It is a common acceptance that this phrase “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is the motto of United States Postal Carriers. Although the U.S. Postal Service has no official motto and the above phrase is just the inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, this same type of determination could be applied to tailgaters. Inclement weather be damned, we are going to tailgate to the best of our abilities.
Inclement weather is not only reserved for precipitation no matter what the season but applies to wind too. Honestly, because the vast majority of tailgaters employ some sort of pop-up tent to provide shade and shelter from the elements, wind is the biggest enemy of these canopies. Many tailgaters will go to great lengths to ensure their canopy stays grounded by either driving stakes into the ground and anchoring them to the holes in the bottom of the legs or by strapping weights to the frame with ropes and bungee cords to keep a tent from flying away.
We were recently approached by the people who created EZ Fan Feet to test out their product and to see if it met with our approval. In a nut shell, EZ Fan Feet are four football-shaped canopy anchors that are intended to be attached to your canopy for tailgating. We recently received a sample of EZ Fan Feet and put them to the TailgatingIdeas.com test.
As you can see from the above photos, these are football shaped hollow weights that come with a screw on the top to be attached to the base of a pop-up tent leg. Prior to reviewing this product I would hang exercise hand weights wrapped in a bungee cord off the frame of my tent in order to give it more weight. I was honestly excited at the prospect of not having to do that anymore if the EZ Fan Feet worked the way the manufacturer claimed.
Upon receiving the samples from EZ Fan Feet, I took them to the garage and located the leftover bag of playground sand I had used to fill up the base of my son’s basketball hoop. I broke out the funnel and started scooping sand into the EZ Fan Feet. I filled each one full with what I perceived to be about 10 pounds of sand each and tapped in the cap with a hammer. I then applied the white decals that are made to look like the laces of a football in order to complete the look.
My first use was this past weekend at my local swap meet where I sometimes get a booth space and sell goods from our online tailgating gear store. The swap meet I attend is in Costa Mesa, Calif. and is rather close to the coast. Although not technically a “beach city”, Costa Mesa in the afternoons tends to get an off-shore breeze that can be quite brisk. A number of canopies have been known to fly away if not properly weighted or anchored. Taking the EZ Fan Feet to the swap meet would be a great first test.
While at the swap meet, I use a 10′ x 15′ EZ-Up canopy that stretches the length of my booth space. Because this canopy is a bit bigger than the standard 10 x 10 tents usually seen at tailgate parties, the holes in the feet of the tent legs are a bit wider than those smaller tents. Of course the screw fit into the hole easily but I could tell the included nut was too small and a gust of wind would lift the hole right through the nut. Luckily I had some washers in my tool bag and just placed a washer on each tent leg to narrow the hole and then tightened the EZ Fan Feet onto each leg using a socket wrench.
The afternoon times at the swap meet are those “danger zone times” when the wind picks up. This was the first real test for the EZ Fan Feet and they passed with no issue. Despite the wind picking up, the EZ Fan Feet kept the tent grounded and the legs did not move an inch. An extra added benefit of using these weighted feet was that they add about an extra six inches of height to your tent. I recently got a new vehicle which is a Nissan NV Passenger Van. It is a bit taller than my previous Lincoln Navigator and my tent would clear the roof of the Navigator when fully raised but the new van was still too tall. The extra height the EZ Fan Feet provided was just the amount of clearance I needed in order to clear the roof of the van. Bonus.
The next test was to take the EZ Fan Feet tailgating at the Chargers vs. Broncos Monday Night Football game. Once parked I installed the EZ Fan Feet on the bottoms of the 10 x 10 tent legs in a matter of a couple of minutes. There was no need for any washers this time around because the smaller tent had smaller holes which it appears the EZ Fan Feet were designed to accommodate. Outside of Qualcomm Stadium can get a bit windy as well and sure enough, we got our fair share of wind gusts that Monday. Again, the EZ Fan Feet held the tent anchored to the ground and they prevented the tent from moving at all during the strongest of wind gusts.
I am a tailgater and a blogger, not a weather person so it was hard to estimate the exact wind speed of the gusts I experienced while testing out the EZ Fan Feet. But I can honestly say with great confidence that the wind I did experience was quite in the normal range of what tailgaters experience and would be confident in the EZ Fan Feet that they would be able to handle more.
Besides being truly functional in that they prevented the wind from moving my tent around, the shape and style of the EZ Fan Feet brought a lot of attention to my tailgate. A number of tailgaters commented on how cool it was that my tent anchors were also footballs. Joe Cahn, the Commissioner of tailgating, stopped by my tailgate that day and remarked how he liked the EZ Fan Feet not only to be functional but allows fans to show off their love of football while tailgating.
Based on the ability to keep a pop-up tent anchored to the ground and for the stylish look and appearance of the EZ Fan Feet, we have the fullest confidence in labeling EZ Fan Feet “Tailgate Approved”. Although there are some small changes we would suggest to improve the product, even the way it is sold right now, it is tailgate approved.
The manufacturer did alert us to a slight change that instead of using sand to fill the feet, tailgaters can use landscape pebble rock as an alternative. The pebbles make it easier to fill and increased the total weight of each football to 12 lbs. So instead of 40 pounds holding down your tent, if you use landscape pebbles, you increase the total weight to 48 pounds.
A suggestion I would make would be to replace the regular nut with a wing nut. This would eliminate the need to bring a socket set to the parking lot and also might solve the issue of some tents having larger holes in the base of the legs. Since the wing nuts can be hand tightened easier and also flair out to accommodate a larger hole, this could eliminate the usage of a washer on larger tents and the socket wrench. The manufacturer told us we could hand tighten the regular nuts and it would hold the tent to the EZ Fan Feet just fine. We had the wrench set already in our vehicle so we decided to be extra secure by tightening them down with the wrench despite being told it was unnecessary.
A set of four EZ Fan Feet sells for $49.99. To get a set of your own, click HERE.