Festival essentials checklist: The best gadgets to survive Bestival, Wilderness and more
If you thought festival essentials entailed a few warm tinnies and a pair of Primark sunglasses, it’s time to think again.
In 2018, tech ameliorates everything, and festivals are no exception. From battery packs to Bluetooth speakers and beyond, your festival experience can be seriously bolstered if you invest in a few smart pieces of kit.
And while it may take the devil-may-care whimsy out of going without phone battery for four days, think back to that time you lost all your mates and your bank card and your way back to the tent and… you get the picture.
Here’s our roundup of the best tech to see you through the rest of festival season, whether you’re heading to Bestival, Wilderness, Boomtown or beyond. Happy partying!
Best festival tech 2018: Anker PowerCore II 10,000 Ultra-Compact Power Bank
Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon
Ever since these bad boys hit the mainstream, they became the holy grail of festival tech. Your phone is most likely what you use for communication, for taking pictures, uploading to Instagram – perhaps even for payment. The last thing you want is to be caught short on the battery front, just when you’re about to Apple Pay for that gourmet hot dog. Given the centrality of the smartphones in modern life, power banks and portable chargers can be a real lifesaver.
This pared-down black one from PowerAdd is incredibly compact. It boasts a 10,000mAh battery – enough for two or three charges of most flagship smartphones – and respectable charging times. But the real clincher is size; 97mm long and 61mm wide is perfect when you’re trying to cram as many flip flops/cans of larger/glitter pots into your bag as possible.
Best festival tech 2018: Creative Muvo 2c Bluetooth Speaker
Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon
When the music you’ve actually paid to see isn’t blaring, you might want to crack on with your own tunes. Do this from the comfort of your tent – or the inevitable bevy of deckchairs around it – via a Bluetooth speaker.
If you’re balking at the prospect of taking an expensive piece of kit to a festival, we don’t blame you – we’d panic about our Bose getting doused in Strongbow too. However, this ultraportable Bluetooth speaker from Creative fits the bill perfectly; it’s £30, weighs just 159g and fits in the palm of your hand. With eight different colours to choose from, you can even match it to your tent and/or festival garb.
Best festival tech 2018: OverBoard Waterproof Phone Case
Price: From £19 | Buy now from OverBoard
While the UK’s been revelling in 34 degree climes recently, we’re all pretending to forget it’s an anomaly – a blip on our fate of lukewarm grey drizzle. While you’ll almost certainly fall victim to this misplaced optimism, don’t bring your smartphone down with you; pre-empt rain damage with a waterproof phone case.
These ones from OverBoard start at an eminently reasonable £19. They completely seal your device from the elements, all the while letting you use your phone through the case material. This saves you the indignity of wrangling it in and out of its purse everytime you want to post another Snapchat story.
Best festival tech 2018: Fitbit Flex 2
Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon
From ploughing through fields in search of overpriced paella to instigating the mosh pit, festivals are kind of like one long, diversified workout. Why not log your progress with a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Flex 2. After a long weekend of cider, chips and cigarettes, it’ll have you feeling positively virtuous.
The Fitbit Flex 2 fits snugly around the wrist, making a secure accompaniment to your festival wristbands. Its battery lasts a commendable five days, meaning you won’t have to worry about recharging. Plus, like all good bits of outdoor tech, it’s waterproof, meaning you won’t be flapping about trying to conceal it from the inevitable downpour.
Best festival tech 2018: Kindle Paperwhite
Price: £110 | Buy now from Amazon
Sometimes, it gets to that point in a festival where you need to burrow down in your sleeping bag with a tea and a backlit novel – the makeshift safe space of the festival world.
READ NEXT: Kindle Paperwhite full review
Kindle’s bestselling Paperwhite e-reader fits the bill perfectly here. It’s slim, light and with a battery life than famous lasts “weeks, not hours”, it makes the perfect gadget to facilitate festival downtime. Because when the hedonism gets too much, you can always take solace in escapism.