The Only Playoff Tailgating Checklist You’ll Need This Year

No matter your school’s size, you’ll probably be pre-gaming the coming college football playoffs somewhere. For many, that will take place by tailgating in the parking lot next to their team’s stadium. We drove all over the internet to track down the best things for making your tailgate a success this year. Sooner or later you’ll be able to get this stuff dropped out of the sky from a drone.

This article contains affiliate links. That means that we make a little money if you buy something after clicking on it. Since most of this stuff is pretty low-cost to begin with, we’re serious when we say “a little.” Advertiser Disclosure.

#1. Cups

The whole point of tailgating is having a few drinks before the game, right?

If nothing else, make sure you stock up on some cups. Pretty much anywhere sells these, but you could also let Disney+ auto-play and not move while they get delivered by the Amazon guy.

Click here to check out a bunch for really cheap.

#2 Drinks

You probably know which adult beverages are best for you. Since there’s a bazillion different ones out there, we’re skipping most of them here. You might be able to pick up some good mixes online.

Coca-Cola Soda Soft Drink, 12 fl oz, 24 Pack

Every cavity’s better with a Coke. Maybe that’s not quite how it goes, but an ice cold coke in the parking lot before game time just feels right.

Click here to get some delivered by the Coke man.

DASANI Purified Water Bottles Enhanced with Minerals, 16.9 fl oz, 24 Pack

I don’t need it. I don’t need it…………..


I NEED IT and so do you.

Click here for some Dasani on Amazon.

V8 Bloody Mary Mix, 46 oz. Bottle

I’ve never been a fan of bloody’s, but everybody else is.

Click here for that.

#3 Food

COMBOS Variety Pack Fun Size Baked Snacks

These should come with enough pizza cheese dust for getting everybody’s fingers nice and gross before game time.

Click here to get them without moving anything but your fingers.

Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Pieces, Hot Buffalo Wing, 12 Ounce

Just, this. If you haven’t had these before, now is the time to try ’em.


They come in a few different varieties, the best being Hot Buffalo Wing and Honey Mustard & Onion.

Click here for the hot ones.

Click here for the Honey Mustard.

Johnsonville, Original Bratwurst, 19 oz (Frozen)

Yes, Amazon will deliver these to you frozen. Can ya believe it?

Click here for brats.

You probably need buns if you get some brats, that’s a slippery sausage.

Ball Park White Hotdog Roll, 13 Oz

Click here for Ball Park buns (even though you’re tailgating at a football stadium).

Ball Park Fully-Cooked Flame Grilled Beef & Onion Patties, 6 Count (Frozen)

Click here for the pre-cooked burgers

91% Lean Grass-fed Single Cow Burger (2 – 8oz. Patties), 1 lb

Click here for the more labor-intensive but probably healthier patties.

Gardein Chipotle Black Bean Burger Meatless

If you have some friends in the group wanting a non-meat option, the Gardein Chipotle Black Been Burger should satisfy.

Click here for that on Amazon.

Ball Park White Hamburger Buns, 8 ct, 14 oz

Last but not least, some buns to go with the burgers.

Click here for those.

#4 Condiments and Seasonings

McCormick Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning, 2.75 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Click here for some flavor in your burgers.

Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup (31 oz Bottle)

Pretty simple, it’s ketchup.

Click here for that on Amazon.

French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, 20 oz

Click here to get that on Amazon.

#5 A Grill

There’s a handful of good grill choices out there. These three made the cut (no pun intended) for easiest to handle on the blacktop.

Coleman Fold N Go + Propane Grill

The great thing about this little guy is how portable it is. Combining that with its InstaStart ignition button (no matches or lighters needed) and you have a great grill for cooking a lot of different stuff. Just buy a can of propane and you’re good to go. The only major recurring issue that this grill has among other reviewers is a lid latch that can be faulty. This can result in issues with traveling (lid popping open), however, cooking has been solid for the majority of people.

Click here to check it out.

Blackstone Table Top Grill

The one thing our previous grill doesn’t come with is a griddle. If you see yourself doing kegs and eggs for your tailgating early before kickoff, then the Blackstone is a perfect choice.

Just about everyone on Amazon has had a good experience using this in their grilling adventures, and for good reason. The stainless steel burner can kick out enough heat for your burgers, bacon and brats all at once.

Click here to check out the Blackstone on Amazon.

But what if I want bigger than a tabletop?

-Well, the Coleman Propane Grill might be your answer.

This portable yet spacious grill can give you 20,000 BTUs of heat across 285 square inches of grilling surface. The wheels also make this easy to pull around. This one has also been purchased and reviewed by thousands of people, so you might see the folks next door tailgating with it if you don’t.

Click here to check it out.

#6 Portable Cornhole

If you don’t play some cornhole, did you really go tailgating? The GoSports Classic Cornhole Set provides you with everything needed to play some bags.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

#7 A Decent Cooler

Unless you have some snow to stick the drinks in (which you might in some states) a solid cooler will be a staple in any tailgating session. These two below will fit most parties pretty well.

Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler

This classic cooler can keep things chilly while you focus on actually getting a bag in the hole since you missed the last two shots. It may not be super fancy, but does it need to be?

Click here to see how cheap it is (it’s a REALLY good deal).

If not a chest, a bag is best.

Before you say anything, we get it. The name OlarHike sounds kind of funny, but they also make a mean cooler bag.

OlarHike 30 Liter Large Cooler Lunch Bag

Don’t be fooled by the name, this fits more than lunch. It can either hold 40 cans or 20 bottles with a load capacity of over 50 pounds.

Pick it up on Amazon here.

#8 A Folding Table

If you don’t have a truck bed to set stuff in while tailgating, you pretty much need a table. The good news is, we found three that will fit in the most compact-only parking spaces.

Coleman Outdoor Compact Table

This is the go-to if you have a couple people and don’t plan on playing any pong. It should fit the snacks, small grill, and drinks without getting too crowded.

Click here to see it at Congolian. Wait sorry meant Amazon.

Lifetime 4428 Height Adjustable Craft Camping and Utility Folding Table

If you fall more into the rectangle category than square, then this one should be perfect. The first time opening it can be a little tricky, but the correct way has been addressed by the FAQ section plus many reviewers.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

But we really really wanna play pong!!

Okay, fine. Calm down.

COSCO Deluxe 8 foot x 30 inch Fold-in-Half Blow Molded Folding Table, White

Yes, it may be a little wider than regulation size, but it meets length requirements. Everybody knows it’s all about the length.

Click here to check it out on Amazon now.

#9 Chairs

Even though a lot of people stand while tailgating, it doesn’t hurt to think about having a few chairs sitting around when there’s a big group. Here are two that should fit your taste. They probably fit your butt better, though.

AmazonBasics Camping Chair

The classic camping chair by Amazon carries 4/5 stars for reviews with the most common complaint centered around its laughable carrying bag. The good news is that we all lose the carrying bag anyway after the third use and carry the chair under an arm.

Click here to sit on this one at Amazon.

Cosco Resin Folding Chair with Molded Seat and Back White Speckle (4-pack)

These classic event folding chairs will get the job done rain or shine. Let’s hope it’s just shine that day.

Check these out on Amazon by clicking here.

#10 Hand warmers

If you go and watch a team up north (or anywhere else that’s cold), you will definitely need some hand warmers.

HeatMax Hot Hands 2 Handwarmer (40 Pairs)

As long as you don’t think this is a hot tamale and eat it by accident, you should end up staying toasty with these.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Getting 40 might be a little excessive (it’s actually 80 total), so you could also consider a 5 pack with less people.

HotHands Hand Warmers, 10 count (5 pack with 2 warmers per pack)

Click here to check these out.

#11 Napkins, Plates and Cutlery

Some Bounty Paper Napkins should do the trick there.

Click here to clean up with those.

Next we have some Dixie Ultra Paper Plates for setting your food on.

Click here to check these out on Amazon.

Having napkins and plates is great, but you also need something to eat with!

ECO-THINKERS Premium Disposable Wooden Cutlery Set.

You’ll be outside, so it can’t hurt to have something with Eco in the name, right? These should be able to cut brats and eat potato salad without a problem.

Click here to see them on Amazon.

#12 Cameron’s Products Tailgating TableCollapsible Folding Camping Table with Insulated Cooler, Food basket & Travel bag

This screams convenience. It also feels sort of gimmicky, but nonetheless, it has tailgating in the name so we’re throwing it in. Not only do you get a cooler basket below – but four places up top to put your drinks while the chips chill in the middle.

Click here to check it out on Amazon.