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We Tested Ridiculously Awesome Tailgate Gadgets So You Don't Have To

From chilled beer to party swag, we covered it all. When it comes to grilling, Weber Sauces & Seasonings will bring your tailgate flavor to expert level, no matter what you grill!

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This is Megan and Clark, tailgate experts and designated gadget testers.

Megan: Clark and I have been competitors for as long as I can remember. We went to rival high schools and then chose rival universities. I spent four amazing years in College Station, Texas, while Clark turned his back on his Texas roots for that other school in Norman, Oklahoma. Our fight songs may be different, but at least we can agree on one thing: Nothing is better than football season in the South. It might be the only thing keeping this friendship afloat tbh.

Clark: See, Megan, to know how to tailgate, you need to have a team that knows how to win bowl games. So by proxy, I have my master's in tailgating, and you merely have an associate's. But she's right: There is nothing better than the warm sun and a cold brew before some football.

What follows is an honest review of 10 different tailgate gadgets — most are awesome, a couple are pointless, and some are pointlessly awesome. We tried them all.

1. Jalapeño Popper Grill Rack — $12.95

Megan: OK, I might be a little biased because my buffalo chicken jalapeño popper recipe is so dang tasty, but this rack was pretty handy. I'd only ever cooked stuffed peppers in the oven, so it was fun to see them get all hot and crispy on the grill — and I think that helped the flavor too. I wish the holes on the rack were a little bigger (we really had to jam those suckers in there), but otherwise, good gadget. One thumb up.

Clark: Grilled stuffed jalapeños > oven-baked. In the past, I'd plop them on the grill and turn them every minute or so to get a nice char on the outside. This stand was a real game changer. It helped to infuse the smoky flavor into the peps while keeping them upright, which gave them a nice, even crisp. The holes could have been bigger, but with a little elbow grease it worked.

Megan: I've never felt more powerful in my entire life than when I was wearing this backpack. It can hold up to 236 ounces of liquid, there are two separate spouts, and a mesh cup holder. You're basically a walking party. I did get a little too excited and impatient filling up the tubes and wound up with a foamy mess for like 15 minutes, but that's easily avoidable with a steady pour.

Clark: Does this thing work? Yes. Is it necessary? Not really. Though it functions as promised, I can't imagine a situation where one designated individual would want to sludge around 236 ounces of jungle juice on their back just so other people can drink it. This works as advertised but just get a drink cooler.

3. Beer Bottle Chiller — $29.95

Megan: Beer bottle stick thingy is seriously cool (no pun intended). I was under the impression I'd have to remove it with every sip, but there are holes at the top so you can drink normally while it simultaneously keeps your drink chilled. It's perfect for notoriously slow drinkers (i.e., me).

Clark: Being in the sun is great for tailgate vibes, but it warms your beer quicker than an egg on a blacktop. This beer chiller is the chillest beer chiller ever. The metal tubes keep the beer super cold and make it easy to drink. I'll chill with you beer chiller.

4. Inflatable Serving Bar — $11.99

Megan: My least favorite part of playing in the pool as a kid was having to blow up the floaties. I really hated it then, and I discovered that I still hate it now. Luckily, it only took 1 minute and 36 seconds to blow up this serving bar. Not too shabby. Reminder: This isn't insulated like a cooler, and the ice will melt faster. Keep it out of the sun or you'll have yourself a lukewarm bath full of beers.

Clark: Tbh, I want to load up the cooler before wheeling it to the tailgate, not at the tailgate. Still, this seemed interesting, and we figured why not try it out. I think this inflatable cooler would be greater for alums trying to see which craft beers they have. But for college students trying to snag a brew before they're up on the pong table, a cooler is better.

5. Magnet Beer Koozie — $8.99

Megan: This is one of those products that'll make you say "I could've invented that!" If I've learned anything through the testing process though, it's that the simplest ideas are often the best. Koozies are necessary on hot days, but they make it difficult to set your drink down anywhere. The magnet fixed that problem AND was strong enough to hold a completely full beer. IMO, this is the tailgate must-have.

Clark: Ahh, the dilemma of where to set your drink at a tailgate. Do you hold it? Put it next to the food? Front shirt pocket? I was skeptical of this thing, but the magnet was super strong, and the koozie kept my drink cold. This thing can stick around at my tailgate.

6. Table in a Bag – $86.50

Megan: There are only five pieces (ideal for your messy friend). They all fit nicely into a lightweight bag (ideal for your weak friend). You don't need to read the instructions to figure out how to assemble it (ideal for your stubborn friend). And while it's a little more than I'd like to spend on a table, I can't deny my satisfaction.

Clark: Unless you or your buddy has a pickup truck, big tables are a bit hard to transport. This table in a bag was lightweight and assembled in fewer than five minutes. It's sturdy and just the right size, and it didn't buckle when I sat on it. This is Clark-tested and Clark-approved.

7. Portable Clamp-On Umbrella — $19.64

Megan: You know when you're reminiscing and then someone reminds you not to only remember the good things? Yeah, well, every year, I seem to forget about how insanely hot tailgates are. Like beads-of-sweat-dripping-down-my-legs hot. Solution? Umbrella. My fair-skinned ginger body really appreciated this gadget.

Clark: Oh, the summers I've spent with blistered shoulders bathing my burnt skin with cold milk. My fair Irish skin does not love the sun, and this umbrella is the perfect protector. This thing can clamp on anything, so whether you're near a table, chair, or next to bae, this has you covered. My only complaint is that it's a bit short, so you've gotta squat if you want to be shady.

8. S'mores Grill Rack — $11.19

Megan: S'mores in mass quantity, perfectly toasted and melty. 'Nuff said.

Clark: Tailgates traditionally are all about the apps and meats, but this thing just changed the damn game. You need this, you want this, you deserve s'more of this goodness...

9. Beer Saver — $9.99

Megan: Yeahhhh, OK, I see why you might need this if you open a drink and then don't plan on finishing it for a while. Its sole purpose is to save some of that precious carbonation, but these little plastic caps seem like more effort than it's worth. They are cute though — I'll give 'em that.

Clark: This is supposed to keep your drink carbonated, but if you're at a tailgate and planning to leave a drink sitting long enough to lose carbonation, you're doing something wrong. Where I do see this being useful is to track whose drink is whose and keep the nasty bugs and muck from getting in it.

10. Chicken Drumstick Grill Rack — $17.99

Megan: This thing rocked. Being able to fit 10 of these suckers in such a small area was clutch, especially because we needed to grill other things. We cooked hamburgers, jalapeños, and chicken at the same time with ease. Added bonus: You can add veggies to the bottom pan with all those yummy juices from the chicken. Is your mouth watering yet?

Clark: Dude, after using this thing, I'll never cook drumsticks the same. Having to flip them individually is tiresome and can also lead to them being cooked unevenly. This gadget allows you to cook all your wings evenly and lets them soak in the smoky goodness. Definitely a useful tailgate tool.

Lastly: Kick'n Chicken from Weber Sauces & Seasonings

This zesty blend incorporates the perfect amount of citrus and heat into your grilled wings, drumsticks, or breasts. You could even mix it into a breading to give your fried chicken a spicy kick. You'll never reach for anything else after giving Kick'n Chicken the old college try. Grill winning flavors at every last tailgate this season with Weber Sauces & Seasonings.

Photographs by Lauren Zaser © BuzzFeed 2016.