The Best Tailgating Gear for 2018: Grills, Games, and More

Labor Day may mark the last day of the summer, but it also traditionally kicks off the fall tailgating season. Depending on game time, tailgating can be (and often is) an all-day affair. To some, it is as much a profession as it is a pastime.

Having the right tailgating gear can make or break your game day festivities. Whether you are cheering for your favorite collegiate team or following the pros, here are some of the best items to take you from pre-game festivities to post-game celebrations.


Alps Mountaineering Regular Dining Table – $100
Alps Mountaineering Regular Dining Table

This lightweight aluminum table quickly deploys to provide a stable option for tailgating guests or a sturdy option for food prep and tabletop grilling. When the party’s over, it breaks down and fits inside a compact shoulder bag.


GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker – $60
GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker

Your guests will be fighting over this collapsible rocking chair. It will be just at home at your tailgate as it will be on your front porch or favorite campsite.

Strongback Elite – $100
Strongback Elite

This may very well be the most comfortable folding camp chair on the market. While it folds up like other options, the Strongback Elite provides much-needed lumbar support for all-day comfort.

Filson Highlands Deck Chair – $275
Filson Highlands Deck Chair

This classic camp chair features twill seating paired with sturdy, kiln-dried hardwood that prevents warping. Additionally, it folds for easy transport.


Slumberjack Roadhouse Tarp – $120
Slumberjack Roadhouse Tarp

The unique Roadhouse Tarps allows you to utilize your car and increase your covered area for you and your guests.

Kelty Noah’s Screen 12 – $200
Kelty Noah’s Screen 12

While this shelter is best suited to areas where you have access to exposed ground (it needs to be staked out), it also provides protection from both the sun and pests so you can concentrate on the festivities at hand.

Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter – $200-$220
Big Agnes Three Forks Shelter

This freestanding shelter is the perfect addition to any gear closet. It can serve as a food tent on game day, a sunshade for other day activities (think beach trips or soccer tournaments, and as a refuge from the elements while camping.


OtterBox Venture 45 – $300-$350
OtterBox Venture 45

Widely known for making rugged phone cases, OtterBox expanded its offerings by producing some serious coolers. The Venture 45’s modular design allows for the attachment of optional accessories like wheels, bottle openers, shelves, and cutting boards, turning it into an outdoor kitchen.

HydroFlask 24L Soft Cooler Tote – $275
HydroFlask 24L Soft Cooler Tote

When the menu calls for BYOB, show up in style with cold beverages and keep the party mobile as you navigate the minefield of game day parties. This model is also available in a smaller 22-liter pack.

Dometic CFX 40W Portable Refrigerator/Freezer – $740
Dometic CFX 40W Portable Refrigerator

Available in a variety of sizes, these portable refrigerator/freezers are ideal for boats, campers, and tailgating extravaganzas. Keep food cold until it’s ready for grilling or keep condiments chilled and beverages readily accessible. The temperature can be adjusted via the touch display or app.


PKGO Cart with Capsule – $350
PKGO Cart with Capsule

We are huge fans of the Portable Kitchen (PK) Grills. This new PKGO launched just in time for tailgating season and we couldn’t be happier. It sports the same features as the larger options but is the brand’s most portable and lightweight grill.

Primus Kuchoma Grill – $180
Primus Kuchoma Grill

Grab and go with this portable, outdoor gas grill. The legs fold underneath and the lid clamps tightly to make packing and unpacking a breeze.

Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Portable Gas Grill – $97
Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Portable Gas Grill

The compact, briefcase-style design of the grill makes it easy to join an existing party. Pair it with the Take Along Grill Stand for the ideal game-day kitchen setup.

Pizzeria Pronto Outdoor Pizza Oven – $300
Pizzeria Pronto Outdoor Pizza Oven

You will never have to order delivery again. At under 28 pounds, this lightweight pizza oven reaches temperatures over 700-degrees Fahrenheit, is safe on any surface, and can cook a pizza in as little as five minutes. It’s simple as connecting it to a propane tank and preheating the oven for 10  minutes before placing your first pie on one of the two 14-inch baking stones.

Bluetooth Speakers

Soundcast VG5 – $450
Soundcast VG5

A Bluetooth speaker is the perfect compliment to a party. The 6-inch woofer on the Soundcast VG5 provides some thunderous bass — not to mention this speaker is extremely portable at just 3.5 pounds and provides full protection from Mother Nature.

Ultimate Ears Megaboom – $250
Ultimate Ears Megaboom

This compact Bluetooth speaker is waterproof and portable. One charge can provide 20 hours of non-stop party tunes with connectivity maintained up to 100 feet.


Cameron’s Portable Beer Pong Table – $65
Cameron’s Portable Beer Pong Table

This portable cloth table folds up and packs away to fit into any trunk. Bring your own cups and beverage of choice (you can call it Beverage Pong for family events) then use the six included balls for non-stop excitement that is sure to attract additional participants (and spectators).

RampShot – $60

This family-friendly game is described as “corn hole on steroids”. The two boards contain grooves that make the ball to bounce in various directions. RampShot is played two-on-two and will keep kids and adults occupied all day.


MyCharge Portable Power Outlet
MyCharge Portable Power Outlet

This portable charging hub and inverter can power a 34-inch LED television for up to four hours (just enough time to watch the game if you don’t have tickets). If you don’t want to pack a portable generator, this is a great alternative.


Yamaha Gas Powered Portable Inverter – $1,000
Yamaha Gas Powered Portable Inverter

Need the extra juice? This super-quiet inverter has a Smart Throttle that varies engine speed based on load so the power supply doesn’t become the focal point of your party.


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