From Bee’s Wrap to sturdy reusable coolers, here’s what you’ll need.

By Bridget Hallinan
July 21, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Clockwise from upper left: Sur La Table / West Elm / Food52 / Amazon / Amazon

When you're planning a picnic, choosing what you transport your food and drinks in is just as important as the menu. Enter these reusable tools and products, which can help you pull off a lovely meal al fresco while cutting down on waste. Think swapping paper napkins for cloth napkins, drinking from reusable bottles, and choosing eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap like Bee's Wrap. (Pro tip: it's great for cheese.) Read on for everything you'll need for your next outing.

Bee’s Wrap

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Skip plastic wrap and opt for reusable Bee’s Wrap instead, which is one of our favorite tools for a waste-free kitchen and a great gift for cheese lovers as well. It’s made from cotton coated with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin—use it to wrap up cheese, vegetables, snacks, sandwiches, and more. (Bee’s Wrap does not recommend using the wrap for raw meat and fish.) You can hand-wash it with cold water and dish soap, and compost it when it's spent.

Bee’s Wrap Assorted 3-Pack, $18 at amazon.com, crateandbarrel.com, nordstrom.com, and surlatable.com

Flatware

Courtesy of Food52

Knork’s flatware has a “recommended lifetime of 400 washes,” per the company’s website, so you’ll get plenty of use out of it. It can go in the dishwasher—Knork doesn’t recommend "prolonged exposure" at temperatures higher than 200 °F—and is biodegradable, designed to compost “within two years of disposal.” Food52 has 24-piece and 48-piece sets available, and smaller sets can be found at Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Knork Flatware Reusable & Biodegradable Astrik Flatware, $26–$48 (depending on set size) at food52.com; $18 at bedbathandbeyond.com and amazon.com 

Plates

These chic bamboo plates (pictured) designed by Xenia Taler are made from bamboo fiber and rice husks. They’re dishwasher-safe (not microwave-safe), reusable, and biodegradable.

Xenia Taler Bamboo Dinner Plates, $6 (was $12) at westelm.com

Water Bottles

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you’re transporting iced lemonade or warm coffee, you’ll want a reusable bottle that can maintain your drink’s temperature. This Klean Kanteen bottle (pictured), holds 32 ounces and can keep drinks hot for 24 hours and iced for 90. Hydro Flasks are also a great reusable option, and we found they came out on top for everyday water bottles in our roundup of the best reusable water bottles. (They’ll keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.)

Klean Kanteen Classic Stainless Steel Double Wall Insulated Water Bottle with Loop Cap, 32-Ounce, $31 (list price $37) at amazon.com; Hydro Flask Water Bottle Wide Mouth 2.0 with Leak Proof Flex Cap, $38–$65 at amazon.com

Straws

Courtesy of Amazon

Klean Kanteen also makes reusable straws, and we found that its silicone-tipped stainless steel straws were among the best reusable options. They’re dishwasher-safe, too, so you can clean them with ease.

Klean Kanteen Straw 4 Pack, $7 (list price $10) at amazon.com 

Silicone Bags

Courtesy of Amazon

Stasher bags are another product you’ll frequently find in our roundups, as they’re a great alternative to plastic food storage bags. They’re made from platinum silicone and free of BPA, BPS, lead, latex, and phthalates—they also come in several sizes, from sandwich to snack.

Stasher Stand-Up 100% Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag, $20 at amazon.com; Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bag Collection, $10–$20 (per bag, depending on order) at bedbathandbeyond.com

Portable Wine Glasses

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

If you’re planning on bringing wine, these Yeti Rambler tumblers received great reviews across several retailers. Thanks to double-wall vacuum insulation, your drinks will stay cold (or hot). They’re also durable, described as “puncture- and rust-resistant.” Wash them in the dishwasher after use—the lids are sold separately.

YETI Rambler Wine Glasses, 2 Pack, 10-Oz, $50 at williams-sonoma.com; YETI 10 oz. Rambler Wine Tumbler, $25 at dickssportinggoods.com

Coolers

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

We’ve often touted Yeti coolers, and the Hopper Flip 18 soft cooler is excellent for travel. It has several handles and a strap for easy carrying, with the capacity to hold 24 pounds of ice. Looking for a hard cooler? Give the Tundra 35 a try. 

YETI Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler, $300 at williams-sonoma.com and dickssportinggoods.com 

YETI Tundra Cooler 35, $250 at williams-sonoma.com and dickssportinggoods.com 

Cloth Napkins

Courtesy of Sur La Table

Instead of disposable paper napkins, go for reusable cloth napkins like these linen ones from Sur La Table, which can you can toss in the wash and tumble-dry after use. There are 11 colors available, including blue (pictured), white, and “honey.”

Linen Napkins, Set of 4, $40 at surlatable.com

Storage Containers

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

These sturdy glass Pyrex containers come with silicone-rimmed glass lids. The set includes five different sizes so that you can pack a little (or a lot) for your outdoor meal.

Pyrex Ultimate 10-Piece Glass Storage Set, $63 at williams-sonoma.com and crateandbarrel.com