Best Picnic Baskets

Picnic Baskets - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Picnic Basket Buyers Guide

Going on a picnic either on a date or with family remains a favorite choice by many. It is almost like a tradition that reinforces the bonds. If you want to enjoy your picnic, you need to choose the best picnic basket. It would be the one that meets your storage requirements and brings you the ease of carrying food and cutleries.

However, it’s not that easy. There is a wide range of material, size, and quality considerations you’d have to make. There are countless picnic baskets, and every manufacturer is trying to sell you theirs by showcasing the positive aspects.

In this guide, you will learn to consider the pros and cons of different types of baskets. Furthermore, it will enable you to gain some valuable insights regarding material consideration and other aspects. It is your one-stop for everything you need to know for picnic baskets. So without further ado, let’s begin!

Things you need to consider when buying a picnic basket

These factors are divided into a step-by-step process and a priority list. Therefore, you will also get a good idea of which factors to consider first and others to put later. Thus, you will make a well-versed and informed choice without relying on marketing schemes and advertisements.

These will help you personalize each choice and shuffle through countless options available in the market. First, you will learn about different types of the basket, and by the end, you will have an image of the perfect basket in your head. So let's simplify the process of choosing the picnic baskets. Here's everything you need to know:

Types of picnic baskets

There is a wide range of picnic baskets available in the market. It’s not as easy as walking into the store and buying one. You have to consider the purpose and ensure that it meets your taste. It will also depend on your budget to get the right type of picnic basket.

Most of the time, people can choose according to the categories. Here you will find a quick overview with perks and drawbacks before moving onto factors.

Classic baskets

These are the conventional picnic baskets you’d see in popular media and your imagination. Alternatively, they are known as traditional picnic baskets. These have a flap or cap-top type closure, even a chest-like build for the basket, which is common in the classic designs. Usually, you will find them with a handle to hold them. These baskets are primarily a construct of wicker or other similar fiber for classic appeal.

However, despite their lightweight appeal, modern innovations have reinforced their design. Insides may either have blanket-like fabric or thicker wooden walls with an artistic appeal. Either way, as these are the typical picnic baskets, you can’t expect much from them.

These baskets are fairly durable, have the appeal of authentic picnic baskets, and cost-efficiency. However, these are similarly harder to clean and may not last long.

Modern baskets

If you look at modern baskets, you will find countless additions and innovations. There is a wide range of material, from artificial fabrics to natural leather for layering. The price may also range from cheaper than classic baskets to high-end luxuries for their features.

A typical modern basket is a polyester in the material. It generally comes with insulation or foams to maintain food and beverage temperatures. There is a zipper or snap button closure for securing food items. For carrying, there will be a handle and sometimes an extended strap to sling you're your shoulder. Furthermore, these are easier to clean and maintain but lack material strength.

The best part of these baskets is that you get a wide variety.

Specialty baskets

A specialty picnic basket has a limit. Think of these as something you will use for a specific purpose. These usually support a specific category of food and drinks. For instance, there are wine & cheese baskets or coffee & tea baskets.

Conventionally, these will have a compartment for holding wine bottles or the tea (or coffee) set. There will be storage for food items like cheese, biscuits, and such. Specialty picnic baskets are common in resorts, inns, restaurants, and other similar sectors for their appeal.

These are also smaller in size compared to a modern or traditional picnic basket.

Lunch totes

Lunch totes are more of a bag than baskets, but their use in picnic has become prevalent that they should be considered as picnic baskets. Usually, these have longer handles or extended straps to sling them over for carrying. These are highly capacious with a straightforward design.

Similar to modern baskets, you will find a range of colors and materials for them. However, these are multi-purpose, and you can use them to carry other items. Primarily, you will see people use them for carrying items in the market.

You can find them with or without closure, and they have width like a basket but the convenience of a carry bag. However, there's a strong limitation in their design as these usually have a single compartment. There may be additional pockets outside or on the side, but those are to store small items.

Picnic backpacks

If you want to consider modern convenience to the peak, perhaps this would suit your requirements. A picnic backpack brings you the ease of carrying and portability of a backpack. These usually have countless features with integrated organizers to hold specific items. You can designate different compartments to hold a certain essential.

There's usually apt space for food and other perishables. You also get secure storage for plates, spoons, and other cutleries. It is a one-stop solution that would hold a picnic mat, bottle, and much more. There are different size options, but it generally comes in conventional backpack material.

Furthermore, you sacrifice the authentic appeal of a picnic basket for modern convenience.

The size factor

Once you decide the type of picnic basket you want, the second vital consideration would be the size. The size of a basket comes according to the person. There are two-person, four-person, even six-person picnic baskets. More space for storage certainly means bulkier size.

To determine the size, the best thing to do is look at your requirements and what you might carry. Remember, it’s vital for a picnic basket to be your single-storage for food, drinks, snacks, and other perishable. That’s the specific purpose picnic baskets are used for.


Almost every picnic basket would have one large compartment. Some may look like they have one large compartment which might be divided from the center. Many others have extra compartments outside the basket. If you consider a picnic backpack, the number of compartments will divide and change.

When choosing the picnic basket, make sure that compartments can support the utensils and items you want to store. A snug fit would be preferable to prevent disturbance through sound and such. However, it’s not necessary. You might want to look for separate compartments to hold your picnic blanket or matt. It might seem insignificant but plays a great role in making commuting easier.


Some baskets and bags come with extra pockets to secure certain items. These are not as spacious or capacious but can make carrying spoons and other utensils easier. If you have ketchup packs, garnishing, and other similar products, you can conveniently store them in these pockets.

People frequently overlook the convenience of pockets and focus on the compartment. However, you can consider the use of the pockets while getting the right size.

Check out the material.

You can swap this step with the size factor. Some people like to consider the material and cost first. However, for proper selection, the material should come after size consideration. Here you are looking for something that would meet your preference. As mentioned earlier, there are many different materials available for modern baskets. For conventional, there's the wick and wooden fibers, among other similar choices.

Material choices

You will find willow for its flexible nature that makes it easier to weave the baskets. It is durable and sustaining. Standard baskets are willow. However, if you want a slightly stronger material with thickness, then there’s rattan. These are driven from a palm tree and bring exceptional strength.

It's hard for them to wear out, and you will find their use prominently in furniture. Therefore, you can be assured of the longevity of your basket. Bamboo is highly eco-friendly and usually lacks VOC contents that people may be allergic to.

Bamboo baskets are flexible and highly durable. However, you might find them frequently used along with other materials to bring you long-lasting baskets.

Finally, there's a polyester canvas. The artificial material can range highly in flexibility, durability, and other aspects. A polyester picnic basket is versatile and easier to maintain. Most of the time, it is highly cost-effective, as well.

Anti-elemental properties

It's common to provide water-resistant, waterproof, anti-UV, and anti-microbial qualities in many things. The same applies to picnic baskets. Depending on your budget, you might find anything from light water resistance to complete anti-UV protection.

Even wicker or wooden baskets have a special coating to ensure well-versed protection. It’s vital to never assume but check for these qualities. Manufacturers will always showcase these qualities as it reinforces their selling points. Furthermore, many polyester baskets come with anti-microbial qualities which prevent the growth of germs and bacteria.

Anti-odor is also another common quality in polyester baskets. These reduce your requirement to consistently clean or maintain your baskets. However, polyester baskets are fragile against UV and might require additional anti-UV protection, or it might not be available in them at all.

Ease of maintenance

When considering the material, ensure that you’re getting the right build quality. However, ease of maintenance and cleaning would take a priority. Maintaining any product would ensure its longevity.

Wicking or wooden baskets are challenging to clean and maintain. They might require different treatments, and even with best efforts, they won't last as long as other materials. Polyester is the easiest to clean and maintain. You can wash it or provide it a specific treatment. Wooden baskets, if they are not waterproof, might rot or degrade over time.

Therefore, the type of material and care it requires would bring you the overall 'value for money' factor and help you decide which one you should be choosing.

Other factors to consider

Once you’ve considered all of the above-given factors, it’s time for you to pay attention to other less important factors. These will depend on the price you pay and personal preference primarily. However, the guidelines are to help you ensure that you get the right pick.

Organizers and special pockets

Picnic baskets, even with their bare minimum designs, tend to have organizers to store accessories. It can be convenient in a basket for you to carry platters, glasses, and other utensils. Depending on the model and design, they may be in a single compartment or have different spaces. Some baskets come with pockets for this specific purpose. You may consider your requirements to decide if you need this feature.

Insulation properties

If you want your food items to last longer, it could be a good idea to check for insulation properties. Some picnic baskets come with a separate cooler compartment to store ice and beverages. It enables things to last longer.

You can consider this option if you plan on traveling for an extended duration or longer distance. There is thermal and cold insulation available for different baskets. Even wicking baskets with modern layers would provide you these qualities.

However, the cost of your basket will increase as well because storage and insulation are two primary selling points for picnic baskets.

Carry options

Of course, the aim of the picnic baskets is also to bring you the convenience of carrying the goods. Classic baskets don’t have much in terms of options, except they come with a handle. You’d have to use it to carry them. Some may have a central handle that looks like a loop, while others may have handles on the size.

Many baskets have also started to integrate straps, especially sling straps. You will find them for the majority of basket options, and they make it highly convenient for you to carry the basket around. It's especially a great choice for commuting long distances or if you are walking around but need freedom of movement.

Shoulder straps are common in lunch totes and hold your basket closer to you. For picnic backpacks, you will mostly like shoulder straps and a handle to ensure you can carry it on your back, or in hand, as per your choice.

Aesthetics and finishes

Finally, you have aesthetic requirements and are finished. It will break down to the purpose of your basket and your taste. However, these guidelines are to expand your horizon and provide you insight into the range of aesthetics and finishes you can get for picnic baskets.

Commercial designs

Do you want a basket with high functionality? Then you might want to consider polyester, which will sacrifice your 'classic' finish and designs. There is a wide range of designs, graphics, and colors available for polyester material. However, it will always have that 'commercial' or 'home-like' appeal. You can't sacrifice it if you want to have an opulent or lavish experience.

Authentic zest

Alternatively, if you choose wick or wooden baskets, you can get a range of finishes. From classic appearance to something posh. There are polished finishes with black color. You can even find many artistic inscriptions on the basket that would increase the appeal. Instead of the classic ‘woven’ style, some wooden baskets have different designs for the holes in the basket.

Décor appeal

Many high-end picnic baskets bring you an appeal to modern aesthetics and arts. They may even utilize premium material for various segments of the basket. You would even find some ceramic work, metal, and other additions to give it a unique appeal.

Even wooden and wicker baskets have a royal vibe. If you aim to have a lavish or romantic picnic, this could make the right impression. People with distinguished tastes seek these types of baskets. However, they are equally challenging to maintain.

FAQs: Best Picnic Baskets

Q: Is a cooler basket worth it?

A: A cooler basket has an insulation layer to keep the food cold or hot, whichever style you prefer. Some have additional compartments to store beverages in the ice. These are certainly worth it if you have a long trip planned or seek to spend a couple of hours at a picnic. It will prevent your food and beverages from going bad. You can almost never go wrong with insulation qualities.

Q: How to clean a wicker basket?

A: A wicker or fiber might benefit from warm water mixed in a soap solution. You’d have to use the sponge. Alternatively, you can simply brush and clean the basket to maintain its appeal. Some people prefer to use vinegar (white) to prevent mold and mildew problems.

You might also want to consider the material's integrity and qualities before using the cleaning method. Many baskets come with a cleaning manual. Don't drench baskets in water for too long, as that would compromise their quality.

Q: Can you restore a picnic basket’s glow?

A: You might have noticed a polish like appeal that picnic baskets bring. However, it wears out over time due to consistent wash and maintenance. You can use furniture polish to restore your basket’s appeal. Additionally, using anti-UV or waterproof coating could help you enhance the integrity of the basket.

Lemon oil is a natural remedy that you can use for the process. If there are minor scratches and damage, you can use a wax stick. Sometimes sandpaper works, but if you rub too much, you might damage the material, so it's not preferable or make it weaker.

Q: Is it necessary for a basket to store utensils?

A: No law or regulation forces you to store utensils. However, it is certainly convenient, and almost every picnic basket comes with a utensil storage option. Some may store platter and spoons, while others offer an option for extended cutlery like cups and much more.

It would depend on your purpose and the type of food items you have. The purpose of a picnic basket is to ease your food and drink storage by providing you a single storage option.

Q: Are picnic backpacks worth it?

A: A picnic backpack is a great choice for camping or hiking trips. They might also be a great choice to help your child carry the items and attain a sense of responsibility. However, picnic backpacks don’t offer any aesthetic appeal of a picnic basket. If you’re fine with that, then it’s a worthy investment. Furthermore, you should always consider backpacks if they bring you a complete utility of storing food, drinks, utensils, even blankets, and other ‘picnic necessities.’

Q: What should I consider if I want to buy a picnic backpack?

A: For a picnic backpack, consider the standard basket’s capacity, compartment, and pocket utilization. Additionally, you’d have to make a consideration you would make for a conventional backpack. Material, carrying options, waterproofing, longevity, and quality of components will take some consideration.


Many manufacturers will offer a certain warranty or satisfaction guarantee with the production. These could be a great choice if you're investing in a high-end basket or something more costly. Similarly, some baskets would require gentle wash and care. There are a few that would even require an experienced professional to clean them.

Regardless of these aspects, now you know everything about picnic baskets and how to make the right choice. We hope that it was easy to understand and provided you with insights that could be highly valuable. The aim was to expand your horizons and bring you the best advice and guide. Now you can enjoy your picnic in the way you deem fit! So have fun and indulge in the traditional bonding experience! / - © Copyright 2020