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Finding the Right Picnic Set

Picnic sets provide a convenient way for you to pack and carry the things you need to eat a meal in an outdoor setting. They are great for tailgate parties, car camping, a beach outing or even – of all things – a picnic. There are a range of items that you can find in the many manufactured packages, from wine and cheese picnic sets to large picnic baskets that provide a meal service for a group of people.

There are two main reasons people buy a picnic set. One is to use it. Just as popular is buying them as a gift for someone else. Regardless if you are looking for your own use or as a gift there are some options to consider before you buy. This website has been made to to help you do just that. Here you will be able to see the range of choices in how these sets are packaged, what they cost and how they fit with your needs.

The Three Types of Picnic Set Collections

There are three main ways that picnic sets are marketed. There are carrying cases, which generally tend to be on the smaller side. Next in size is what you commonly see referred to as picnic backpacks. These are just what you think they would be, a picnic set that comes in a backpack carrier. The most varied kind are picnic baskets.

Below are some examples of each type and a link to a page with more information about each of the three kinds.

A basic cheese serving picnic set.

A simple picnic set.

Carrying case Picnic Sets

The least involved of the three kinds of picnic set packages are sets that are arranged in some kind of carrying case. You can find wine and cheese collections, generally without plates, and those that are more focused on what you need to eat a meal.

Find out more about Picnic Set Carrying Case Collections


A picnic backpack collection for two.

A picnic backpack collection for two.

Picnic Backpacks

Here you will find a wider range of choices in what is provided with your picnic set when compared to wine and cheese picnic sets. There are those with or without wine glasses, service for two or four, packs with detachable insulated wine bottle sleeves and even some that come with their own picnic blanket.

Find out more about Picnic Backpack Collections.

Picnic Baskets

Like Picnic Backpacks, there is a fairly wide range of different sets you can purchase. Simply sets provide what you would need for enjoying some wine and cheese. The other end of the spectrum are large baskets that provide what you need for 6 people and leave you room for packing up your food.

Find out more about Picnic Basket Collections



Your Picnic Basket Choices

Picnic Baskets are the classic picnic item. If you have the space to cart one around and do not need to carry it far between your car and where you will eat, why not splurge and set the mood with a nice basket?

There are a wide range of styles and sizes to choose from. It is possible to get smaller baskets with picnic sets for two or larger models that can accommodate six people. Below are a number of different types so you can narrow down your choices to a particular kind. The examples we will show include those that are considered more traditional and some that are a bit more creative in their use of different shapes and sizes of woven containers.

Traditional Picnic Basket Picnic Sets

Picnic Sets for Four


Willow Picnic Basket Set
This is an example of a simple picnic set for four people. It is woven out of willow and has a nice oval shape. Plates, glasses, cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, a bottle open and linen napkins are included. All of these are arranged to fit into the sides and top of the basket, which leaves plenty of room for your food. This basket costs $45

Here are some other four person sets, arranged from lowest to highest price. More details about any of these baskets can be found by clicking on the picture or links. The priciest picnic set on the left also comes with a picnic blanket.


The following three models are higher priced basket picnic sets. The model on the left is more than $200 and is quite fancy. It has leather accent straps and does not cut corners on any of the picnic set items. It includes things like real porcelain plates, wine glasses and stainless steel mugs, a wooden cutting board, a one cheese knife with a wooden handle, food containers and flasks. There is even a 50 x 60 inch fleece blanket. I guess you could pack some caviar into this basket if you went on a picnic with this picnic set.


Picnic Sets for Two

Here are a few different models that are suited for two people. These three baskets show a nice bit of variation in the look of different baskets, including a square, suitcase, and rounded shape. All offer a complete suite of items that two people need to eat a meal.


A Few Non Traditional Baskets

Just for fun, here are some picnic sets that feature somewhat unusual baskets. The first is a a round barrel shape, woven from willow, and serves two people. The middle is what is called a Whitney design and is for four people. The left most baskets is similar to the Whitney design, is made for four. It is a bit fancier and a lot more pricey.


A Picnic Basket for Six


The final exemplarypicnic basket is this model that can serve six people. It is surprisingly not that expensive, especially compared to some of the other models that only serve four. It weights ~ 15 lbs, which is also not that unusual relative to some of the larger baskets for four.


Picnic Backpacks

Carrying Case Picnic Sets

Your Picnic Backpack Options

These kind of picnic sets run the gamut from simply no frills models to fancier, fashionable types that have more features and items. The no frills collections are of course cheaper. In some cases you can find similar picnic sets that have a wide discrepancy in their price. The only difference may be mainly in price alone, with the higher end item typically being sold at fancy retails that sell higher end goods. I have not included any examples of these overpriced models below but you should be aware that this when you do any comparison shopping. Lets take a look at some picnic backpacks in order to illustrate their features and prices.

An low price point picnc backpack set

An low price point picnc backpack set

Picnic Travel Backpack

This is the standard design of most of the bags of this type. It has most of the things you might need to serve and eat a simple meal at a picnic, a campsite or at an outdoor music concert where there is seating at tables. This set includes melamine plates, knives, forks and spoons, plastic wine glasses, napkins, a small cutting board, a cheese knife, a bottle opener, and salt and pepper shakers. There is a small insulated compartment for food or drinks behind the compartment that holds all the picnic items. There is also a wine holder, also insulated, that can be detached from the bag. The quality of this bag is not the best but this would be fine for a low cost, easy to carry picnic set. It might not stand up to a lot of abuse, so might not be all that great for car camping.

Here are some other models, with the one on the right being at least a little different than the typical standard backpack design.



All of the models above are for four people. You can also find picnic backpacks for two…..



A lot of people wouldn’t mind having a blanket with them when they are eating somewhere outdoors. The manufacturers are happy to provide one with the collection of picnic stuff if you don’t want to just bring a blanket or tablecloth you already own. The only real difference, in most cases, is the backpack has a blanket attached on one of the sides where there could have been a wine bottle holder.

There are some examples.



Like was given above for backpacks without blankets, there are also models that are built for two people instead of four. They are not much cheaper than the picnic sets that are equipped for four people. Here are some examples.



Carrying Case Picnic Sets

Picnic Basket Picnic Sets

Carrying Case Picnic Sets

A picnic set in a simple carrying case can vary from a small set that is suitable for wine and cheese to those that can accommodate a small group of people. The smallest of these are convenient for a number of uses, including an interesting gift idea.

Wine and Cheese Picnic Sets

The typical set of this type includes: a wine bottle opener, a small cutting board for cheese, a cheese slicer, wine glasses and napkins. It may or may not have room for a bottle of wine. Those that do not include room for a wine bottle can be small enough that they are easy to stow away. If you are looking for a gift, you could package together one of these small sets with a nice bottle of wine and some cheese.

There are also wine and cheese picnic sets that include cutlery, or cutlery and plates. They really are no different than a more complete picnic set, with the only difference being an attempt to market that particular model to a particular segment of the market.

Picnic Sets for Two, Four or Six

If you thinking you would like this kind of picnic set your choices come down to a few different things. One is if you would like to have wine glasses. You can purchase collections that have plates, napkins, cutlery and things like a bottle opener that fit in very compact carrying cases. Glasses, room for a wine bottle and even room for food may or may not make sense for your needs but all of these arrangements are possible in this category.

Some Examples

Here are some examples of carrying case picnic sets, with some of the manufacturers edited but still flowery descriptions, to give you some idea of what these look like and can offer you.

Insulated Wine and Cheese Tote

Insulated Wine and Cheese Tote

Wine and Cheese Picnic Tote

“Holds 1 to 3 wine bottles” “movable inner dividers …. store cheese, crackers, wine glasses or other items.”

This is a very basic tote bag with its appeal being the fact it can stand upright. The lack of glasses fits well with this being a no frills carrier. One of its appealing features is that it stands upright and can keep a bottle, or bottles, or wine from leaking once they are opened. The insulation and arrangement do not make this an efficient cooler but it can help to keep your food or wine from cooling down as quickly as they would without the insulation that is found in the tote.

This model is an inexpensive example of this kind of tote style and costs around $20. You can find others that are more stylish and with some different items in them….



A basic picnic set in a plastic cooler carrier.

A basic picnic set in a plastic cooler carrier.

Picnic Set Coolers
Picnic coolers are similar to picnic totes but are more suited for carrying more than some wine and cheese accoutrements. This model is $30. It has everything you would get in a wine and cheese collection, exept the cutting board, but also has cutlery, plates and salt and pepper shakers. There is also room to pack some food and or a few beverages.

There are many derivations of these kinds of picnic sets. They can come in smaller or larger packages, as you can see below, and with a little less kitschy look too!




Picnic at Ascot Travel Picnic Set for 2

Here is a nice option is you would like a simple set of what you need for eating, without the wine glasses, and would like a compact carrying case.


Backpack Picnic Sets

Basket Picnic Sets

Picnic Musings

Being outdoors with the people you love, on a pleasant summer day picnic blanket, enjoying a nice meal. Sounds good, doesn’t it? The idea and picture our imagination conjures up when we think of a picnic is usually nice. Why not plan on going on one? If you do you will have to do some planning.


One of the best ways to insure a good outing is to plan ahead. If you are familiar with the location you will be visiting it can be a lot easier to know what you need to bring and how to prepare.

If you have never been to the place you are going then you need to do some research. Often the answers to some simple questions, which you can find answers to on the phone or online, can make the difference in how your outing goes. Some things I usually try to find out:

  • Is there water available in an easily accessible location?
  • Is the water potable or only for cleaning?
  • Are there picnic tables?
  • Are there barbecue grilles available?
  • Are there restrooms?

Picnic Checklist

Below is a rudimentary list that you can use to begin to make your own personal checklist. You have different needs than me, very likely, so it is usually better to use a checklist you have personalized.

  • Picnic Blanket
  • Picnic Set – utensils, napkins, etc.
  • Food!
  • Desert
  • Drinks
  • Cups
  • Insect repellant
  • cleaning supplies, both for yourself and for your food supplies
  • garbage bags

Other Considerations

You should also be sure to order up some good weather. Ha. Of course you can’t do that. What you can do is to try to plan for the conditions you expect and potentially even just might encounter. Think about “what if it did rain” to help you make decision about things you may want to bring, even if just to leave in the car as a contingency.

You can though do a lot to be prepared so as to have a good time while you are outside, having fun, sharing food with family or friends. Ask the people you are going with if there are any special foods they might want to eat.

All of these things will go a long way towards helping you to be prepared.