Tailgate Equipment Guide: 11 Game Day Essentials

a football A weekend isn’t really complete without a tailgate worthy of the game itself. The soccer game lasts about three hours, but the real soccer experience – swinging all over the world – takes a whole day. To get the most out of your fall fall, it’s imperative that you show up on game day with a few essential tools at your disposal: a grill, a portable shade, a cooler, and of course a corn pit (to name a few).

Below, we’ve rounded up 11 gears that will make your next tailgate the best it can be.

The best tailgate products

Tilgate Coleman Camping Chair with Four Built-in Cooling Boxes

Coleman camping chair with four built-in coolers photo courtesy

1. Coleman camping chair with four built-in cooler boxes

Coleman is a gold standard brand, and this chair will be a versatile player for your tailgating offense. It is a high quality, no frills seat that provides all the necessary support and comes with a cooler bag attached to the left arm. If you want to reduce the causes of waking up, this chair will be your way to solitude.


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Tailgate Yeti Tundra Whole Hard Cooler

Yeti Tundra Howl Hard Color photo courtesy

2. Yeti Tundra Hole Steel Chiller

Designed like a tank, this cooler moves like a tank too – thanks to its integrated wheels. It provides perfect insulation to keep its contents cool all day, and its elastic straps make it easy to open and close. It’s even sturdy enough to double as a chair if you run out of space.


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Turrett Premium 16 Soft Cooler Case

Turrett Premium 16 Soft Cooler Case photo courtesy

3. Turrett Premium 16-Can Soft Cooler Backpack

A stationary cooler is critical to every tailgate, but a cooler bag can be a perfect complement, especially for those who like to be on the go. Whether you plan to grind around the parking lot before setting off or just want to reduce trips to the central cooler for your group, this insulated backpack will keep your drinks close at hand. It is also highly leak-proof and comfortable to wear even when loaded.


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30 oz RTIC Cup

30 oz RTIC Cup photo courtesy


Unless you’re committed to canned beer all day, it’s a good idea to have an insulated glass to hold your drink. RTIC mugs offer the best insulation in a durable stainless steel package, and their narrow base is designed to fit in most cup holders – so you can use them to brew your morning coffee on your way to the game before moving on to the tough stuff.


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Weber Smokey Go Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber Smokey Go Premium Charcoal Grill photo courtesy

5. Weber Smokey Go Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber makes quality grills, and Smokey Joe is one of the brand’s most packable models. The 14″ grill grate provides plenty of room to fit several burgers and sausages at once, and can be converted into a smoker for ribs and other delicious meals. The carrying handle makes it easy to move.


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6-quart crockpot programmable stainless steel slow cooker with locking lid

6-quart crockpot programmable stainless steel slow cooker with locking lid photo courtesy

6. Programmable 6-Quart Crockpot Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

Many tailgate staples – buffalo chicken and pulled pork are great examples – need to cook for a while and then stay warm for several hours before kick-off. This slow cooker will make it easy to prepare those meals at home, and the innovative locking lid ensures a spill-free journey from your kitchen to the parking lot.


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REI Co-op Tailgate Camp Table

REI . Co-op Camp Table photo courtesy

7. REI . Co-op Camp Table

Every tailgate needs at least one table, and REI camp tables are sturdy, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing (much better than the rickety card table I’ve used in years past). With a weight capacity of 100 lbs, this table serves either as a serving table or a place for your entire group to gather around for a meal. It also packs neatly.


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Thule Over Cast

Thule Over Cast photo courtesy

8. Thule Over Cast

The sun may set hard on your group, especially during the early season gates. The Thule canopy makes a great portable cover: it installs quickly to the top of your vehicle, and it comes in two sizes to fit any tailgate space. Don’t enter the stadium burning – you’ll pay for it the rest of the week.


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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker photo courtesy

9. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Set the mood for your tailgate with a little music. The Wonderboom 2 is perfect for portability: it’s small enough that you can attach it to a harness (or hang it from your umbrella) with a carabiner. Despite its small size, its bass is really amazing and has plenty of volume, which will help your group get into the game day spirit.


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Rec League 2' x 4' Tailgate Traditional Hole Panel Set

Rec League 2′ x 4 Traditional Corn Hole Board Set photo courtesy

10. Rec League 2′ x 4 Traditional Corn Hole Board Set

You will definitely want to play a game during a long day. You can always bring a soccer ball and play, but if you’re looking for something more interactive, a corn hole is the perfect choice: it’s simple, fun, and easy to set up.


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EvenFlo Play-Away

EvenFlo Play-Away photo courtesy

11. EvenFlo Play-Away

With young children? This portable playpen will help prevent them from wandering around the parking lot while grabbing their second (or third) nachos. An included canopy provides plenty of shade, the floor is designed for easy cleaning, and the sheer mesh sides make it easy to observe from the buffet line.


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Written by Joseph

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