Planning a proper tailgate requires quite a bit of tailgating gear. However, it can be tough to pack all of that into our cars which is why so many hardcore tailgaters invest in a tailgating van or bus. However, you don’t have to have a dedicated tailgating bus to host a great tailgate. You just need the right tailgating equipment and portable grill that can fit in any trunk. For those of us that drive compact cars, here’s a list of great, portable tailgating equipment that can fit into even the smallest vehicle.
The main attraction of most tailgates is definitely the food. So having a workspace where you can prepare and serve is crucial. Unfortunately, bringing a kitchen with you requires a lot of space. Fortunately, the folks at GCI have created an extremely portable cook station that folds up quickly and can be transported in even the smallest trunk. When folded it is around 3 inches by 2 feet by 3 feet. Designed for camping, this lightweight cook station features plenty of places to hold and store your utensils, dishes, and ingredients.
Once you have your kitchen set up, you’ll also need somewhere everyone can sit and eat. Another great option from the camping world is the VEVOR folding camping table with 4 benches. This table and chair set folds up to around 2 feet by 2.5 feet by 2 inches. The chairs fold neatly into the table and the whole set is carried like a suitcase. There are several different models of folding camping tables but we like this one because of the adjustable height that makes it so everyone can eat comfortably while getting ready for the game.
Shade is so important when you are tailgating, especially during the summer months. Having a canopy seems like something you will skip if you have limited space. However, the Ozark Trail canopy offers a shaded area of 10 feet squared but folds up into a convenient carrying case that only weighs about 28 lbs. It has telescoping legs and is super easy to assemble. So it can be put up quickly to provide shade or even protect on a rainy day. This is a must have for your tailgating.
Whether you’re tailgating before the game or planning to watch the whole game, having some chairs will make everyone comfortable. These camping chairs are ideal for compact spaces. They offer a high back and are very comfortable. They fold out quickly for easy setup and tear down before the game. The best part though is these chairs fold up into packages that are about 16 inches long and about 6 inches in diameter. That means you can stack several into your trunk easily.
Keeping your beer and soda cold is a must, but coolers can be extremely space consuming. Fortunately, the Chill Chest can help. This 41 quart cooler can be stocked with everything you need for your tailgate, but it folds up flat. For reference 41 quarts can hold 60 cans of beer. So you’ll have plenty of space for everything you need without having to take up your whole trunk to get it there.
Another great cooler option is the Folding Pop-Up Tailgate Cooler. This cooler is a great option for your beers, wine, and sodas. What we love about this cooler is that it is waist height, so you don’t have to bend over to grab another beer. It folds up neatly into a carrying case that you can throw over your shoulder. We love this option as well for homegating because it’s perfect for the back patio. The cooler is spacious too and holds 55 cans of beer, so you’ll have plenty of room for all your tailgating drinks.
Now one of the most important pieces of tailgating equipment you need is a portable grill. There are a ton of great portable grills on the market that are loaded with every feature you could ever want. However, finding one that is compact but is still a BBQ workhorse can be a challenge. The Outsunny Portable Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill is a great option. It has a large cook surface as well as a prep area and storage underneath. This is another item that comes from the camping world that is perfect for compact tailgating.
Now if you prefer propane to charcoal, don’t worry we also found a compact portable grill for you. Another option from the camping world, the Coleman Roadtrip X-Cursion Portable Gas Grill folds up and has wheels for easy portability. Though theColeman Roadtrip Classic is also a great portable grill option, we like the X-Cursion because it has an extra work surface but folds up to about the same size.
The 5 in 1 Barbecue Tool is a tailgater’s dream. It has all the grilling utensils you need to cook up your famous ribs, but folds up like a pocket knife. It has a basting brush, fork, and a spatula as well as a corkscrew and bottle opener. Not only does this tool fold up for easy and compact portability, you’ll never have to worry about losing track of your utensils while you are cooking. It’s a great option for tailgating.
You could easily have all of these options in your trunk and still have room for all the food and drinks. So before thinking you need to upgrade to a bigger vehicle to have more fun tailgating, check out some of these compact tailgating options. What’s great is all of these options can also play double duty with your homegating. They don’t require a lot of storage space and can be set up easily for a last minute homegate with your friends.
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