Top 15 festival gadgets

12th Jun 2009 | 09:00

Top 15 festival gadgets

Affordable gadgets and gizmos that cost a lot less than your festival ticket did

Solar charger

If you're heading to one of the many fantastic festivals in the UK or abroad this year, you're guaranteed a fantastic weekend away from the rigours of everyday life.

However, for many tech fans a weekend away from phones, PCs, gadgets and the National Grid is enough to bring them out in hives. That's why we've trawled the internet for the best gadgets to help you stay in touch, save money and have a stress free weekend at the best festivals this summer has to offer.

freeloader solar charger

Freeloader Solar Charger - £29.95

Use the sun's rays to charge your phone - if you can find any

Any festival goer knows the constant battle with keeping their phone charged all weekend, and the hardships of keeping in touch with friends when the juice starts to dwindle.

If you're going to some of the season's sunnier festivals this year, such as Bestival, Big Chill or Benacassim then the Freeloader Solar Charger is the most essential item for keeping friends together.

The Freeloader comes with attachments for every type of mobile phone and an hour in the sun outside the tent can give you a day extra piece of mind.

Buy it here: Firebox

Portable speakers

kensington portable speakers

Kensington FX-500 Portable Speakers - £30.44

Keep the music going all night

Festivals are all about music, but when the late night revelling stops everyone needs a bit extra for late night camp fire chats and early morning wake up calls.

The Kensington FX-500 Portable Speakers are durable enough to withstand even the hardest outdoor weekend, loud enough to keep your entire camp partying and cheap enough that you don't need to worry about leaving them in the tent.

Buy it here: Dabs

Super tough camera


Olympus Tough Mju 6000 10MP - £199.99

Hardcore photography for hardcore fans

Capturing those memories is an essential part of the festival weekend, but rainy afternoons, muddy swills and hard knocks can take their toll on budget cameras.

The 10 megapixel Olympus Tough Mju 6000 is built to last and can survive being submerged in water, covered in mud and bumped around in a bag all day with all those abrasive festival essentials, and still produce great looking photographs of all your favourite bands.

Buy it here: Amazon UK

LED torch

LED torch

Silverline LED torch- £5.30

Get back to your tent in one piece

Anyone who's tried to find their tent at 4am when the last band has finished, and more than a few warm beers have been consumed will appreciate that without light, you're more lightly to find yourself passed out in someone else's gazebo than your own sleeping bag.

LED lights are efficient enough to last all weekend, bright enough to pick your Millets budget tent out from the other 10,000 and light enough to slip into your pocket.

Buy it here: Power Tools 2 U

Mini video camera

Flip minohd

Flip Mino HD- £169.99

HD doesn't have to be big and heavy

Photographs are great but they won't capture that fantastic guitar solo, the buzz of the crowd or the way your mate's tent floated away in a river of rainwater, mud and effluence the way you remember it.

Tiny video cameras like the Flip Mino HD have come a long way in the last 12 months, and this tiny camera is able to record in glorious 720p and an impressive 30fps so you won't be cursing jumpy footage.

Yes the screen is smaller than a postage stamp but the Mino HD really is so conveniently small that you won't be without it again.

Buy it here: Play

Wind-up radio

wind up radio

Wind-up Radio - £9.99

Cliff Richard is dead rumours won't be the only wind-up this year

Most festivals have on-site radios with bands playing sets which can only be heard by those who packed the right kit.

This handy wind-up radio means you'll never be stuck without batteries, and it also doubles up as a torch, you can find your way to the portaloos at 4am while listening to your favourite tunes. Eat your heart out iPhone, because that's what we call convergence!

Buy it here: Maplin

MP3 player

archos mp3

Archos 2 8GB- £39.99

Listen to your music all weekend

If you want to listen to your favourite bands while in the comfort of your tent, you may be forgiven for not wanting to take your expensive iPod.

The Archos 2 is the perfect festival companion with its impressive battery life, incredibly light form factor and 8Gb memory which will hold enough tracks to keep you entertained for the entire weekend.

Buy it here: Advanced MP3 Players

Solar lantern

solar lantern

Solar Lantern - £29.95

Don't let the lights go down on your party

The perfect accompaniment to any camp site, the solar lantern will provide you with light to party by long after the sun goes down.

The lantern charges during the day meaning that you can light your tent or camp for an entire evening, providing your lucky enough to have the kind of weather we'd be proud enough to call a British summer.

Buy it here: Firebox

Walkie Talkies

doro walkie talkies

Doro-WT77-Two-Radio - £14.99

Staying in touch has never been so fun

Staying in touch is difficult at festivals and planning to reply on mobile phones can be planning to fail. The Doro WT77 two way radio enables you to communicate over a distance of up to 7km, which is big enough for even Glastonbury sized festival sites.

What's more, you don't need to worry about having your phone charged or trying to connect to those choked up networks.

Buy it here: Amazon UK

Waterproof cases

waterproof cases

Overboard Waterproof cases - £14.95+

This might be the only thing that survives the flood

Picking the wrong festival can be a pretty wet experience but while you may dry out at the front of the mosh pit, your gadgets might not fare so well.

This range of waterproof cases will keep your digital camera, mobile phone and anything else dry even at the bottom of the most saturated bag.

Buy it here: Firebox

Umbrella lightsabre


Umbrella lightsabre - £19.99

May the force of nature be with you

Looking good at a festival is almost as important as staying dry, but this umbrella ticks both boxes in style.

The umbrella is standard and will keep you dry, but the stem lights up like a lightsabre, and a swish or swivel will be greeted with accurate sound effects which is sure to bring a lot of attention, so you better make sure you're up on your Star Wars trivia.

Buy it here: I Want One of Those

iPhone/iPod backup charger

back-up battery

BluePack iPhone iPod Backup Battery - £29.95

Keep your iPhone going all weekend

iPhone users are everywhere now, and despite all the fantastic advances in touch screen and internet browsing, the battery life is still as bad as any other phone.

If you're planning in staying on touch with your iPhone at festivals this summer than you shouldn't be without the BluePack back up battery, which gives you a whopping 250 hours of stand-by or 3.5hrs of talk time, enough to see you through the rest of the weekend.

Buy it here: Firebox

Portable BBQ


Portable BBQ grill - £21.95

Unpack for BBQ heaven

OK so it's not a true gadget, but if you going to a festival this year, you really shouldn't be without this amazing barbeque.

It folds up like a briefcase but expands into a barbeque which you can use to cook great bacon sandwiches every morning without needing to pay an arm and a leg at the burger stands.

Buy it here: Firebox

Wind-powered charger

wind charger

Hymini Wind Turbine - £36.99

The smart money's on wind power

Solar chargers are a fantastic way of keeping those gadgets charged. The obvious problem that any festival goer knows is that sun can be a rare commodity at British festivals, so this wind charger could be a better bet.

Like any wind turbine it uses the worst of the summer weather to keep your gadgets charged up all weekend.

Buy one here: Cutepod

Waterproof speaker

waterproof speaker

Waterproof speaker - £29.95

All weather music guaranteed

Another gadget which is guaranteed to stave off adverse weather conditions, this floating speaker is totally waterproof and offers great sound quality.

But more importantly it can be sat down on wet mud or kept in a leaky tent without sounding like R2D2 after a night on the sauce.

In the unlikely event of your tent disappearing in a monsoon, you'll have more chance clinging to this speaker than the rest of your belongings.

Buy it here: Amazon UK

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