If you like to enjoy alfresco dining off the beaten track, then you need to get yourself the best picnic backpack.
Unlike wicker baskets which are cumbersome to transport, picnic backpacks are cleverly designed to hold all your picnic essentials in a way that’s easy to carry hands-free.
Well organized and with special insulated compartments to keep your supplies fresh, picnic backpacks come complete with cutlery, plates, glasses and other useful accessories – so you have everything you need for a relaxing outdoor dining experience.
Today, we take a look at the best picnic backpacks money can buy, so you can find the right option for your next outing.
- 1 Best Picnic Backpacks
- 1.1 All Camp Outdoor Gear 2 Person Blue Picnic Backpack
- 1.2 Greenfield Collection Deluxe Picnic Backpack Hamper for Four People
- 1.3 California Picnic Backpack for 4
- 1.4 Inno Stage Large Capacity Picnic Backpack
- 1.5 Picnic at Ascot Original Equipped Backpack for 4 with Blanket
- 1.6 Plush Picnic – 2 Person Picnic Backpack
- 1.7 Apollo Walker 2 Person Red Picnic Backpack
- 1.8 Hap Tim – Waterproof Picnic Backpack
- 1.9 Summerfield Terrace Picnic Backpack
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Picnic Backpack
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Picnic Backpacks
Not sure which picnic backpack to choose? We’ve reviewed nine of the best picnic backpacks on the market today, to help you find your perfect match.
All Camp Outdoor Gear 2 Person Blue Picnic Backpack
If you’re looking for a picnic backpack that contains everything you need, the All Camp Outdoor Gear 2 Person Picnic Backpack is an excellent choice.
This compact backpack is cleverly designed to save space while offering enough storage for all your food, drinks and picnic essentials. It’s made from durable polyester and has multiple compartments so you can keep your supplies well organized.
The front compartment contains a full set of picnic cutlery and accessories for two people. It comes with a set of two stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons, two plastic dinner plates, two plastic wine glasses and two cotton napkins. There’s also a cheese knife, salt & pepper shakers, a plastic chopping board and a bottle opener – so you have everything you need in one well-organized compartment.
A soft polyester picnic blanket is also included. It has a waterproof backing to prevent any moisture from seeping through to your clothes while you enjoy your food. The blanket is rolled up and comes attached to the side of the backpack with two durable straps, so you can save more valuable packing space for more treats.
On the other side, there’s an insulated wine bottle holder, so you can admire the view with a chilled glass of wine. You don’t have to bring wine, though. The holder is large enough to fit an iced bottle of water if you’d prefer.
We like that all your food and drinks are kept fresh in the large, insulated cooler compartment – so you can keep all your supplies chilled, even on a hot day. The shoulder straps and top carry handle are also well-padded and comfortable to hold, making this backpack ideal for long hikes to your favorite picnic spot.
Picnic trips rarely require just food and wine, though. That’s why the front compartment on this backpack is another added bonus. This zippered pocket is perfect for stashing your sun lotion, insect repellent, and hand wipes – so you can bring all your essentials without compromising on food storage space.
Greenfield Collection Deluxe Picnic Backpack Hamper for Four People
Ideal for families or small gatherings of up to four people, the Greenfield Collection Deluxe Picnic Backpack Hamper has everything you need to enjoy some alfresco dining with loved ones.
This backpack is made from 600D polyester, so it is lightweight to carry and durable against rips, scuffs or tears. It features a range of compartments for storing all your food and essentials, including an insulated rear compartment that can keep your food and drinks hot or cold for up to 7 hours – plenty of time for you to make the most of a day out.
The front compartment comes filled with cutlery and dining accessories that all fit neatly into their dedicated slots for easy access. There’s a set of stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons, four melamine plates, four plastic wine glasses, a wooden chopping board, a cutting knife, salt and pepper shakers, napkins, a table cloth, bottle stopper, waiter’s friend, and a tidy up bag to keep your trash separate until you can dispose of it.
Unlike the previous model, this picnic backpack doesn’t include a blanket, but it does have a press-stud attachment strap on the front panel so you can attach your own. It also has two zippered wine bottle compartments on each side, so you can bring enough of your favorite tipple for all your companions.
For such a compact backpack, this model fits plenty of goodies for everyone to enjoy. The small zippered pocket on the front is ideal for keeping valuables such as your keys and phone, or it can be used to store outdoor essentials like sun lotion, maps, or hand wipes within easy reach.
The shoulder straps are well-padded for comfort and they can be fully adjusted for a perfect fit. The wide-back design also distributes the weight evenly, so there are no pressure points on your back or shoulders as you walk to your chosen lunch spot.
All in all, this picnic backpack is a great option for groups of up to four people. It offers plenty of space, comes fully-loaded with accessories, and will keep your supplies hot or chilled all day long. The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with its own picnic blanket, so you’ll have to buy one separately.
California Picnic Backpack for 4
Another good option for groups of up to four people is the California Picnic Backpack. This luxury model comes with high-quality accessories that are built to last the test of time.
The California Picnic Backpack is slightly different from the previous models we have seen. It loads from the top with a flip-up zippered lid, a bit like a soft-sided cooler bag. This means that it holds itself open for easy loading and unloading, and it allows you to clearly see all the contents without having to rummage around.
The main compartment has a large capacity and an insulated lining to keep your food and drinks chilled while you travel to your picnic spot. The cutlery and accessories are kept in a separate folding pouch, which has its own handles for easy transport.
It also comes with an oversized matching picnic blanket that has a waterproof and sand-proof backing – so whether you’re hitting the beach, lake or festival, you can sit in comfort without moisture seeping through to your clothes.
The blanket is attached to the front of the pack via two adjustable straps, thus saving you storage space inside. We like that the outer material is durable, water-resistant and also looks smart – making this backpack a great option for romantic outdoor dining trips with someone you’re trying to impress.
However, considering its large capacity, we think the shoulder straps could be a little more padded for comfort. If you’re planning long hikes into the wilderness, this backpack may become uncomfortable after a while, but it’s hard to beat if you’re looking for an attractive option that’s well made and filled with top-quality dining accessories.
Inno Stage Large Capacity Picnic Backpack
With its cute, nautical design and large capacity, the Inno Stage Picnic Backpack is another great choice for alfresco dining with loved ones.
Measuring 15.7″ x 9.8″ x 16.5″, this picnic backpack has enough capacity to pack plenty of food and drinks for four people, making it an ideal choice for families. It comes complete with a large quantity of cutlery and dining accessories, all neatly arranged in the front compartment for easy access.
Aside from food, this model has everything you need to enjoy a family meal in the great outdoors. It comes with a set of four stainless steel knives, forks, and spoons that have plastic handles to reduce the overall weight.
There’s also a cheese knife, salt and pepper shakers, a bamboo chopping board, four large, BPA-free dinner plates, four non-shatter wine glasses, and cotton napkins. Each item is securely strapped into its own space so they won’t rattle around the bag during transport.
We like how this backpack is easy to load, thanks to the flip top design that resembles a soft-sided cooler bag. The interior of the main compartment is insulated to keep your goodies fresh and cool all day, and the two side pockets are shaped perfectly to store bottles of wine.
This model also comes with a matching picnic blanket that can be attached to the front d-rings or carried separately thanks to its built-in handle. The blanket is waterproof, so you can use it on damp ground without any worries, and has its own little zippered pocket for stashing your keys, phone, or some spare change.
Another great feature of this picnic backpack is it’s padded shoulder straps and additional top carry handle. The shoulder straps are thick and won’t dig into your shoulders, even when the backpack is fully loaded. But if you’re walking for a while and want to give your back a rest, the top carry handle is also soft and comfortable to hold.
It may be a little expensive, but overall, this large picnic backpack is hard to fault. It looks great, has a large capacity, and comes with everything you need for a well-organized family day out.
Picnic at Ascot Original Equipped Backpack for 4 with Blanket
Another excellent option is the Picnic at Ascot Original Equipped Backpack. If you’re looking for a well-equipped backpack that has enough capacity for groups of four people, this model is a top-quality choice.
This sturdy backpack is made from heavy-duty 600 denier canvas that offers great durability against the elements. The inner cooler compartment is insulated and has a leak-proof liner, so any unfortunate spills won’t seep out and stain your clothes. Should an accident occur and things get messy, though, we like that you can remove the liner for easy cleaning.
With multiple compartments, this picnic backpack has plenty of space for all your food, drinks, and essentials. The large front zip compartment is loaded with all the cutlery and accessories you need for four people.
It comes with a set of 9-inch melamine plates, a hardwood cheese board, acrylic wine glasses, a cheese knife, combination corkscrew, stainless steel cutlery and wooden salt and pepper shakers. So, you just need to pack your refreshments and you’re good to go.
There’s a detachable, insulated wine bottle holder on one side of the backpack to keep your wine chilled both during transport and when you arrive at your picnic spot. And on the other side, there’s useful storage straps for the included fleece blanket, so you can carry everything hands-free. The only drawback is that the blanket doesn’t have a waterproof backing, so you’ll need to be careful to set up on dry ground.
Aside from the main cooler compartment, this model comes with a free bonus cooler so you can bring even more food and drinks with you for a full day out. This cooler has a zippered closure and two long shoulder straps, so you could also choose to use it on its own as a chilled lunch bag during the week.
Whether you’re hiking to the beach or taking a trip to the park in the car, the front zippered pocket is perfect for keeping your wallet, keys and phone within easy reach, and doesn’t take up storage space inside the pack. The shoulder straps are well padded for comfort, and there’s also a convenient handle on the top if you’d rather carry the pack by hand.
This picnic backpack isn’t cheap, but you get a lot for your money. The rugged design is built to last, it includes a huge range of accessories and the smart storage compartments make it great for family outings.
Plush Picnic – 2 Person Picnic Backpack
Looking for a compact, yet spacious option for two people? Then the Plush Picnic – 2 Person Picnic Backpack could be just what you need.
This backpack is constructed from highly-durable black canvas that’s resistant to tears, stains or fading – so it should last for years to come. It has three zippered compartments and a stylish, gender-neutral design that’s suitable for both laid back lunches and more formal occasions.
The front compartment unzips to reveal a complete set of picnic ware, all cleverly arranged for easy access.
It comes with two sets of cutlery, a wooden cheese board, a cheese/butter knife, two plastic wine glasses, napkins, plates, a bottle opener/corkscrew and a set of salt and pepper shakers. Each item is kept secure with press-button straps, so you don’t need to worry about things getting broken on your way to your picnic spot.
Great for hot summer days, the detachable wine bottle holder is insulated to keep your drinks perfectly chilled. The rear cooler compartment also has a generous capacity, so you can pack all your food and keep it fresh all day long. The compartment is tall enough to accommodate extra bottles of wine, too – so there’s no risk that you’ll run out!
This model comes complete with a matching fleece blanket that attaches to the side of the backpack for easy transport. The blanket has a waterproof backing that’s ideal for setting up on damp ground, so you can enjoy your meal without your clothes getting wet.
The Plush Picnic Backpack is a great, affordable option for couples but it does have a few minor drawbacks worth mentioning. The cutlery feels a little cheap, although it is lightweight and does the job well enough. Furthermore, the blanket could be larger. This isn’t a dealbreaker, it just means you and your partner will have to snuggle up closer to fit on it!
Apollo Walker 2 Person Red Picnic Backpack
With a bright red design and hardy construction, the Apollo Walker 2 Person Red Picnic Backpack is a stylish and durable option for outdoor dining.
Made from 600D Oxford fabric, this picnic backpack is well-made and resistant to rips or tears. Unlike other backpacks we have seen so far, this model doesn’t open at the top. Instead, it features two zippered compartments on each side – one contains all the included picnic accessories, while the other provides access to the large cooler compartment.
The cutlery and tableware compartment is neatly packed and comes complete with everything you need for two people. There’s a set of stainless steel knives, forks and spoons, two plastic wine glasses, two plates, salt and pepper shakers, washable cotton napkins, a corkscrew/bottle opener, a cheese knife and a small, wooden chopping board.
The cooler compartment is generously-sized, offering enough space for plenty of food and drink for a couple. This compartment has a food grade thermal aluminum lining to ensure your supplies stay fresh,and it’s also waterproof to prevent leaks.
Aside from the two main compartments, this model features an insulated, zippered bottle holder on the front panel, so you can bring along a chilled bottle of water, wine or a coffee flask. It also comes with it’s own, large picnic blanket in a matching red color. The fleece blanket is soft to the touch and has a waterproof backing, which is useful if the ground is a little damp.
The shoulder straps are wide and well-padded, so they don’t dig into your skin while you’re wearing it. There’s also a padded rear panel that cushions your back for comfort. And if you’d rather carry this backpack by hand, you can use the thick top handle instead.
All in all, this picnic backpack is a stylish choice that’s great for couples. It contains everything you need to enjoy alfresco dining with your loved one and is comfortable to carry. The only drawback is the cotton napkins, which although washable, start to look a bit ragged after a cycle or two in the machine.
Hap Tim – Waterproof Picnic Backpack
Next on our list is the Hap Tim – Waterproof Picnic Backpack. This model features a luxury design and is kitted out with enough cutlery and tableware to serve four people.
In a stylish, deep gray hue, this backpack looks smart and is highly-durable, too. It’s made from a combination of tough nylon fabric, and has a PU backing for additional strength. The high-quality stitching ensures it won’t weaken or fray over time, even when fully loaded – and it’s waterproof qualities make it excellent for outdoor adventures.
The large front compartment unzips to reveal all your cutlery and dining accessories. The full set includes four stainless steel knives, forks and spoons, four dinner plates, four plastic glasses, tartan cotton napkins, a cheese knife, plastic chopping board, salt and pepper shakers, and a bottle opener. There’s also a detachable, insulated wine bottle holder on the side of the backpack, so you have everything you need in one bag.
Compact, yet spacious, we like that this backpack comes with a matching fleece picnic blanket for convenience. Just like the bag itself, this blanket is waterproof on one side, so wet ground won’t ruin your picnic plans. Once rolled up, you can strap the blanket onto the side of the backpack to keep your hands free.
The large rear compartment is fully insulated, so your food and drinks will stay cold all day long. On the front of the backpack, there’s also a smaller zippered pocket, which is great for storing other essentials like your keys and phone.
There’s little to fault about this model. It’s inexpensive, attractive, durable and comes complete with a full set of utensils and picnicware. The only small issue is that the plates and cutlery don’t do well in the dishwasher, so it’s best to clean them by hand.
Summerfield Terrace Picnic Backpack
Last on our list is the Summerfield Terrace Picnic Backpack. This model features a simple, lightweight design and contains a full set of picnicware suitable for up to four people.
The Summerfield isn’t the most attractive or durable choice on our list, but if you’re looking for something for occasional use, it does the job well. The main compartment isn’t as highly insulated as other models, but it will keep your food and drinks cool for a few hours with ice packs.
There’s a padded wine bottle pocket on the side, and the front interior compartment zips open to reveal the included utensils and dining accessories. It comes complete with a four-set of cutlery, plates, plastic glasses, salt and pepper shakers, a cheese knife, napkins and a good-sized plastic chopping board.
The set is well organized and strapped securely so nothing moves during transport. All the items are of fair quality, but they do feel a little flimsy and shouldn’t be washed in the dishwasher.
The main compartment offers enough capacity to pack a good amount of food and drinks for you and your companions. However, keep in mind that this capacity will be reduced once you add extra ice packs to compensate for the weak insulation.
You don’t get a picnic blanket included with this model, so you’ll have to buy and carry one separately. The shoulder straps are fairly comfortable, but they might start to dig in if you’re carrying this backpack for a long time. There is a top carry handle too, though – so you could opt to carry it by hand for a while to give your shoulders a rest.
Overall, this picnic backpack makes a good, budget option for occasional use. It’s not as rugged or attractive as more expensive options, but except for a blanket, it comes with everything you need for outdoor dining.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Picnic Backpack
Ready to get yourself a picnic backpack? In this section, we tell you everything you need to consider to make the perfect choice.
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Budget is an important factor when choosing the best picnic backpack for your needs. Luckily, there are many models to choose from and there are great choices across all price ranges.
Basic picnic backpacks with limited insulation and lightweight cutlery can be found for as little as $40. These models may not be as durable as more expensive choices, but if you’re only heading out occasionally, they do the job well enough.
At the other end of the scale, luxury picnic backpacks can cost as much as $100 or more. These models usually feature high-quality, durable materials and thick insulation, so your food and drinks stay chilled for longer. They also include better-quality picnic ware that is more robust for regular use.
There are many great options somewhere in the middle, and the right option for you will depend on your intended use.
If you like to spend most weekends outdoors, it makes sense to go for the best model you can afford. But on the other hand, if you’re only planning on having a picnic a few times during the summer; a cheaper model will more than suffice.
Number of People Catered For
The right size of picnic backpack for you depends on your lifestyle.
If you’re a couple looking to enjoy some romantic alfresco dining, a two-person backpack is the best option. But if you like to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, (or may start a family soon) it makes sense to go for a larger model.
It’s rare to find a picnic backpack that caters to more than four people, so you may need to buy more than one if you have a large family or frequently gather together with several friends.
Straps are an important consideration for any backpack.
Straps should be well-padded, thick and comfortable to wear when the backpack is fully loaded with food and drinks. We recommend looking for models that have adjustable shoulder straps so you can get the right fit for your stature.
Models that have an additional top carry handle are a good choice, too – as they give you the option to transport the backpack comfortably by hand and give your shoulders a rest.
The best picnic backpacks will have a generous insulated compartment where you can store all your sandwiches, cold meats, snacks, and drinks.
Usually, these compartments are in the rear of the backpack and take up most of the internal capacity. They should have a leak-proof liner and good quality zippers to keep warm air out.
Many models also have a separate, insulated bottle holder on one side, so you can keep wine or ice water chilled all day long. It’s a good idea to choose a model that has a removable bottle holder, so you can unpack the backpack and still keep your drink chilled on the blanket.
The picnicware compartment should be well organized and have secure straps so all the items stay firmly in place during transport. This compartment should also be at least lightly padded to protect the contents from becoming damaged if dropped.
Another useful feature to look out for is additional pockets for storing valuables. Ideal for stashing your keys, maps, cellphone, or sun lotion; spare pockets offer that extra storage space that can prevent you from having to lug another bag with you.
Plates, Cups & Cutlery
The quality of included picnicware will vary, depending on the price of the set.
At the very least, plates, cups, and cutlery should be lightweight and strong enough to withstand normal use. The best choices will feature stainless steel cutlery (including the handles), robust plastic plates, wooden chopping boards, and shatterproof plastic glasses.
Some models include dishwasher-friendly picnicware, but many do not. So be sure to check before placing any of the items in the dishwasher, otherwise, they may come out warped and unusable.
The quality of the insulation determines how long your picnic backpack will keep your food and drinks freshly chilled.
Sometimes, the manufacturer will provide a rating, advising how many hours you can expect their product to keep food chilled, but many do not.
Either way, the reflective qualities and thickness of the insulation is a good indicator of its effectiveness. We recommend looking for a model that has a good level of insulation, high-quality zips, and plenty of capacity. That way, you will have room to add extra ice packs without taking up precious food storage space.
Is it really a picnic if you don’t have a picnic blanket?
The best picnic backpacks will come complete with their own matching blankets that can be conveniently rolled up and strapped to the side of the pack for simple transportation.
Fleece blankets are lovely and cozy, but we recommend choosing a model that also has a waterproof backing, so you can sit comfortably, even if the ground is a little wet beneath you.
Aside from the basics like cutlery and plates, there are several other items that are worth having in your picnic backpack to make your day all the more special.
Look out for models that include useful extras such as, salt and pepper shakers, chopping boards, bottle openers, wine corks or matching flasks. Some backpacks even come complete with additional seperate cool bags, so you can pack more supplies if friends decide to join you.
All of the models on our list make great options in their own right, but the best picnic backpack for you depends on your needs and lifestyle.
For romantic picnics and couples days out, we recommend the All Camp Outdoor Gear Picnic Backpack, the Plush Picnic Backpack or the Apollo Walker Red Picnic Backpack.
All of these models come with a complete set of picnicware for two people and have a generous cooler capacity for storing your food and refreshments. They also include insulated wine holders and matching blankets with a waterproof backing, so you and your loved one can set up and enjoy your meal anywhere you choose.
For families or larger groups of up to four people, the Greenfield Collection Deluxe Picnic Backpack Hamper for Four People is a great, durable choice. It includes a full set of picnicware, a wine cooler, and will keep your food and drinks cool all day long. The padded straps are comfortable to wear and the smart design distributes weight evenly across your back.
If you want to impress with a truly luxurious set, we recommend taking another look at the California Picnic Backpack for 4. This high-quality backpack has a large capacity and can store supplies for up to four people with its top-loading design. The full set of picnicware is kept in its own separate pouch and it comes with an oversized sand proof, and waterproof matching blanket.
For occasional outings, the Summerfield Terrace Picnic Backpack makes a good choice. It’s not as fancy or durable as others on our list, but its simple design comes with a full set of picnicware for four people and a generous capacity for family days out.
These are just some of the models featured in our best picnic backpack reviews. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re confident you’ll find your perfect match in our selection.