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Tailgating expert names the Top 15 tailgating products of 2012

TORONTO -- Jeff Dockeray, parking lot pro and founder of Tailgate Radio Network, has selected 15 items that he deems the best tailgating products of 2012.

Tailgate Radio Network is dedicated exclusively to the tailgating pastime and reaches listeners throughout North America.

Dockeray, a tailgating enthusiast for more than 20 years, has met with hundreds of companies and inventors to uncover a host of exciting and innovative products available in the $20 billion tailgating industry.

"These products have a direct application for the hardcore or perennial tailgater, displaying portability, functionality, originality or a combination of these attributes," Dockeray said. "All in all, they are quintessential items for your next tailgate."

Dockeray's Top 15 tailgating products of 2012 are:

Enviro-Log Firestarters: Made from 100% recycled eco-friendly wax, Enviro-Log Firestarters offer an alternative to kindling, petroleum-based starter blocks, lighter fluids and ethanol-based gels. Each firestarter provides up to 20 minutes of burn time with tall and consistent flames. Burned to completion, the firestarters are 100% consumed and leave no mess to clean up. www.enviro-log.net

BasketPong: BasketPong is a new tailgating game that combines the competitiveness and skill of basketball and darts with the fun, portability and excitement of other outdoor games such as corn hole/bean bag toss. It comes in a lightweight, compact carrying case and can be easily assembled for play on the ground or in a swimming pool within minutes. The backboard features eight slots to insert rims and cups/nets in different patterns, which allows you to customize the game for people of all ages and play at various skill levels. www.basketpong.com

The Grill Plate: Crème Brule and peach cobbler on the grill? The Grill Plate from Grill Innovations is a patented grill plate with a "V" bottom that not only lets you bake over direct heat, but also is the only product that will let you broil with your grill. The "V" bottom design creates a convection effect, and the flat top gives you an air gap to protect what you are cooking. www.grillinnovations.com

GateMate: GateMate is a portable, multifunctional tailgating toolbox that organizes both the casual and hardcore tailgater. It replaces the transporting of bags and boxes of your tools, condiments, party supplies and smallwares with an all-in-one, space-saving box. It's a quintessential toolbox, but for your parking lot necessities. www.gatemate.net

Party Companion Tailgate Tray: The Party Companion Tailgate Tray is an all-in-one, handheld tray that allows you and your guests the ease and flexibility to socialize and participate in game day activities while holding a cold beverage, grilled favorites, plate, napkins and utensils... in just one hand. This football field-themed tray is made of sturdy recycled board, for those wanting to use it once, or re-use it all football season. www.tailgatetray.com

The Ultimate Hand: Ultimate Hand, the new No. 1 in 3-D foam fingers, is for the ultimate fan that wants to make a bold statement. It looks like a real hand, fits comfortably over your own and offers a customizable jersey sleeve. Now licensed with all major league sports and more than 108 colleges, this is a true sports fan "gotta have" product. www.ultimatehands.com

Sports-Themed Ticket Style Invitations: If you want to show your love of sports on your wedding day or other special occasion, here's custom designed "ticket style" invitations for sports themed weddings, parties and personalized wedding day accessories. These wedding day programs are designed to look exactly like the official game day program you purchase at a local pro sports stadium or arena, except that it's filled with your photos and wedding/party details. www.sportsthemedweddings.com

Grill Master Apron Kit with Insulated Beverage Pocket: A great and unique gift for the griller, the kit includes an apron, detachable bottle opener, padded oven mitt and towel. The apron features multiple pockets for storage, including an insulated pocket for keeping your beverage cold. http://printcomstore.com/

Strongback Chair: If you want a healthy back, you must try Strongback. These chairs are ergonomically comfortable and portable. It is one of the most comfortable seats you will ever sit in - inside or out. www.strongbackchair.com

TurboChill: TurboChill gives you ice cold beer poured at 35-38 degrees at three times the conventional speed of most kegs, with a perfect foam collar, without the use of electricity, batteries or any power source. TurboChill allows you to pour ice-cold beer anywhere and everywhere. It is perfect for tailgating, HomeGating, decks, patios and events. TurboChill is the evolution of cold beer. www.turbochill.com

Rib-o-lator Tray: The Rib-o-lator's exclusive tray design means you can now rotisserie any food on your BBQ grill - ribs, fish, burgers, steaks, veggies and more. The Rib-o-lator cooks your food with the indirect heat of your barbecue/grill so your food won't burn or dry out, always finishing tender, moist and full of flavor. www.ribolator.com

Rear Gear Sports Cushion: Rear Gear is a deployable and contractible sports cushion. It has a strong belt so it can be worn around the waist or over the shoulder for hand-free convenience. As a seat cushion, it comes with a zippered pocket for your game gear, and works great as a lower back support cushion. www.reargearinc.com.

3D Grill Tree: The 3D Grill Tree makes grilling easier. The exclusive Magic Skewer design stops food from spinning and can be turned in different positions. The Grill Tree has three different grilling heights to work with, and comes with six 8.5-inch skewers. http://3dgrill.com/

LoopRope: LoopRope is a revolutionary fastener that eliminates the daily use of dangerous and limiting bungee cords, messy cargo nets and most other light- to medium-duty tie downs. It's the only tie down that goes from lashing down your gear to quick-docking a boat to being used as a clothesline at camp, and everything in between. It's the duct tape of bungee cords. www.looprope.com

BeerHats: There are other beer-hats out there, but these are licensed, patented, made from new beer cases and are professionally crafted. Each hat is assembled and shaped by hand, and use a 15-ton hydraulic press and industrial sewing machines during assembly. They're a long way from staples and duct tape and are a phenomenal way to "wear your brand!" www.beerhats.com

 

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