5 Favorites: Portable Coolers by

Issue 79 · Summer Picnics · July 5, 2013

5 Favorites: Portable Coolers

Issue 79 · Summer Picnics · July 5, 2013

I suffer from picnic vanity. The practical red- or blue-sided coolers that I happily bring to kid's sporting events or tuck in the back of my car full of refrigerated treats for a weekend getaway are not welcome on my picnic blanket.  They ruin the mood.  Here are five alternatives to plastic to keep your food and drinks cool. 

Picnic Basket Cooler, Gardenista  

Above: What could be better than a traditional picnic basket disguised as a cooler? The New General Store has just that. The Picnic Basket Cooler is made in Vermont of natural split oak, lined in styrofoam to keep food and drinks cool. It has swinging handles and measures a managable 18 by 12 by 10 inches; $75.

This basket would pair perfectly with any of our Picnic Blanket Selections.

Tall Basket Cooler, Gardenista

Above: The Peterboro Tall Cooler Basket has a generous 5-gallon capacity and comes with leather handles for ease of carrying.  All Peterboro baskets are made in New Hampshire of US-made materials. The tall cooler basket measures 16 inches in diameter and 19 inches high and is available in three finishes (shown in honey); $84.

Wood Cooler, Gardenista

Above: The Rustic Wood Cooler from Cold Creek Brewing is designed to keep your six pack of beer-sized beverages cold.  The styrofoam-lined pine tote measures 13 by 11.5 by 8.5 inches.  It can also be used without the styrofoam lining for a non-insulating picnic basket; $55.


Picnic Basket Cooler, Gardenista

Above: The tall foam-insulated Peterboro Cool Picnic Basket is perfect for a picnic for two. It measures 12 by 11 by 12 inches; $54.

  5 Favorites: Portable Coolers | Gardenista

Above: For a soft-sided option, the DQM Chinook Cooler Bag has a zippered cooler compartment hidden inside a handsome waxed canvas bag. It measures 15 by 13 by 8 inches; $128.

Coleman Steel Cooler, Gardenista  

Above: If your picnic assignment makes a large cooler unavoidable, go with the classic 1950s design Coleman Steel-Belted Cooler. It has a 54-quart capacity and is insulated to keep items cool for hours; $84.16 at Amazon.

Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.