Nothing brings down the mood at a tailgate party like a lack of cold drinks, especially when the sun is blazing. The perfect cooler chills your drinks from the moment you set up until you're ready to head for the stadium, and may even keep working long into the night for those who plan to party longer. While many believe that bigger is always better when it comes to coolers, a unit that's too large may be difficult to transport. Strike a balance by choosing a cooler that's large enough to hold all your gear, but still small enough to be practical.
Consider a cooler on wheels to maximize convenience, or go top-of-the-line with a motorized riding cooler that makes getting around easy. For very large parties, try collapsible or inflatable coolers with team logos or colors. Combination grill and cooler units keep food safe until you're ready to cook out but are often too small to hold a lot of drinks.
If melting ice tends to cause a mess in your cooler, stick to reusable cool packs. Simply freeze these handy packs and slide them against the walls of your cooler to keep food and drinks cold all day. You can also skip the ice all together with an electric cooler that plugs into your car's battery charger to serve as a portable refrigerator.