Here at Autoblog we’re all excited for the coming Labor Day weekend. We’re taking road trips, staying home to enjoy the long weekend or heading to various tailgating parties to celebrate the start of college football. We’ve all got big plans and we wanted to share some recommendations for tools, coolers, speakers, and even hot sauces that we’ll be taking with us on our journeys.
Reese Counts, Road Test Editor – “I own a few JBL portable speakers. I keep one in my shower, one in my garage and one that I pull out if I’m hanging out in the yard. They’re relatively lightweight, waterproof and have batteries that last a good while. The sound quality is pretty good, and with their newer models you can daisy chain them together to play the same music from multiple speakers.”
JBL 4 Charge – $119.95
JBL Clip 3 – $59.95
YETI Rambler Colster – $24.99
John Snyder, Senior Editor, Green – “If you’re tailgating, someone’s probably grilling, and if you want to go down as a legend, bring a six-pack … of hot sauces. Sure, you can do the typical Tabasco, Frank’s or Sriracha, but if you really want to make lifelong friends and lasting memories, getting creative with condiments is a solid way to do it (yes, I live by weird rules). These are my go-to hot sauces.”
“Marie Sharp’s: This is my current favorite. Made in Belize, it gets its heat from flavorful habanero peppers. It’s made with carrots, onion and garlic, too, which is surprisingly delicious and helps keep it from being runny. There are different heat levels available. I go through a lot of this stuff, so I buy it by the two-pack.
Clancy’s Fancy Hot Sauce: Made in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this is a unique hot sauce with an apple cider vinegar base. If you want to take it to the next level, mix it with mayo for a spicy aioli that goes great as a dip or a burger topping.
Tapatío: I see Cholula at a lot of burrito joints, but I’m always pumped when I see Tapatío instead (not to throw shade at Cholula — it’s good too). It’s a similar, but more satisfying traditional red sauce. It’s cheap, too. I love the tagline: “Es una salsa … Muy salsa.”
Pepper Plant: This one is always a hit at the barbeque, or even at breakfast. It’s a little on the salty side so it makes a fantastic marinade, too. For whatever reason (probably the saltiness) this one tastes extra special when you’re drinking a beer with your grilled delights. There are other flavors, too. The garlic style is excellent if that’s your thing. After all, Pepper Plant is made in the Garlic Capital of the World.
Endorphin Rush: I was recently introduced to this one at The Inn at Newport Ranch on California’s Lost Coast when I was there to drive the 2020 Subaru Outback. A staff member saw me eyeing the hot sauce selection at breakfast, and dashed off to the kitchen to grab this chef’s favorite from reserve. Boy, it packs a wallop, so warn any adventurous eaters before a taste test. It’s a tomato-based sauce — no vinegar — and it provides a little sweet and savory before the searing pain begins.
Sambal Oelek: Better described as a chili paste than a hot sauce, this comes from the Huy Fong Foods, the same company that sells the Sriracha in the famous rooster-adorned squirt bottles. I use Sambal a lot in dishes, especially when I want to spice up a stir fry. The thing is, this makes an excellent condiment as well. If you like the flavor of fresh chilis without all the frills, reach for this, but bring a spoon — the jar’s wide mouth doesn’t make for precise pouring.”
Alex Malburg, Associate Producer – “During BBQ cookouts, you have the grill master, the games master, but you also always need the music master. I take this mighty little speaker with me where ever I go because you never know when you need to KICK OUT THE JAMS!”
Chris McGraw, Senior Producer – “Normally when game day rolls around I throw on my maize and blue Air Jordan 1s and cheer on the Wolverines, but after a day full of walking around, unfortunately blisters have become common. That’s why I was so pumped when Nike released team-specific Pegasus models this year. I have been running in Pegasus shoes for over 10 years, and they are my go to shoe for any activity. They are super comfortable and, in recent years, have really started to look great too. You can spend all day in these, they are equally at home walking around Ann Arbor or just walking from the couch to the fridge. Go Blue!”
Michigan Wolverines Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 – $159.98
Greg Migliore, Editor-in-Chief – “I like to throw on a side of vegetables when I’m grilling basically anything. Asparagus, peppers you name it. Sometimes I put the veggies straight on the grill, but when I need a basket, this one is solid. There’s different shapes and sizes out there, but the Weber model fits nicely on most grills, leaving room for steaks or chops, too. If you want to keep all of the juices in, layer the basket in foil, which I’ll do if I’m working with olive oil or sauces.”
Weber Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket – $14.98
James Riswick, West Coast Editor – “Do I like college football? I do not, so I definitely won’t be attending a tailgate party. However, I know people who do, and for that venture, they purchased one of these: A beer pong table with your college allegiance printed upon it. I went to Pepperdine University, a dry-campus school with no football team (it was a real riot). Even it’s represented here.”
Foldable Tailgate Table – $149.99
Eddie Sabatini, Manager of Video Production – “I’ll be using the long weekend to do projects around the house. First up is garage security. I had my bike stolen from my garage about a year ago, so I’ve since added cameras to my house but I want better coverage on the garage. I have two of these on my house, one on the back door and one on the front door but I’m thinking of something a little cheaper for the garage since the Ring floodlight does capture some footage of the garage. This wireless option is on my list.
The other garage project I want to tackle this weekend is adding storage/organization solutions for my garden tools and other random stuff. These are the options I’m currently looking at: this rack is an Amazon choice. I have this storage shelf in my basement and it’s been good so I’m thinking of adding one to the garage. And I’m not sure I have the joints to support this, but I really want some overhead storage like this rack.
Ring Floodlight Camera – $249.00 here
HeimVision HMD2 Wireless – $79.99 here
Berry Ave Broom Holder – $13.97 here
AmazonBasics 3-Shelf Shelving Storage Unit – $30.54
FLEXIMOUNTS 4×8 Overhead Garage Storage Rack – $179.99
Autoblog is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to certain products. These deals are available through our affiliate partnerships. Deals are subject to our partners’ schedule and availability.