Taking tailgating up a notch

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Time for a tailgating upgrade? We've got five essentials for the perfect pregame parking lot party.

We've had four weeks to scope and scout and shop, and now it's time to announce our starting lineup. And take our tailgating game up a notch.

Remember the old days when you could get by with a folding chair and a beer? No longer. Check out these five must-haves for your next gameday. They're both gridiron ready and guest friendly.


It might seem basic, but drink "technology" can make or break the day. These soft, sturdy silicone cups that come in four sizes (including shorty and shot sizes!) are the answer to absorbing the use and abuse of a parking lot party. Ideal for tailgates, you won't have to worry about broken glass or a dropped drink. These cups keep your beer cold or your coffee hot, offering better insulation than glass, acrylic, stainless steel, plastic, paper or Styrofoam with minimal -- if any-- condensation. Price: $4.45-$11.95

Sunbrite TV

If your tailgate goes over exceptionally well, your guests might even opt out of heading into the stadium. For those who want to watch from the lot, this all-weather HDTV delivers a great picture in any conditions. For diehard tailgaters, once winter hits, this TV operates in temps as low as minus-24 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, it resists rain, dust, humidity and insects. Take that! Price: $1,495

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Gas Grill

Keep the food flowing with this grill that sets up in seconds. It sits securely atop the built-in VersaStand adjustable telescoping base that transforms from tabletop use to floor stand. Compact and high performing, the grill heats up quickly and has a cooking grate that lets you prepare eight steaks, eight hamburgers or 10 chicken breasts. When you're ready to break things down, it folds up quickly and can be easily transported with its generous carry handle. Extra points for the spill-resistant drip tray. Price: $150

JVC Adixxion

This action camera is ready to rumble right out of the box. With quad-proof protection, the GC-XA2 is ready for any game conditions with its water-, shock-, dust- and freeze-proof design. No need to worry about inclement weather or spilled sodas on this baby. The camera has built-in WiFi so you can stream highlights of the pregame festivities live to a smartphone or upload clips to YouTube so friends and family at home can enjoy from wherever they are. Price: $299.95

Icehole M1 Cooler

Warm beer and soggy sandwiches are a buzz kill, so keep drinks, food and ice cold longer with this bad boy. This military-grade, 100-quart cooler has thick foam insulation for incredibly cold storage and a ribbed, rotomolded exterior for exceptional durability along with interlocking non-skid feet. Even though it's the largest in the M series, it's still portable. For intense organizers, it can even be compartmentalized in 84 different configurations with optional dividers and baskets. Price: $439

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