Game Day Essentials for Sidelines Sports: Top 5 Must-Haves

What to bring to a youth sports game, from soccer chairs to sports tents.

Parents and kids at a youth soccer game using Coleman gear

Top 5 Game Day Essentials for Sideline Sports

Sports moms and sports dads know that game day is more fun when you have the right gear for the sidelines. But like a youth sports coach putting together the perfect lineup, building your sideline setup requires you to think strategically and carefully.

  • Will your pop up sports tent be ready for windy spring soccer games?

  • What gear helps you stay warm during cold-weather football games?

  • Should you bring a chair for baseball games or will other sports moms and sports dads be sitting on the bleachers?

We'll help you cover the bases.

Read on to discover the top five items to include in your youth sports lineup so you can win every game day, no matter what happens on the field.

images of people sitting in portable chairs and watching sports outdoors

1: Sports chair - The MVP of every sideline lineup

There's nothing like getting on your feet and cheering when your little star makes a big play. A sports chair keeps you comfy for every moment in between.

Whether you need soccer chairs, folding sports chairs, or a bleacher-friendly chair for baseball games, here's what to look for when you're picking the perfect seat.

  • Portability. Some fields feel like they're miles from the parking lot. Chairs with built-in shoulder straps, handles, and carrying cases make it easy to go long.

  • Comfort. Features like extra padding and adjustable arm heights help you feel good from first pitch to extra innings.

  • Extras. The little things make a big difference in a winning sideline sports setup. Look for extras like cup holders and mesh pockets for your phone, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Shop our top sports chairs:

People watching sports under a canopy

2: Sports tent - Your game-day home base

When your kid's little league team needs relief from the sun, they take shelter in the dugout. You can stay cool on the sides by staking out a sports tent. The right outdoor sports tent, football tent, or soccer sidelines tent provides relief from the elements (and pesky bugs) while offering a central meeting place for your crew on long tournament days.

Look for these attributes when choosing the perfect sports canopy, sports shelter, or tent for sports:

  • Packable and spacious. Find a sports tent, sports shelter, or sports canopy that hits the sweet spot: Roomy enough for your crew yet compact enough to carry from the trunk to the field.

  • Versatile for the season. Features like air vents, ground stakes, and roll-up walls give your sports tent the flexibility to handle windy spring soccer games, hot summer baseball games, and more.

  • Easy to assemble. Look for sports tents that go up fast so you can spend more time cheering on your team.

Shop our top sports tents:

Coolers to store drinks and food on the sidelines

3: Sports coolers - Score a win-win

There’s nothing like a cold drink on game day–for both your sideline sports squad and your child’s youth sports team. But with so many options out there, finding the right sports cooler is no easy feat. Whether you’re looking for a sports water cooler, a football cooler, or a sports cooler with wheels, ask these three questions to secure the W:

What kind of sporting event am I going to?

This one’s a bit of a trick question. While companies may market coolers to specific sideline sports, most sports coolers work for any sporting event. So instead of asking whether you need a baseball cooler or a football cooler, read on to discover other important factors you should consider.

Where am I going?

For short treks from your car to the sidelines, a sports cooler with handles is a winning choice. If you’re making a longer trip to faraway fields, make your life easier by choosing a sports cooler with wheels.

What am I keeping cool?

It’s important to consider what you’ll need for your sideline sports game day. If it’s orange slices and bottled drinks, a sports drink cooler or general sports cooler will do the trick. If you’re looking to pour drinks into plastic cups, a sports water cooler or sports drink dispenser is the right choice.

How big is my crew?

Packing for just you and another fan? A backpack cooler, tote, or small cooler is all you need. When you’re in charge of bringing cold drinks and orange slices for the whole team, turn to a sports cooler with wheels.

Shop our top sports coolers:

Want to learn more about choosing the right cooler for any occasion?

Visit Coleman’s Cooler HQ

Jugs for storing water at sports games.

4: Sports water jug - Bring the heat or keep it cool

Sometimes, you don’t need a sports cooler to stay hydrated on game day. That’s when it’s time to call on an essential member of every sidelines squad: The sports water jug. Whether you want to warm up with hot cider during fall ball games or cool down with lemonade during the peak of summer, a water jug for sports offers a lightweight and portable option.

  • Hot or cold? Nearly every sports water jug can keep drinks cold, but not all are built to hold hot drinks. Whether you choose a 1 gallon sports water jug or a 5 gallon sports water jug, make sure it’s ready for your beverage of choice.

  • Ready to go. A sports water jug with handles allows for easy carrying, while a leak-proof lid prevent spills in bags and backpacks.

  • Sip, flip, pour. Speaking of lids, make sure to choose one that works for all your intended uses—whether you want to pour beverages into cups or drink directly from the spout.

Pro Tip. Warming up with a steamy beverage on a cold day? Pair your hot drink with a cozy blanket by unfolding and unzipping the Flatlands™ 45°F Big & Tall Sleeping Bag. Lined with Ecotherm™ fill, it keeps you in your comfort zone when gameday temps dip beneath it.

Shop our top sports water jugs:

woman taking a sports wagon out of a trunk and unfolding it

5: Large sports wagons - Roll to victory

Your team’s road to victory is not always smooth. The same goes for your path to the sidelines. A sports wagon gets your gear where you’re going no matter how many bumps are in the road. Use it to haul not only your sideline essentials, but on-the-field gear like soccer balls, baseball mitts, football pads, and more.

Here are three key aspects to look for when choosing your wagon:

  • Easy to navigate.Features like swivel wheels and an adjustable handle make it easy to tow your sports wagon to paydirt.

  • Durable. Look for a sports wagon with a strong frame, rugged materials, and the weight capacity to accommodate your entire sideline setup.

  • Collapsible. A sports wagon should include an accordion design and telescoping handle so you can easily stow it in your trunk or garage after the game.

Shop our top large folding wagon:

  • Camp Wagon. Our top-rated wagon for sports carries up to 150 lbs. and easily condenses when not in use.

kids sitting on a Coleman Cooler and parents watching a sports game

Build an all-star sideline team with Coleman

For over 120 years, Coleman has been gearing up families for great times on and off the field. We’re proud to be a part of your team today. From the sidelines to beyond, find the gear you need for every outdoor activity on your schedule.


What to bring to a football game?

Crisp weather and fall colors make football game day a special occasion—with special packing considerations. Whether you’re a dedicated football mom or an all-around sports dad, here are three essentials to bring when watching your child’s youth sports team on the gridiron:

Football sideline tents. Because football games are typically rain-or-shine events, a sideline tent helps you stay dry in inclement weather.

  • Blanket (or sleeping bag). Cold days make blankets a cozy necessity. An unzipped sleeping bag can also do the trick—plus, it’s easy to pack up and carry after the final whistle.

  • Sports water jug. Nothing warms you up on a frigid day outside like a steamy drink. Look for a sports water jug that’s insulated for hot beverages.

What to bring to a baseball game?

Whether you’re cheering on your ballplayer from a sports chair or the bleachers, having the right gear sets you up for a perfect game. Make these three items part of your starting lineup:

Pop up tent for baseball games. The summer sun can be relentless—especially when your kid is playing an all-day tournament. Score some much-needed shade with a sports tent or sports canopy.

  • Extra sun protection. Even if you bring a pop up tent for baseball games, it’s smart to have additional sun-protection essentials like sunglasses, sunscreen, or long-sleeve SPF sun shirts.

  • Sports wipes. While your little slugger looks like a big-league star with baseball face paint under their eyes, wipes are helpful when it’s time to clean up after the game. They’re also great for removing infield dirt, sweat, and sunscreen before a long car drive home.

What to bring to watch a soccer game?

Prepping for the sidelines is practically a game itself, whether you’re checking off a soccer tournament packing list or just putting together your soccer mom essentials. Consider including these three items:

Sports cooler with wheels. When you’re the soccer mom or sports dad in charge of bringing orange slices and sports drinks to the sidelines, a sports cooler with wheels helps you carry it all—even when your field is a long walk from the car.

  • Sports wagon. Because they take place in the spring and the fall, soccer games can bring unpredictable weather. A sports wagon helps you haul everything you need to stay comfy in the elements, from blankets and extra layers to sports tents and soccer sideline tents—along with other essentials like sports coolers and sports chairs.

  • First aid kit. While shin guards help protect your kids on the field, minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises are a part of the game. Tend to them all by including a portable first aid kit part in your sideline sports setup.

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