot day and you don’t want your food to get overheated, then this is the picnic basket for you.
Since this is a basket meant for two people only, it’s fair to assume that you plan to use this to help woo your significant other. Well, what better way to do just that than with a glass of wine? Fortunate, then, that this basket comes equipped with its own wine bottle opener and even a cheese knife if you need one, because what’s wine without cheese?
You’ll find this basket for a very reasonable price, while not cheap, it’s definitely not going to break the bank from the sheer height of its price tag.
2. Piccadilly Willow
Dual lid design
When it comes to picnic baskets, Picnic Time pretty much has everyone else beat. While there are better picnic baskets out there on an individual basis, no one’s as consistent with their product as Picnic Time. This company puts out picnic baskets the way Krispy Kreme puts out doughnuts: constantly, and effectively.
The fact that the plates and glasses are essentially hanging from the ceiling of the basket may be suspicious. But don’t worry, because if you have food in it, that’ll cushion them if they fall. And two, they won’t fall at all, because they’re held in place by premium leatherette straps. And on top of that, trading out the usual wicker material, this basket is constructed from the sturdier willow.
Keeping on the design a bit longer, it’s actually rather genius when you think about it. This design gives you instant access to all of the contents of the basket, where everything is immediately in your field of vision. This makes this basket infinitely more convenient.
This basket can be bought for, generally, a much better price than what you would end up paying for the #2 spot. While not quite as cheap as the #1 spot, it’s still a much better deal for what you’re getting out of it.
Nothing else of note about it
In our #3 spot, we have the very traditional Vintiquewise Picnic Basket. A decidedly more classical design than even our #5 pick, this basket is what you choose when you aren’t looking for anything fancy and don’t want to spend all that much on a picnic basket.
These things are generally made of wicker or some other kind of wood, meaning that washing them when they get dirty can get tricky. However, this basket is lined with gingham, which is perfectly washable. So, if this basket gets too dirty, you don’t have to worry.
This basket would fit in perfectly with any lodge, cabin, or any home with the classical home decor. Whether you actually use it, or just hang it up for decoration, this basket will serve you well either way.
For a basket as simple as this, if it costed more than it does, it might have found itself at the bottom of the list. But thankfully that is not the case, as this basket is probably the cheapest on this entire list. Seeing as how it also doubles as a decoration as much as it functions as a picnic basket, the low price is to be expected.
4. Scuddle Extra Large
Lots of Extras
Arrives with Components Missing
First thing first we like the name Scuddles. Second of all we really like this basket and it was just shy of making out top picks. A lot of thought went into this product, from the wine glasses to the salt and pepper shakers no detail was spared. Plus we like the color scheme and it’s not too heavy.
Sure most of the sets have wine glasses and silverware, but it’s the little things like the salt and pepper shaker and the stainless steel and the matching napkins and basket colors that make the scuddles stand out. The added bottle opener can be helpful in a pinch as well. We like what we’re seeing here.
The straps are sturdy as are the handheld carrying straps. The zippers are high quality so it won’t jam up and all in all, it’s a pretty light carry, unless you toss a watermelon in the basket (which you could do! A small watermelon, but still), or rocks.
Quite affordable really. It comes down in about the mid-range but you’re getting a lot for your money. Plus this is one sturdy piece of equipment and it should last you for a long, long time. And we know it’s odd but we tend to do the weird math that divides the actual purchase price into how many times we’ve used a product. And since this will last for a long while, if you use it often, it’ll cost next to nothing over time.
5. Juvale Delux Double Basket
Double Lid Design
Matching plates and Napkins
Glasses Arrive Chipped
Not Enough Silverware Slots
This is a really classy looking piece of equipment here and we appreciate the classic look and the well thought out usefulness of this product. It has everything you want in a basket plus the double opening top makes it easy to get to everything you might need.
It doesn’t look like that would be the case but this basket is insulated and we like, that, check that we need that because most of our picnics involve mayonnaise, lots of mayonnaise so keeping things from getting hot is a priority of our lives.
We just think this looks cool, but it’s actually really functional as well. The double lid design means you don’t have to keep flipping the top open again and again and it lets you get to everything you need really easily. Plus it’s cool how the lid also doubles as a carrying case for some of the equipment.
A bit on the pricier side but this is really a high-end kind of a basket and so if you’re looking to hi that exact right now on the romanticism scale or you just need a big basket or if you just like wicker this is a great way to go. Plus, when all is said and done it won’t set you back too far.
6. Picnic Time Country Basket
Easy Open Lid
Sturdy Wicker Construction
Removable Gingham Liner
Has Arrived with no Lid
Arrived Missing Some Parts
This is the basket Dorothy had on her bike, or we seem to recall something like that. Maybe it’s the gingham. In any case, if you’re looking for a basket that jumped right out of Little Red Riding Hood then this is the picnic basket for you.
We like wicker, it’s environmentally friendly and it looks cool. And don’t gripe too much about its longevity because this wicker is sturdy stuff. The woven handle is also sturdy and strong so if you like the look of this one go on and get it.
All Picnic Time baskets have this guarantee if there’s something that goes wrong and you need it fixed just send it along and they’ll take care of it. Guarantees are always a bit hinky as this one promises to replace the product if it fails to perform as promised. We’re not sure exactly what that means but picnic time is a solid brand and they have a good reputation.
Pretty darn cheap. This basket comes in about the mid-range but it has a lot going for it. Granted it doesn’t have an insulated area nor glasses and silverware but it is a really nice looking basket, nostalgic and classic and if you’re not actually using it for transporting food it makes a nice addition to that home part of the house, as a magazine holder for instance.
7. Vonshef Deluxe
Real plates and utensils
In our #7 spot, definitely a basket that you choose when you want to go fancy. The Vonshef Deluxe 4 Person Basket is not the cheapest basket in the world (just looking at the photo will tell you that much) but rest assured, it is more than worth the money. Why? A few reasons, actually.
While other modern picnic baskets opt for a latch to keep the lid down, you probably want something less likely to shake loose during a bumpy car ride. Which is why this picnic basket utilizes fastened leather straps that you hook like a belt to keep the lid shut. And you are just as likely to find the leather used to make these fasteners in the belt aisle at the clothing store, so you know these are the real deal.
Other picnic baskets may stick you with plastic utensils and paper plates, and while that does bring down the price of their items quite a bit, it still means that you get, at best, a single use out of them. However, this picnic basket comes with real stainless-steel utensils and porcelain plates. Meaning you can wash them after you’re done and use them again next time.
As we said above, the plates and utensils affect the price significantly, so the drawback for this more authentic experience is this picnic basket costing much more than the other entries on this list. Not by much, mind you, but enough to be noteworthy.
8. Picnic Time Verona
Item security, fragile items are placed in secure locations within the basket
Basket comes with two hand-blown crystal wine glasses
The unorthodox design actually makes for a more durable basket.
Kicking off our final 3, it’s our #8 spot, the Picnic Time Verona. Definitely one of the more unorthodox designs for a picnic basket on this list. Instead of going for a squared design, this basket opts for a more cylindrical design. Of course, that isn’t all it has going for it.
Rather than being tied down to the lids and hoping for the best, only the napkins and utensils are secured to the underside of the dual lids. Meanwhile, the twin glasses and plates are secured to the circular opposing walls of the basket. Making them more secure and less likely to break.
There’s nothing like sipping wine with your lover from a genuine crystal glass wine glass. And clearly, Picnic Time concurred with that sentiment, as this picnic basket comes with its own pair of hand-blown glass wine bottles.
Being Picnic Time and being a pretty high-quality basket in its own right, of course, the price is pretty high. In fact, in terms of general retail value, it may be one of the priciest items on this list. However, if you want genuine quality from your picnic basket, then you cannot go wrong with this one.
9. Picnic Time
Uses real utensils, plates, and glasses
2 ways to carry
High-quality durable willow construction
More expensive than most may put up with
In our second to the last spot, we have our last offering from Picnic Time, The Yellowstone Willow Picnic Basket. This high-quality handcrafted basket for two offers everything you and your significant other needs for a romantic date on a hill or by the river. So, what separates it from its Picnic Time brethren? Let’s find out.
Plastic utensils and paper plates are all well and good when you’re, say, throwing a child’s birthday party, where the amount of people you would have to serve is more than your cupboard can supply. But when you’re going out on a solo date with the significant other, then you expect some higher quality cookware. Fortunately, this basket comes with real utensils, plates, and glasses, all to make your outing as perfect as it can be.
We’ve seen before picnic baskets that put their handles on the wrong end, which would result in the food getting all mixed up when you carry it around. Not only does this picnic basket come with a handle that’s attached to the correct end of the basket, but it also has an alternate means of carrying; a fully adjustable shoulder strap that you can use to comfortably carry your basket from place to place.
The big downside to this basket is the price. This is, without question, the most expensive basket on this list. While you will get your money’s worth, the price is so high in general retail price, that most might think it hardly worth it when there are other, more affordable options that basically do the same thing.
10. Household Essentials
Included salt and pepper shakers
Straps are not real leather
In our final spot for the list, we have the Household Essentials Woven Willow. This 4 person picnic basket has a very attractive rectangular design, with an all-natural willow weave construction. So what features got this basket on the list? Let’s find out.
Most baskets have plaid inside of them, they’re picnic baskets, it’s just kind of what you do. However, this isn’t just some fabric laid inside a basket and tied in knots to the basket to keep it there, this plaid has been carefully and painstakingly sewn and attached with adhesive to the interior of the basket. This isn’t just a nice little blanket for your food, this is a legitimate lining for the inside of this basket.
Most picnic baskets have all the essentials included, except oddly enough, for salt and pepper shakers. Fortunately, this basket remembered that no good meal is complete without a helping of salt and pepper. And like the rest of this basket’s contents, it’s made from genuine materials instead of plastic or paper.
Thankfully, this entry is significantly more affordable than the previous entry, with the price generally being half of what you would pay for the Yellowstone Willow. Definitely making it the more attractive offer by comparison.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is not the same as having enough space for 4 people makes a basket for 2 people inferior. Sometimes you need space for the whole family, and sometimes you only need enough space for you and the lover. However, either way, that basket needs the interior space to be able to hold everything you’re taking along with you. This includes the food you’re bringing with you, the utensils you’ll be eating with, the plates you’re going to eat them on, and whatever drinks you’re going to wash them down with. There shouldn’t be an overabundance of space, mind you, else the contents would roll around and potentially damage what otherwise might’ve been a nourishing lunch.
As you may have noticed by now, these picnic baskets come equipped with their own utensils. These are not required, of course, but they do add an extra bit of functionality and charm to the products, so having them was a major boost to whether or not they got on the list. But with that said, there is something else involving those items that were a major factor in their success: how secured the items in question were. This plays into two things: where the items are secured within the basket, and what is holding them there. Whether it’s faux leather straps, real leather straps, whether they’re held in the walls of the basket or the underside of the lid, etc. This is especially imperative if the utensils, plates, and cups are made of the real materials. Because then it becomes more expensive if they break, so you want to make sure that doesn’t happen.
One thing that separates the top tier spots on this list from the bottom rungs is the fact that the top tier entries are all insulated from the outside. All of them use some kind of interior lining to protect themselves from the elements outside. Which is why you can bring them to any spot you want and still enjoy the contents inside unaffected. Want to have a nice hot meal outside on a crisp, cold October evening? Best make sure that the interior of the picnic basket you’re bringing with you can keep your warm meal that way until you’re ready to eat. Does a picnic basket need to be insulated? No, that’s why only a few of them on this list are insulated, but it’s definitely a massive point in its favor.
The drawback to having these intricate designs, fancy utensils included, and top of the line materials is that it all adds up to make these picnic baskets really rather pricey. This is unavoidable, so the questions become: how much is being offered for the price you would need to pay to get it? If the price and the content provided seem reasonable and fair, then that affects how far up on the list each entry went. However, when the price does not reflect properly the content being provided or is simply too high for the basket to be worth it when you have more affordable material available, then that can knock that entry down a few rungs.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you enjoy going to picnics or having picnics on a regular basis then you know packing is quite essential. The key to packing your basket is according to what items you will be using first. For example, you want to pack your utensils last as they will be one of the very first things you need. Going in this order will save you not only time but space as well.
While this might seem like an obvious tip, sometimes most of us need to be reminded to have fun and enjoy your family and friends. Life gets so hectic sometimes we don't have the time or can't seem to enjoy the moment due to having to be at two places at once. Put the phone down and have fun with your loved ones.
Other Factors to Consider
This refers to two things: one, of course, the durability of the product itself. And two, it refers to the way in which it is constructed. Obviously, you want your picnic basket to, at least, be durable enough to make the trip there and back with all of its contents intact. It doesn’t have to be made out of stainless steel, of course, but it should at least be able to take being dropped once or twice.
Next is the way in which it is constructed. Most picnic baskets like to go for a curved cube design since it is the design that can take a fair amount of punishment. However, some, like our #9 entry, employ different shapes that can also take a good bit of punishment, as a cylindrical shape.
If a picnic basket is going to include utensils, plates, salt and pepper shakers, glasses and so forth, then all of those items better be up to snuff. With that said, it isn’t a total deal breaker if the utensils are plastic, the plates are Styrofoam, etc. but when you compare it to a basket with stainless steel utensils, porcelain plates, crystal glass wine glasses, and intricate cloth napkins, then which one you’re going to pick becomes like night and day. What separates a decent lunch from a great lunch is the quality of the plates you’re eating on, so if you are looking for a good picnic basket, you need to ask yourself: Do I want a decent picnic or a great picnic?
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I’ve never been on a picnic before, but I want to give it a try with my family soon. Do you have any advice on what I should bring?
The first picnic is always the roughest. There are so many variables that you don’t yet understand, and you’re bound to forget something vital (or at least something inconvenient to lose) your first time around. But you’ve come to the right place, as we have a checklist of all the things you’ll need.
First things first, you’ll want to add finger food only into the picnic. If you’re using a basket that doesn’t include silverware, then you need to pack finger foods that you can eat without any trouble. These include fruits like apples or cherry tomatoes. Or if you want veggies, you can pack celery and carrots. Then if you want to add something to top it all off, some grapes and cheese should do nicely.
If you want something a bit meatier, then you need to make sure you have enough room to store hamburger or hot dog buns to go with your hamburgers and hot dogs, which you also need to make sure to pre-cook before you leave.
Next, if the picnic basket doesn’t include plates, glasses, or seasoning shakers, then you need to bring those along as well, along with any condiments that you want to use for your dishes. Squirt bottles only, of course.
These should make for a good starting picnic. Feel free to add or alter this formula based on your own needs or desires in the future. But for your first ever picnic, this is a great model to follow.
q: I’m a single parent with two kids, and I’m currently dating, and I want to take both out to a picnic individually and then together. Do I get one 4 person basket, or two baskets, one for two people, and one for 4?
One four-person basket. While yes, usually you want to keep things to a minimum relating to the number of people you’re taking on the picnic, there are a few reasons that this is an exception.
For one, if you plan to take them all out anyway, then it just makes sense to only buy one four-person basket and save time. Just make sure that you and your kids/the person you’re dating, are both extremely hungry when you take them out individually because you’ll have to fill that thing to the brim in order to keep the contents from moving around too much.
Also, these things cost quite a bit of money, if you want a picnic basket of any real quality, especially one from this list. It’s simply the more financially frugal option to buy one picnic basket meant for 4, then two meant for 2 and 4.
q: Are there any other things I need for the best picnic possible?
For one, you need a blanket for you all to sit on. Unfortunately, the companies that make the baskets on this list do not make or include blankets. As much of a shame as that is, you don’t need to worry, as any blanket will do, and we know you have at least one in your house. You just need to pick one that’s easily washable (no matter how you slice it, it’s going to get covered in dirt and grass and whatnot).
Other entertainment also helps, especially if you bring the whole family, including kids who need more than conversation to keep themselves entertained after they’ve filled themselves with food and sugar and would be bouncing off the walls if there were any walls to be bouncing off of. These could include handheld video games, books, an iPad with Netflix on it, board games (preferably one that doesn’t have a lot of tiny little pieces that are easy to lose track of) and all sorts of other things that you could think of.
q: Why does it matter whether or not my picnic is insulated? It’s not like I plan to have a picnic in the snow.
Very true, but regardless of how hot or cold it may be, insulation stops temperature both from getting in and from getting out. So no matter what temperature it is outside, your food will always be the temperature you put it in as.