18 Tailgating Essentials to Score for Football Season

These tailgating must-haves are sure to make game day even more fun and stress-free.

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Updated on August 15, 2023

Whether you plan to host your very first tailgate party for football season or throw your 12th-annual game day gathering, the key elements to a successful party remain the same. You need a location that offers shade and shelter against the ever-evolving fall weather, fresh food (hello, buffalo chicken dip!) that keeps guests full all day and seating that provides the crucial back support all adults need to survive a full day of cheering.

Kick off tailgate season with all the practical gear you need to celebrate your team in style this fall. Below, we share our game-day entertaining essentials and go-to gear guaranteed to keep your tailgate crew comfortable and happy no matter the weather or score at the end of the game.

Tailgating Tents and Chairs

$90 $53
Amazon
On Sale!

Cheer on your team in the stadium without tearing up your back in the process. The Flash Furniture stadium chair is equipped with a supportive, padded seat and comes with a top handle for effortless transport to and from your tailgate. Scoop up the chair in black for versatility or grab it in one of the 17 additional hues to match your school or team colors.

Shop all our stadium chair top picks

$43.47 $36
Amazon

There is a short window of time in which an adult can comfortably sit without proper back support. Go ahead, do yourself a favor and scoop up this Coleman Camping Chair for the upcoming football season. It checks all our adult-friendly boxes: easy to tote, foldable and fully cushioned to provide the lumbar support that everyone over 30 needs in order to rally after a full day of tailgating. Best part? Each chair also comes with built-in cup holders to keep your libations within reach at all times.

$41.99 $29
Amazon

Don’t let chilly fall temps stand in the way of your football tailgate. Prepare for brisk and breezy game days with this cozy waterproof outdoor blanket. Use it to bundle up in the stadium or lay it out on the ground for picnic seating at your game day gathering.

$99.99
Target

Keep the game day party going — rain or shine — with the Rightline Gear SUV Tailgating Canopy. The handy tent attaches directly to the rear hatch of your SUV, minivan, wagon, crossover or truck with ease. Each canopy comes with waterproof strapping to keep your car damage-free and guards the rear window against the sun to keep your cargo as cool as possible on steamy Saturdays.

Shop all of our top canopy tent picks

$249 $159.99
Mark & Graham
On Sale!

Why leave all the competition to the players? Get in on the fun at your next tailgate with this investment-worthy bean bag toss game. Each set comes with two portable boards with your choice of customization or monogram. Also included are eight bean bags and a canvas travel tote for an easy commute from your car to the quad across campus.

Tailgating Food Essentials

$274.99
Target

Introducing the only propane grill you’ll ever need on game day: the Coleman RoadTrip 225SU Grill. The collapsible stand-up design is ideal for on-the-go celebrations, featuring quick-fold legs, an integrated side table and wheels for effortless navigation. Better still – you can leave your matches at home because the dual-burner grill boasts push-to-start ignition. Separate temperature knobs control each burner so you can grill items at different temps as needed. The RoadTrip grates are durable cast iron and finished with porcelain, helping you achieve the perfect grill every time.

$99.99 $70
Amazon
On Sale!

It’s all too easy to become distracted at the grill on game day. Avoid the dreaded over-grilled burger or undercooked chicken with the help of this top-rated wireless meat thermometer. The URDUIN Wireless Thermometer features a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone app that enables you to monitor your meat within 442 feet. Bonus: The app includes a wealth of recipes sharing the exact temperature you need to achieve mouth-watering grills every time. It offers real-time temperature updates within 2 seconds, allowing you to move freely around the tailgate while simultaneously spoiling fellow fans with a next-level meal.

$59.99 $43
Amazon

Those game-day burgers won’t flip themselves, and your bare hands aren’t equipped for the job, either. Achieve the perfect charr every time with the top-rated POLIGO grill utensils and case set. This 22-piece set comes with all the professional-grade stainless steel tools you need to wow fellow football fans with your game-day grill skills. Best part? It all comes neatly stored in an easy-to-tote stainless steel carrying case.

$34.99
Amazon

Game day tailgates tend to be a bit chaotic, but that doesn’t mean your condiments and disposable cutlery need to be. Our solution? The Superior Trading Co. steel caddy is complete with three storage compartments, a utensil hook and an integrated paper towel holder. The top-rated caddy is durable with a steel frame and wood handle, making transportation from your grill station to the picnic table a breeze.

From $38 (Set of 2)
Food52

Nothing kills guests’ appetites quite like seeing a spread of fresh-grilled goodies surrounded by pesky flying pests. Protect your juicy gameday burgers and brats with this set of woven food tents from Food52. Each set includes two collapsible food tents handwoven by expert weavers in the Philippines. Choose from sizes small, large or a mix of both, and snag the duo in a cream or rose finish.

$21.97 $20
Amazon
On Sale!

Leave gameday grease and grime in the parking lot and out of your vehicle by adding this grill brush to your arsenal ahead of football season. This best-selling stainless steel brush glides across your pre-heated grill to slide caked-on grease away to clean off your grates in minutes. Each brush also includes a scraper attachment that makes sloughing off stains and baked-on bits a breeze. Unlike nylon bristle grill brushes, this stainless-steel design will never melt or shed with repeated use.

$31.46
Amazon

Fun fact: Buffalo chicken dip and chili cheese dogs taste twice as nice when eaten off plates that represent your team. This 81-piece paper plate and decor set makes the perfect addition to any Tennessee Titans tailgate outside Nissan Stadium. Not blessed to call yourself a Titans fan? The good news is that you can snag the same 24-piece plate set to represent your favorite NFL franchise instead.

$23.83
Amazon

Nothing dampens the mood quite like a rogue trash bag, and all its colorful contents, catching wind and galavanting across the quad, leaving a litter trail in its wake. Avoid the drama of running down your trash and keep your tailgate tidy in one fell swoop with this top-rated Wakeman portable trash bag holder from Amazon. The genius design is versatile. It’s fully collapsible for travel and features adjustable heights to adapt to events big and small. All you need to do is add a 13-gallon trash bag through the top and secure it along the lid perimeter.

$91.99
Amazon

We’ve expressed our undying love for grilled burgers and brats at tailgates, but we have yet to discuss how stressful grilling can be when you’re working out of the back of your vehicle. Not to fret, friend! Introducing the folding outdoor grill table you never knew you needed and will never want to live without. The foldable design is perfect for taking on the go, offering four unique spaces to prep, serve and store cooking supplies within reach. You’ll use it during football season and continue to bring it out for family functions, camping adventures and neighborhood parties throughout the year.

Tailgating Drink Essentials

$44.95 $31.96
Crate & Barrel

Offer your tailgate guests bottomless H2O (or perhaps provide them with something a bit more spirited for the special occasion). This 1.4-gallon drink acrylic dispenser is transparent, allowing you to show off your libation creations, and comes ready to pour with a BPA-free plastic and silicone spigot.

$179 $169.99
Mark & Graham
On Sale!

Flat beer and bubble-less brut champagne have no place at your football festivities. Keep your carbonated beverages as effervescent as ever from the morning kick-off to the post-game party with this portable, personalized growler. The GrowlerWerks design is available in 64-ounce and 128-ounce sizes and your choice of a copper or stainless-steel finish.

$6.99
Etsy | SprinkledWithPink

The only thing more certain than passionate rivalries on game days is the bevy of beverages enjoyed by fans of both sides. Prepare for your perpetually thirsty tailgating guests with these spirited game-day stadium cups. The reusable BPA-free cups hold 16 ounces and come in your choice of nine unique base colors and 22 lettering colors. Customize a set to match your team colors and give them to guests as a party favor or save them for the next big game.

$275
YETI

This cult classic has earned a reputation as a game-day staple and with good reason. The YETI. Tundra 35 makes light work of caring 20 cans at a time and promises to keep your libations icy no matter how high the temperature gets.

Shop all our top-tested coolers

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