Who doesn’t like a good picnic? Whether it’s charred burgers with all the fixings or caviar on crackers, food just tastes better outdoors.
You might be the kind that likes a simple beer-and-sandwich setup. You might favor better tableware and fine wine during a day out. Picnics are a delight whatever your preference.
Essential Picnic Gear
That said, a few essential items can make the difference between a great picnic and just another picnic. To make the experience truly satisfying, you’ll need the right kind of basic gear.
Here are some of the best picnic accessories to pack for your next alfresco meal in the park.
This is the best, most versatile picnic basket we’ve tried – and we’ve tried many. The Allcamp Outdoor Gear Picnic Basket comes fully insulated with heat-sealed and leak-proof lining. This basket is roomier and better insulated than other similar-sized picnic baskets.
The bag has an impressive 4.7-star rating at Amazon and is a no-nonsense purchase for any household. The insulation provides all the cooling and temperature regulation you need while outside.
The basket measures 15” x 9.5” x 9.8” and will carry up to 65 pounds of food and cutlery. Its rugged polyester canvas construction features a sewn-in aluminum frame with padded handles and pockets for extra storage. It also folds flat and is easy to store when not in use.
While it might be on the small side, in our opinion, this Allcamp picnic basket is a picnic all-star.
When it comes to that luxury feel, picnic blankets don’t get any better than the PortableAnd picnic blanket. The blanket’s soft, cozy, and comfortable fleece top layer is exquisite, perfect for a warm day outdoors!
But what makes the big difference is the sponge middle layer. The wide slip of sponge allows the blanket a perfect amount of cushioning.
The polyethylene vinyl acetate bottom layer is waterproof, too, so you don’t have to worry about moist grass.
The blanket rolls up and can be secured with two faux leather straps. The faux leather handle allows you to tote the blanket roll from a shoulder – like a handbag. Amazon reviewers love this chic-looking blanket, awarding it 4.7 stars on the site.
One of the many things we like about the Tourit Cooler Backpack is its design. Tourit put in some extra effort to make this product look sleek and modern. The pack looks good enough to show off!
The cooler’s construction is leak-proof, and it’s made with high-density Oxford foam and top-quality lining.
What’s more, Tourit designed the cooler to be impact-resistant. The exterior is waterproof and, yes, it’s tough and durable.
With freeze packs, this cooler will keep your snacks and drinks cold for 16 hours. The main storage compartment is large enough for your beers, juice, sandwiches, or other food.
You can use the two front pockets for your bags of chips, travel wallet, or other small accessories. Two bottle holders on the side can even hold a water bottle and an umbrella!
There’s more to ice packs than just cooling food and drinks. When we buy ice packs for our cooler, we don’t just look for longevity and a shorter freeze time. We look for durability, too.
Why? Between the heat and the tossing around, ice packs undergo more wear and tear than you’d think.
If you’re packing a cooler for a picnic in the park, use a few Cooler Shock reusable ice packs. They freeze faster than water and they’re certainly tough enough for a relaxing picnic in the park.
They will also keep your watermelon slices and beer cool for up to 48 hours! In all, the reusable packs can replace about 20 pounds of dripping, dirty ice. Now that’s impressive.
Utensils and Flatware
We tested several designs for picnic tableware, and Stansport’s 24-piece enamel tableware set is our favorite. The beautiful double-coated glazed enamel pieces in the set are all durable and functional.
In all, the 24-piece bundle includes four 10.5” plates, four 6” bowls, four 12oz mugs, and four flatware sets. The flatware includes spoons, knives, and forks for four people, as well.
When properly packed, this set is compact and will endure being jostled around in your picnic basket. Each piece comes with brilliant stainless-steel edges.
The plates are the highpoint of the ensemble, each having a large usable area. The bowls are decently sized.
However, the mugs appear to be the weak link here as far as reviews are concerned. Some reviewers have complained that they found the handles rather poorly made.
Still, we say this set is ideal for family camping and recreational vehicles, given its price point and sturdiness. You might even use it for the dining table at home. It’s certainly fabulous for picnics.
Wine Tote Bag and Accessories
There is nothing quite like enjoying your favorite wine alfresco. It’s the perfect complement to good food and sweet summer sunshine.
Plush Picnic’s Insulated Wine Tote Bag holds two standard-size bottles of wine. The bag’s insulation will keep them chilled if you prefer.
This wine carrier comes with two small wine glasses that are perfect for outdoor use. They’re not glass, so they won’t break as easily.
The set includes a small cheese board for snacks, a knife, a stopper, and a corkscrew. And all that is packed into a good-looking, conveniently-sized bag you can sling over a shoulder.
Portable Picnic Grill
Some might want to bring a foldable picnic table. Many will even bring a portable grill.
Since they are meant to be transportable, picnic grills have to be lightweight. We think few – if any – are much lighter than the Uttora portable barbecue grill.
This portable grill weighs 3.5 pounds and is made of durable, high-quality 430 stainless steel. Despite its slight weight, the entire assembly sits stable on wide, L-shaped metal legs. Just make sure to position the grill on a flat surface and you should have no problems.
The legs fold away under the mainframe for convenient storage. You can remove the bottom trough, barbecue grill, and carbon grill for the same purpose.
The 15.35”x11.41”x2.95” grilling area allows you to cook enough meat or fish for three people, maybe even five. Twelve air vents ensure even heat distribution throughout the grill.
We think the Uttora is perfect for laidback picnic grilling. This product may not be the sturdiest in the market, but it’s hard to argue against its price. It’s also quite easy to carry, folding to a convenient 9.44 x 13.77-inch square for storage and transport.
One of the Great Joys of Summer
The best way to celebrate summer is with a picnic in a lovely alfresco setting. These outdoor meals just bring out the best in food, friends, and family.
So, whether you’re headed for the beach or just a beautiful patch of grass, it’s important to have fun! After all, venturing into the outdoors with a packed picnic basket is among the greatest joys of the season.
If you’re planning a fun picnic this summer, we think the gear we’ve listed above will serve you well.