My mom and I were shopping in a used furniture store and we saw a picnic-set backpack. I remember those were THE wedding present a number of years ago—I wonder if they still are? They’re just so charming and romantic, with their tableware for two, their wine-bottle holster and plastic wine glasses, the whole concept of newlyweds picnicking on a grassy hill. And yet the picnic backpack we saw was completely unused, and a friend of mine offered a similar report: that they had even registered for a picnic set, but then never got around to using it a single time and so finally re-gifted it to another couple.
This is not a large enough sample on which to base a decision on the suitability of the “picnic set as wedding gift” idea. For one thing, it’s really a sample of ONE couple: for all we know, the unused set at the used furniture store could have been from a couple who received two or more sets as gifts. And my friend who told me they never used their set was not a member of a couple that went on hikes and picnics BEFORE they got married, so they may have just gotten caught up in the idea that everything would change as soon as they were married—just as many women have a foggy concept of wearing long white nightgowns and sitting in rocking chairs as soon as the baby is born.
So the first thing I would like to know is whether you received a picnic set as a wedding gift, and the second thing I would like to know is if you have used it. And then I would like to look at some options, partly for the fun of seeing what’s available, partly for the usefulness in the current wedding season, and partly so that people can say, “Yes, we got one—hey, it’s the third one down!”
The Picnic Time Insulated Backpack for Two (photo from Amazon.com) is similar to what my mom and I saw.
The Picnic Time Brittania-Carnaby Street Wine Tote (photo from Amazon.com) is (1) more expensive and (2) has less things. But I like it more, and I think I’m more likely to tote wine than I am to backpack a lunch.
I looked at several baskets that seemed to have a serious design flaw: each was set up to lie on its side for filling and unloading, so that the “carrying position” of the basket was a 90-degree shift from the “loading/unloading” position. Get everything niiiiiice and settled—and then pick it up and everything flips and falls to the back, which is now the bottom. The Household Essentials Willow Picnic Basket (photo from Amazon.com) solves this problem, and also ups the charm with classic woven wood. It’s service for four instead of the more romantic service for two, but let’s think of it as having a wine glass and a water glass each.
Or here’s another wood option, but for two: the Picnic Time Barrel Picnic Basket (photo from Amazon.com).
The Piccadilly Picnic Basket (photo from Amazon.com) is adorable in both design and name. Piccadilly Picnic!
Well, or I also like the look of the Household Essentials Oval Basket (photo from Amazon.com). The oval shape doesn’t seem practical for packing things, and it’s service for four (though there are only three of each utensil in the photo), and I’d like it better if the fabric were the more classically picnicky red-and-white…okay, never mind, I’ve talked myself out of it.
The Sutherland Hampshire Commons Basket (photo from Amazon.com) looks like a very sensible design: it can be loaded/unloaded from either the top or the side, and it has a nice sturdy-looking shoulder strap.
Oh, man, is this adorable? A picnic backpack for kids! (photo from Amazon.com) I wish it had some reviews: I want to know if it’s practical as well as cute.
This is clever: the Lands’ End Bike Picnic Basket (photo from LandsEnd.com) attaches to a bicycle. Now we can add a “bicycle built for two” image to our “newlyweds picnicking on a grassy hill” idea!
So, do you have one of these? And do you use it?