It's been eleven months since I last wrote an article on tailgating. That's because I missed tailgating the entire second half of the season last year and, frankly, I needed a little inspiration.
If you're an experienced tailgater, then you probably look to make at least one if not a couple of equipment upgrades each year.
For me, this was the year to upgrade the cooler.
The old one did it's job well for quite a few years, but it was starting to show its age and had developed a crack in the wall. Well, when it comes to tailgating gear, there's only one way to go: Go Big! Or, go home!
That's right. I found the largest cooler I could find at the most reasonable price I could find. Now, my wife joins us each and every week and she was part of the impetus for the new cooler. She had agreed that the old one needed to be replaced. So, when I found this one on Amazon for only $59, I checked with her and she said "Sure." I took advantage of their Prime trial membership to have it shipped quickly and it arrived on a Saturday morning.
Of course, that's when we found out that it was a whole lot bigger than it looked on Amazon. Actually, it wasn't just "bigger". It is the beast mode of coolers.
That became obvious when I threw it in the back of the SUV to try it out when I went up to Training Camp in San Bernardino and it passed the test, even if it did take up most of the cargo area behind the second row of seats.
That didn't matter to me because I put the second row down when we tailgate, but it was going to require a little modification of the load order and placement I had gotten accustomed to over the past few years.
It's supposed to hold ice for up to 5 days in 90 degree heat. My experiences so far aren't close to that, but it still seems to be worth the money.
Overall, it is a worthy upgrade and will be put to good use over its lifetime.
At our tailgate last weekend, one of our friends had a couple of Enduracool towels he has picked up cheap at his local Lowe's which currently has them on sale for 50% off.
Knowing that we're heading to Vegas this weekend, I wanted to know if they worked. After the game, the verdict was in. They worked very well and that was on the sunny side of the Rose Bowl.
Not wanting to miss out, I stopped at Lowe's on my way home and picked up a couple of them with the intention of using them this weekend. Well, with the heat that we've had this week, I decided to bring one with me to work and use it at lunch time when I got into my hot car.
It stayed cool for about three hours. Now, truth be told, most of that time was indoors where the A/C was on but it was still effective. I'm expecting that I will need to re-moisten it at halftime of the UNLV game.
But, if there's NOTHING else you do this weekend before heading to Vegas, you should stop at your local Lowe's and pick them up. The main color is also close enough to the color of a lot of my UCLA gear that it should fit in well.
There are two models available in blue. There's the basic towel which is what I linked to above. That one is currently selling for $7.50 and there's the techknit one which is the one I bought because it felt thinner and it matched the texture of my UCLA hat a little better. The techknit one is selling for $9.
If you are going to Vegas this weekend, please go to get yourself at least one of these towels.
While it's true that the 100-degree heat has made us rethink tailgating outdoors for the weekend (I may be tailgatin' crazy, but I ain't stupid!), you still have to go to the game in said heat. You'll thank me later and you'll have a cool piece of gear that will make your tailgating and other outdoor activities much more enjoyable.
What's your latest tailgate gear this season? Or, what's the one item you cannot tailgate without? Let us know in the comments.