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Best Festival Gadgets

Andrew Williams


Best Festival Gadgets

Rain, mud, sun and alcohol are music festival staples, and none of them are friends to expensive gadgets. However, tech can make a great festival even better, and if you can't bear to leave your favourite camera or smartphone at home, there are also buys to help keep them safe and sound too.

Freeloader Classic solar charger (£40)

Festivals tend to offer mobile phone charge spots these days, but if you'd rather avoid queuing for this on top of queuing every time you need a pee, the Freeloader Classic is the ticket. It's a 1200mAh rechargeable battery that plugs into two solar panels. Nine different charging adaptors are included, for mobile phones, portable game consoles and ereaders. There's a powered USB socket too, so you can plug in a standard Apple charge cable for your iOS devices.

Freeloader Classic

You'll need a solid eight hours of bright sunlight to get the battery fully charged, but if you're heading into a drizzle-fest you can always forget the panels and charge the battery over USB before heading out. Equipped with a layer of metal armour, it should easily survive a few days of roughing it with a few thousand fellow festival-goers.

Kitsound X3i portable speaker (£15)

Once the tunes have died out on the main stage, there's no reason to let the music stop. If the idea of cracking out the acoustic guitar sends the wrong kind of chills down your spine, the Kitsound X3i is a tasteful alternative.

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It's a dual-driver speaker bar with a 7-hour rechargeable battery that'll plug into any source with a 3.5mm jack output. Although it can't produce sub-like bass levels, it can create enough volume for a campside or in-tent chill-out session. Match it with the Freeloader Classic solar charger and it'll last all weekend.

Samsung E1080i mobile phone (£10)

Taking your iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy S 2 to a festival is a dodgy proposition. Theft, rain damage and that unexpected Fleet Foxes mosh pit all threaten to shorten the life of your £500 smartphone. Walk away from that worry and having to worry about charging your mobile with a simple phone like the Samsung E1080i.

Festival Gadgets

It costs just £10 but has a colour screen and remarkably sturdy body. There's no 3G connectivity, no Bluetooth and no camera, but there's also no deep pang of sadness if you drop it into a muddy puddle. It makes calls, writes texts - what more could you want?

Otterbox Defender iPhone case (£17.99 and up)

If you can't face leaving your iPhone at home for three days, it may be emblematic of a deeper problem. But there are accessories to keep your beloved safe in the dangerous environs of a festival. The Otterbox Defender is a multi-layered case, made of strong plastic and rubber for the best possible shock protection.

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It's not completely waterproof, as it's a case that's meant to let you use your iPhone while it's attached, but it's one of the most hardcore cases that's readily available. The package also includes a screen protector, to protect the display as well as that glossy bod.

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