Auto-mo-brella Tailgating Review

Do you remember the Brockabella?

When Lou Brock, the Hall of Fame outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, wasn’t collecting stolen bases and base hits he was out hawking the Brockabrella.  Today, he’s still lovingly remembered in the Midwest and across America for lending his name to this unique sun protecting device.

Not to be outdone Gene Mayfield, the inventor of the Auto-mo-brella, developed his own sun protecting device after attending a NASCAR race and watching people struggle with setting up their tailgating tents and umbrellas.  Brock’s umbrella protects your head.  Mayfield’s protects your car or truck.

Gene’s company, GTM Products, now offers the Auto-mo-brella, an over-sized umbrella set-up that works effectively for single person operations that aren’t looking to struggle with the complexities of setting up a multi-man tent.

Want a little less sun in your Outdoor fun?
The product is, essentially a high-quality, lightweight umbrella that easily locks into the back of your SUV or truck as a telescoping tailgating hitch.  The device creates much needed shade and the umbrella pivots to protect you from the elements—no matter the time of day.  It’s a simple one person set up and tear down–a process that went smoothly when I put the product through its paces.

There are a few requirements though.  First, you’ll need a class two trailer hitch.  Additionally you’ll need to plan to tailgate in a parking lot environment right behind where you park.

Deciding to allocate a precious trailer hitch is a big deal.  Many of you have followed in Dave’s footsteps and have built out your own Tailgating Grill.  Here’s a link to the most recent edition–a New York Giants edition.  You’ll have to make the call on the priority for your tailgate.

For those that have other designs for the tailgating hitch, a nice addition to the product would be a stand.  Whether on a hitch or on the ground the auto-mo-brella can provide much needed protection from the Texas sun.  Our tailgating team talked about building one on our own so that we could protect our annexed grillers from the elements adjacent to our main tent.

The other prerequisite is a clear parking place.  If you’re on an area removed from your vehicle, this product won’t make as much sense for you.  If you’re in a parking lot it can be a great compliment to your tailgating exploits.  The unit smartly avoids conflicts with the rear lift or tailgate of your SUV or truck.

The video of how the product works is shown below.



Logo tailgating tents can cost anywhere between $99 and $229.  The product as sampled here runs $119.  While the Auto-mo-brella itself covers up and protects Tailgaters from the sun, the Automobrella’s cost doesn’t necessarily cover up the the comparable benefit found in acquiring a color matched, logo’d 9×9 tent that runs about the same price.

The Verdict?

Veteran football tailgaters won’t be as interested in this product as new tailgaters.  The logo’d tailgating tent is a staple of tailgating pride and while it’s a little more expensive, it’s an important addition to football tailgating activities.

The product works well and as described, but the price point doesn’t make it attractive enough to recommend.  There aren’t any complaints about the product. It’s high quality and it will help you take your tailgating to the next level.  However,  there’s another level just around the corner and it can be reached for close to the same price.

Other Options?

The company is moving aggressively in the tailgating space.  They have two other products including a tailgate umbrella with and a tailgate party mate that functions as a picnic table.  The items are listed on the Auto-mo-brella website for $299 and $124 respectively.  They appear to be sturdy enough to withstand the most aggressive tailgating environment, just like the product I tested.

Other Details

The company is coming up to speed with a brand new website—launched September 1 as well as a new Facebook and Twitter presence.

For more details about the Auto-mo-brella click here.

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To read more blogs written by Foster Flint click here.