Beer is the main staple of any tailgate party. It’s cheap and is easily purchased just about anywhere. But what about those tailgaters that want something with a little more kick or possibly a little more sophistication? There are plenty of Portable Bar options on the market but that is the actual physical bar you prepare your drinks on top of it. How do you transport all the bottles of liquor and mixers and even have a segregated ice box for those mixed drinks? Fortunately for you, we recently discovered the CocktailGator.
The CocktailGator comes in two different models: the Walkabout CocktailGator and the Mega CocktailGator. We were sent a sample of the Walkabout CocktailGator which makes sense for those tailgating because it is smaller and more portable than the the bigger and more stout cousin the Mega CocktailGator.
(Disclaimer: We did receive a sample CocktailGator 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.)
- Carries 8 bottles up to 2 Liters in Size
- Cup Dispenser Holds 50 Large 18 oz Cups
- Heavy Duty Ice Bin Holds 10 lbs of Ice
- Mirrored Lid with 10 Miniature Bottle Holders
- Storage Area in Lid and Side Pocket
- Removable Shoulder Strap
- Carries 4 Bottles Up to 2 Liters in Size
- Cup Dispenser Holds 25 Large 18 oz Cups
- Heavy Duty Ice Bin Holds 5 lbs of Ice
- 2 Smaller Spaces for 1 Liter Bottles
- Large Storage Pocket In Front
- Removable Shoulder Strap
- Available in Black, Blue and Green
As you can see by the photos and the specs, the Mega CocktailGator is bigger and has a lot more options, however the Walkabout CocktailGator is quite sufficient and is more portable and lighter. We were able to test the Blue Walkabout CocktailGator and took it to the Angels baseball game a few weeks ago.
We loaded the Walkabout Cocktail Gator full with a 2 liter bottle of soda, a 1.75 bottle of Kettle One, a cocktail shaker, orange juice and a few fifths of other liquor bottles. The center ice bucket was filled to the top with ice from our home freezer and we were ready to tailgate.
The compartments were very helpful in keeping the portable bar neatly organized and prevented the bottles from bumping and clanking into each other. The dividers are held in by velcro and you can reconfigure the compartments to fit larger bottles or smaller bottles. The versatility was a key selling point for us in that you don’t want to be pigeon holed into bringing the same sized bottle every time you tailgate.
The CocktailGator was very strong and even when packed full with bottles and ice, the shoulder strap was sturdy and it did not feel like it was going to break or give way due to the weight. Outside of the branding on the top of the lid, there is really no indication that you are transporting a portable bar. To the casual looker, it appears you are bringing in another soft sided cooler. This is key for those parking lots or festivals that frown upon glass bottles or are skeptical of someone bringing in hard liquor as opposed to beer and wine.
The ice container kept the ice from melting because the sides were insulated. The day prior to taking it to the Angels game, we filled the ice bucket full and let it sit in the CocktailGator overnight. We checked on it after three hours and before going to bed and the ice had hardly melted. The next morning there was some melting and the cubes had fused together due to it. But this was after 10 hours of being in there and there was still enough ice to make a round of cocktails if you could break the ice cubes apart.
The one knock against the CocktailGator is it gets a bit heavy if you have a long distance to travel on foot. By no fault of it’s own, when fully loaded with glass bottles that are full of liquor and mixers, the bag can get quite heavy. This is not the fault of the CocktailGator but merely an inherent hazard of physics in that liquids housed in glass containers when in the presence of gravity can be heavy. A suggestion would be if you are going to be going to a concert in the park and you have to park a distance away from the tailgate party and carry the CocktailGator a distance, put it on a rolling trolley or one of those lightweight Magna Carts. Although we did not personally test and review the Mega CocktailGator, it stands to reason that since it holds more and would be even heavier, that distances traveled on foot you might need to use a cart or some sort of wheels.
For all means and purposes and for that coolness factor of having a wet bar in a travel bag, we are going to say that the CocktailGator is “Tailgate Approved”. With the CocktailGator you now have expanded your options for entertaining and keeping your tailgate party guests happy. No more having to disappoint your guests who are not beer drinkers and telling them that is all you have in your cooler. The quality craftsmanship and the materials used ensure you will be able to use your CocktailGator for many tailgate parties in the future.
Both the Mega CocktailGator and the Walkabout CocktailGator are proudly made in the USA. The Mega CocktailGator costs $149 and the Walkabout CocktailGator costs $75. To purchase your own, click HERE.