People grilling on a charcoal grill at a tailgate party before the next big football game.

The Top 10 Tailgating Essentials for 2023

Updated

It’s football season again! Make sure you have the best tailgating season with our top picks for tailgating gear this year.

1. PORTABLE GRILLS

the Traeger Ranger Portable Grill with two racks of ribs and asparagus sitting on the grill.

Be the life of the party with the convenience of a portable grill. What’s a tailgate party without some grilling? Our pick for the 2023 tailgating season is the Traeger Ranger Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

Enjoy all the flavor of a wood-fired grill right there in the parking lot of the big game. Plus it comes with a built-in meat probe so you can keep an eye on your food’s temperature without opening the grill or losing heat. Fire up your best hot dogs, burgers, steaks, veggies, kabobs, stuffed jalapenos, or whatever you’re in the mood for on this portable grill.

2. FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS

Lock & Lock food storage tupperware containers holding apples, limes, lemons, blueberries, and dip. Set on a wooden countertop.

To either get your food to the game or to bring home leftovers, you’ll need some kind of storage container. We recommend a Lock & Lock Food Container Set. Ideal for food prep or taking home leftovers, this set comes with several different sizes of containers so you can pack meats, side dishes, and more.

These sets also feature a stackable design, so it’s easy to pack up for the big game and a good choice overall for food prep.

3. BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS

Best Large Speaker for Tailgating

The JBL 710 party speaker standing upright. Its lights are set to blue and pink to create a cool visual effect.

What’s a party without music? Our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker for a tailgate is the JBL PartyBox 710 Portable Party Speaker. It’s got everything you need for premium sound while tailgating. Show off your party playlist with this speaker’s heavy-duty 800W sound and customizable light display. It also comes with an easy grip handle and built-in wheels for portability, as well as guitar and mic inputs for adding your own musical touch.

Best Small Speaker for Tailgating

The Sony XB Extra Bass portable Bluetooth speaker shown standing straight up and down on the right, and another speaker of the same model laying on its side.

Our pick for the best small Bluetooth speaker is the Sony XB33 Extra Bass™ Portable Bluetooth® Speaker. It’s perfect for outdoor listening–including tailgating! Sony has packed this series of speakers with features that help you get powerful sound from a portable speaker.

Water and Dust Resistance

The Sony XB33 is highly resistant to both water and dust with an IP67 rating.

What Does an IP67 Rating Mean?

An IP code stands for Ingress Protection Rating. It represents that the product will still work normally after being exposed to different levels of water or dust. The number placement in the IP code represents the material the item can resist. 

With an IP67 rating, the 6 stands for water resistance and the 7 represents dust resistance. A water rating of 6 means that the Song XB33 can still work after being submerged in water 1 meter in depth for up to 30 minutes. A dust rating of 7 means that this speaker is resistant to exposure to dust particles up to 75 µm in diameter for up to 8 hours.

LIVE SOUND and Sound Boosting

Sony has designed several sound quality enhancing features for this speaker. The X-Balanced speaker unit features a non-circular speaker diaphragm design to enhance bass and reduce distortion. 

The LIVE SOUND mode is designed to give you a three-dimensional sound experience at the push of a button. The angled design of the speaker sends your music to a wider area, so you can make any tailgate feel like a music festival.

Enhance the Party with Party Connect

Not that you’ll need them all at a tailgate, but you can connect up to 100 different compatible speakers for the ultimate immersive sound.

4. YETI COOLERS

If you’re wondering how to keep food fresh at a tailgate party, then it’s with a YETI Cooler! YETIs are unbeatable for the cooling and storage space they offer.

Best Cooler for Tailgating 2023

The red YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler on a white background, and the carrying strap hanging in front of the cooler.

Our top pick for coolers this season is the YETI Roadie 24 Hard Cooler.

Store all the food and drinks you need in this space-saving cooler. This next-generation cooler has been designed with extra-durable and light material so it’s easy to take with you to a tailgate or your other adventures. Fill yours up with 18 cans, or pack in some wine into this 13-inch internal height cooler.

Colors include Power Pink, Navy, Charcoal, White, Cosmic Lilac, Desert Tan, Rescue Red, Camp Green, and Canopy Green.

Additional features include:

  • Permafrost insulation
  • Neverfail hinge system
  • Quicklatch opening
  • HeftyHauler Handle

The HeftyHauler Handle also makes this cooler easy to carry if you’re joining another party before the game. And when you’re not heading to a tailgate party, take this with you on your next camping trip!

If you want an even easier way to haul more food and drinks around for game day, check out the Roadie 60 Wheeled Cooler.

5. SUNGLASSES

White framed Oakley sunglasses with blue, purple, and cyan colored gradient lenses.

Block out the opposing fans (and the sun) with a pair of sunglasses. We recommend Oakley’s RADAR® EV PATH® sunglasses for this tailgating season. Keep your eyes protected on the drive there, during set up, while you eat, all the way until the sun goes down. Oakley sunglasses offer lightweight and durable frames with stylish lenses with UV protection. 

6. PORTABLE FIRE PITS

A family sitting around a portable firepit on the back deck of their home.

Fall is here and so are cooler nights! Keep warm at your next tailgate party with a portable fire pit. The Solo Stove Bonfire + Stand 2.0 is a smokeless firepit with a removable ash pan for convenient ash disposal. Set it up to stay warm, roast marshmallows or hot dogs while waiting for the big game.

7. PORTABLE PIZZA OVENS

A family sitting on an outdoor couch enjoying pizza from a small portable wood-fired pizza oven.

Shake up the formula for a tailgate party. Instead of just grilling hot dogs and burgers, bring a pizza oven! Our pick for the best pizza oven for a tailgate is the Solo Stove Pi Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven. It’s small, portable, and perfect to fit on a folding table or your tailgate before the game. This stove burns wood and comes with a pizza stone so you can get that perfectly crispy crust.

8. LAWN CHAIRS

the YETI trailhead lawnchair sitting at an angle to show off its features. Including a cupholding on the left side of the chair's frame.

Don’t be left outstanding at the party! Make sure you have folding chairs to take with you. Our choice for the best tailgating lawn chair is YETI’s Trailhead Camp Chair. Its FLEXGRID™ fabric molds to your body, so you might not even want to leave it for the game! Also, the Trailhead is highly durable, has a weight capacity of 500 lbs, and is UV resistant. It’s perfect to throw in the back of your car or truck and bring out for a tailgate party.

9. PORTABLE CHARGERS 

Duracell powerbank shown next to its packaging.

Don’t let your phone die before the game starts. Make sure you bring a portable charging block so you can stay connected until the end of the game. Get yourself a Duracell Charge10. We like it for its 10,000 mAh (milliampere-hours) charge capacity, which is enough power to fully charge a Samsung S9 three times!

10. STAY COMFORTABLE WITH OUTDOOR BLANKETS

The forest green YETI Lowlands blanket sitting folded next to the blanket's carrying case.

Add more sitting space and comfort with an outdoor blanket! Keep it in your truck bed to make it a more comfortable space for extra seating. Or use it to keep warm on those chilly fall nights. We recommend the YETI Lowland outdoor blankets that are designed to repel dirt, burrs, and pet hair. Plus they’re immune to dew and wet ground too! They’re perfect for throwing in your truck and taking to every tailgate and big game this season.

Other Tailgating Gear You May Need

This is a non-exhaustive list of great gear for your next tailgate party. Here are a few more ideas for items to bring to your next tailgate.

  • Folding tables
  • Aluminum foil/tin foil
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic utensils
  • Disposable dishware
  • Trash bags
  • Pop-up canopy
  • Mustard, ketchup, relish
  • Portable generator
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