The best festival gadgets in 2023
Get prepared for a summer full of festivals with these helpful gadgets.
Are you looking forward to the return of festivals in summer 2023? If you've bought your tickets and chosen your outfits, the next thing you'll need to do is make sure you're stocked up on gear.
From an (almost) unbreakable phone to a power bank to a boombox speaker to keep the party going, we've chosen our top picks of the festival gadgets you'll need in your bag to make sure you're prepared.
Best festival gadgets f0r 2023
Nokia 6310 4G
Whether you’re worried about pickpockets or have concerns about your own festival escapades, replacing your £1,000+ smartphone for a £50 dumbphone for the weekend may not be a bad idea.
The Nokia 6310 4G takes us way back with its classic design, complete with physical keypad and 2.8in non-touch display. Although it’s made almost entirely from plastic, it feels like it’d withstand your standard festival knocks and drops without issue – just be sure to keep it away from water as there’s no IP rating here.
You’ll want to take a better camera with you as the 0.3MP snapper isn’t up to much, but outstanding battery life is what makes the 6310 4G a festival must-have. With almost 20 hours of talk time and over 20 days of standby, it’ll keep you on the grid with friends and family for the whole weekend, and probably without needing a portable charger.
No festival is worth risking your hearing for, and Loop’s earplugs have to be some of the prettiest we’ve ever seen – and the cleverest. We tried out the Experience version, which reduces noise by 18-20 decibels while keeping sounds and voices clear.
They do this by mimicking your ear’s function. The loop part of the earplug that gives them their name isn’t just to make them look good, it’s actually an acoustic channel. When sound passes through it, it imitates the length of your ear canal, delivering a natural sound at a 4x reduced volume.
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In use, the earbud sits snugly in the ear canal, with the loop part (available in silver, gold, black or rose gold) resting gently in the outer ear. They’re lightweight and comfortable enough that you can easily forget you’re wearing them, and they come with a pocket-friendly carry case to keep them safe when you’re not.
Anker 313 Powerbank
If you can’t bear to be parted from your smartphone over a weekend, you are going to need a portable battery to keep your phone charged up when access to plug sockets will be fleeting at best.
The Anker 313 Powerbank is a great option. It’s one of the slimmest 10,000mAh batteries you can buy, so it’s easy to slip into your pocket or bumbag, and promises over two full charges of an iPhone 12 and just over 1.5 charges of a Galaxy S20. You can charge anything from it, of course, just add a USB-A or USB-C compatible cable of your choice (you only get microUSB in the box).
Featuring Anker’s PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology, the 313 promises faster charging of power-hungry devices, but we liked having the option for trickle charging, which provides safe, optimised charging for lower-powered devices, like wireless headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
Soundcore Motion Boom
When the music on stage has stopped and you want to be able to carry on the party back at your tent, you need a portable speaker that’s up to the job. Enter the Motion Boom, a powerful speaker that’s waterproof to IPX7.
On face value, we love its retro 'boombox' styling, complete with handy carry handle. But the real beauty is the performance that this relatively compact speaker is capable of. Cheaper speakers can often muddy the midrange in an attempt to add weight to the presentation, but vocals are crisp and clear. Even with the bass boost on, the weight is concentrated on the low end, keeping its confident and authoritative sound even when in the open air.
With a 24-hour battery life, this should easily give you a weekend’s worth of tent parties, plus it doubles up as a charging point if your powerbank is out of juice.
So you’ve got your phone, and a powerbank to keep it charged, the next problem is trying to get the signal to keep in touch with your friends. At a festival, the huge amount of people in one area can mean networks get congested and your texts take longer to send, or don’t send at all.
There are a few ways to get around this, but our preferred option is the GoTenna Mesh. It is a pair of light signal devices that look a lot like USB sticks. When you connect your phone to them, you are able to send texts and GPS locations without needing any internet or signal.
They are small enough to fit in your pocket and have enough battery life to keep you going for the whole festival. However, the range is quite limited, so if you’re at partying at opposite ends of a big festival, you may struggle to reach each other.
- Buy now from GoTenna (£162)
GoPro Hero 10
It’s a bit of an investment, but if you’re a budding creative or someone that likes to capture all the memories for future reminiscing (without running down your smartphone battery), the GoPro Hero 10 will serve you long after the festival music has stopped.
Built tough to handle anything that a festival might throw at it —including mud, downpours and a moshpit or two — this action cam is small enough to pop in your pocket or bumbag yet can capture professional looking footage in up to 5.3K/60fps.
It also has great low-light capabilities for when the light dips past its best and advanced HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilisation for capturing the heart of those forementioned moshpits.
LARQ PureVis water bottle
The rubbish left behind at festival sites is enough to make us wince, so a reusable water bottle is a must for staying hydrated while also doing your bit for the planet.
However, keeping those bottles clean and bacteria free when you’re living in a tent for the best part of a week is tricky — and a stale-smelling bottle is not conducive to keeping your water intake up.
Enter the LARQ self-cleaning water bottle, which uses innovative UV-C technology to clean your bottle and purify your water. Simply charge the lid using the included microUSB cable before you go, then pop it on the bottle.
At the press of a button, it will shine a blue UV-C light into the bottle, killing 99.9% of bio-contaminents in under a minute. One charge should last you for a month of germ-free drinking, while the double-wall insulation will keep chilled drinks cool for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12.
Mous Limitless 4.0 phone case
If you are risking taking your smartphone with you to the festival, you’re going to want to make sure it is suitably prepared for the knocks and drops of festival life.
Mous phonecases are among the very best we’ve tried, and if you’ve got an iPhone, Samsung or Google Pixel phone, there should be a case for you.
The Limitless 4.0 is the toughest they offer, but is still super slim and stylish, with a range of finishes and colours. It uses innovative AiroShock technology, which is an impact absorbing tech that Mous claims would see your phone unscathed from a 45ft drop.
There’s a raised ridge around the camera as well for protecting those all-important snappers, and Apple users will be pleased to hear it is MagSafe compatible for fast wireless charging too.
Tile Pro Bluetooth tracker
Remember when you bought that really bright-coloured tent thinking you’d spot it a mile off in the sprawling camping fields, only to discover hundreds of other people had the same idea?
Thankfully the Tile Pro Bluetooth tracker is a great way of helping you remember where you pitched your tent and which of the luminous green numbers is yours.
Providing a lengthy 400ft/120m Bluetooth range and IP67 water resistance, the Pro can be hung up inside your tent and will ping its location to the Tile app on your phone for when you need to find your way back.
If you’re still struggling, you can even set off an alarm — and the Pro has the loudest ring of the whole Tile family — so you can navigate your way to it using sound. Now all you’ve got to do is get yourself to the right camping site… you’re on your own there.
This is a little speaker that packs a lot of punch. If you don’t have space in your festival bag for the sizeable Anker Soundcore Motion Boom, the Marshall Emberton is a great alternative, and at a fraction of the size.
With a design that pays homage to the brand’s iconic range of amplifiers, it fits in the palm of your hand but produces a powerful sound that belies its dimensions. It also offers refined performance for its price, with an energetic and engaging character that works brilliantly with every genre of music.
That performance is helped by Marshall’s True Stereophonic multi-directional tech, which does away with the sweet spot to deliver music through 360° — perfect for making friends in the campsite.
You’ll get 20 hours of playtime, IPX7 waterproof for those oh-so-British summers and a super-stable Bluetooth 5.0 connection.
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