Best picnic hampers 2019
Make the most of the good weather this summer and enjoy open-air meals with a picnic hamper
Eating outside is one of the joys of summer, whether it’s at a family picnic, a festival, a car show or a race meeting. Rather than empty your kitchen drawers into a bag, you could get a picnic hamper that includes everything you need to accompany your al fresco meals. In one set, they should keep food cool, and crockery stashed safely so it doesn’t rattle in your car’s boot.
We tried six to find out which had the best ingredients, and which could hamper your enjoyment.
How we tested them
We were looking at quality of cutlery and crockery, size of the insulated food-storage area and ease of carrying the pack. Further points were given for useful extras such as a corkscrew, a separate bottle carrier and napkins. Finally, we took the cost of the set into account, using the best prices that we found online at the time of writing.
The Greenfield set is of high quality, well thought out, and has everything you need to make a picnic feel like a special occasion. It’s expensive, but cheaper options are available if you don’t need all the kit, so it finishes as our best buy. The two Mountain Warehouse packs aren’t perfect, and a combination of the basket’s price and the backpack’s kit may have been a winner. But they look great value when they are on offer, so they take our recommended spots.
- 1. Greenfield Super Deluxe Backpack Hamper
- 2. Mountain Warehouse 36L Picnic Hamper Basket
- 3. Mountain Warehouse 4 Person Picnic Set XL
Greenfield Super Deluxe Backpack Hamper
Price: Around £55Place settings: 2Contact: Greenfield CollectionRating: 5 stars
The relatively high price of this kit is more than made up for by what you get in the pack, and its quality. The bag itself feels a cut above the others, the cutlery is more substantial, and it includes a chopping board, wine glasses and even steel mugs. Another nice touch is a folding fabric bag for your rubbish.
This particular kit justifies its price with a flask and picnic blanket, but there are also cheaper versions (starting at £37.99) on the Greenfield website that do without these if you already have them in your cupboard.
Mountain Warehouse 36L Picnic Hamper Basket
Price: Around £60Place settings: 4Contact: Mountain WarehouseRating: 4 stars
This is a hamper rather than a backpack, and at first glance it could be mistaken for a baby’s carry cot. It has a foam-covered aluminium handle but no shoulder straps, so will be more awkward to carry over long distances.
The plus side is that this hamper has a huge insulated section for food and a well equipped compartment for cutlery. It includes all the essentials, plus salt/pepper shakers, napkins and a corkscrew.
Although the official price is around £60, Mountain Warehouse seems to have perpetual discounts of at least 50 per cent, and this is currently on offer for around £25. That looks like great value.
Mountain Warehouse 4 Person Picnic Set XL
Price: Around £60 (on offer at around £22)Place settings: 4Contact: Mountain WarehouseRating: 4 stars
This has almost everything for a four-person picnic, including a chopping board with knife, salt/pepper shakers and a detachable insulated bottle holder.
The food storage section is one of the largest in the test, too. And rather than wine glasses, it has beakers, which are more practical on uneven grass surfaces.
At around £60 this would be hard to recommend, but currently it costs around £22, which looks good value. It’s a shame it lacks the corkscrew, napkins, and lower price of Mountain Warehouse’s Hamper set (above).
GEEZY 2 Person Insulated Picnic Backpack
Price: Around £18Place settings: 2Contact: ebayRating: 3.5 stars
The Geezy is the cheapest picnic backpack we could find and, although it is smaller than the others here, and pretty dull to look at, it has most things you would need for a no-frills two-person picnic. The insulated food section isn’t huge, but it should be enough for a light lunch and a small bottle.
As you might expect at this price, there’s no chopping board, napkins or other niceties, but it does have a combined corkscrew and bottle opener. The cutlery, glasses and plates are the same quality as most of the other sets here, too. If you only need a very basic and small picnic pack, then the Geezy could make sense at this price.
Summerhouse by Navigate Picnic Backpack
Price: Around £52Place settings: 4Contact: HalfordsRating: 3 stars
This brightly coloured set from Navigate is a four-setting backpack with a good-sized and well insulated section for food. There’s also a detachable padded bottle holder that clips onto the side of the pack to keep your drink cool without taking up valuable space in the food compartment.
Inside the front section there are a corkscrew and chopping board, but no separate knife, napkins or condiments. The quality of the bag is fairly good, but its contents are seemingly the same as in the cheaper sets tested here. Overall, the Summerhouse doesn’t excel in any area and it looks too costly in this test.
Livivo Premium Picnic Briefcase
Price: Around £25Place settings: 4Contact: AmazonRating: 2.5 stars
The Livivo is housed in a case that looks more like a laptop bag than a picnic set and is arguably the most stylish kit here. While it looks good, it’s trickier to carry because there is no shoulder strap, so you need to keep a hand free to hold it.
The narrow profile means that there’s little room for food inside either, even though it’s insulated. As a result, you’ll need a separate cool bag for anything more substantial than a few sandwiches and a small bottle.
On the plus side, it’s well stocked with kit, including napkins, salt/pepper shakers and a chopping board. It’s reasonable value for a four-person set, but only worthwhile if you already have a cool bag.