The 5 Best Picnic Backpacks of 2024

Picnicking just got a whole lot easier.

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The 5 Best Picnic Backpacks of 2024

Whether you’re heading to an outdoor event or simply want to eat lunch while basking in the sun, a solid picnic backpack can make your journey run smoothly. Though classic picnic baskets are always a good option, picnic backpacks are a hands-free way to transport your favorite picnic foods and drinks. 

While researching picnic backpacks, we determined that the best ones prioritize storage, functionality, durability, and design. Considering those must-have qualities, we selected our top picks for various occasions, from insulated coolers for transporting chilled beverages to backpacks for serious picnickers equipped with dining essentials and a blanket.

Pros: This durable bag comes with high-quality picnic essentials, including a blanket and wine glasses. 

Cons: The insulated compartment isn’t waterproof but does come with a detachable bag for placing items that may leak.

This all-in-one picnic backpack by Sunflora takes the top spot on our list because it comes with everything you need to enjoy a picnic for four: napkins, melamine plates, silverware sets, wine glasses, a cheese knife, salt and pepper shakers, a bottle opener, and a cutting board. 

In addition to the compartment with all the utensils, there is a large insulated pocket featuring a removable bag to transport chilled snacks and beverages. It doesn’t stop there: One side of the backpack has a picnic blanket secured with straps, and the other has a detachable insulated wine bottle pouch, leaving more space for food in the main cooler compartment. 

Pros: This affordable find offers plenty of storage compartments and a classic red-and-white checkered picnic blanket. 

Cons: The cutting board is small and thin. 

This picnic backpack comes with four sets of dinnerware, a bread knife, a bamboo cutting board, a bottle opener, a waterproof blanket, and a detachable wine cooler. Whether you’re traveling with hot or cold food, you’ll appreciate the insulated section that retains temperature during your commute. In the front zippered pocket, you can stash your phone or keys to keep them dry and easily accessible.

It has a similar design and accessories to our best overall pick, but this one’s cutting board is small and thin, and its blanket isn’t very roomy or comfortable. On the plus side, the blanket doubles as a tablecloth, so you can lay it over a picnic table instead. 

Pros: This stylish bag has a two-tiered design featuring a cooler compartment on the bottom and a dry compartment at the top.

Cons: It doesn’t include as many accessories as some less expensive options.

This splurge-worthy pick is equal parts stylish and functional, featuring a sleek exterior and smartly-designed interior. It has adjustable padded straps to fit your frame and keep your shoulders comfortable while transporting your goods and two compartments, one of which is a heat-sealed cooler. The bottom cooler features a convenient fold-out design, so you can easily access beverages without sifting through all your packed items. 

Like the backpacks above, it includes enough eating and drinking utensils for four people along with a corkscrew and salt and pepper shakers. Plus, take advantage of the two beverage pockets on each side for transporting water and other drinks. 

Pros: This stylish backpack has a large capacity and multiple color options.

Cons: This does not come with any picnic accessories.

While this doesn’t come with picnic accessories like others on our list, it is our favorite backpack for transporting your favorite bottles of wine to outdoor activities. Corkcicle’s Eola Cooler Backpack can hold up to five bottles of wine, eight cans with two wine bottles, or 12 cans total, and it features superior insulation to keep drinks chilled all day long. 

The padded adjustable straps sit comfortably on your shoulders even when carrying items for a longer distance, and the zipper is completely leakproof, so you don’t have to worry about water seeping out when your ice melts. Spilled something on the outside? Messes wipe away easily with some soapy water.

Pros: The split-pack cooler design lets you pack your items in a fuss-free way. 

Cons: It doesn’t include utensils and looks more like a hiking backpack than a casual picnic one. 

This is our favorite picnic backpack for families because you can pack up to six pounds of goods inside the removable cooler insert. Dry goods, like cutlery or plates, can fit in the top compartment since this bag does not include any accessories or tools, and extra supplies and small items can go inside external pockets. The shoulder straps are adjustable for added comfort, and the front lash straps allow you to hook on items like a water bottle or a blanket. After your picnic, remove the leakproof cooler insert for easy cleaning. 

Our top pick is the Sunflora Picnic Backpack, which makes transporting your food a breeze. It includes a blanket and premium accessories, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything for lunch. If you’re only transporting wine or other drinks, check out the Corkcicle Eola Cooler Backpack, which can hold up to five bottles of wine or 12 cans.

Not every picnic backpack has the insulation of a heavy-duty cooler but, instead, is comparable to a lunchbox. Picnic backpacks keep food and drinks at the right temperature from when you leave your house to when you arrive at your outdoor eating spot, but their not necessarily designed to keep your items fresh all day long. If you’re planning a full day of activities in warm weather, consider bringing a cooler with your picnic backpack to ensure you have cold water and quality food to stay hydrated and nourished.

Many picnic backpacks have two compartments: one for dry goods and an insulation section for chilled items. When choosing the right one for you, consider how many people you’ll be packing food and drinks for and whether or not you need extra room for plates, napkins, and other essentials. Consider packing your food items in beeswax wrap or Stasher bags instead of containers to save space.

It certainly makes things a bit easier when picnic backpacks include utensils, so you don’t have to buy or pack them separately. However, they might not be tools you necessarily need. If you’re picnicking with kids, you might not need wine glasses or a bottle opener, but a blanket and cutlery would be beneficial. If you don’t plan on using tools that come in a backpack, consider swapping them out for other items to make the most of your space.

Food is always a great place to start and an essential component of any picnic. We love packing sandwiches, pasta salads, cheese, crackers, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Next, you’ll want to put your favorite drinks in the insulated compartment, whether that’s wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverages.

Several of our favorite picnic backpacks come with accessories like cutlery and corkscrews. However, if your bag does not include these items, bring them in your backpack or carry them in a separate bag. A picnic blanket is another item that’s sometimes included and is the key to sitting comfortably on the ground while you enjoy your meal.

Some bags, like the neoprene Corkcicle bag, will wipe away stains without much effort. Others, like any with a textured fabric on the outside, might be a bit trickier and will require spot cleaning. To avoid damaging the insulation, do not machine wash your picnic backpack.

Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer with over five years of experience and a lifelong lover of working in the kitchen. Her writing has appeared in Eat This Not That, EatingWell, Allrecipes, Simply Recipes, and more. For this article, she used market research and her expertise to curate this list.

The 5 Best Picnic Backpacks of 2024

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