10 Best Picnic Backpacks | March 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. If you are going to go to all the trouble of arranging a romantic picnic with your significant other, don't spoil the ambiance by lugging everything there in plastic grocery bags and eating off paper plates. Instead, keep all your drinks cold and your food warm in one of these convenient and stylish picnic backpacks that come with everything needed to make it easy to eat al fresco any time. Skip to the best picnic backpack on Amazon.
10 Best Picnic Backpacks | March 2017


Overall Rank: 10
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Epic Products Wine Picnic has a classy tweed design on the backpack and comes with almost everything needed for a romantic sunset date at the park. It features dual insulated wine compartments, but the food compartment is a bit on the small side.
9
The VERDUGO GIFT Picnic has a larger cutting board that most picnic backpacks. Unfortunately, it is made out of plastic and doesn't have that fancy feel some of the others do. The dishware is all durable melamine and can last for years.
8
The Picnic Time Turismo has two insulated compartments instead of one, giving extra capacity for cold or hot foods, and it comes in three different color options. It has thick padding on the shoulder straps and should be comfortable to carry for long periods.
7
The VonShef Tartan has an extra large blanket which matches the backpack, and enough dinnerware for four, making it a good choice for full family or double date picnics. Its top handle feels very sturdy and shouldn't tear when overloaded.
  • includes a cheese or butter knife
  • insulated detachable wine cooler
  • plates aren't dishwasher safe
Brand VonShef
Model 07/297
Weight 6.1 pounds
6
The Picnic Time Volare-Duet is ideal for wine and cheese picnics, where drinking and snacking is the order of the day. It has outside pockets for quick access, is available in six colors, and includes a stainless steel cheese knife and corkscrew.
  • dual wine compartments
  • vertical design travels easily
  • food container isn't leakproof
Brand Picnic Time
Model 622-04-777
Weight 3.1 pounds
5
If you have a large family, the Cabin Max IceMax is a good choice. It comes with table settings for six, and the plastic plates and cutlery are strong enough to hold up to clumsy kids. The shoulder straps are well padded and carrying it for long treks won't be an issue.
  • made from a durable 600d material
  • hanging hook for easy storage
  • insulated storage area is narrow
Brand Cabin Max
Model Icemax backpack
Weight 5.5 pounds
4
The Brave 10986 holds just enough for two, so it's ideal for romantic retreats, but doesn't weigh too much and it's still easy to carry. With adjustable back straps you and your partner can take turns carrying it, as long as she is willing.
  • heavy-duty 1200d material won't rip
  • side zip storage compartments
  • insulation wipes clean easily
Brand Bravo Enterprise
Model 10986
Weight pending
3
Unlike many other picnic baskets, the Apollowalker Coffee has a stylish look, with its two-tone material and attractive accents. It also comes with a matching blanket, so you can spread out comfortably even if the ground is damp.
  • detachable insulated bottle holder
  • includes a salt and pepper shaker
  • washable interior liner
Brand Apollowalker
Model pending
Weight 5.4 pounds
2
The Picnic Plus Fiesta comes in red or blue, and is designed for single strap, cross body use. It is more compact than most models, which makes it a good choice for longer walks, and it has a convenient cell phone holder in the strap.
  • only weighs 4lbs with contents
  • mesh front and side panels
  • foil-insulated food compartment
Brand Picnic Plus
Model pending
Weight pending
1
The Picnic at Ascot Houndstooth has a roomy, insulated leak-proof cooler, sturdy side blanket straps and a wine pocket, all built into an elegant checkered pattern bag that looks stylish. It's available as a two person or four person set.
  • front zippered pocket for personal items
  • made from durable polycanvas
  • includes a hardwood cutting board
Brand Picnic at Ascot
Model 080X-HT
Weight 6.9 pounds

Picking A Picnic Backpack

While enjoying a meal or appetizers and drinks in the pleasant setting of the outdoors will never go out of style, the traditional picnic basket has arguably seen its heyday passed by. This is so because the picnic basket is simply the superior option when it comes to transporting foods from the home to the park, the seashore, or the friend's back yard. A good picnic backpack may offer slightly less storage capacity than a large wicker basket, but what it lacks in a bit of room, it makes up for by combining aspects of a cooler, an ergonomic backpack, and the adaptability of tactical gear all into one handy -- and often attractive -- piece of gear.

First consider which is more important to you: plenty of space for storing food and beverages, or a backpack that comes with all the fine flatware, cups, and plates you and a friend (or date) need for a great picnic. To first discuss the latter, many people will find the convenience and charm of a picnic set that comes packed with complete service for two people, and even with a corkscrew and cheese knife and cutting board, simply irresistible. There's also something to be said about using the utensils and serving set that come with a picnic backpack, as you know they will fit the unit perfectly.

On the other hand, few households don't have some forks, knives, plates, and glasses they can stick into a bag, so don't overlook the actual carrying capacity of a picnic backpack -- not to mention other features to be touched on momentarily -- because you are dazzled by its included extras.

Some picnic backpacks are expressly designed for carrying wine. If that's your primary concern, then one of these units with sleeves for two bottles built into it is the ideal choice. These will be limiting options for carrying most foods, though. A better idea for most people is a picnic basket with an insulated side compartment that can accommodate a bottle of wine (or another beverage) and that can be removed when not needed. Look primarily to the storage space in the bag, and keep in mind that the compartment designed for holding goblets, plates, and utensils can always be used for more foodstuffs, just take the service items out.

Finally, pay attention to the actual straps and padding of a picnic backpack you are considering. Many options are designed to be stylish and attractive, but had less concern put into ergonomics and comfort. If you're only carrying sandwiches and drinks for two, then the type of straps on your bag likely won't much matter. If you're packing in food for many, and/or if you have a long trek ahead of you before it's meal time, then a backpack with easily adjustable, padded straps and a soft backing is a must have.

Other Great Accessories For Outdoor Dining

If there's one thing anyone who has ever attended an outdoor dining event -- be it a barbecue, picnic, or campsite meal -- can attest to, it's that along with great food and great times often come a great number of bugs. Insects can hardly be blamed for flocking to foods brought into their natural habitat, but you also can't be blamed for wanting to keep them away from your picnic. Insect repellents and citronella candles can do much to keep the bugs at bay, but if you want to deter flying insects from interfering with your meal, a great approach is to set up a battery power fan near your eating area. Fans can shoo away many insects, especially those most insidious mosquitoes, who are quite weak at flight.

If your outdoor eating area comes complete with a table and benches or chairs, then it's best to enjoy these luxuries. If not, you will absolutely need a good picnic blanket to create a clean and comfortable outdoor dining area. Dedicated outdoor blankets usually have one side that is water resistant and durable enough to avoid tears and punctures, and another side that is soft and comfortable. You can well over a hundred dollars on a top of the line picnic blanket, but you can also get a fine piece for about fifteen dollars.

To enjoy an outdoor meal on a hot and sunny day, such as you might encounter at the beach or during a summertime festival, also consider bringing along a popup sun shelter. Many such units weigh only a few pounds, can be folded down small enough to clip to your picnic backpack, and can mean the difference between a miserable, sweaty time and a pleasant, shady afternoon.

Other Uses For Your Picnic Backpack

Just because a product goes by one name doesn't mean it can't be used for a whole host of other purposes. Thanks to a picnic backpack's insulated compartment (or compartments) and its several other storage areas, insulation not required, a picnic backpack also makes the ideal way to transport a moderate amount of groceries. While certainly boasting far less capacity than a dedicated shopping cart, a picnic backpack offers the twin advantages of keeping foods chilled and keeping your hands free. Bring one along when you are biking to the grocery store for a quick trip, or if you have a large volume of groceries to carry and need to minimize the weight in your hands or if you have surpassed the capacity of your cart.

Some picnic backpacks also make the ideal accessory for use on a fishing trip. The insulated compartment of a picnic backpack can help keep bait fish cool and fresh and can help preserve smaller fish you have caught (or fillets you prepare in the field) and need to transport home under refrigeration. (Of course you can also simply store your cold beer or other beverages and snacks in the backpack and enjoy fine food and drink while fishing). Just keep in mind that once you have carried raw fish in your backpack, it should probably remain dedicated to that use.

And in a pinch, a picnic backpack can also double as a way to organize and carry tools. Most such pieces have several slots intended for forks and knives but perfectly suitable for screwdrivers and wrenches, and the main compartments are usually reinforced and durable enough for larger implements like hammers or even smaller power tools.



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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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