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Festival Essentials 2016: 28 tech must-haves for Glastonbury, Reading and beyond


muddy wellies festival

Ready for the festival season? For the ultimate camping experience, we've rounded up the very best festival essentials, including tents, speakers, torches, apps, sleeping bags, portable Wi-Fi, and phones.

Best Festival Tents

Trespass Pop-up Tent – £29.99

Keen to keep costs down? Check out this tried-and-tested Trespass pop-up tent from Argos. It won’t do you any good on Everest (or anywhere exposed, really), but it’s an ideal cheap-and-cheerful solution for festivals. It pops up in seconds, holds two people, and even has mosquito nets – all for just £30.

festival essentials

Buy Now: Trespass Pop-up Tent – £29.99

Vango Banshee 300 – £109.95

Vango is a well-recognised tent-maker, and its Banshee 300 is an excellent value three-man (or woman) option for the budget-conscious. We’d recommend this over the Banshee 200 (£99) as, despite its two-man description, it's really only big enough for one person plus gear.

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Buy Now: Vango Banshee 300 – £109.95

Hilleberg Anjan 2 – £574.99

If you’re looking for a serious tent that you can use for something other than festivals, the Hilleberg Anjan 2 is one of the best on the market. It flies up in minutes, is proofed for three (and a bit) seasons, and comes with a free footprint worth £70 if you buy from Ellis-Brigham. It’s also incredibly lightweight at just 1.6kg, making it as an excellent backpacking tent.

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Buy Now: Hilleberg Anjan 2 – £574.99

Related: Deals of the Day

Best Sleeping Bags for Festivals

Lichfield Trail 250 – £16.80

You won’t want to kip on the Alps in Lichfield’s Trail 250, but Glastonbury? A piece of cake. At less than £20, this sleeping bag is a solid pick for festival-goers and campers looking to penny-pinch.

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Buy Now: Lichfield Trail 250 – £16.80

Coleman Hudson Double – £59.99

If you plan on cosying up to a dearly (or perhaps not so dearly) beloved third-party at your next festival, this double sleeping bag from Coleman is ideal. Think Netflix and Chill, but without the Netflix.

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Buy Now: Coleman Hudson Double – £59.99

The North Face Lynx – £87.90

If you want something that will actually keep you warm at night, and you can rely on in non-festival camping situations, this The North Face sleeping bag is surprisingly good value. Down from £140 to just £87.90, you’d be mad to miss out on this discounted mummy-style sack.

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Buy Now: The North Face Lynx – £87.90

Best Speakers for Festivals

Sony Mobile BSP10 – £30.95

For the uber-frugal, there exists the Sony Mobile BSP10. It’s a dinky speaker that’s surprisingly loud. Size isn’t everything, right?

Related: 10 best portable speakers 2016

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Buy Now: Sony Mobile BSP10 – £30.95

Monster SuperStar BackFloat – £99

British weather is unpredictable, which means there’s a good chance of your belongings washing away in a summer shower. But that’s no problem for Monster’s floating waterproof speaker – a must-have for potentially sub-aquatic festivals everywhere.

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Buy Now: Monster SuperStar BackFloat – £99

Logitech UE Boom 2 – £109.99

Normally £170, Logitech’s widely beloved UE Boom 2 speaker has been discounted to a bargan-tastic £110 on Amazon. Better still, it’s available in a smorgasbord of rainbow-fondling colours that will show up against the grass and mud, making its untimely disappearance far less likely.

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Buy Now: Logitech UE Boom 2 – £109.99

Best Lighting for Festivals

Milestone Camping Glow Sticks (x24) – £11.43

Sometimes going back to basics is the best option, and there are few things more basic than the humble glow-stick. Perfect for dim lighting in a tent, and even better for festival raving – the glow-stick wins out as the budget lighting option.

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Buy Now: Milestone Camping Glow Sticks (x24) – £11.43

Coast HL7 Head Torch – £35.98

It’s not exactly sexy, but at least you’ll be able to see. There’s nothing more shameful than tripping over on the way to the portaloo and landing head-first in mud. When it comes to head-lamps, the Coast HL7 is one of the best for value.

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Buy Now: Coast HL7 Head Torch – £35.98

Black Diamond Apollo Lantern – £44.99

If you’ve simply got too much swag to be contained in the straps of a head-torch, perhaps a lantern is the answer. And if that’s the case, you could do worse than the impressive Black Diamond Apollo. With a dimming switch, 80 lumens of brightness, and fold-down legs, it’s an impressive bit of kit. It also runs on AA batteries – huzzah!

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Buy Now: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern – £44.99

Best Apps & Websites for Festivals

Glascovery (iOS) – Free

So you’ve paid for Glastonbury tickets, and suddenly realised that you have no idea who half the bands are. Glascovery compiles all of the Glastonbury acts and lets you listen to quick 30-second samples of their music.

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Download Now: Glascovery on iOS for free

Find my Friends (iOS) – Free

For iPhone users, Find My Friends is an invaluable way of tracking down your mates during festival bedlam. Granted, you can’t find your Android-toting mates. But iOS and Android fans can never truly be friends anyway, right?

Related: Best Android apps

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Download Now: Find My Friends on iOS for free

Festvl (iOS) – Free

Festvl is intended to be your catch-all solution for any festival needs. You can create a line-up of acts you want to see, and get notifications when bands you like are about to perform.

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Download Now: Festvl on iOS for free

ClashFinder (Website) – Free

ClashFinder is a website that offers up free, printable timetables for music festivals. You can search for pre-made schedules or create your own, helping keep your musical compromises to a minimum.

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Go To: ClashFinder – Free

Best Portable Wi-Fi for Festivals

Three’s Huawei E5330 – £0

The big selling point of Three’s Huawei E5330 is that there’s no upfront fee for the £8 monthly plan – that gets you 2GB data on a 24-month contract. If you’re willing to pay £10 a month (with a £29 upfront fee), you can move to a rolling one-month contract with 2GB of data.

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Buy Now: Three’s Huawei E5330 – £0

EE Osprey 2 Mini – £14.99

The EE Osprey 2 Mini costs £14.99, which is admittedly more than Three’s £0 Mi-Fi hub. But EE currently has the best 4G coverage in the UK, so swings and roundabouts, eh? The recommended tariff will cost you £22 each month, but that nets you a hefty 16GB of data on a flexible rolling one-month contract.

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Buy Now: EE Osprey 2 Mini – £14.99

O2’s Huawei 4G Pocket Hotpot Plus – £19.99

For £19.99 upfront, with an £18 per month fee, you can get an impressive 10GB data from O2. Upgrade to £28 per month and this rises to 20GB. And for the miserly, an £8 monthly commitment gets you 500MB.

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Buy Now: O2’s Huawei 4G Pocket Hotpot Plus – £19.99

Best Phones for Festivals

EE Rook – £19.99

If you don’t want to risk your actual phone, then why not pick up the EE Rook? At £20, you can put this thing through hell without regret. Even better, the Rook is phenomenally good value for the price, bringing a quad-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and Google’s Android 5.0 OS.

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Buy Now: EE Rook – £19.99

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua – £178.90

Sony’s M4 Aqua is getting on a bit now, but it’s by no means a bad buy. In fact, it scored in 8/10 in our review last year. But the real seller for festival-goers is its waterproof chassis. Dunk away!

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Buy Now: Sony Xperia M4 Aqua – £178.90

Samsung Galaxy S7 – £426.72

Like the Xperia M4 Aqua, Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 is also entirely waterproof – and doesn’t even have any flaps covering the ports. If you don’t want to settle for an old phone, the Galaxy S7 is sure to serve you well. Just don’t lose it.

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Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy S7 – £426.72

Best Portable Battery Power Packs for Festivals

Anker PowerCore 10000 Charger – £15.99

If you're on a budget, consider the Anker PowerCore. It's one of the best value power banks available, offering an impressive 10,000mAh capacity. For reference, the iPhone 6S has a 1,715mAh battery, while Samsung's Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery. So you'll get a few full charges of both with Anker's juice-box.

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Buy Now: Anker PowerCore 10000 – £15.99

Anker PowerCore 20100 – £27.99

Another entry from Anker on account of the firm's impressive power-bank quality. This is certainly a pricier option than the PowerCore 10,000, but you're getting double the capacity. Better still, Amazon has slashed the price from £89.99 to just £27.99, marking this as a real bargain.

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Buy Now: Anker PowerCore 20100 – £27.99

Cobra JumPack 7500 Powerbank and Jump Starter – £99.99

If you're planning to drive to Glastonbury and you've got a bit of cash to spend, the Cobra JumPack is a brilliant investment. It's a 7,500mAh battery pack – not particularly exciting – but comes with one exceptional feature: it can jump-start your car. So if your motor's battery runs dry in a field or on a winding country lane, Cobra could just save the day.

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Buy Now: Cobra JumPack 7500 – £99.99

Best Cooking Equipment for Festivals

G4Free 4-piece Set – £13.88

You won’t win a Michelin star with the G4Free cooking set, but at £13.88, this is a serious bargain. It’s super compact, and even contains room for a stove and matches.

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Buy Now: G4Free 4-piece Set – £13.88

Trangia 25 Non-Stick Cookset – £56

The Trangia is a staple entry in any camping cookware list, and that’s because it’s super reliable and runs on easy-to-find, odourless methylated spirits. This non-stick version is excellent value at £56, and comes with two saucepans, a frying pan, a kettle, and a spirit burner.

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Buy Now: Trangia 25 Non-Stick Cookset – £56

MSR Unisex Quick 2 Cook and Eat – £60

Down from £90 to £60 on Amazon, the MSR Quick 2 system is an unmissable steal. It’s got pretty much everything you’ll need to cook up some mean festival munchies, and packs down to a diminutive 19 x 12cm.

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Buy Now: MSR Unisex Quick 2 Cook and Eat – £60

Want to know more about Glastonbury? Read NME's guide to Glastonbury 2016

The Refresh: Catch up on the latest tech news

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What’s your festival or camping must-have? Let us know in the comments.

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