Another football season is upon us.
And, more importantly, tailgate season.
Because with college games kicking off this weekend and NFL games not far behind, you will be inundated with opportunities to eat grilled meats in the morning and drink beers during the day.
It truly is the most magical time of year.
To commemorate the occasion, we've compiled this checklist of tailgating essentials, from food and drinks to items that help you make food and dispense drinks. Plus a football. Because you always need a football.
As promised. But this isn't just any old football, it's a fine leather football from Shinola that's handsome enough to pass down through the generations. Or at least to pass around while the meat's cooking.
All good tailgates have a cooler stocked with plenty to drink. But the best tailgates also have a mini keg for craft beers or cocktails—the kinds of things you're happy to share with friends, but not the stranger who wanders over from the next parking spot. This one-gallon SquareOne Mini Keg has you covered, and it sits flat for easy dispensing.
That cooler we mentioned? This is it. The Rollr 80 holds 80 quarts of goodies, which translates to 120 cans of beer and 20 pounds of ice. It also features a dry bin, where you can stock food and other items you don't want getting wet. And the all-terrain tires ensure you can drag this thing anywhere.
You can't forget the grill. You also can't be bothered lugging around your usual patio grill. But you can absolutely haul this 28-pound portable briefcase-size Nomad Grill & Smoker with you. It opens to reveal two grates totaling 425 square inches of cooking space, or enough room to hold about 30 burger patties. You can also use this contraption as a closed smoker for slow-cooking brisket and ribs.
Here's some inspiration for that grill: wagyu hot dogs from KC Cattle Co. These all-beef beauties are exactly what you want to bite into on a warm afternoon. Or a chilly morning. They're not concerned with contrivances like weather and time. They're hot dogs.
More of a wings aficionado? We understand. To make sure you feel seen, here's a bunch of wings from the famed Anchor Bar in Buffalo. You can also buy a literal gallon of sauce.
You may require a bluetooth speaker for playing music or listening to pregame commentary. What you need: something small but powerful. The Sonos Roam is both those things, with rich, size-defying 360-degree sound. It's also drop-resistant and waterproof, which is helpful once the footballs and beers start flying.
All you need now is a comfortable place to sit. Ideally a sturdy wood-and-canvas chair that folds up and fits into a carrying case, like this one from NatureHike. What's that? You want to know if it's easy to wash, just in case there's a wings-related incident? Why yes, yes it is.