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CoolerMate Insert

Posted by Dave On June - 25 - 2015

Cooler Mate Insert Featured

Memorial Day is past. Father’s Day is done. The College World Series wrapped up last night. (Congratulations Virginia Cavaliers) Fourth of July is almost here. All these things mean that if you are not using your cooler to get outdoors and tailgate or the very least to the beach or the park, you need to get on that.

Summer is cooler season and with football just around the corner, we discovered a new way to keep your cooler cold, organized and dry instead of using loose ice like you probably have for years. It is an insert that you place inside your cooler called the CoolerMate Insert. Check out their video to see all the features and benefits of how to use the Cooler Mate Insert.

As you can see in the video, the Cooler Mate Insert is filled with either cubed ice and cold water or you can fill it full of water and freeze the contents into a solid block of ice. Instead of digging through the loose ice to find your brand of beverage, everything inside is visible and easily reached. Also, if you are removing something and will be putting it back in the cooler after use, like mustard or the hot sauce, the issue of digging a hole in the ice to replace that item is no longer there. You just replace the item in the spot where you removed it and close the cooler lid and get back to grilling or playing some tailgating games.

I am not going to lie. I was a little skeptical of using the CoolerMate Insert. I had been using coolers filled with loose ice for years and the concept of moving away from everything I had known for years was a bit scary. Would it keep my cooler items cold just as long as if each item was bathed in loose ice and water? Would things not placed on top of the CoolerMate get warm if they were not touching and making contact with it? All valid questions so we decided to put it to the test in a real tailgating environment. We took it tailgating with us prior to the Angels vs. Astros baseball game on June 24, 2015.

As you can see in the above photos, the cooler use used was a 60 quart Coleman cooler. We simply placed the CoolerMate Insert to one side and used the high side as a sort of divider. We placed the food on one side and the canned beverages on the other. The temperatures while tailgating were in the low 80’s and the game started at 12:35 pm.

While tailgating, we opened and closed the cooler numerous times getting drinks and food out during the normal course of tailgating. Each time we went into the cooler, items were still cold but they were easy to find. Also, putting things back was easy too. In the photo when the cooler is filled, you will see a cardboard carton of eggs. I was able to put that in there and keep them cold without the worry of putting the carton in a plastic bag to protect it from disintegrating from getting wet.

We started packing up and went into the game around noon and the cooler with the CoolerMate Insert inside went back in the car and sat for about three hours. You know the heat inside a car can be brutal but when we came out and returned to the car, we grabbed some drinks for the ride home. The drinks were still cold and the food items were still cold as well.

After thoroughly testing the CoolerMate Insert, it is definitely “Tailgate Approved”. Even though it took some getting used to the thought of all your food and drinks not physically touching a piece of ice, the CoolerMate Insert performed as promised. Food and drinks stayed cold and organized and most importantly, DRY. If you are a tailgater looking to have better organization of your cooler and keeping things dry and to easily replace frequently used items, I would highly suggest looking at a ColerMate Insert.

For more information or to buy a CoolerMate Insert for yourself, check out coolermateinsert.com

Modern tailgating is awesome – Here’s 5 reasons why

Posted by Guest On June - 16 - 2015

College Football Tailgating Lot

From Madison to Miami, College Station to Chapel Hill, wander onto nearly any major university in fall and you will be greeted by familiar sights, sounds and smells; seasoned meat on open flames, beer cans rattling around an icy cooler, the dull pop of a football being tossed back and forth and kinetic, anticipatory buzz of thousands students, alumni, and locals coming together on campus to get ready for a big football game.

UCF College Co-eds tailgatingMix in retrofitted monster RVs and trailers, beer bongs, beer pong, baby back ribs and college girls – oh, so many college girls – and that buzz becomes a full-blown tailgating amusement park and the perfect pregame bash before any sporting event. Tailgating is an event all its own. And the chaos and camaraderie make it one of the best aspects of football fandom.

The first reported incident of tailgating a sporting event occurred in 1869 at a Princeton-Rutgers football game. In 2014, according to Nationwide Insurance, over $12 billion was spent by roughly 50 million tailgaters across the United States. Just over one-third of people who tailgate don’t even go into the game, meaning the atmosphere itself is enough of a draw.

Of course, tailgating has changed a lot through the years. Americans love to party. But we also love to innovate. And the good times that take place in parking lots and fields on weekends in the fall belie the bizarre beginnings of this cultural phenomenon back in the 1860’s.

Here are some ways in which technological advancements have improved tailgating and helped it become the social extravaganza that it is today:

The Views Are Less Violent – The first form of tailgating took shape at the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia back in 1861. Locals apparently brought picnic baskets with them on the outskirts of the battle, laying out blankets and baskets on fields and on top of hills. There they ate, imbibed and openly “rooted” for their “team” to win the fight. Unbeknownst to them, they were tailgating the largest and bloodiest battle in U.S. history to that point.

I know blowouts in a Baylor-Wofford or Georgia Tech-Elon early season tune-up game can seem a little ugly. But they are nothing like the views those Civil War spectators took in way back when.

Grilling at Virginia Tech

Photo courtesy of Taylor Takes a Taste

You Can’t Beat The Eats – In 1866, the chuck wagon was born. It was basically just a wagon with a grill on the back for cooking meat and it was used as a meeting and socializing stand for cowboys grabbing some grub while away from the ranch.

That portable meat-cooking machine was a crucial invention along the tailgating timeline. And it has evolved into the monster smokers and weaponized grills and gear we see in lots across the country each week these days.

Grilling has become an art form. As recently as 25 years ago, you went to the game happy to scarf down a hockey puck hamburger or slightly undercooked sausage before kickoff. Now the food is at the center of the whole experience. And there are books, shows, apps and contests all dedicated to the best barbecue rubs, recipes and execution. Darwin never said evolution would taste so delicious.

Jambulance ParkedNow We Are Riding In Style – In the early 1900’s, there generally weren’t dedicated meeting places for tailgating and socializing before the games. Most places didn’t have mammoth parking lots near the stadiums. And as a result, most people got to the game by train and the party took place inside that moving metal.

Now, stadiums are designed and built with tailgating and pregame considerations in mind. And some of the vehicles used to get to the game look like something out of a Mad Max movie.

Motorhomes, RVs painted in a team’s colors, doctored vans; there are all types of dedicated tailgating vehicles out there. There are also rental companies that offer 20 to 25 foot trailers loaded with flat-screen TVs, kitchens, bars and bathrooms in and on them. Parking lots become pop-up shantytowns on game day and fans bring a lot of the comforts of home to the party.

It also isn’t just the wheels that have gotten more sophisticated and effective. Everything involved in tailgating – from more efficient coolers to better boom boxes to more comfortable chairs – has gotten sleeker, simpler and just better over the last 25 years.

More Games Before The Game – The reason for tailgating is, generally, that you’re getting lathered up before walking in to watch a contest of athleticism and skill. But nowadays people get their own muscles moving and blood pumping with all manner of lawn and drinking games. Cornhole, washer toss, and flip cup are just a few of the dozens of games that people break out in the lot before kickoff.

These games don’t just help kill some time but they also get the competitive juices flowing. And they are the perfect outlet for guys, a la Uncle Rico, to show how totally athletic they are and prove to everyone within eye shot that, under different circumstances, they totally could’ve been playing in the game you’re about to go watch. Totally.

Tailgating SelfieSuper Cell Phones And Less Logistics – Cell phones have changed everyday life as much as anything has over the last 50 years. Tailgating is no exception.

Before cell phones it was a major chore to organize a group to go to the game. You could waste precious drinking time by having to meet up at the local grocery store parking lot and following one another to the game. Or you could spend a frustrating half-hour wandering around the stadium hoping you spot the other half of your group. Either way, it was a major hassle.

Cell phones eliminated this inconvenience. But beyond communication, cell phones also make a lot of other aspects of tailgating simpler. Tracking the weather is easier and more accurate. So is taking pictures. Add in all the specialty tailgating and grilling apps and smart phones pay big dividends for weekend sports partiers.

Also, smart phones serve the ultimate tailgating purpose: settling idiotic sports arguments. Twenty years ago you could make up whatever BS you wanted just to win a pointless argument over some random team stat or player fact. Now definitive proof is just a couple clicks away.

And finally, getting information such as last minute injuries, odds and game match-up report picks and predictions are right at your fingertips since most websites are now becoming responsive so they are viewable and easy to use on any mobile device.

Where will the next 10 years take us?

(This is a guest post by Robert Ferringo. Robert is a Professional Handicapper at Doc’s Sports Service. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more contributions from Robert, leave a comment below letting us know what else you think Robert should write about next.)

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015

Posted by Dave On June - 11 - 2015

Fathers Day Gift Guide for tailgaters
Father’s Day is June 21st this year and if you haven’t gotten him a gift yet, it is about time you get on that project. If your dad is a tailgater, sports fan or just an all around cool dad, we have some ideas for gifts for him. Dad deserves a cool gift this year. Keep in mind, you’re probably the reason why he drinks…
Party Gator floating cooler

Party Gator

Even though we here at TailgatingIdeas.com are all tailgating all the time, this Father’s Day gift idea is just too cool to not include. A floating alligator with a cooler that holds 20 canned beverages, a bag of ice and has four cup holders? That’s just too much fun for dad even if it is not designed to take tailgating. Definitely an upgrade from the one your dad probably has that doesn’t contain a cooler and cup holders. The Party Gator Floating Alligator with Cooler is $35.

Read the rest of this entry »

Slick Shotz – New and Improved

Posted by Dave On June - 3 - 2015

Slick Shoctz LogoTypically when a product is said to be “new and improved” there really isn’t much new and improved about it. So when we were contacted by the folks at Slick Shotz telling us they have updated and improved their product greatly, I was a little skeptical. After all, the old Slick Shotz were already pretty awesome seeing how we tabbed them to be one of the Top 10 best ways to smuggle alcohol into events and stadiums.

Apparently it is possible to actually improve on an excellent product already. If you want to see what Slick Shotz were like before they underwent a facelift, read our review HERE. The major improvements over the older version includes a built in funnel and the sealer is much improved and easier to use and is highly effective. The Slick Shotz flask bags also come with a black marker and a labeling box so you know what type of liquor is in each bag. (Captain Morgan and Jack Daniels can look similar when you are trying to be stealth and it may be dark where you are mixing drink.)

Take a look at this video to see the features and benefits and improvements Skick Shotz has made over the previous version.

Pretty slick, right?

We were sent a sample of the Slick Shotz Kit which includes 25 pounches, the ink marker, the heat sealer and two AA batteries. We were accustomed to the old Slick Shotz that upon opening up the package, we were immediately impressed. Professionally packaged within a retail box, the Slick Shotz were top notch from the moment we got them. Excited to break them out and try them, we broke out some liquor bottles and filled up some Slick Shotz.

Upon filling them, the Slick Shotz performed as advertised. The funnel was a great addition. I even took a plastic drinking straw and pushed it to the bottom of the pouch so that the liquor filled the cavity easier because thin plastic tends to stick together. The heat sealer was the best part. After warming it the requisite three seconds, it was hot enough to start sealing. I just slid the neck of the Slick Shotz pouch through the heat sealer, much like as if I was “zipping” one of those zipper plastic baggies. I ran it through the sealer twice just to make sure I got a good seal before testing that there were no leaks. Once we filled up a few Slick Shotz pouches, we were ready to give them the ultimate test – Sneaking them into a sporting event.

Slick Shotz at college baseball game

Slick Shotz at college baseball game

If you follow us on Instagram, you may recognize the photo at right. Yes, that is me using the Slick Shotz inside a college baseball game, spiking my soda I purchased inside. (You may also notice I am wearing my blue and orange Game Bibs because I am that much of a crazy fan.)

As evidenced by the photo of the Slick Shotz not only making it into the game but being able to use them brazenly in plain sight, you know they were effective and highly elusive. A little Sailor Jerry in a cola on the inside made the game all the more interesting.

One other aspect of Slick Shotz that I was made aware of is the fact that these “flasks” are not considered to be an open container by law enforcement. All the other sneaky flasks like Lotion Flasks or the Ice Pack Flask are all considered to be open containers since they are not sealed. Slick Shotz are heat sealed and therefore they are not considered an open container and not subject to any applicable laws concerning open containers. Even if you do encounter Johnny Law while in possession of Slick Shotz, open container laws will not apply.

After thoroughly testing the new and improved Slick Shotz, the new and improved version is definitely “Tailgate Approved”. The old version was quite good but the improvements made recently really take Slick Shotz to the next level of booze smuggling royalty.

To get the newest version of Slick Shotz, you can buy them at Amazon or directly from their website, slickshotz.com. We hear that they will be available at select BevMo locations with more locations adding Slick Shotz depending on the response.

We would highly recommend Slick Shotz to anyone that wants to fight the high prices of concessions inside venues or find yourself in a venue that doesn’t offer your liquor of choice. We have an upcoming trip to Omaha for the College World Series (Follow us on Instagram and/or Twitter to witness real time the drunken jackassedness that will ensue…) and I will definitely be taking a number of Slick Shotz with me on the plane and to the ballpark in order to save some money.

Fan Hands

Posted by Dave On May - 21 - 2015

Fan Hands Black
Fans and tailgaters are always trying to find ways to enhance the noise and enthusiasm they bring each and every game for their team. Cowbells are popular in the south along with those inflatable “thunder sticks” you see at baseball games all the time. Even mini-megaphones to make your voice louder are popular. But what if there was a way to enhance and make your two hands when clapping, even louder?

We were introduced to a new product called Fan Hands. Fan Hands are colored gloves that have plastic pieces on the palms and fingers to enhance your clap and make it louder. You don’t have to clap any harder to make them work. Just clap your hands together normally and the plastic pieces striking each other emit a louder sound than just skin on skin. Take a look.

The videos were shot in the student section at a Colgate soccer match and you can see and hear the Fan Hands enhanced the clap and made the student section louder.

We were sent a sample of Fan Hands gloves and tested them out for ourselves. (Disclaimer: We received a sample of Fan Hands. 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.)

The first concern was, would the plastic pieces on the palms and fingers hurt your hands on the inside when clapping? The answer to that was no. Our hands felt the same had we been clapping and applauding using just our hands skin on skin.

The second question was, would they really make a pair of clapping hands louder? The answer was yes. We tried clapping using them in different ways and found that even if you were not clapping that hard, the Fan Hands make the sound louder no matter how hard you clap your hands together. Even a “golf clap” was substantially louder than without the Fan hands.

After thoroughly testing the Fan Hands for ourselves, we are going to deem them “Tailgate Approved”. They are small enough to put in your pocket to carry into the game and are easily put on or taken off when you want them on on off. Priced at under $10, they are affordable too. They come in a variety of team colors including purple, orange, maroon, Kelly green, dark green, yellow, royal blue, navy blue, pink and black.

To learn more about Fan Hands or to buy some for you and your tailgating group, visit: FanHands.com.

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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.