Pre-season football has begun, and folks around the country have already gotten a head start on tailgate season. For many football fans, the tailgate party is the main event. It’s the chance to engage in two excellent manly pastimes — eating meat and drinking — before engaging in a third: yelling at professional athletes. By the time the game actually starts, many tailgaters don’t even care who’s winning and who’s losing. To make your pre-gaming as successful as possible, we thought we’d introduce a round-up of the best tailgating gear from the past few years for your consideration and enjoyment.
Therm-a-Rest Treo Camp Chair, $75
There’s a good chance you’ll be standing for much of the game, so you might as well get your sit on while you can. If you’re looking for a comfy chair that can fold down to a very small package, you might check out the Treo Camp Chair from Thermarest. This bad boy can support up to 250 pounds, and packs entirely into its own tripod base.
Related: What to Wear: Tailgating
Corkcicle Arctican, $20
There are several weeks where the end of warm season and the beginning of football season overlap. To help keep your brews cold — like, seriously ice cold — you might consider getting a Corkcicle Arctican or two. This high-tech koozie comes with a cooler core that attaches to the bottom, plus two layers of vacuum-insulated stainless steel to keep your drinks as cold as can be.
The Drinking Jacket, $99
You’ve heard of smoking jackets — well, here’s a drinking jacket. This smart jacket comes with a wide range of pockets and features, including a bottle opener zipper, a neoprene-lined beverage pocket, a hidden flask pocket, a sunglasses holder, and lots more. You might say this jacket can keep you warm in two ways: retaining body heat and facilitating drinking.
Oxx Coffeeboxx, $230
Drinking for hours is all good and fun, but you’ll probably need to sober up a little bit for the big game. Even if you somehow avoid engaging in drunken antics, you might just fall asleep in your seat. That’s where the Oxx Coffeeboxx comes in. This tough, mobile coffeemaker can keep you and your associates awake as least until halftime. The Coffeeboxx weighs just 11 pounds, it’s waterproof, and it makes an outstanding cup of coffee.
Tailgate in a Box, $40
If you’d rather not mess around with a bunch of gear, you can always check out the “Instagate” tailgate in a box. This completely recyclable box folds into 4 secure table surfaces, and comes with a mini grill that’s ready to go in less than a minute. The box itself can can used as a cooler in which to keep all the drinks and meat you need. The box also comes with utensils, napkins, plates, and other tailgate essentials.
Since the dawn of canned beer, man has struggled to cool their libations down quickly. Like most men, the developers of SpinChill are absolutely sick of choking down cold beer. The SpinChill does just what the name describes — it spins beers until they are chilled. Just affix your can or bottle to the SpinChill, turn it on, place it in your cooler, and you’ll have an ice cold beer in about 60 seconds.
Picnic Time Buccaneer, $104
Many tailgaters struggle with limited space — limited space in the car, when transporting stuff to the venue; and limited space at the venue, when initiating the party. The compact and extremely useful Picnic Time Buccaneer helps solve this problem. It comes with a portable BBQ, grilling tools, and plenty of pockets for whatever you need. Oh yeah, it’s also a PVC-lined cooler that can keep your drinks cool as hell . . . er . . . well, quite a bit cooler, actually.
Pendleton Wool Blankets, $120+
Blankets are always good to keep on hand — especially at winter games where your coat just isn’t enough to keep you warm. Really, any blanket will do, but Pendleton wool blankets are more durable, warm, and stain-resistant than most others we know.
Thermacell Heated Insoles, $74
Face it — if you’re not moving around a lot at the tailgate party or inside the stadium, chances are pretty good that you’ll eventually get cold feet. Most days its tolerable, but on particularly frigid days, it can ruin the whole experience. Get yourself a pair of these bad boys and you won’t have to worry about that happening.
Beer Holster, $20
Yup. This exists. And it’s perfect for tailgating. You never know when you’ll suddenly need two hands for something — fiddling with the grill, catching the pigskin that’s flying toward you, etc — but when that time comes, you’ll be glad you’ve got a holster on your leg.
Bison Airlighter, $80
The days of wasting half a can of lighter fluid and twiddling your thumbs for half an hour while the charcoal gets up to temp are over. This beast starts your briquettes with a superhot burst of fire, followed by a blast of oxygen, so you’ll be up and cooking in a fraction of the time.
Trailer Hitch Hammock Chairs, $200
You’re about to be sitting in crappy uncomfortable stadium seats for the next few hours, so you might as well be super comfy during the tailgate party, right?