Review: Best Gear for Your Homegate Party – Big is Better

Big is Better at the Homegate Party

The Homegate Party is catching on in many areas for a few reasons: weather, expense of reserving a parking space for the day, restrictions on what you can use and the limit on how much you can fit in your vehicle. While there’s nothing quite like actually being there for the tailgate party scene, if you have to homegate party, you can set it up so well that you can make it a memorable (read *fun*) day from start to finish.  Maybe by the pool … But mostly, this post is a general wrap about stuff that is way too big to be classed as portable.  We will add to it as we check out more and more useful products.  As well, we would love to hear about your experiences with the Homegate Party scene!

Weber Summit 7470001 by the pool for Homegating

Weber Summit 7470001 by the pool for Homegating

Essentially, the gear is similar.  However, you can be sure that nobody is going to stop you from setting up a smoker, a whizz-bang grill and pizza oven and blast the world with the loudest speakers money can buy.  After all, you’re in your own backyard or man cave. Scale is 9/10ths of the law – you can have Really Big Stuff at a homegate party.

Let’s start with the centerpiece of all tailgate parties or homegate parties – the grill.

As, for most homegating, the grill can be either built in, gargantuan and therefore, too big to take to parking lots, not portable or just dependent on charcoal or woodfire for fuel (which is banned in many lots), we are going straight to the grills that are the stuff dreams are made of.

The Weber Summit 7470001 670 Gas Grill for your homegate party

Even Weber calls this the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and ‘The Top of the Line’. High praise and a lot of positive reviews on many sites.  I have not had the privilege of test-running one of these, but there’s always hope.  I have to be content with fondling them when spotted at Orchard, Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Weber Summit 747 closed

Weber Summit 747 pack shot !

Here is the grill I fantasize over.  It has a whopping 769 inch cooking surface. OMG, those steaks!

Summit with masses of homegating food

Summit with masses of homegate party food

This particular Weber BBQ grill has the number 747 in it – seems to be the jet class of BBQs in every way.  Note that the one pictured is a natural gas model requiring plumbing of a gas line to where you want to use it (by the pool man-cave or outdoor kitchen) but there are versions that run on propane.

It features

6 Snap-jet individual ignition controls – 6 large burners.

Sear Station

Side burner

A smoker burner and smoker box

Built in thermometer

Built in cart and a space for your tank if the propane model. Accessories shelf.

Rear mounted infra-red rotisserie burner

Cast aluminum construction of all cook boxes – this features cooking grates, burner tubes, Flavorizer Bars, and the grease management system. Angled just right, the Flavorizer bars catch drippings that smoke and sizzle, adding flavor to your food. Any drippings not vaporized by the Flavorizer bars follow the slope of their unique angle and are funneled away from the burner tubes, down into the grease management system. No more carcinogenic flare-ups that give the meat a smell of kerosene.

There are many design aspects of this amazing grill that are exclusive to the Weber company.  It will last a lifetime and create homegate party memories. Mostly, you in a Chef hat!

Weber Summit with Rotisserie

Weber Summit with Rotisserie

10 foot flexible hose included

Built in lighting illuminating the cooking surface.

Weber Summit with night lights

Weber Summit with night lights

It is worth reading the feedback on selling sites as it is so positive. People say this is the best investment they have ever made for outdoor cooking.  A Kegerator is the ideal companion.Read our article on Kegerators here.

Note that Made in America (Illinois) Weber Summit does require some assembly as it is only partially built in the box.  But it is easy stuff and you and your buds can knock the chore over in no time.  You have to factor in the extreme weight of the grill and all its components.  When you have it delivered, lay it all out on the floor of your garage and check that everything is in the box.  Try to put it in assembly order.  (This is an Ikea hint!)  And speaking of hints, Ms. Rawahide says ‘Just don’t break out the beer till it’s time to raise a celebratory brewski and christen the monster. Never drink and assemble.’

The Smoker

OK, so you CAN just use the Weber Summit for your smoking as well, but I believe it is sheer luxury to maintain a separate machine for each purpose.

The Bradley Smoker 33.5″ model

For starters, this is an electric smoker.  That’s different! But this is a large model.

Bradley Smoker 33.5

Bradley Electric Smoker 33.5″ gives you more time for drinking

 

You could also look at a wood-fired smoker but hear me out first … an electric smoker takes the chore out of feeding the moster with logs or charcoal.  That can easily consume the day and really, it’s all about the sport, the beer, the games, the beer, your friends, the beer and the food …and the beer.  Not the slaving over a hot smoker. The Bradley Original Smoker makes home smoking a doddle (as they say in the UK). With an automatic wood feeder system and consistent, accurate temperature control, you achieve the perfect smoke without the argument with the machine. The automatic wood bisquette feeder system enables clean, continuous smoke for up to eight hours without re-fueling.  That’s enough time to drain the kegerator, no?

The interior is easily cleaned stainless steel

Interior of the Bradley Smoker

Interior of the Bradley Smoker

The controls are at the side which makes them very accessible.  The Bradley site has lots of valuable hints and specifications.

We reviewed a full range of smokers and a few other accessories here.

There’s a lot of info and we do keep it updated as much as possible.  Let us know about any broken links or products that have had problems and we will follow it up straight away. Some suppliers remove products or have issues with supply and don’t let us know.

Games for The Homegate Party

Giant Yard Pong – a Massive version of Beer Pong

Giant Yard Pong for Homegating

Giant Yard Pong

Why settle for a normal sized Red Solo cup for a game of beer pong when you can have a set of these buckets? They are fun for the backyard game and wow, check out the expressions on the faces of your friends when you fill one with beer!  So you can get an idea of scale, here’s a photo of a whole set and how easy it is to transport it.

Yard Pong in carry bag

Yard Pong in carry bag

This is the classic game of beer pong only with a massive set up.  The buckets are sturdy and the balls float so it’s OK to take this to the beach or play around the pool.  Whether you drink that bucket of beer is up to you …

Giant Stacking Tower Drinking Game for Your Homegate Party

Giant Stacking Game with Drinking Instructions

Giant Stacking Game with Drinking Instructions

Here is that block stacking game with a twist.  Each of the 60 pieces of this stacking tower/tumbling game has a drinking instruction on it. It has a nifty carry bag so in theory, you CAN take this with you, but it is so large (up to 4 feet depending on whether you start it on an additional crate or not) that it really plays better at home.  Note that this is not Jenga nor affiliated in any way with that original game. But it is made of nice lumber and no splinters.

What do you like to do at your Homegate Party?  Let us know via the comments section and we will add them.  We will continue to update this article as we find specific products to recommend.

Happy Homegate Partying!

Rawhide.

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Wanna Buy a High End Kegerator? – Co-op Your Kegerator Purchase.

OK, so let’s say you are a student – over 21 of course. Diligent. And you always do your schoolwork before indulging in BEEEERRRRRR at the weekly or even daily tailgate party at the peak of sporting season. Yes, you fit the profile of a High End Kegerator user despite your lack of dollars.

You’re going to need [WANT] a bigger keg – so how do you do it.

Firstly, I am not knocking the counter top kegerators/dispensers. They are great in their context.  They cost around the same as a basic food processor, they come in many different sizes and some only suit specific kegs.  They are sweet little machines you can fit into an apartment.  Easy to transport as long as you keep your little kegerator out of the sun or you will end up with a mess of foam and no amber fluid.

KRUPS and HEINEKEN B100 BeerTender with Heineken Draught Keg Technology,Black

Heineken Newcastle beers are easy to instal

Heineken Newcastle beers are easy to instal

installing-heineken-keg newcastle-heineken-kegs
This mini does the job. It looks cool. Performs well. All these little beauties are handy gadgets, affordable gifts and really, you could line up a few of these mini kegerators and that would be cool. But they are kind of like the Nespresso versus the Jura coffee machine. You don’t know that there is something better till you take it to the next level.

Nespresso - good coffee but do you really want all those pods in Landfill?

Nespresso – good coffee but do you really want all those pods in Landfill?

 

Jura coffee machine. Grinds, brews, foams, delicious.

Jura coffee machine. Grinds, brews, foams, delicious.

 

But back to the really important stuff: BEER.

I am now talking about the really super-efficient models that will go on and on, will protect your frosty brew for months and provide on-going *nutrition* without too much work. Many home brewers love these larger models as they protect that serendipity brew that just worked out so darn well. The pro style kegerators will retain the exact taste and deliver the best head of foam.

Of course, they can be fun as well.

The Barrel Kegerator – personalised and quirky – has a Kegco regulator, tap and all you need to pump that beer .

Solid Oak Kegerator made from a whisky barrel

Solid Oak High End Kegerator made from a whisky barrel

This one is a Mobile bar combined with a full kegerator to take your kegs to the tailgate party.

Most tailgate party fiends I know have a truck of some kind. But at least a vehicle that can transport a full sized, pro kegerator like the EdgeStar full sized single tap with a stainless steel door. It has castors which make it very mobile.

EdgeStar fullsized kegerator with castors for easy moving.

EdgeStar fullsized High End Kegerator with castors for easy moving.

My only advice is to stand it in a position where it can access some shade.  But I am assuming that its contents will disappear very fast at a tailgate party so no worries about spoilage. At home, for the daily imbibing, you can keep it inside in the kitchen, man cave or basement (which I am also assuming you have converted into a playroom for yourself and your buds.)

So I am ALSO going to assume you are not going to try to fit your kegerator into a Prius. Well, if that is the case, you can invest in one of these cute little attachments to hook up at the back.

Hybrid Trailer Co. Vacationer with Spare Tire and Cooler Tray – Enclosed Cargo Trailer, 990 lbs. Gross, 30 cu/ft. – Biker Black

Perfect way to transport your tailgate party gear.

Perfect way to transport your tailgate party gear including your High End Kegerator .

 

This is a great accessory and of course, make sure to have the correct trailer hitch for your vehicle. You can input your vehicle model on their site and they advise on what you need.  I have a friend who swears by this one – she has an ice cream-selling business and it holds all her freezers as she flits from farmers’ market to tailgate parties to dish out her products. Yes, she has margarita ice creams.

Kegerator transporting made easy

High End Kegerator transporting made easy

You’ll soon see that buying this trailer will be a good investment.

But back to the matter in hand. More BEER.  Perhaps the decision to buy a kegerator in a cooperative venture with friends is for you. Share the cost, share the fun. First step is to gather together your tailgate party core group – your regular best buddies and talk this through. Set a budget. You can decide how much each friend can contribute and also talk through the transport and storage. Don’t make the co-op too big – the more the members, the more the potential for a split. Keep this to your very closest and best buds. Talk about what will happen when a friend wants to cash out. Is it allowed? Do the others just take over the kegerator in that case? Anyway, set the terms, write them down and have a simple signed document setting out the terms. Just don’t leave any reason to bicker over a bar staple.

Let’s say you have 5 friends and they each put in around $200. That gives you a budget of around $1000 counting taxes and a cleaning kit.

So what should you buy? In no particular order, here are some examples of good purchases for a bunch of friends. When you break these down into their ‘shares’, each person would not have to pay much at all.

Edgestar Ultra Low Temp Home Brew Dual Tap Kegerator with Kegs – Black

This is the same as the one pictured above but with dual taps, something I personally prefer as it gives the option of running a faster bar but also you can put two different beers in there  – eg. dark and light ales.

EdgeStar Dual Taps Kegerator

EdgeStar Dual Taps Kegerator

 

Two taps on the EdgeStar Kegerator

Two taps on the EdgeStar Kegerator

First principle is exemplified by the words ‘dual tap’ in this description. Two taps are double the fun. Note that it has only one regulator so you can’t turn off one tap line – they both need to be open for full function.

As it converts to a normal fridge, it is versatile. Or when Mom comes to visit you can put a casserole in there to camouflage the beers.

A word of caution is that some of these do not accept rubberized Miller kegs or Coors.

The external dimensions (including the draft tower): 48 1/2″ H x 20 1/10″ W x 24.

13/16″ D

Taps can be changed for your choice of team colors or something else expressive.

GIants tap for kegerator

GIants tap for kegerator

The kegerator is rated as a very cold level of chill which is desirable in a kegerator.  Ultra low is no lie

The quality of the parts is high – Edgestar have had some problems with this in the past and have lifted their game as the demand for kegerators has also lifted the standard of market offerings.

Note that the kegs supplied are reconditioned and empty ball lock kegs and they hold up to a standard ½ barrel.  If you’re too lazy or buzzed to calculate how many beers that it, I can tell you a 1/2 -barrel gives you around 165 beers. That’s a lot better than the counter-top models. Don’t be alarmed if your kegerator arrives without the kegs. They are likely to be shipped separately to keep the weight down.

It is a very heavy, solidly engineered kegerator and you will need a couple of burly guys to shift it in the event that you will be taking it on site to your tailgate party. I suggest mounting it onto your trailer and leaving it there all season long.
Notes re holding the temperature though – if you stand it in the sun, it will lose its ability to cool and foamy beer is the result. I always put these into a shady place and some cover (even a canopy) is a help. They are not really made for outdoors but I have friends who have strained this to the max with OK results.

Most kegerators whether high end kegerators or cheap versions can give off loud gassy pops from time to time. This can be annoying, kind of like the ker-chung of the ice-maker in a domestic fridge.

In your kit, everything you need is supplied. Before you order, check out the kegerator installation video here as this is quite illuminating. You will need to scroll down to it.

There is a stainless steel floor plate included.

If you watch a few of these videos, you can make sure there are no parts left over at the end of installation.

A backup regulator is also recommended.

Taprite T752HP Two Product Dual Pressure Kegerator Co2 Regulator

Taprite regulator for kegerator

Taprite regulator for kegerator

This one is suitable for a dual tap model though you can find one with one regulator only here. It has a micron filter to keep all the contaminants out and if you get one and find it doesn’t fit, it is just a matter of drilling a second hole for installation. The dual regulator makes pulling a beer very professional.

And a cleaning kit:

Taprite Kegerator Cleaning Kit

Taprite Kegerator Cleaning kit

Taprite Kegerator Cleaning kit

Clean the lines every time you change the keg for best beer!

Our motto: ‘Cleanliness is next to beeriness.’

Two taps not enough for your killer thirst?

Then go for three!

EdgeStar Full Size Triple Tap Built-In Kegerator – Black and Stainless Steel

EdgeStar Full Size Triple Tap Built-In Kegerator - Black and Stainless Steel

EdgeStar Full Size Triple Tap Built-In High End Kegerator – Black or Stainless Steel

Featuring front ventilation, forced-air refrigeration, air-cooled beer tower with NSF approved draft components, this model, the Edgestar KC7000SSTRIP is a great tailgate party starter …. and continuer. The beer goes on and on.
Elegant stainless steel finished door with black sides and 4 heavy duty casters to make it mobile, this would probably suit most co-op buyers. A bit pricier than the previous model but you get more for your money.  A great choice for a co-operative venture between you and your buds.

I am all about a quality end product and this model has the sleek, finished look of professional bar equipment.

While it is not really for outside use you can, with care, transport it to your tailgate party site, set it up in a sheltered place out of the sun and heat. You definitely would need a trailer to get it there (or a Silverado and a ramp to get it on there and some kind of generator or battery to run it. We have discussed all these add-ons previously and our experience with the Duracell battery pack has been good to date.

The best thing about this high end kegerator is that it is well lit inside (cool LED lighting that will not heat up the high end kegerator) which makes it easy to change kegs. It is professionally fitted out in all its components.

Included are a 5lb Luxfer CO2 tank, 1 dual gauge regulator, three Sankey D stainless steel couplers, three beer lines (buy more of these as you will need them), three red CO2 lines and one stainless steel, air-cooled, triple tap beer tower with three stainless steel faucets, the handles of which can be adapted to your own design. The integrated thermostat makes it easy to control the temperature.  No more wastage through that foamy first beer pour! This system eliminates hot spots and the forced air keeps the chill circulating evenly.

The temperature range is 32-60°F.

The top has a guard rail (again, stainless steel) to stop your glasses falling off, and all you need is a few bar towels to look like a pro draft beer-puller.

It can stand alone or you can build it into a bench/counter in the man-cave. The caster wheels make it easy to drag out for cleaning. It also features a reversible door swing in case you prefer it to open a certain way to match existing furniture or room layout.

This keg refrigerator can fit most full size half barrel kegs, pony kegs or slim quarter kegs and up to two sixth barrel kegs.

I don’t have a preference between these two – it really just comes down to personal affordability and how many Benjamins your beer co-op can pull out of their wallets.
I would advise that the beer rules be clearly stated in regard to cleaning and maintenance as well as replenishing not just kegs but the CO2.

Read anyone who strays off the path the riot act!

After all, ‘all’s fair in love and beer’.

 

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Perfect Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer Coolers For Tailgate Parties

The Perfect Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer Cooler for tailgate parties

A few of my readers asked me why I haven’t covered the small but amazing range of perfect portable electric refrigerator-freezer coolers currently on the market.  They make their own ice on site, keep everything very cold and are ideal for keeping salads, perishables, pre-cooked meats and frozen margaritas at the perfect temperature.  Well, I guess I just wasn’t sure there was a market for them.  But I was wrong.  There’s a whole community out there that travels from state to state following games all over the country.  They are not all gray nomads either but diehard fans .and they need somewhere to stash their cream for the morning coffee.  At the tailgate party, these portable electric refrigerator/freezer coolers plug straight into the RV, Silverado  or whatever your ride is.

Anyway, thanks to my buds allowing me access to theirs and sharing their experience, I whittled down the range to the top three options.

Turned out, this was the most popular and while we are looking at the largest size, there are smaller models which we have listed for you.

Dometic CFX – 95DZUS Dual Zone Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer – 94.5 liters.

Dometic portable electric refigrerator/freezer cooler.

Dometic portable electric refrigerator-freezer cooler.

This is a 94.5 liter model and has two compartments, each with its own thermostat (-8F to +50F) covering fridge and freezer independently.  The power source is 120 VAC (wall plug) or 12VDC (cigarette lighter) or 24 VDC current.  It is the model that my pal Seth brings on the back of his Silverado along with his kegerator. It’s especially good when you need to drive to interstate games as you can avoid eating in restaurants and therefore, save your greenbacks for betting on fantasy football or even better, your cornhole games at the tailgate party.

But I digress.

The selling points of the Dometic Electric Portable Refrigerator-Freezer are as follows:

It’s big.  Like a small home fridge but packs a powerful punch being colder than, say, a bar fridge.  It makes real ice.  Speaking of which, a hint to keep it really cold when you are parked and to avoid drawing battery power, keep some bottles of iced water in the ice compartment.  These will keep the unit cold for a day or more. Otherwise, a 12 volt battery will keep the unit running longer.

Be sure to cool food or drink before putting into the freezer/fridge and you will preserve the low temperatures.

It’s absolutely terrific when you are in a remote area away from stores and ice machines as you can make heaps of it in this great freezer.  Fishermen, it’s for you to put your massive catch in as well.

Runs very quietly.

Very solid state.  I would recommend the insulated cover for it just to give it that extra care from dings.  You can then heave it in the back of your truck with a clear conscience.

Tested on ice-cream, popsicles and frozen peas and they stayed frozen for days.  There was no defrosting/re-freezing at all.  Performs well in the desert with high exterior temperatures. So it will work if say, you have to travel to Phoenix or Vegas for a game.  There’s little or no heat given off by the compressor so you can actually pack it quite tightly without the usual refrigerator air gaps required but do leave a space around the fan for the heat to escape.

Weighs 70 pounds.

Dimensions: 38.8 x 21.9 x 19.7 inches.

In conclusion, the owners of any of the range of Dometic portable refrigerator/freezer coolers love them whether for camping or tailgating and for the homegaters, this is a great second fridge as the power drag on your home electricity is very low.

The Dometic portable refrigerator/freezer coolers come in a variety of size options.

26 liters, 35 liters, 38 liters, 46 liters, 61 liters, as well as this one of 94.5 liters so there is one for all uses. Seems to make sense to buy the biggest when you shop at Costco for a heap of pre-made food for those occasions when you are not bothering with the whole BBQ thing.

Dometic CFX-CVR95DZ Insulated Protective Cover (for CFX-95DZUS)

Dometic Insulated Protective cover for portable freezer

Dometic Insulated Protective cover for portable freezer

The cover is sturdy and well manufactured and I really recommend buying one to give your portable electric refrigerator/freezer a longer life. It keeps the dust, dirt and sand out while you are traveling even if you just have it on the back of your pickup truck.  And on that note, it has eyelets so that you can anchor it to your truck for transporting. For tradesmen and engineers, or anyone who has to travel to the wilderness for work, this is a must. Then use it for the tailgate party when there’s a game …

Another popular portable electric refrigerator-freezer cooler

The ARB 10800782 82 quart fridge freezer

This portable electric refrigerator/freezer cooler is solid state – a combo of metal and plastic designed to keep the weight down.  It weighs in at 50 pounds empty.  You should be able to fit 90 beer cans or the equivalent in it.

The ARB features an automatic battery protection system that prevents car battery rundown when your vehicle is stationary.  Set it to when you want it to turn off and it does that automatically.

It runs quietly and again, better if you leave an air gap for the fan to breathe through.

Temperature wise, it is steady and cold and will retain that temperature for hours even when unplugged due to its insulated design.  Excellent for tailgating as its large interior will accommodate a very large array of food and drink.

You can run it on freezer or fridge mode depending on what you want to keep cool.

Advice from users includes getting a lead with 2 pronged 12 V plug rather than the cigarette lighter style plug but this is if you are taking an RV to the tailgate party and using the ARB there.  Otherwise, the cigarette lighter is fine with #8 wire.

It is a little smaller than the  Dometic but for its price it is good value and an efficient and reliable portable refrigerator/freezer cooler.  The other difference is that with the Dometic, you have the two thermostats and can use two temperatures – freeze or cool.

There are several different sizes available – 37 quart, 50 quart, 63 quart, 78 quart and this one, the 82 which is my preference though it really depends on which size portable refrigerator-freezer fits your tailgate party kit and transport.

The ARB 10900015 transit bag for ARB 82 quart portable refrigerator-freezer

 

ARB Portable Refrigerator:Freezer transit bag

ARB Portable Refrigerator-Freezer transit bag

As with the Dometic, there is a transit bag you can use for the protection of your valuable portable electric refrigerator-freezer.  It protects the appliance from the sun’s rays as well so that the battery doesn’t constantly kick in and cool the unit down.  This is designed to be used with ARB tiedowns.

ARB refrigerator tie down system

ARB refrigerator tie down system

These can be used to anchor the fridge onto the back of a pickup or other vehicle to stop it sliding around while being transported.  The canvas version is far nicer than the neoprene version though some users have reported that cleaning it will remove the colors.  My advice is never to scrub canvas and don’t ever use chemicals on it (eg. bleach).
There is also a fridge slider which can be bolted to your pickup but most users for tailgate parties don’t feel that these are necessary.  For 4WD trips, yes! But generally, the tie-downs are more than enough to get you to the parking lot.

Engel MT 80-U1 Dual Voltage 84 quart Portable Electric Refrigerator-Freezer 12V/24V/110V

Engel Dual Voltage Portable Refrigerator/Freezer

Engel Dual Voltage Portable Refrigerator-Freezer

This is the largest in the Engel portable electric refrigerator-freezer range and is solar compatible as well as being able to run on your auto or an independent battery.  It is top of the range, and a quality product.  Engel is well known to RV and trailer fans and tailgate partiers have been happy to discover this great unit.

Made from well insulated galvanised steel with heavy duty melamine coating, it is tough and marine hardy. Salt water? No problem. Drunken tailgate party dudes? No problem.

100% CFC free as expected, so you can care for the environment at the same time as keeping your booze and tailgate party food cold.

In the prepping movement as well as the tailgate community, this nice large portable electric refrigerator-freezer is highly rated mainly because it is so well constructed and also because of its low power draw.  Come the zombie apocalypse, your tailgate kit should be a lifeline.  Particularly a fridge full of cold beer.

Engel was the first name I ever heard in portable refrigerator/freezer ranges as Paul, our avid camper friend (you know him, the one who owns his own winery and wine labels) bought a second hand one, already 25 years old and he has run it in his trailer for around 8 years since then.  It has never failed.  So the brand alone is excellent and the execution lives up to the promise.

Basically, it holds just a little less than the Dometic reviewed above.  The comparables are around the same – a nice low power draw.  The solar connectivity is a good feature.

All these have a place you can plug in your smartphone for charging and that’s a real comfort. At the rate Wave sucks out power … well, that’s another story.

Anyway, the Engel also comes already equipped with AC and DC power cords and is so strong you can sit on it.

The side handles make it easy to carry but also are for anchoring in your truck so that it doesn’t slide around while in transit.

It does weigh 100 pounds when empty so you need to factor that in to the overall bulk of your tailgate party kit.

Note that at the point of sale, there are many short videos to help you decide what size Engel is best for you.

Finally, there are many lower end electric portable refrigerator-freezers on the market.  In general, these have a disappointing track record.  There are stories of the Engel being run continuously for over 20 years and I am not so sure than the cheaper models are capable of that.  Due to their low power draw, they are not expensive to run, so I am thinking that you will get years of great service from any of these three models outlined above.

Happy tailgating ! (And take them camping, traveling and prepping as well!)

 

 

 

 

 

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What To Wear To A Tailgate Party: A Girl’s Guide

My friend Beth believes that ‘clothes maketh the woman at a tailgate party’ and to a point this is true.  (I think the booze at tailgate parties may have given her a permanent lisp).

But she may be right – the addition of a few ‘team accessories’ to your outfit really brightens up the party and when all the female guests are decked out in their gear, it will be like baubles on a holiday tree.  It’s not that you’re putting on a uniform, but more, wearing your team loyalty (ie. your heart) on your sleeve.

There’s a real protocol here – be sure to wear gear that has the logos of one of the playing teams.  Home team always rocks but if you are in the fan-base of the away team then that works too. Leave the gear from the other codes and conferences at home and even if you ARE besotted with, say, Metta World Peace, you don’t wear that hoody to a Clippers game. Naah, as if that would ever happen.

We are mostly talking about sports tailgate parties here but if you are tailgating for a concert, the protocol there is very different.  Don’t wear the fan shirts for the concert performer of the night.  Choose something in the hipster line with an ironic slogan or something generically cool, such as a Grateful Dead t-shirt even if you are thirteen and at a One Direction concert.  That’s how it works.

Sports are a whole lot more relaxed.

1. National Emblem New York Rangers Collectible Emblem

NHL New York Rangers Logo Patch

NHL Logo Patch

Sew or iron this (or your team’s equivalent) onto your sleeve  and it gently proclaims ‘team’.  But why be gentle? There are many great hoodies, t-shirts, skirts and dresses out there.  Even shoes.

MSRP                         = $12.99
Amazon price = $7.91

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be a ‘team’ as such.  Sport maybe the national obsession but if there’s nothing on, don’t stop the tailgating.  You can tailgate to celebrate your favorite beer, BBQ, reverence for bacon, hot sauce or anything.  It’s impressive just how many tributes there are to fans’ preferences in these modern times where customizing and personalizing can happen in minutes.  Just dress the part and I promise you more fun.

2. Praying Hands for Beer Embroidered iron on Patch

Praying Hands for Beer Embroidered iron on Patch

Praying for Beer


‘Nuff said!

 

MSRP             =$3.99

You can be sure that no matter what kind of event is the focus of your tailgate party, there’ll be people who will ‘theme dress’.  If it’s NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA or NHL they will be licensed from head to toe. If it’s a concert, say, a Lady Gaga or Bieber concert, probably not so much.  Some Little Monsters and Beliebers, but they won’t be socking back the beers and eating BBQ.  A different protocol there for sure but here’s one for them anyway, not that I am commenting on their maturity.

3. Lady Gaga Little Monster Baby Onesie

Lady Gaga Little Monster Baby Onesie

Lady Gaga Little Monster Baby Onesie

MSRP             = $16.99

But let’s concentrate first on the world I know best, the sports oriented tailgate event involving beer, BBQ, bacon and bawdiness.

4. Exercise Eggs Are Sides For Bacon T-Shirt

Exercise Eggs Are Sides For Bacon T-Shirt

Exercise Eggs Are Sides For Bacon T-Shirt

Oh what a tribute to bacon!  Dress for humor.  These are available for men and women.  Many colors and you are paying for the wit.  Cost depends on the size so I am thinking that after a lifetime of bacon, most tailgaters will be paying for the XL at minimum.  The t-shirt is Gildan brand and therefore, follows their sizes which do seem to run small for the ladies in the upper regions.

MSRP             $12.00 – $24.95 (size dependent)

5. Women’s This Girl Loves Bacon T-Shirt Funny Food Shirt For Women

Women's This Girl Loves Bacon T-Shirt

This Girl Loves Bacon T-Shirt

Made from 100% pre-shrunk cotton, high quality fabric and its design is copyright – perfect for the baconator in your gang, male or female.  The fit and sizing are described as ‘Vintage’ which usually means a kind of squared off t-shirt.  The manufacturers have taken on board feedback which stated that the women’s sizes run small so you should order a size up if you are over a B-cup.

Because of the way the slogan has been applied, they recommend cold washing inside out and hanging to dry rather than tumble-dry.

MSRP             = $24.99
Amazon price = $16.99 – $18.99 (size dependent)

Licensed or unlicensed?

Apart from teams with the name ‘Pirate’ in them I am very anti-piracy.  Sure, the licensing does cost a bit more, but they also have very strict standards on production and believe me, if you find something that is not up to par, contact them and they will take action.  For instance, I looked at a heap of stuff in Hong Kong’s Stanley Beach market area.  They had every team’s shirts, sweaters and other gear. Sometimes the logos were misspelt.

Oh, I forgot.  Sometimes the real stuff hasn’t been proofed either:

Anyhoo, I did notice that colors were off, logos were smudged and ugly, the fabrics were, well, crap and mostly in old styles.  And the stitching was like an elementary school sewing project gone wrong. So I didn’t buy. So please note, everything tailgatey here is licensed and the logos will be up to date.  I have included some patches that can be added to your own clothing to team-theme it.  Just follow the links to your own team’s gear but I am generally only including one logo in each preferred style for now, earnestly trying to be evenhanded across the codes but hey, I’m only human.

Ladies, you may think you have nothing appropriate to wear to the biggest sports events of the year.  But it’s really easy to pick up a ‘top to toe’ look without even leaving your house.  And while you’re surfing the net, pick up a garment or two for those men in your life.  Everything has excellent gift potential and remember, most tailgaters love getting unexpected pressies.

Ladies Tailgate Party T-Shirts

6. MLB Boston Red Sox Womens Crew-Neck Soft Camisole / Tank Top

MLB Boston Red Sox Womens Crew-Neck Soft Camisole / Tank Top

MLB Boston Red Sox Womens Tank Top

This is a soft and sexy tank top, sleeveless and great for those sunny days.   Plenty of room around the scoop neckline for a bit of themed bling (there’s a fair bit of that below) and is a long, slender t-shit style over-hip length which is a flattering look for most gals. As licensed MLB merchandise, this is made from high quality fabric, is machine washable 100% cotton. Look like the ultimate fan with the team logo on the front. The manufacturers call this hot and sexy but I am thinking that will have quite a bit to do with what goes in it.

Sizes are Small or Medium.

MSRP                         = $32.99
Amazon price             = $16.99

7. Pink Victoria’s Secret Women’s NFL Chicago Bears Pajama Pants

Pink Victoria's Secret Womens NFL Chicago Bears Pajama Pants

Pink Victoria’s Secret NFL Pajama Pants

You CAN wear these to a tailgate party, truly, you can.  These are 100% authentic Pink Victoria’s Secret merchandise, guaranteed and made from 100% machine washable cotton.  The logo is printed on the right leg and there’s an elastic waistband with a drawstring for added comfort.  Even though they are called P.J.s you can pop a t-shirt or hoodie on with them and make that your style.  Comfy and warm and you can even fit a pair of Long Johns underneath due to their loose and generous fit.  Great idea for NFL tailgating.  Search for your team by following the links at checkout.

Sizes are X-small or Small.

MSRP                         = $72.99
Amazon price             = $31.99

8. Womens NFL Chicago Bears Athletic Pullover Hoodie by Pink Victoria’s Secret

Womens NFL Chicago Bears Athletic Pullover Hoodie / Sweatshirt Jacket with Embroidered Logo by Pink Victoria's Secret Small Orange

Womens NFL Hoodie

This is double the fun as it is NFL licensed as well as being from Pink Victoria’s Secret.  100% cotton, Machine washable, the logo is Pro Quality embroidered rather than screen printed.  Washes easily.

They tell me all hoodies are not created equal.  Women wear a snugger fit so be sure to run a tape measure around any parts you want to make room for.  There is a full measurement chart on the site to avoid errors.

Sizes are Small, Medium, Large.

Amazon Price                         = $39.99

9. Oakland Raiders Kids Cheerleader Outfit

Oakland Raiders Kids Cheerleader Outfit

Oakland Raiders Kids Cheerleader Outfit

Don’t be put off by the fact that it is a kid’s cheerleader dress.  I’ve seen what those young ladies in the Playboy Mansion wear and it’s not much bigger than this fab little outfit from Reebok, made from easy-care cotton polyester.  It’s available in all team colors, has a contrasting bodice and flouncy pleats that do their magic while you do cartwheels.  The team name is on the turtleneck and the logo is embroidered on the jumper.   Honestly, I could have filed this under ‘kids’ but I think it is for skinny grownups. Head down to the car park wearing this, pick up a few pom-poms on the way and you can be the main event at the tailgate party accompanied by the beer, bacon and BBQ.

Note that the one in the picture is size 6X which is for a 6 year old.  Yes, I can see this would fit Miley Cyrus perfectly.

MSRP                         = $35.00
Amazon price             = $24.99

10. NCAA Washington State Cougars Scoop Neck Dress Women’s

NCAA Washington State Cougars Scoop Neck Dress Women's

Cougars Scoop Neck Dress

I’m guessing that a lot of women will find it appropriate to wear gear with Cougars’ logos emblazoned on it.  So here’s a really cute dress. Yes, you can get it for other codes and conferences but hey, tell it like it is and wear the Cougars frock no matter who you root for.

It’s 100% super-soft cotton which makes it easy to wash and dry in the machine on cool with like colors.  No need to iron and do not iron the logo. Vintage inspired (which coincidentally, describes most Cougars).

Comes in sizes from x-small to x-large.

In Checkout, you can follow the options to select your team if you don’t see yourself as a Cougar.

MSRP                         = $42.50
Amazon price             = $27.63

11. NCAA Washington State Cougars Women’s Knit Skirt

NCAA Washington State Cougars Women's Knit Skirt

NCAA Washington State Cougars Women’s Knit Skirt

Moving right along and ohhh, there are those Cougars again.  This is a very classy looking skirt, easy to care for in 65% Super soft Cotton/35%Polyester mix and Machine Washable.  It is available in many team colors.  It’s a versatile and feminine team item with a neat waistband held together by an eyeleted belt in the same color as your team and will dress up the tailgate party no matter what venue.

Select your team and size in checkout.

Comes in sizes from x-small to large.

MSRP                         = $36.50
Amazon Price             = $23.73

12. NCAA North Carolina State Wolfpack Burnout Sweatshirt Women’s

NCAA North Carolina State Wolfpack Burnout Sweatshirt Women's

NCAA North Carolina State Wolfpack Burnout Sweatshirt

Very cool looking sweatshirt with the thumb-holes in exactly the right place for keeping the cuffs over the hands to ensure maximum warmth for the wearer.  It’s 55% polyester and 45% cotton, a definite vintage inspired item.  Supersoft, the washing will make it more so.  Wash with care and no need to iron it.  Don’t put an iron near the logo.

MSRP                         = $ 48.50
Amazon price             = $31.53

13. NHL Boston Bruins Women’s Medallion Pant

NHL Boston Bruins Women's Medallion Pant

NHL Boston Bruins Women’s Medallion Pant

Made from 100% Cotton Sateen Charmeuse, these medallion print pants also have your team logo embroidered on the left leg.  They ae great for the tailgate party as you can dress them up or down depending on the venue.

Look equally smart with bling and accessories or just a hoodie.

These pants have been designed to give a relaxed fit (not straight leg) and will guarantee a comfy and casual appearance at the tailgate party with plenty of room for party games and all that goes with the best day of your life.

Supplier sometimes can’t deliver so marks them as ‘unavailable’ so my advice is to sign up for an alert when they are back on the list.

MSRP                                     = $27.00
Amazon price                         = $26.07

14. NHL Boston Bruins Women’s Medallion Short

NHL Boston Bruins Women's Medallion Short

NHL Boston Bruins Women’s Medallion Short

This is the short version of the pants above.  These shorts have a tie waist and are very comfy, being made of cotton charmeuse, machine washable and dryable.

Comes in a variety of sizes. Follow the links at checkout to find yours and also you can choose patterns for other teams.

MSRP                                     = $ 20.00
Amazon Price                         = $ 17.10

15. NHL Touch by Alyssa Milano Pittsburgh Penguins Ladies Fire Drill Premium T-Shirt

NHL Touch by Alyssa Milano Pittsburgh Penguins Ladies Fire Drill Premium T-Shirt

NHL Touch by Alyssa Milano Pittsburgh Penguins Ladies Fire Drill Premium T-Shirt

Super-soft burnout fabric in cotton/polyester, this T-shirt is one of actress/designer Alyssa Milano’s range of tailgate party clothing.  Definitely worth a look as it brings a sexy shape to a t-shirt which is usually square.  Easy care and comfy to wear, being burnout fabric means it has an element of translucency so it may be too see-through for some.  I think it looks awesome.  Available in many sizes and for many teams.  Check your preference at checkout.

MSRP                         = $30.00
Amazon price             = $24.99

16. MLB Colorado Rockies Ladies Sequin Wedge Flip Flops

MLB Colorado Rockies Ladies Sequin Wedge Flip Flops

MLB Colorado Rockies Ladies Sequin Wedge Flip Flops

There are quite a few versions of this on the market but the Colorado Rockies version is top of the pile, being pink for starters and then there are those sequins.  A great accessory for summer-time tailgating or just for wearing around the house to show your team love.

These have a bit of height in the heel which is around 1.25” high and is made of comfy foam with good traction made possible by its rugged outersole.

The team logo is subtley embroidered on the soft straps with quality workmanship making it a very cute item suited to giving as a hostess gift for the little lady who REALLY cooked that awesome BBQ sauce at the tailgate party.

Officially licensed to MLB, other codes are available, so choose your team and size at checkout.

MSRP                         = $20.00
Amazon price                         = $19.95

17. NHL Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Women’s Premier Player Road Jersey

NHL Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Women's Premier Player Road Jersey

NHL Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Women’s Premier Player Road Jersey

I don’t root for the Blackhawks but wow, this Jersey is fabulous and I’m out looking for a gal who does so that I can dress her in it.

For that #19 Jonathan Toews fan in your life.

It’s 100% polyester, easy care and moisture wicking with Twill and Embroidered front crest, printed twill shoulder patches (as applicable) and the Reebok wordmark on back and neck sleeve cuff. Reebok is the Authentic Outfitter of the NHL and presents a quality item here. Washing instructions are simple – cold wash with like colors, no chlorine, tumble dry at low heat and take out and hang. No need to iron.

Jerseys for other players are available in this style so trawl the links at checkout for your size and fave.

MSRP                         = $130.00
Amazon price            = $129.99

18. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Womens Players Zip Up Jacket

Los Angeles Lakers NBA Womens Players Zip Up Jacket

Los Angeles Lakers NBA Womens Players Zip Up Jacket

The classic style and superior comfort of this super warm LA Lakers jacket will make it a game day favorite all season long. The full zip jacket has an official Lakers logo embroidered on the upper left chest and back. Adult women’s sizing. Officially licensed by the NBA.   100% polyester so that it is easy to care for (washes like a dream) and will stand up to a season of tailgating really well.  Lots of generous sized pockets.

MSRP                         = $65.00
Amazon price            = $39.99

Tailgate Party Hats

19. NBA Trooper Knit Hat – Ke84Z, Boston Celtics, One Size, Green/white , Boston Celtics

NBA Trooper Knit Hat - Ke84Z, Boston Celtics, One Size, Green/white , Boston Celtics , Kelly Green/White

NBA Trooper Knit Hat – Boston Celtics

Made by Adidas, the official outfitter for the NBA, this cute and practical hat is unisex but looks oh so glam on a woman.  Very sexy.

It’s 50% acrylic-50% polyester, will take a fair bit of punishment at the tailgate party as it is very easily washed and air-dried though the instructions say ‘hand wipe’ – if you are worried, take it to the dry cleaner, but really, washing in cold water should be fine.  Drying in the tumble dry for no more than 5 minutes to fluff up the lining should be enough. It is fleecy inside and the ear-flaps will keep anyone snug and warm.

MSRP                         = $22.99
Amazon price                         = $14.94

Here’s another version, also for the Celtics:

20. Boston Celtics – Cuffed Pom Pom Beanie By Mitch and Ness

Mitchell & Ness Boston Celtics Kelly Green-White Throwback Jersey Striped Cuffed Knit Beanie

Mitchell & Ness Boston Celtics Knit Beanie

This is a traditional beanie, in team colors, with a pom pom and striped in team colors.  Very pretty even though 100% acrylic yarn, looks snug and comfy and the logo gives it real panache.

MSRP                         = $24.00
Amazon price            = $20.83

Tailgate Party Aprons

Let it be stated that aprons are not just for women. I am just listing them here because the frilly one will look out of place in the men’s clothing section.

These are equally heavy duty for BBQ chefs or for using in the home-gating kitchen and can be for men or women.  Heck, I’ve even included a kids’ one.

21. NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Chef Hat and Apron Set

NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Chef Hat and Apron Set

NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Chef Hat and Apron Set

Nicely designed and licensed by the NFL, this range of Chef Hats and Aprons is sure to please and should be an essential item in any tailgate party kit.  Quite a classy look with the small logo on the color-blocked background.  Look the part in more ways than one.  Protect your clothes from rib sauce spatter.  Hey, don’t just leave it on while you are cooking, but when you are tearing apart those juicy ribs, you can drip smoky sauce and nobody will notice. The hat keeps your hair from picking up the smoke flavor.

Cotton and easycare.  Perfect gift for ladies and men alike.  Follow the prompts in checkout for your teams as most are covered.

MSRP                         = $19.99
Amazon price            = $14.50

22. New Orleans Saints NFL Hostess Apron

New Orleans Saints NFL Hostess Apron

New Orleans Saints NFL Hostess Apron

I’m going out on a limb here and saying I don’t see Biff being seen dead wearing this one, so it belongs fairly and squarely amongst women’s clothes.

It’s frilly and pretty but also does the same rugged job of other aprons, protects the DKNY designer gear from the BBQ sauce.  I’ve looked at a lot of these and they are all beautifully made and classy.  An ideal gift for an überfan of tailgate parties or just a cook who loves her game.

Made of a cotton twill blend and has a handy pocket for cooking essentials.

MSRP                         = $19.99
Amazon price            = $14.50

23. Dallas Cowboys Grilling Apron Set

Dallas Cowboys Grilling Apron Set

Dallas Cowboys Grilling Apron Set

This is a cute cotton set with a hot pad/pot-holder, kitchen glove and apron and again, it’s essential in the tailgate party kit.  Protect your other fan gear with this easily washed apron.

Unisex, so don’t diss it as being ‘just for girls’ as nobody likes to be spattered with bacon fat, BBQ sauce or rib juices while grilling or eating at the tailgate party.  I’d buy one of these for all the guests and be done with it, as otherwise, you’ll be sitting next to something disgusting throughout the game.

MSRP                         = $29.99
Amazon price            = $22.99

24. NBA Los Angeles Lakers Tailgate Set

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Tailgate Set

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Tailgate Set

Nicely gift boxed this is essentially the same trio as above. Decorated locally, it is perfect for the #1 fan, no matter the game or sex.  And useful too.  If you’re a tailgater or just a messy eater, this will be practical.  The colors are bright and true to the logos and it is washable even in hot water.  Cotton.

Amazon price                         = $19.99

25. NCAA Jersey Apron NCAA Team: LSU Tigers

NCAA Jersey Apron NCAA Team: LSU Tigers

NCAA Jersey Apron NCAA Team: LSU Tigers

Here’s an apron with a difference as it is based on the Jersey design of the team.  It has a pocket in the front for kitchen utensils or your koozie pre-loaded with beer.  One size fits most, from a small woman to a burly guy.  Designed to wrap around the smaller figure for maximum coverage.

Dimensions: -40”H x 30” W x 20” D

Amazon price             = $39.80

And a bonus!

Child’s Black Chef Apron & Hat Small

Child Black Chef Apron & Hat Small

Child Black Chef Apron & Hat Small

Don’t leave the tailgate party children out of it.  Train them in the art of BBQ from the time they can manage a rack of ribs and you will prove that old saying ‘The family that tailgate together, stays together’.

The kit includes one chef hat and one chef apron for a child between the ages of 3 and 7.  At that age, there’s no need to go overboard and share your beers.

The apron and hat are poly/cotton fabric and the hat has an adjustable, soft-closure in the back so that it will fit snugly.

You can add your own team patch and initiate your child early into the wonderment that is the tailgate party.

Fabulous gift for all those nieces and nephews, and really, who doesn’t like to dress like a chef these days?

Amazon price             = $14.99

Keep checking back for more great clothes to wear to tailgate parties!