Fall Picnic Gear

From coolers to blankets, essentials for getting out to watch the leaves turn

In the Northern Hemisphere, leaves are changing and apples are falling. Sweater weather is here, and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and experience still-mild temperatures and the colorful transitioning of the leaves. Whether hiking to a peak for a perfect photograph or just having wine and cheese in the park, here are some essential fall items to enhance your outdoor adventures.

Hiking Shoes

Arc’teryx Acrux FL GTX ($220) is a great transition shoe that can take hikers from summer into fall and around the corner into winter. Light-weight, nimble and sturdy, the shoes come complete with a GORE-TEX liner that’s both waterproof and breathable. For advanced comfort, the liner molds based on the foot after only one wear. Rounding out the features, a sticky Vibram sole makes slippery, leaf-covered scrambles manageable.

Lounge Chair

Kelty’s deluxe lounge chair ($75) is comfortable (thanks to padded seat, back and armrests and adjustable reclining positions) and most importantly for outdoor adventures, easy to transport and set up. Made from steel and a durable poly, the chair holds up in almost all weather conditions, and its cup holders (plus an attached bottle opener) come in handy when sitting by a fire, sipping your favorite hot beverage.

Picnic Blanket

Heritage brand Pendleton’s camp blanket ($299) reflects a mastery of their functionally-driven, yet aesthetically beautiful craftwork. Part of their new National Parks collection, these handsome wool blankets snap into a hardy waxed-cotton backing that rolls up into an easy-to-carry bundle. While we used the blanket in the foothills of the Berkshires, it will surely be useful at any picnic, outdoor concert or campsite.


Yeti has been a premium outdoor cooler company for almost a decade, known for their almost indestructible products. The beastly, portable, soft-shell Hopper 30 ($350) can fit many different-sized bottles, or up to 26 pounds of ice that will stay ice past 24 hours. The soft-shell makes it comfortable to carry and the Hopper is 100% leakproof (having been made from the same materials found in survival suits and whitewater rafts). It’s durable enough to come with a three-year warranty.

Silicone Wine Tumblers

Looking as elegant as their fragile glass counterparts, Snow Peak wine tumblers ($27) are in fact, flexible, durable and impossible to break—making impromptu wine tastings possible anywhere. Made from food-grade silicone, these glasses weigh just 5.6 oz and are shaped for maximum aromas and minimal slippage. Once you need to pack them away, they can be squashed and bent to fit into an over-stuffed backpack—you can even toss ’em in the air to scare an unsuspecting friend.


When out in the wilderness, there’s nothing quite like spying a hawk overhead. The Maven B3 Binoculars ($500) make it easy to do so with clarity. These lightweight, compact utensils amplify both animal-watching or leaf peeping. Maven also offers a build program that allows customers to craft their ideal custom pair—offering options in frame size, magnification, armor, focus wheel and more.

Wool Scarf

Instead of calling a picnic to an end when the night falls, stay cozy by bringing along extra layers. Protect your neck with this soft wool scarf ($60) from Ibex. The 12-gauge jacquard sweater scarf is made from Ibex’s traceable, sustainable merino wool—meaning it’s reliably warm. Throw it in your backpack to stay outdoors just a little longer on a fall evening.

Lead image by Kate Erwin, all others courtesy of respective brands