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Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

Sport-Brella Recliner Chair

Posted by Dave On September - 6 - 2013

Sport-Brella Pair

While out tailgating, you have to have chairs. A comfortable place to sit is one of those tailgating “must haves”. There are a lot of folding chairs out there on the market and honestly unless the chair offers up some serious bells and whistles, we normally pass on doing product reviews on those types of products. Honestly what can you say about a regular old folding chair? Saying “Hey, it unfolds and you can sit in it” really isn’t going to bring readers back to your tailgating blog.

The folks at Sport-Brella contacted us and told us about their newest recliner chair that has a footrest, an adjustable sunshade umbrella and a pocket right in the armrest to store cold beverages, we were mildly interested in reviewing the product. The clincher was the mention of the bottle opener and we were sold on doing this product review and just had to see how this tailgating chair was different. After receiving the sample chair and testing it out thoroughly we thought this chair deserves a video demonstration because it did have all the bells and whistles you tailgaters are looking for.

(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample Sport-Brella Reclining Chair for free. The fact this sample was provided to us free of charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.)

If you watched our video, you can see all the features of the chair and how they work in concert with each other. Obviously the attached bottle opener was a nice touch but the fact that the umbrella could be adjusted to any position means you will never be shading your eyes or scrambling for the sunscreen on those mid-day tailgates. Also, the “chamber” as I have nicknamed it, is pretty awesome in that you can load it up with three to four canned beverages and ice and never have to leave your chair for a cold one. And with a chair like this, you will definitely have to call dibs on it if you do get up to make a run on the buffet table.

Sport-Brella OrangeThe Sport-Brella Recliner Chair comes in two different colors, blue and orange. If you like the foot rest, leave it on and it folds up nicely when you have the chair stored in the bag. If you want to remove the foot rest, it comes off quite easily and can be stored inside the bag sleeve when not in use. The umbrella pole adjusts to either side of the chair back depending on which side the sun may be on. Although the official weight capacity of the Sport-Brella Recliner Chair is 250 pounds, you saw in the video that it supported my weight. As a former offensive lineman in college and being 6’5″ tall, you can imagine that I am a tad over the 250 threshold and the chair held me just fine. But I guess for legal purposes they have to say the weight capacity of the product.

Sport-Brella Blue

Here are all the specs you need to know:

  • 3-position recliner with easy adjusting hinges
  • 3-way swiveling umbrella
  • Built-in insulated pocket holds up to 4 drinks
  • Cup holder and storage pockets with bottle opener
  • Metallic undercoating for UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Umbrella folds down on chair for storage as a single unit
  • Eye protective safety tips on umbrella points
  • Umbrella attaches to either side with quick-release clips
  • Ultra-strong, lightweight steel construction
  • 250 lb maximum

After thoroughly testing the Sport-Brella Recliner Chair we are going to have to stamp it “Tailgate Approved”. Even if it had one or two features like the umbrella or the foot rest it would be definitely able to hold its own at a tailgate party. Add in the beverage pocket and the bottle opener and the reclining feature and this is one chair that will be seeing a lot more time at our personal tailgates.

The Sport-Brella Recliner Chair is priced at $59.99 and is available online for purchase. For more information or to buy a Sport-Brella Recliner Chair for yourself or to give as a gift, visit: sport-brella.com.

Flip-Box Iceless Cooler

Posted by Dave On August - 26 - 2013

FlipBox Cooler
As a tailgating blog you can imagine how often we get hit up to test out and review the latest and greatest cooler the manufacturer or distributor claims it to be. Most of the time the cooler being pushed is not all that unique and the handle that clicks out vs. folding up kind is the only major difference from all the other coolers you have already seen everywhere else. When we were contacted by the folks at Sport-Brella about a new iceless cooler that claimed to keep beverages cold for up to six hours without ice, we were intrigued. That is how we got the opportunity to test out and review the Flip-Box Cooler.

Take a look at their promotional video to see the features of the Flip-Box Coolers

As you saw in the video, there were plenty of examples of how to use it while out tailgating. We decided to put the Flip-Box Cooler through our tests to make sure their claims were not just a bunch of hot air.

First we received the Flip-Box Cooler in one piece. Although you can disassemble it and wash the parts and pieces in the dishwasher, the unit arrived in one piece. That was a good first impression because nobody like to assemble things no matter how fast and easy they are to put together. Upon flipping up the side walls and locking them into place, the cooler was set up and ready for beverages in literally five seconds. We liked that it folded down into a smaller space for ease of storage when not in use.

Flip-Box Cooler packedThey claim that the Flip-Box Cooler can keep beverages cold for up to six hours without any ice accompanying the beverages. I found that hard to believe. Armed with my trusty digital thermometer and about six hours on a Saturday, I decided to put that claim to the test. Here was my plan to test the Flip-Box Cooler how it would be typically used at a tailgate.

I loaded the cooler with 20 canned beverages that ranged in different sizes included a few 12 oz. beers, some diet sodas and even some 16 oz. energy drinks. In addition to the cans I also placed about six beer bottles in the Flip-Box Cooler. The bottles were a little too tall for the cooler in order for the lid to close so I placed the bottles on their sides. The taller 16 oz. energy drink cans fit nicely but the beer bottles were just a little too tall to fit.

I placed my digital thermometer in the fridge for about a minute to see what was the starting temperature of the cans and bottles as they came out of the fridge. The internal temperature of the fridge was 42 degrees. Most people would agree that is the perfect temperature for drinking a beer so with that in mind, that was our starting point. All of the contents of the Flip-Box Cooler started at 42 degrees. The ambient air temperature was around 82 degrees so we were testing this cooler on a warm day.

I took notice of the time of day and then set my timer on my phone to alarm every 12 minutes. At each 12 minutes interval I would open the Flip-Box Cooler and remove two to three bottles and cans and then close the lids. I did this for two reasons. The first is to simulate the opening and closing of the cooler while out tailgating. Two or three beers will probably get removed every 12 minutes as people are eating and enjoying the tailgate. Removing the beverages also might bring down the temperature inside with less contents keeping it cold but would simulate a real tailgating environment.

The second reason for going in and out of the cooler and removing cans and bottles every 12 minutes was to let the air escape and be replaced by the ambient air. This also happens while tailgating and I wanted to see if the Flip-Box Cooler was able to withstand the temperature changes it would go through while out in the tailgate parking lot. Tailgating does not happen in a vacuum and it is unfair to test a cooler without opening and closing it because that would never happen during the course of a tailgate.

Flip-Box Coke 2 hoursAfter two hours I decided to test the temperature of one of the sodas I took out. I placed the digital thermometer in the opened can and was highly surprised to see that after two hours of opening and closing the cooler 10 times and removing cans and bottles, the can had gained only four degrees in temperature. It read 46.8 degrees to be exact. To be honest with you, I was stunned that the can was that cold without any ice in the cooler.

I then continued testing the cooler by opening it every 12 minutes and removing bottles and cans until another two hours had passed. By this time it was a grand total of four hours since loading the cooler and I removed the last can. I followed the same process as the other soda can in that I placed the digital thermometer in the can to read the temperature. This can after four hours and opening and closing the Flip-Box Cooler 20 times, was 14 degrees warmer than the 42 degrees it started at when it went into the Flip-Box Cooler.

Flip-Box Sprite 4 hoursAgain, I was quite impressed with the results especially since the cans and bottles were only kept cold without the assistance of ice.

Just to be fair and to see if a “regular cooler” would not do the same thing, I tested this same technique up against my little Playmate Cooler by Igloo. I placed six cans that were 42 degrees and right out of the fridge into the cooler without any ice. I did this to see if the insulation on a regular cooler without ice would work just as well. Every 12 minutes I opened the cooler and removed one can. After an hour of doing this I was left with one can. I opened up the remaining can and much to my surprise, the can was about 57 degrees. You can figure it out already that in one hour’s time the can in the regular cooler was warmer than the last can in the Flip-Box Cooler after four hours. Color me impressed.

After thoroughly testing the Flip-Box Cooler it is safe to say that it is “Tailgate Approved“.

We liked the fact that it is compact in size when not in use but is sturdy and durable when in use. The real clincher was the amount of money you will save by not having to buy ice. Also, the hassle of having to dispose of ice after the tailgate is over has been eliminated because after the last can is taken out, you simply fold down the sides and pack it away. No need for a hard sided plastic cooler to take up room in your car that is empty.

As demonstrated in the video, the Flip-Box Cooler also insulates to keep hot food hot. You can easily take casseroles, dips, wings or other hot foods and keep them hot while transporting them to the tailgating parking lot. Another idea that occurred to me was for those tailgaters in the cold winter months can use the Flip-Box Cooler to prevent their beverages from freezing. Places like Green Bay and Buffalo where the temperature can get so cold the tailgaters need to find a way to prevent their beers from freezing, the Flip-Box would insulate those cans and bottles and prevent the cold air from getting in and freezing them.

The Flip-Box Cooler sells for less than $30 and is available at Lowe’s or you can buy it online by clicking HERE.

SlickShotz!

Posted by Dave On August - 25 - 2013
SlickShotz

SlickShotz

Over the years we have tested and reviewed quite a few gadgets and techniques in order to smuggle in some extra booze past the security at events. We recently published the definitive list of the best ways to smuggle alcohol whether at a game, concert or event a street fair. Included in that article were SlickShotz!

A brief overview: SlickShotz! look like little IV bags you may find in a hospital for little people but they actually hold about three oz. of liquor. The SlickShotz! bags come with a heat sealer that is almost identical to the one that vacuum packs food you have seen on infomercials. The bags can be reused at least twice and possibly more depending on how carefully you tear them open. Just fill up the bags at home with about three ounces of your favorite liquor, seal them and place them in an inconspicuous place. Put them in your underwear, your socks, back pocket, coat pocket, etc. The smallest kit comes with 25 pouches, the heat sealer and batteries. You can purchase more bags once you use up the quantity from your initial kit order.

Naturally we were sent a sample kit of SlickShotz! to test for ourselves and to determine if they are “Tailgate Approved”. Cut to the chase, they are Tailgate Approved for a number of reasons.

The first reason is that with the price of mixed drinks inside a stadium, depending on how many drinks you were planning on buying on the inside, SlickShotz! will pay for themselves the first time you use them. Most stadiums only offer beer and wine and even if money was no object you still wouldn’t be able to have your rum and cola.

SlickShotz! in handAnother great reason is the amount you can bring in. Of course each bag only holds about 3 oz of liquid but if you fill up eight or nine of these SlickShotz! bags, you can smuggle in an entire fifth of liquor. You just have to find some creative and undetectable places to hide them that won’t get noticed by security. Women can hide a few of these bags in their bra ensuring they won’t be seen nor will the security touch the ladies there.

The feature that we like the most is that each bag has dual tear zones so the first time you use it, you can reuse the bag a second time with the second tear zone still intact. Just rinse them out and fill them up the next time and you are saving money again and again.

The downside of SlickShotz! is that you can not bring in any carbonated liquids. The pressure created by carbonated beverages in the SlickShotz! bags will cause them to explode. Honestly, that is not a big deal because although sodas are priced high inside a stadium they are much more affordable than alcoholic drinks. If you are disappointed you can not put beer in the SlizkShotz! bags, don’t be upset. It would be difficult to keep the beer cold seeing how it would be smuggled inside a coat pocket or on your person and the body heat would warm it up. Just remember to put liquor or wine in the SkizkShotz! bags and you will be fine.

We will pass along one small tip we discovered when testing out the SkickShotz! is to place the heat sealer on the edge of a counter top when sealing the bags. You will want the “neck” of the bags to lay flat against the heat sealer element but the liquid in the bag should be allowed to hang below the counter top. Just bend the neck with your thumb while holding the bottom of the bag with your hand. This way the liquid is staying safe and won’t leak out while you seal the top. The name of the game when using SlickShotz! is to save money on your boozing. You don’t want to lose some of your hooch while in the process of sealing up the bags.

To learn more about SlickShotz! or to buy your own kit, visit: SlickShotz.com

 

Chill Bit

Posted by Dave On August - 22 - 2013

Chill Bit in Ice chest
It was back about a year ago during the summer of 2012 that we discovered the Frost Boss. The Frost Boss took an age old technique, spinning a canned beverage in ice or ice water and the result is chilling the liquid contents much faster than placing it in an ice chest by itself. The Frost Boss basically automates this process in that it spins a regular 12 oz. aluminum can in ice and takes a warm can to cold in roughly two minutes. On top of that, after the can is chilled, there is no fear of the beverage can exploding or bubbling over because the liquid inside gets cold but not shaken up. We thought it was weird too until we tried it.

One of the major complaints we heard about the Frost Boss was that the concept of never being more than two minutes away from a cold beverage was attractive, yet the cost at about $40 was not that affordable. Because we tailgaters like our tailgating gadgets more affordable yet still effective, I sought out another way to chill a canned beverage cheaper and also add in a little “cool factor” to the process. That is how we were able to discover the Chill Bit.

Chill Bit

Chill Bit made by Spin Chill

The Chill Bit is made up of rubber and plastic that can snap onto the top of a beer can and hold it while being spun from a cordless drill. The back end of the Chill Bit fits into your drill’s chuck and once tightened, will hold onto the top of a canned beverage up to 1,100 RPM. You then place the can in ice or ice water and turn on the drill to start the spinning. After about 60 seconds a beer that is 80 degrees will drop in temperature by about 30 degrees. You want it colder than that? Spin it for two whole minutes and the contents inside will go below freezing and will actually form ice crystals on the inside of the can. Don’t believe it is true? Check out our video we did while tailgating prior to the Chargers vs. the Seahawks preseason game a few weeks ago.

As you saw in the video, the can did not fizz, foam or explode upon opening it right after spinning it for a complete minute. We could have spun the can for five minutes and we would have gotten the same result although the can would have been much, much colder. So if you are ready for a little science lesson, here is why carbonated beverages in cans or bottles can be spun without exploding or foaming over.

How does it work?
By spinning the container, convection is introduced to both the inside and the outside of the container. This increases the rate of heat transfer and cools the beverage down at a rate of at least 20 times faster. You may have spun a beer in ice water by hand but that can get boring and tedious. It is the same science with the Chill Bit but much faster and you get to use power tools to do it.

Why does it not explode?
It all has to do with the air pocket. A ‘carbonated beverage’ is one in which carbon dioxide is dissolved in the liquid under pressure (Henry’s law). When the can is opened, the liquid inside starts to equalize with the pressure in the atmosphere, and the CO2 comes out of solution to do so. All carbonated beverages fizz upon opening, but whether they fizz over (liquid comes out of the container) depends on how fast the CO2 comes out of solution.

In order for CO2 to come out of solution, it needs a ‘nucleation site’ to do so. Those nucleation sites can be either gaseous pockets, or an irregularity along the wall. (Look at how a stream of bubbles form on a specific spot on a glass of beer or soda. You can’t see it, but that spot is an irregularity.)

When a beverage is shaken, the air pocket is broken up into millions of small pockets dispersed throughout the beverage. When the container is opened, CO2 in solution has sites all over the place, and it comes out of solution so quickly, that the liquid has no time to get out of the way, and it rises up and out, hence, it fizzes over.

When a beverage is rotated, the air pocket stays intact and knocks all the small bubbles off the side of the container, making one larger air pocket. There are no nucleation sites dispersed throughout, and the usual slow decarbonation takes place at the infrequent irregularities, and at the surface.

Okay, now that you have gotten your science lesson done for the day, the bottom line is the Chill Bit works. You supply the beer and the cordless drill, the Chill Bit provides you with peace of mind knowing you are never more than one to two minutes away from an ice cold beverage. And honestly, if you can’t wait a measly two minutes to drink a beer, you may want to look into rehab centers. (Besides, rehab is for quitters.)

The Chill Bit is also available for bottles. The same concept is that you place the Chill Bit for bottles over the bottle cap and spin the bottle in the ice. Because glass is a better insulator than aluminum, spinning a bottle will take a bit longer than cans. Estimate spinning in ice for about two to four minutes for a 12 oz bottle and your beer will be ice cold.

If you couldn’t tell by the video and the fact that we added the Chill Bit to our online tailgating gear store, the Chill Bit is definitely “Tailgate Approved“.

The can or the bottle size is definitely small enough to fit in any tailgaters kit and at $15, is highly affordable for any tailgater on a budget. More than likely you already have a cordless drill and all you need to do is make sure the battery is fully charged if you plan on using the Chill Bit on multiple cans or bottles. Plus, the “cool factor” of chilling your beer using a cordless drill will attract a crowd and earn you some much needed parking lot street cred.

The Chill Bit for cans or bottles is priced at $15. If you want to learn more about it or want to buy one or two of your own, visit HERE.

Walmart Get On The Shelf for Tailgaters

Posted by Dave On August - 20 - 2013

I am sure everyone is familiar with Walmart, the superstores that sell just about everything. Walmart is a popular place to shop for tailgaters because of the low prices and the variety of goods sold it makes it a one stop shop for many things needed for a tailgate party.

Last year, Walmart rolled out the “Get On The Shelf” contest which allowed business small and large to essentially make their case to have their product sold online and in select Walmart brick and mortar stores. Here is a quick explanation video of how the Get On The Shelf program works.

So now that you know how the program works, you are probably asking yourself “As a tailgater, why do I care which products are sold in Walmart?”. The simple reason is there are some companies and products trying to get on the shelves of Walmart that are great for tailgating. And because those products that earn the most votes will be considered to get on the shelves of Walmart, we thought you might want to help those that are designed for tailgating. We have scoured the Walmart Get on the Shelf site and have found these products we think would be a great addition because of their appeal to tailgaters and those that enjoy the tailgate party lifestyle. In no particular order:

Tailgater Sunshade: About a year after starting this tailgating blog in 2007 we were contacted by the folks at Tailgator Sunshade. Most tailgating tents and canopies have four legs and can be big and bulky. We reviewed the Tailgator Sunshade and now they have the opportunity to get on the shelf at Walmart. Their pitch video and a link to vote for the Tailgator Sunshade to get on the shelf follows:

To get the Tailgator Sunshade on the shelf, vote for it HERE.

Spin Chill Beerouette: We first learned about the guys at Spin Chill a few weeks ago when we discovered their beer chiller called the Chill Bit. We liked it so much we decided to add it to our online tailgating gear store. We will be publishing our review of the Chill Bit this week but in the meantime, the Spin Chill guys are in the running to get on the shelf with another product. This product takes the concept of rapid chilling a canned beverage and automates it. They call it the Beerouette.

To get the Beerouette on the shelf, vote for it HERE.

Beersicle: Although we personally have not tested the beersicle in looking at the Walmart Get on the Shelf entries, this one looks pretty cool. Apparently you place this frozen tube in your beer bottle and you can still drink it. The video demostrates how it works.

To get the Beersicle on the shelf, vote for it HERE

Rollors: We discovered Rollors back in the spring of 2011 and have even given away a game set to one lucky reader. The basics of Rollors combines bowling, bocce ball and horseshoes into a fun tailgating game. Now Rollors is in the running with this Walmart contest and could be available through Walmart if they can get on the shelf.

To get Rollors on the shelf, vote for it HERE

Wrap & Strap Table and Tailgate Covers: Another product we have not personally tested but looks like it would be good for tailgating is the Wrap & Strap Table and Tailgate Covers. Wind is the enemy of any outdoor activity and especially tailgating. Looks like this product solves the age old problem of your tailgating tablecloth from blowing away in the breeze.

To get the Wrap & Strap Table and Tailgate Covers on the shelf, vote for it HERE

Saucerslotz: We’ve never played it but it looks like a fun game that could be brought out to the tailgating parking lot. It appears to combine the scoring of a number of different tailgating games along with game play from Polish Horseshoes and bean bag toss. Check out their video for it.

To get the Saucerslotz on the shelf, vote for it HERE

If you know of a product or company great for tailgating currently trying to “get on the shelf” that we may have missed or overlooked, feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

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About Me

TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

To learn more about TailgatingIdeas.com and our team of writers, reviewers, cartoonists and contributors, please visit the About Us page.