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13 must-have tailgating essentials

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The only thing better than going to a game or event is the pregame party in the parking lot with friends. While you might already have your tailgating accessories taken care of, many classic items have game-changing updates. There are also new items you might not have seen before that can help you win big with your crew.

Whether you are the master of the grill or always bring the best games, there are 13 must-have accessories for a tailgate party that everyone should consider.

Shop this article: JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Lifetime 4-foot One Hand Adjustable Height Fold-In-Half Table and Champion 2500-Watt Ultralight Gasoline Powered Generator

BestReviews’ Jacob Palmer joins Olivia Horton to share BestReviews’ picks for the top tailgating essentials.

Whether you are the grillmaster or in charge of pre-game activities, there are 13 must-have accessories for tailgating that everyone should consider.

What are must-have accessories for tailgating?

Tailgating is typically the preamble to the main event, though it does continue post-event on occasion. That detail is really up to you, your friends and the venue.

Since the primary goal is to have a good time, the music, games, drinks and food should all be delivered as effortlessly as possible so that everyone can partake in the parking lot shenanigans.

The 13 must-have accessories for tailgating are items that can elevate everyone's experience. They are also durable enough to handle the packing and unpacking event after event without getting destroyed.

Must-have setup accessories for tailgating

A good setup is vital for an excellent tailgating experience. There are seven primary must-have accessories for tailgating.

  • Canopy tent: You can get a stand-alone tent or one that attaches to the back of your vehicle.
  • Chairs: These come in standard varieties. Some come with added details, including built-in canopies, cup holders, plush seats and small tables.
  • Folding table: A quality table is weatherproof and highly rated and can take the weight of whatever you plan to put on it.
  • Portable speakers: Standard speakers can get the job done, but consider looking for ones that will last longer with waterproofing, a quality sound and long battery life.
  • Trash can: Consider new designs that attach to your vehicle, or go for a pop-up trash can with a lid for easy waste management.
  • Heater: An outdoor heater is essential during cold-weather games. Some run on propane and can last hours.
  • Generator: While this is an investment, it can save you the hassle of losing power when you need it most.

Must-have food accessories for tailgating

Cooking supplies are must-have accessories for tailgating. While everyone's list varies, there are several basics every crew should have to fulfill their feasting needs.

  • Hand sanitizer: Ensure that you bring multiple bottles.
  • Cooler: You can get coolers with solar panels and built-in refrigeration, but a high-quality standard cooler is apt to last the longest.
  • Tableware: If you wish to reduce the amount of waste your crew creates, consider reusable plates and flatware.
  • Grill: You can get an electric, gas or charcoal grill.
  • Grill essentials: Depending on your grill type, you might need a lighter, propane, charcoal and lighter fluid.
  • Grill tools: These typically come with grill essentials, such as knives, a bottle opener and a spatula.
  • Cooking caddy: This small tailgating accessory can help you keep everything you need, such as condiments and napkins, in one spot.
  • Dish covers: These lightweight bug nets can save your food from pests.
  • Plastic containers: These versatile items let you transport and store the food you are not using.

Must-have game accessories for tailgating

New games show up all the time, but there are a few that are common favorites. These include cornhole, frisbee, ladderball, horseshoes, ring toss and beer pong.

What are the top 13 must-have accessories for tailgating to buy?

JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

This is one of the best JBL speakers for tailgating. The Bluetooth tailgate speaker can wirelessly connect up to three smartphones and has a 6,000mAH power bank. The JBL Bluetooth speaker also has an IPX7 waterproof rating with a playtime of 20 hours.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Champion 2500-watt Ultralight Gasoline Powered Generator

This ultraquiet on-the-go tailgate generator is 39 pounds and has a digital display with a run time of 11.5 hours. The portable power station comes with dual USB adapters, two standard 120-volt 20A plugs and a 12-volt automotive outlet.

Sold by Amazon

Lifetime 4-foot One Hand Adjustable Height Fold-In-Half Table

This portable folding table has a patented steel frame design with a width of 48 inches and an adjustable height of up to 34 inches. The sturdy frame has a weight capacity of up to 200 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Ultimate Backyard Game

Have some fun with this disc toss lawn game that comes with two Kan Jam goals and one flying disk. It is lightweight and easy to set up and take down.

Sold by Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods

Coghlan's Pop-Up Recycle Bin

Keep the flies away with this collapsible trash can that has a zippered top and convenient carrying handles. It is 24 inches high and 19 inches wide.

Sold by Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater

Warm up your crowd with this Mr. Heater propane heater that emits 4,000 to 9,000 British thermal units and is safe for indoor or outdoor use. The portable propane heater has an automatic shut-off if tipped over and can run up to 5.4 hours on low heat.

Sold by Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods

Lifetime Cornhole and Ladderball Game Table Combo Set

Do more with this ultra-durable ladderball and cornhole game set that transforms into two tables. It comes with bean bags, ball toss sets, table plugs and canvas accessory bags to keep everything organized.

Sold by Amazon

iClimb Compact Folding Mesh Chair With Side Table

Sit back and relax on this durable, lightweight camping chair with a steel frame, cool mesh back and padded armrests. It has a bonus side table with a cup holder and holds up to 264 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

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

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