TACKLE TAILGATING 6 Tailgating Essentials for 2017

Ahh, tailgating. Along with Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, it’s our favorite time of year. That is, if we have the right gear for the job. In your pursuit to become a grown-ass man, you’ll come upon the challenge of packing the car for a football tailgate. Don’t panic: we’ve put together a list of 6 tailgating essentials that, if you forget everything else, will keep you comfy, fed, and the life of the party.

Stillhouse Whiskey: Apple Crisp
Glass is a big no-no when it comes to tailgating, because there’s nothing worse than it breaking and having to source a make-shift broom to clear the shards. This is a surefire way to lead the huddle away from your tailgate. Instead of a bottle (and instead of beer…plenty of your buddies will have that covered) enlist in a not-bottle of Stillhouse 100 percent clear corn whiskey. This mixable, unaged whiskey comes in a radical red throwback can, reminiscent of vintage gas carriers. We’re pouring out the new Apple Crisp flavor as our go-to fall tailgate drink, made with hints of baked apples, cinnamon, natural oats, brown sugar, ginger and nutmeg (they also have Peach Tea, Red Hot, Mint Chip, and Coconut flavored whiskeys).

Yakima Slimshady Awning
Click to Buy on Amazon

Do not buy a cheap tent or tarp to cover your tailgate spot. I repeat: Do. Not. Buy. A. Cheap. Cover. They tend to only be water-resistant, take a small village to build, and eat up space. You’ll earn yourself real man points by bucking up the $259 for the new Yakima Slimshady Awning, which is a heaven-sent for protecting you and your crew from the searing sun or sudden deluges. Instead of taking four grown men to set up, the Slimshady mounts to the side of your roof base rack, taking up only six inches of bar space (this is practically unheard). Then, all by yourself, pull out the awning like a window shade and insert poles to sturdy. Yakima packed this light yet burley awning with waterproof PU coating to bring you 36 square feet of coverage. So, score one for you.

Mountain Hardwear Men's StretchDown HD
Don’t be that guy who wears a tank, short-sleeve, or chest paint then pretends they’re not freezing mid-November. Real men prep for the cool, knowing full and well that a game is more enjoyable when you’re comfortable and not making yourself sick. If bodypainting is your thang, that’s ok man, but enlist in a Mountain Hardwear Men’s StretchDown HD jacket, which quite frankly is comfortable and warm as hell. Built for the mountains, this outerwear layer is made with synthetic insulation and certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), making the jacket both ethically ace and temperature regulating. Strategic patches of StretchDown tech add great flexibility, so feel free to revel in your touchdown dance. Mountain Hardwear offers the StretchDown HD in Raiders grey/black, Steelers yellow, Lions/Pats/Cowboys blue, and Cardinals/Buccaneers/Chiefs/Redskins red.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Speaker
Click to Buy on Amazon

A piece often forgotten or overlooked, make sure to add a portable (WATERPROOF) speaker to your tailgating essentials list. Sure, you could bring a massive boombox or heavy speaker, but since your goal should be light and powerful, we recommend Ultimate Ear’s Wonderboom. Delivering 360 degrees of surprisingly beefy sound, this portable Bluetooth speaker packs 10 hours of nonstop game coverage, and can be easily hooked to a bag or propped on the bed of your pickup. Get it dirty. Get it wet. Get it caked in steak grease. This speaker was made to withstand the tailgate. Another cool feature: this speaker can pair with another UE Wonderboom by doubling up to broadcast coverage across your entire row of friends.

Kelty Loveseat
Click to Buy on Amazon

Whether you’re wooing a new flame (it’s cuffing season after all), cozying up to your long-time partner, or even taking a moment to relax with mom or grandma, we dig Kelty’s Loveseat chair. Packaged in a new Roll-Tote carry bag (which can double as a gear tote), the Loveseat easily unfolds for two. It’s like a friggin’ couch you can bring to the game! The arm rests are adjustable and everyone gets their own dual insulated drink holder. There’s nothing hyper techy about this tailgate essential; it just works really damn well. (Pro Tip: Loveseat can function as a nap bed if you need a power snooze before the next rally.)

Snow Peak Field Oven
Click to Buy on Amazon

Everyone has a grill. Nobody, on the other hand, is thinking of bringing a pizza oven to the game. I mean, how could they? Well, Japanese brand Snow Peak, notorious for its simple, high-designed outdoor stoves and cookwear, recently unveiled this stunning Field Oven— an accessory for its Pack & Carry Fireplace. The Field Oven converts the Fireplace into a fully collapsible oven to cook pizza, pie, and even bread. Doctor your own pizza, pop it on the ceramic tray oven rack (comes with a pizza stone case), and wait for your za to bubble. Made of stainless steel, this Field Oven weighs only 14.5 lbs. (Somewhere Payton Manning is ordering this oven instead of calling Papa Johns.)

As you can see, successful Tailgating boils down to a science of essentials. Good whiskey? Check. Durable speaker? Check. Don’t get bogged down with the little accessories, which will only get lost and forgotten among the bags of schtuff you bring. The reason you’re getting out to tailgate is to simply enjoy the game with friends and toast to some touchdowns. Someone will have a set of tongs you can borrow.

Achievements in this Article