Tailgating Gear in Review: September 2009 Edition

margaritaville_tailgating_grill.jpgIt seems with each passing month there are more and more tailgating gadgets and new gear on the market to not only help you tailgate, but tailgate better. That’s why we here at TailgatingIdeas.com take great pride in testing as many tailgating products as we can. We don’t just test these new products and gadgets out because we want free stuff (although that is an added bonus). We do it because we want to offer a valid and honest opinion on if these items should make their way into your regular tailgating kit. If it is awesome, we will tell you it is awesome. If it sucks, we’ll pull no punches and tell you to avoid it because, well, it sucks.

We also know that your entire day is not consumed with checking our little tailgating website for the latest updated content and gear reviews. (Although if you were using RSS or signed up to get free email updates you wouldn’t miss a thing.) So we are starting a new segment on here called Tailgating Gear in Review. What we will do is summarize all the different products and gadgets we have written about over the past month and condense them down into one blog post. That way you can see what you possibly missed that month without weeding through all the goofy keg stand videos and tailgating opinions and commentary pieces published in between. All apologies that we didn’t think of this sooner but we’ll blame it on too many games of beer pong back in our younger days. Yeah, that’s sounds like a winner. So if you haven’t been paying close attention, here is the gear you missed this month.

Pole CaddyThe Original Pole Caddy – Proper use of space while tailgating is key. At most stadiums and arenas you are limited to tailgate within the confines of your parking space behind your vehicle. So making the most of that space is vital. The Original Pole Caddy is a drink holder and utility tray that fits onto your umbrella pole. It holds four drinks and has four trays to hold snacks, your cell phone, car keys, cigarettes or anything else you can think of. I personally weight tested my own Original Pole Caddy with 10 pounds of weight and it stood up to the test. All things considered, you would never put anything in there that would weigh more than 10 pounds anyway. To learn more about The Original Pole Caddy visit: TailgatingIdeas.com/polecaddy

Backyard barkeep asphaltThe Backyard Barkeep – Sometimes the best tailgating “gadget” is simple in design yet functional for all things tailgating. We all like to play tailgating games like cornhole, washer toss, etc. but keeping track of your beverage while playing is a hassle. I recently discovered the Backyard Barkeep which is a sturdy metal drink holder that stands up on grass or asphalt surfaces. The cup holders are wide enough to hold an entire bottle of wine. Their motto is “Grab it, Jab it and Play” and that is exactly what you do. The pointed tip at the base easily holds the Backyard Barkeep upright when inserted into grass or dirt. A separate metal base holds it steady when playing on hard surfaces like an asphalt parking lot. It even comes with bottle openers built-in and a hanging scorecard to keep track of who is wining. Made in the U.S.A., the Backyard Barkeep retails for less than $25. For more information on the Backyard Barkeep visit: TailgatingIdeas.com/backyard-barkeep

tanksetter_propane_tank.jpgTanksetter – Tailgating is all about having a good time but you want to be safe while doing it. Have you ever wished there was a better way to transport those five pound propane cylinders to your tailgate party without them tipping over and rolling around in your vehicle on the way there? In all honesty, it is really dangerous to have your propane tank tip over and roll around in your car. So until all the propane tank manufacturers get together and make a tank that does not tip easily, there is The Tanksetter. The Tanksetter is a durable, high-density polypropylene base that attaches to standard 5 – to 40-lb. propane tanks. The Tanksetter easily attaches to your propane tank with threaded fasteners and widens the base making it virtually impossible for the tank to tip over. Another added benefit of The Tanksetter is that it keeps the base of your propane cylinder from contacting your truck bed or the back of your SUV. So if you received a tank from the propane exchange that is a little rusty on the bottom, you won’t have rust marks transfer to your car. Lastly, another benefit to tailgaters is the Tanksetter gives your propane tank more stability when it is in use. People playing catch in the tailgating parking lot are not always the best at paying attention. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen someone accidentally knock over a propane tank when focused on making the catch. The Tanksetter will widen the base of the tank making it extremely difficult for someone to kick it over. A single Tanksetter will run you less than $20 and you can buy your own by visiting: TailgatingIdeas.com/tanksetter

Aqua bling 01Aqua Bling – Have you ever heard of the term “bottle confusion”? It happens quite a bit while tailgating. Bottle confusion is the act of putting down your beer bottle or bottled water next to others bottles and then coming back to wonder which one was yours. Rather than risk drinking out of someone else’s bottle you then go to the cooler to get a fresh one leaving your half drank bottle to get poured out at the end of the tailgate. What a waste! The Aqua Bling eliminates bottle confusion. Think of Aqua Bling like a wine charm only these are spring loaded and fit perfectly around the top of a standard bottle. In all honesty, Aqua Bling will appeal more to female tailgaters because the styles come in butterfly, handbag, circle, cross, fleur-de-lis or special edition breast cancer awareness ribbon. Then again it seems that women are the ones drinking the lion’s share of bottled water while tailgating so it makes perfect sense Aqua Bling would cater to their tastes. Individual Aqua Bling bottle charms range in price from $6.99 for the circles style to $12.99 for the limited special breast cancer awareness ribbon. For more information on Aqua Bling, visit: TailgatingIdeas.com/aqua-bling

Air Grill – Lots of tailgaters love the taste of grilled meat from a charcoal grill. The problem with charcoal is that it takes a long time to light and get to the correct temperature compared to grilling with propane. Time is valuable when tailgating and you don’t want to be wasting it while waiting for your coals to heat up. Now you can use the Air Grill to force air and oxygen to your coals and get them red hot in no time. Before you would have to get on your hands and knees and blow on your charcoal to speed up the ignition process. The Air Grill forces air in any direction you point it and with a few turns of a hand crank, you are effortlessly blowing air to speed up those coals. No more huffing and puffing. And the Air Grill is also useful to inflate things as well. Inflatable Beer Pong Tables or those blow-up lawn football players stand no chance with the Air Grill in your tailgating kit. Instead of blowing it up with your mouth, now all you need is to turn a crank and your inflatable tailgating items are blown up in minutes. To find out more about the Air Grill visit: TailgatingIdeas.com/air-grill

Ion Tailgater sound systemIon Tailgater – Having great music at a tailgate party is just as important as having enough ice or BBQ sauce. But a tailgating parking lot can be loud and if you are relying on your car’s stereo speakers to provide the tunes, you may get drowned out. That’s why the Ion Tailgater is a great piece of tailgating gear for those that want to hear music from their iPods or MP3 players. The Ion Tailgater looks like a small guitar amp while getting maximum sound and playing time in a portable but powerful package. This sound system features single-unit construction with speakers, amplifier, audio inputs and a dock for an iPod all in one box. This high-powered, two-way speaker system has a built-in battery with level indicator for up to eight hours of cordless sound. You can also plug in the included microphone so you can let the opposing team’s fans hear just how badly their team is going to get stomped that day. It weighs in at 20 pounds and has an integrated handle that makes it easily transported in and out of your tailgating vehicle. The Ion Tailgater runs less than $200 and you can learn more details and buy one for yourself by visiting: TailgatingIdeas.com/ion-tailgater

Grill Floss – Many tailgaters view a blackened and grimy grill grate as a badge of honor. That grill grate is proof that many a dead animal was given a proper Viking funeral before being consumed by hungry tailgate party guests. Unfortunately you shouldn’t grill your next tailgate meal without properly scraping off the residue from last tailgate’s meal for food safety reasons. Grill brushes are the most popular way to clean off your grill grate but they only get the tops of the grill rods clean. What about the other 75% of the grill grate rods? Now with Grill Floss you can clean all 360 degrees of your grill grate. This tailgating tool looks like a slotted hook attached to the end of a long stainless steel handle. You “floss” each grill rod by hooking it onto one, sliding it up the grill rod and then turning it over to scrape backwards to get the underneath portion. Just like flossing your teeth, this technique gets the grill grate exceptionally clean of all residue and remnants of whatever you cooked last. Floss your grill and get the temperature up to 500 degrees to kill any bacteria that may be lurking and you will be the food safety king of the tailgate parking lot. Grill Floss sells for around $20 and you can learn more by visiting: TailgatingIdeas.com/grillfloss

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