It’s finally that time of year we all look forward to: tailgating season! Once the games start, it’s the quarterback and linebackers that get all the attention, but before the action happens on the field, all the pregame activities take place in the parking lots or on your patio.
The Tailgating Industry Association (TIA) estimates that tailgating has grown to a $70 billion — yes, billion! — industry in this country, and that means there are always new gadgets to enhance and improve the tailgating experience. The NFL has also just recently identified another market it calls “homegating,” or people who host parties every week to watch games on TV – essentially mini-Super Bowl parties each and every week.
So whether you root for the Falcons, Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets, Owls, Panthers or Crimson Tide, here are some new items you can break out at your next tailgate and impress your fellow football fanatics.
Keep those mosquitoes and biting insects away from your tailgate with any of the great lanterns from Thermacell. The Thermacell lantern is odorless and runs on a single butane cartridge that heats a repellent mat and releases allethrin, which is a synthetic copy of the natural repellent found in those chrysanthemum flowers. The high energy butane lasts 30 times longer than the energy of alkaline batteries. The lantern creates a 15ft.x15ft. invisible protection cell around your tailgate area. Thermacell products are deemed safe by the EPA and it is the exact product used by the U.S. Army in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The Themacell Mosquito Lantern is cordless, small, lightweight, and fits snuggly into a small bag or backpack. Prices start at $21.99.
Cook a meal in 20 minutes, reaching temperatures up to 550°F (290°C), with the GoSun Sport Solar Powered Grill even under cloudy skies. GoSun Sport is the next evolution in fuel-free cooking. No messy
charcoal. No dangerous fires. No more lung clogging smoke. Kids love how it works. It also doesn’t take up much space. It sets up in seconds and folds into a slim package. The Sport Solar’s tubular design converts nearly 80% of all sunlight entering it’s reflectors into useable heat. It includes a durable borosilicate, vacuum tube oven, two anodized aluminum, parabolic reflectors that fold to protect the tube, a stainless steel cooking tray, a scrubby cleaning tool and stainless steel carrying handles. The Sport cooks everything from meat to vegetable
3. Mighty Mug – The Mug that Won’t Tip Over
No more spills at your tailgate with the Mighty Mug as it is the world’s only travel mug powered by an innovative and patented Smartgrip Technology. Simply place Mighty Mug down on your desk and it creates a powerful airlock which allows Mighty Mug to resist accidental knocks to helpavoid spills. When you lift Mighty Mug the pressure is instantly normalized allowing the airlock to release and Mighty Mug to lift naturally. You need to try it to believe it. Perfect for those high traffic areas at your next tailgate. The Mighty Mug retails for $19.99.
The Tailgating Tavern is the ultimate portable party station and it comes at a great price. The Tailgating Tavern helps you serve it up food and drink for any crowd. Believe it or not, this station folds down to fit into a compact carry bag for easy travel. Once on location, expand for a deluxe serving station with integrated cup holders, removable insulated trays, built in hanging organizers, dry-storage shelving and sturdy prep surface. It’s as easy to set up as any portable table.
• Dimensions (W x D x H): 23.6″ x 23.6″ x 39.4″
• Folded Dimensions (W x D x H): 44″ x 15″ x 9″
• Integrated cup holders
• Interior shelf for plates and dry goods
• Removable insulated side trays offer easy access to beverages and ice
• Light and compact for easy travel and only $89
The Tailgating Tavern design sets up in seconds and resists heat up to 200 degrees. There are organizers, there are cup holders, there is everything you need to help run your tailgate for up to 50 people.
These objects deliver a burst of light at your tailgate with every touch, tap, throw and kick. COOP Sports not only offers many ways for kids to get outside and move, they also offer a way for adults and kids to have a blast! The new line of Reactorz are made with Reactive Light Technology, so a kicked soccer ball or a tossed football becomes illuminated on contact. Like Isaac Newton’s law of motion, for every action – toss, throw, kick – there’s an equal and quite bright reaction when kids play with one of eight Reactorz products. From regulation-sized basketball and soccer to football (throws just like a real, regular football!) and disc, these are sporting goods are priced at an affordable $5.99 to $19.99.
The Secur collapsible solar powered lantern doubles as a water bottle and protective container for your valuables. It’s completely waterproof and can be powered by the sun (charge by day and use at night) or any USB power source. Folds up for compact storage. Perfect for camping, water sports or emergencies. It also floats and is very well constructed. The MSRP is $29.99 for this very handy device.
Keep track of all the shennigans before, during and after the big game with the new Compass camera. Drift Innovation is advancing wearable technology with its new Compass camera. Weighing just 1 oz and the size of an Apple Watch screen, the Compass is designed to bring live blogging to the mainstream. The versatile Compass is tiny but it packs a punch, including the ability to shoot 1080p HD video up to 2 hours, 8MP photos, time lapse feature, WiFi connectivity, 32GB microSD slot & 10GB free cloud storage. The Compass is the most affordable ($129.99 MSRP) and it goes and works anywhere as most powerful camera of its size on the market. Paired with a free iOS/Android app, Compass users can livestream their adventures in crystal-clear HD. Can also be used on a dashboard or clip to an article of clothing. The perfect way to save all of those pre and post game moments.
ScoopOTP contributor, Rick Limpert is an Atlanta-based writer that covers the intersection of sports and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @RickRoswell, hear him on Radio 105.7 with Sully and check out his new gadget and tech website at WirelessWednesday.live.
You may also be interested Rick’s Father’s Day Gift Guide.