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Football season is here! 40 tailgating must-haves to prep for game day

Plan on tailgating this football season? From foldable grills to seating, here's everything you need for a fun time.

Football is back! That means tailgating season is here, and it's time to load up our trunks with the pre-game essentials. For some, the party beforehand can be more exciting than the game itself — it just takes the right combination of food and fun to get it done.

To assist with your tailgating prep, lifestyle expert Meredith Sinclair stopped by TODAY to share some of her game day necessities. Some of her favorites range from a powered cooler to a decorative corn hole set, and even desserts full of personality — all of which will enhance your tailgating experience in every aspect.

Read on to see all of the picks that are sure to make your next tailgate one to remember.

Tailgating essentials seen on TODAY

Space Innovations Car Tailgate Table

This tailgate table turns your vehicle’s trunk into a table — really. The Tail Table attaches to any metal U-latch, creating a non-slip table surface for you to meal prep (it has a built-in cutting board), rest heavy bottles or plates and host a feast. Although this might sound like an additional part to carry, it’s easy to lug inside its carrying bag and just as simple to wash. We also can’t forget to mention the included silicone mats for extra protection for your valuables.

Fangsun Grill and Tailgating Caddy

It’s safe to say that grilling for a large party can be messy. But, this grill and tailgating caddy keeps all your tools, condiments, spices and utensils visible and swift to access, leaving the clean-up behind. Inside, the bag has two large compartments to host a variety of items, while the exterior has slots for paper towels, plates, among other items. When it’s not in use, you can flatten the caddy for storage.

Worx Electric Powered Cooler

Soggy sandwiches can ruin your picnic. That’s where the Worx Electric Powered Cooler enters the picture. The portable device promises to keep your food and drinks cool without ice, and it uses a digital control panel to monitor the temperature from -4°F to 68°F. Meaning, this gives you the option to refrigerate a wide range of snacks without the hassle of dumping dirty water or being left with soaked items. Rely on the battery itself or plug the cooler to your nearest outlet to activate. This product qualifies for 25% off using the code TODAYSHOW25, so be sure to plug in the code at checkout!

Cuisinart Grillster Portable Gas Grill

If you don’t have access to a grill during your tailgate, there’s always the option to bring a portable one. Case in point: the Cuisinart Grillster Portable Gas Grill. Its size might be smaller compared to your grill at home, but this tool can reach temperatures of up to 600 degrees. And unlike large outdoor grills, the device is quick to assemble and can be tossed in the dishwasher.

Aoutacc Portable Folding Stool

There’s always a seat when you have this portable folding stool. But the feature that stands out most is that the chair can be carried by hand or in your bag. For instance, it weighs just around 0.64 pounds and folds into the shape of a clutch. The chair also comes in four sizes and can support up to 300 pounds, depending on the size and color.

Packed Party “When’s Halftime” Cupstack

When you’re hosting a tailgating event, you need the essentials, which include themed game day drinkware, of course. These halftime-inspired cups, in particular, set a playful tone to any party with a colorful printed phrase across the 10-piece set. A plus is that the cups are shatter-proof and BPA-free.

Packed Party Football Sipper

If you’re looking for another watch party accessory, look no further than this football-shaped sipper. Cheers with your friends after every touchdown, or use the cups for other sports-themed occasions. Nonetheless, the sipper will keep your beverages cool throughout the game.

NFL Shop LED Corn Hole Board Set

Corn hole is the unofficial party game at tailgates, which is one of many reasons this board set made it onto our list. The board’s surface is acrylic coated with impact-resistant LED lights, and can be designed with the NFL team of your choice. Swiftly transport it to your next tailgate with the attached carry handles.

Harry & David Football Sausage and Cheese Gift

This football shaped-sausage and cheese gift set is proof that there are other ways to showcase your team spirit outside of branded merch. The set comes with the tastiest halftime-snack trio: single football shaped sausage, three-seed crackers and two types of cheeses (sharp white cheddar and cheddar cheese). Based on the positive reviews, you’ll want to add this set to your cart immediately.

Cheryl’s Tailgate Treats Party In a Box

After your team’s win (or before, if you prefer), you’ll surely want to celebrate with dessert. Chery’s Tailgate Treats Party in a Box will soothe your sweet tooth with 12 snack-sized cookies, which range from classic chocolate chip to sugar, all the way to butter-frosted (on a football-shaped cookie, to be exact).

More tailgating party essentials seen on TODAY

To help you create the ultimate tailgating experience, Men's Journal contributor Clint Carter previously stopped by TODAY to share all of his favorite game day essentials, too. From affordable, foldable grills to cook up your favorite foods to a portable party speaker, Carter has you covered on every aspect of the pre-game tradition to last you all season.

Cameron's Products Collapsible Folding Tailgating Table

This clever, foldable table is perfect for game day fun. Featuring four cupholders, there's a spot to hold your favorite snacks and even an insulated cooler for your drinks.

Kelty Low Loveseat

Carter says this loveseat is great for cozying up on fall nights, lounging in the parking lot before the big game, or even on the sidelines of your kids' game. According to the brand, it easily seats two people and folds up for easy carrying. If you're looking for more seating, it also comes as a three-seater couch.

Northwest NFL Blanket

Show your team spirit while bundling up with extra warmth on those chilly nights. Carter says this NFL blanket is great for when those temperatures plummet during overtime. You can also fly it as a flag during tailgating, Carter adds. This plush throw is made of 100 percent polyester and comes in a variety of NFL teams.

GCI Outdoor Stadium Chair

Sitting on hard metal bleachers can do a number on your back, so Carter recommends bringing one of these stadium chairs along. Coming in four different colors, it features armrests and a sturdy backrest for extra support and back protection. TODAY readers can use the code TAILGATE10 to take 10% off purchases made this month through GCI Outdoor's website.

Himaly Foldable Charcoal Grill

Carter says this grill is small enough to travel with but big enough to feed a crowd. According to the brand, the foldable legs require "stress-free assembly" and is big enough to grill for five to ten people. Carter says this grill also works as an open fire pit, which is perfect when temperatures begin to drop. Plus it's under $50!

Superior Trading Co. Steel Condiment Caddy

To avoid looking like an amateur and messy tailgater, Carter says this handy condiment caddy keeps your utensils, paper towels and sauces in one place, allowing you to easily toss it in your trunk before heading into the stadium.

NiteIze Traveler Drink Holster

Carter says this is another genius option for holding your beverages. Whether you're tossing a football or cooking up on the grill, you can easily attach your drink to your belt or waistband and backpack strap. According to the brand, the holster adjusts to most drink containers, including 12-ounce cans, tumblers and water bottles.

OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker

Clint says this portable Bluetooth speaker has big sound but small packaging. He says the best part about them is you can pair multiple together, for a surround sound experience. According to the brand, the Bluetooth range is up to 100 feet.

Molkky Wooden Pin & Skittles Game

This game is perfect for tailgating because it's basically parking lot bowling, Carter mentions. Coming with 12 pins and one throwing pin, it requires two or more players and comes with an easy carrying case so you can pack up and quickly toss in the trunk.

More tailgating party essentials

Yahoo contributing editor Chassie Post previously stopped by Hoda & Jenna to share everything you need in order to put together a successful tailgating bash, so you can celebrate football season in style. Whether you're headed to the game or are celebrating at home, Post has the outfits, decor and even the bites you'll want as you head into the football season.

Beistle Football Party Inflatable Football & Tee Set

When it comes to decor, this set is making sure you go big or go home. Both pieces stand over 39-inches tall, so you can prop them up to make a statement — or to play with.

Oniva by Picnic Time Caliente Portable Charcoal Grill & Cooler Tote

This set includes a grill and cooler for your next BYOBB kickback — that's bring your own beer and barbecue, according to Post. The zippered cooler is also water-resistant and has enough room to hold the grill, plus six 12-ounce cans. Plus, Post says it's a breeze to use and pack up.

KC Cattle Co. Wagyu Beef Hot Dogs

This veteran-owned company, which only employs veterans, makes all of their beef products from American Wagyu beef, including these gourmet uncured hot dogs that have a practically perfect 5-star rating and have been lauded by Food & Wine magazine.

KC Cattle Co. Wagyu Burger Patties

These slider patties are perfect for feeding a group. You can easily fit a bunch of these patties on a grill at once because of their smaller size.

Houzz NFL New York Giants 3-Piece BBQ Set-Spirit Series

Even your utensils can be dressed for the occasion, and this three-piece set from Houzz can make it happen. Each set is made with heavy-duty stainless steel and includes a branded "sportula," pair of tongs and a grill fork.

Fancy Panz Casserole Carrier

Finally, the answer to one of the biggest party problems! This genius carrying tray protects and cools your food, making it easy to transport casseroles, cakes and more — right out of the oven! Once you get back home, you can toss it in the dishwasher for easy care.

Rightline Gear SUV Tailgating Canopy

You can catch some shade or stay protected from the elements before the game starts with this two-legged smart tent. One half attaches to your open trunk, while sandbags attached to the front poles ensure that it won't fly away. A protective waterproof strapping prevents it from scratching or damaging your car.

NFL 3-Piece Tailgate Kit (All team options)

Football is back! That means tailgating season is here, and it's time to load up our trunks with the pre-game essentials. For some, the party beforehand can be more exciting than the game itself — it just takes the right combination of food and fun to get it done.

Naxa 7-inch Bluetooth DVD Boombox & TV

Even the boombox is making a comeback! Though, with a pretty major update. This neat piece of tech features the music-playing abilities you know and love, but also has a small built-in screen that plays DVDs and TV.

Oniva by Picnic Time Ventura Reclining Stadium

If you're showing your support from the stands, you can at least do it comfortably with these innovative reclining chairs. It checks all of the boxes: The supportive padded cushion is encased in durable polyester to protect it from rain showers, it features a roomy pocket and folds into a flat backpack for easy storage and transportation.

Rumpl NFL Blankets Licensed by Cathay Sports

Cozy up on the stands, or just show off your team pride during your next picnic, with these durable Rumpl blankets that are stain- and water-resistant. There's a style for every NFL team.

Chattanooga TShirt Custom Vintage Football Jersey

These customizable jerseys are a cute way the whole family can show their support during the game. They're available in adult, youth and infant sizes, and each jersey is outfitted with a vinyl team name and number on the front.

The New England Patriots NFL Gameday Blazer

We're calling this one tailgate formal. This fun suit is perfect for any game night. The complete set includes a white pair of pants and a sleek tie. There's a style for every NFL team, too.

The New Orleans Saints NFL Gameday Pants

Matching sets are in right now, so if you want to join the trend, pair the above blazer with these themed-pants for a complete look. Or mix and match with an existing top in his wardrobe.

The Atlanta Falcons Ladies Unisex NFL Overalls

For the ladies, these overalls are a fun way to show off some team spirit (and make it so much easier to choose an outfit for the day). There's a style unique for every team.

More fun tailgating essentials

EliandEmery Game Day Vibes Kids T-Shirt

This super soft tee is the perfect addition to any wardrobe. It can fit kids as little as 12 months or as big as a a size 12 and comes in five different colors.

SouthrnSerendipity Game Day Vibes Adult T-Shirt

Who can resist a matching outfit? Copy the littlest member of the family's style with this tee that's just as soft.

Boutique Gameday Tailgate Shirts When's Halftime? T-Shirt

Need we say more? This basic tee is one you'll wear all season long.

Foco Men's NFL Slides

A comfortable way to show some team spirit, these bestselling men's slides make a great gift for the football fan in the family. He can wear them to the game or keep them as an around-the-house shoe.

Foco Women's NFL Bling Slides

For the woman who prefers a little more bling, these cute slides are a fun way to incorporate team fashion into any wardrobe.

Jack-N-Hoods NFL Varsity Jackets

The classic varsity style isn't just for high school teams! You can find a varsity jacket for every NFL team at Jack-N-Hoods, including this Cowboys-inspired piece.