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Best rain gear for tailgating

Which rain gear is best for tailgating?

Spending some time outdoors with some friends before the big game or other event is always enjoyable, though sometimes the weather can put a damper on your tailgating party. However, a little rain doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to cancel your plans.

By investing in some reliable and durable rain gear, you can stay dry and comfortable even when the weather isn’t in your favor. From equipment like canopies and umbrellas to rain jackets and waterproof accessories, tailgating in wet weather can still be a fun and rewarding experience.

Tips for tailgating in the rain

Find the right spot

Location matters, especially when tailgating in inclement weather. While you won't always have much control over where you can park your car, if possible look for an area that is fully or partially covered. You’ll also benefit from setting up on higher ground, just in case the rain starts to collect and pool in lower areas.

Bring extra clothing

If you do happen to get wet, having a spare set of dry clothes handy will ensure you aren’t stuck in damp, cold and uncomfortable layers all day long. Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of socks, too.

Consider your food options

Grilling and tailgating go hand in hand, but if the weather really isn’t cooperating, you might want to opt for prepared or prepackaged foods that won’t require any outdoor cooking. Try to avoid grilling or having an open flame under a canopy or tent, as it can damage the material and pose safety risks.

Watch the weather

Tailgating in some light or moderate rain showers may not be an issue, but you should always keep an eye on any potential storm warning. If you notice any thunder, lightning or strong winds, your safest bet is to wait it out in your car or reschedule if necessary.

Have an alternative plan

Even if you plan accordingly and have all the right gear, you still can't always be certain what nature will throw your way. If you find the rain is just too hard or there is a potential for hazardous conditions, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan for you and your friends.

What you need for rainy tailgating


ABCCANOPY Outdoor Easy Pop-Up Canopy Tent

A must-have item for rainy tailgating parties is a sturdy pop-up canopy. This affordable option will allow several people to comfortably sit and relax while out of the rain, and can also be used for shade and UV protection on sunny days. Available in different colors and sizes, the optional sidewalls add even more protection when the winds pick up.

Sold by Amazon


Sport-Brella 3-Position Recliner Chair With Removable Umbrella

A comfortable chair is essential for any proper tailgating get-together. This reclining Sport-Brella model not only features convenient cup holders, storage pouches and a built-in bottle opener, but also sports a detachable umbrella, offering both rain and sun protection for maximum versatility.

Sold by Amazon


Totes Signature Clear Umbrella

Sometimes the best rain protection is as simple as a classic umbrella. This Totes clear umbrella has a unique dome shape and uses transparent material so you can stay dry without obstructing your view. It is also windproof, so you won't have to worry about a strong gust turning the umbrella inside out.

Sold by Amazon

Rain jacket

Columbia Men’s Watertight II Jacket

For full waterproof protection while tailgating before the big game, the Columbia Watertight II Jacket is a reasonably priced and reliable option. The lightweight and packable design doesn’t lack any critical features, as this jacket includes an adjustable hem and cuffs, along with a waterproof hood.

Sold by Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Backcountry

Marmot Women’s PreCip Eco Jacket

The Marmot PreCip Eco is a durable and trusted option for use in even the hardest downpours. With underarm vents for added breathability, fully sealed seams and the ability to pack down into its own pocket, this recycled nylon jacket is a no-brainer for anyone spending time outside in the rain.

Sold by Backcountry and Amazon


Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2 Poncho

Some people prefer to use a poncho over a rain jacket simply because they cover more body area and in some cases can allow for more breathability. This Frogg Toggs waterproof and windproof rain poncho is available in a variety of colors and features an adjustable hood, side snaps and stuff sack for easy storage.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 


Outdoor Research Storm AscentShell Rain Cap

Wearing a waterproof cap can add an extra layer of rain protection so you can stay dry from head to toe. This model from Outdoor research uses a breathable design, shedding the rain without causing too much sweat or moisture build-up underneath. It also sports a Ultraviolet Protection Factor 50+ rating, allowing it to double as a sun hat.

Sold by Backcountry and Amazon

Waterproof blanket

Brawntide Large Outdoor Waterproof Blanket

Rainy weather, especially during fall tailgating, usually means colder temperatures. This waterproof blanket utilizes a soft fleece underside and polyurethane-coated exterior, keeping the rain off and your body toasty warm. You can even use it directly on the ground as a waterproof picnic blanket.

Sold by Amazon

Waterproof speaker

JBL Flip 5 Portable Speaker

Is it really a proper tailgating party without some good music? With an IPX7 rating, the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker is able to withstand submersion in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, so you can play your favorite tunes no matter how hard it’s raining. It also features up to 12 hours of playtime, meaning you can enjoy the premium sound quality all day long.

Sold by Amazon


Coleman Xtreme 5 Cooler

Every tailgating party needs a quality cooler to keep the food fresh and the drinks ice-cold. The Coleman Xtreme 5 cooler sports an exterior made from a heavy-duty plastic, which will provide ample rain protection while keeping all of the contents protected and easy to access. Plus, you can even use it as extra seating: The lid has a 250-pound weight capacity.

Sold by Amazon


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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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