The Picnic Essentials You Need to Dine in Comfort & Style

Your summer activities might look a little different than planned, but picnics are not off-limits (so long as you maintain your distance and wear a mask!). However, the trouble with picnics is, well, they can kind of turn into a mess. If you don't have the proper containers, coolers, or blankets, food and drinks can spill all over the place and what was meant to be a relaxing afternoon can turn into an uncomfortable and unorderly situation. Luckily, SwearBy's Editors are pros when it comes to dining al fresco. Here are all of the essentials they consider must-haves for picnic season.

Corkcicle Stemless Insulated Wine Glass

“There’s nothing like enjoying a refreshing beverage outdoors. While plastic cups could do the trick, when I really want to savor my drink I reach for this insulated wine glasses. Its durable, slip-proof, BPA-free and looks a whole lot prettier than a red solo cup. Plus, it keeps my drink refreshingly cold.” –Stephanie Perry

To-Go Ware 3-Tier Stainless Lunch Box

“This clever, three-tiered stack of circular containers, called a tiffin, is apparently the lunchbox of choice for commuters all across India. I’m neither doing much commuting lately, nor am I anywhere near South Asia, but I still find this compact carrier extremely convenient for transporting a variety of bites to the beach or park. I might stuff the lower compartment with berries, add sliced cheese and crudites in the middle wheel, and mash up a guac to tote in the top tier to snack on with a bag of chips. Or I might pack each layer up with more meal-like foods — a serving of fried rice for me and leftovers for him — if I’m feeling unceremonious. No matter my mood, at my final destination, the layers can be separated off, enjoyed, and then gathered neatly back together to depart without calling upon the jostling or unsightliness of separate reusable containers.” –Laura Reilly

W&P Porter Ceramic Bowl Lunch Container

“Whether I’m planning an elaborate get-together with friends or treating myself to an afternoon of solo reading in the park, I always bring this carrier along. The pretty piece is perfect for holding snacks to share or packing a lunch. I use it almost everyday at the office, too. And I love that I can remove the ceramic bowl from the fridge and stick it straight in the microwave to reheat leftovers. Trust me, you’ll use this daily — especially in the warmer months when you want to eat outside.” –Jessica Leigh Mattern 

Vintage Antique Quilt

“Considering all of my vacation plans for this summer have been cancelled, I’ve decided to become a picnic enthusiast instead. I’m lucky enough to live by a bunch of different parks and now I finally have a reason to put the vintage picnic basket I’ve had for years to use. Of course, I’ve had a couple of picnics before but what was always missing was a blanket that was good enough. Especially in these times, the key to a successful park outing is a blanket big enough to give everyone enough space. I find that most blankets available at big retailers aren’t nearly big enough, or comfortable enough to sit on for extended periods of times. Etsy of course has some really great unique options that are all handmade. I’ve basically saved 15 different quilts but I keep coming back to this butterfly one. It reminds me of something I’d see in a movie about New York in the summer which is all the more reason why it’s perfect.” –Tara Gonzalez

W&P Porter Stainless Steel Utensils with Silicone Carrying Case

“This portable utensil kit is just the thing for a picnic. It comes with a slender fork, knife, and spoon that you can easily tuck away in a durable silicone carrying case. This way, the utensils stay clean whether you toss them in your picnic basket or tote bag, and you’ll be ready to munch on whatever delicious snacks you packed when you find the perfect spot. I love how lightweight the silverware is, how practical the carrying case is, and how much plastic waste I can eliminate by packing the compact set.” – Christie Calucchia

YETI Hopper M30 Portable Soft Cooler

“I brought Yeti’s M30 along on a family vacation in Florida. Every day we went out to the beach, we’d load it up with waters, sandwiches, and adult beverages, then test it in 98 degrees of pure humidity. Spoiler: It didn’t disappoint. As for the magnetic closure, YETI isn’t messing around. The magnets are super strong — so much so I actually found it slightly challenging to open and close the top with one hand. Using both hands wasn’t an inconvenience, though, and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about the cooler opening when I was carrying it on and off the beach. (Also, a beach chair attendant who couldn’t help but check out the cooler observed another benefit: no more zippers getting busted by sand.)” –Katie Macdonald

L.L.Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

“I use this blanket anytime I go on a picnic or hang out outside with friends. I love how soft the fleece top half is, and the fact that the bottom half is made from waterproof nylon material, so it keeps me dry even if the ground is damp. It is very compact when it’s rolled up, making it easy to store when I’m not using it, and it even comes with its own carrying bag.” –Rebecca Carhart

BrüMate Uncork'd Wine Tumbler

“These insulated wine tumblers have been a savior for me as the weather heats up. They are perfect for keeping anything from wine to water extra cold, whether you’re hanging at the beach, on your rooftop, or having a picnic in the park. Plus, the attachable lids make it easy to take on-the-go, and never spill.” –Maya Gandara Go Outside Outdoor Blanket

“I love picnicking at Central Park, but after one too many bug bites on my legs, I decided it was time that I got a picnic blanket before I went to another hangout with friends. I searched long and wide for a colorful picnic blanket that was washable, comfortable, and most importantly easy to carry, and settled on this flowery option from Its backpack design makes it effortless to lug around, and I love the fact that you can just toss it in the washer to clean. I’m sure I’ll be hanging out in the outdoors more this summer, but it’ll never be without this picnic blanket.” –Nina Huang

I am Karla, the Editorial Coordinator for SwearBy. Life moves pretty fast, and nothing makes me happier than curating the amazing product recommendations from this community so women can discover the best new products, quickly. Outside of SwearBy HQ, I spend my days with my kids, dogs, husband...and TRY to find time to travel and hang with friends