Festival packing list 2024: The gadgets you should be taking to see out the season

Brighten up your festival experience with these great gadgetsBrighten up your festival experience with these great gadgets
Brighten up your festival experience with these great gadgets

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The 2024 festival season is now underway, and whichever weekender you’re heading to this year, you might want to take a look at our list of great gadgets

Music, mud, and merriment seem to be the main ingredients for the perfect summer festival in the UK. But we're increasingly adding some creature comforts to our packing lists as we prepare for the next big date on the calendar.

Whether you're heading to Download, Creamfields, Reading and Leeds, or even just some small, local, independent events, it's always worth ensuring you've got everything you need to survive a few nights under canvas at the mercy of the British weather.

The basic checklists are fairly obvious. A washbag, sun cream, a good pair of wellies and perhaps a sleeping bag if you're feeling really decadent, but we've been seeking out some gadgets that could make your festival experience that bit better.

Some might seem obvious, some might seem a bit too self-indulgent, but we hope they'll all change your festival experience for the better.

Here are some of the best festival tech deals we've found.

Best price: £110, from Jackery

The Explorer 100 The Explorer 100
The Explorer 100 | Jackery

A portable power supply is something of a modern essential for festival season, but your phone is likely to have quite a workout, taking pictures of your favourite bands, and then videos of your mates larking about later on. So keeping it charged up is vital.

Some people take three or four small power banks, but this marvellous little device from Jackery can charge the average smartphone several times over, and it has 100W PD charging.

I've been using one of these for a while now, and it's such a versatile bit of kit. I also love the display, which gives you an indication of how long its battery will last in hours and minutes, as well as the conventional percentage.

Best price: £79.99, from Screwfix

The Ring Jump StarterThe Ring Jump Starter
The Ring Jump Starter | Screwfix

Another option for keeping your 12v gadgets topped up while at a festival is a car jump pack. I use this Ring Automotive RPPL200, and its USB sockets make it ideal for powering your phone or tablet.

Keep enough juice in it, and it's even going to be capable of jump-starting your mate's car after he left the lights on. Yes, that did happen to me once. Which is why I always have one of these in my backpack.

Best price: £149.94, from Minirig

The Minirig 4The Minirig 4
The Minirig 4 | Minirig

If you've never heard a Minirig speaker before, you're in for a shock. They're absolutely incredible. Bluetooth speakers might be a bit controversial in some festival areas, but if you and your neighbours are up for some chill-out tunes at the end of a long day, this is the best speaker to play them on.

There are several versions of the Minirig, and they can even be linked together to create even more sound, but some versions also double as a power bank to charge your phone with, which is really handy.

Best price: £150, from Halfords

The Coleman Cortes Octagon 8The Coleman Cortes Octagon 8
The Coleman Cortes Octagon 8 | Halfords

One of the key packing essentials for any festival is a tent. And they don't come much more impressive than this, the Coleman Cortes Octagon 8. It has a unique shape which lends itself to festivals really well, as you can bring the party inside if the heavens open. It will easily sleep eight in its cavernous interior and it's surprisingly easy to put up.

During the daytime, it's large windows will make it feel like a small marquee, and at night, its sewn-in ground sheet will keep you warm.

I've been on several camping holidays in mine, and I wouldn't want to use any other sort of tent again. It's fabulous.

Best price: £20, from Go Outdoors

The Petzl Head TorchThe Petzl Head Torch
The Petzl Head Torch | Go Outdoors

A good head torch is an absolute must at a festival. Not only will they help you stagger back to your tent at night, they're useful for lighting your way to the loo hands free, or just getting your bed set up at the end of a long day.

This Petzl torch is small and light, but still has 300 lumens of power and water resistance. It's quite a funky colour too, which is obviously very important.

Best price: £45, from Go Outdoors

The OEZ UltraliteThe OEZ Ultralite
The OEZ Ultralite | Go Outdoors

Festival chairs need to be light, compact and sturdy. There's no point taking a massive deck chair, and your mum's garden furniture would just look silly. So how about this lovely little Ultralite chair by OEX.

It weighs a frankly ridiculous 1.29kg, but can hold up to 110kg. And it looks really comfortable, especially with that cool mesh backrest.

The best bit though, is it all packs away into a neat little bag. What's not to like?

Best price: £20, from Go Outdoors

The Eurohike LoungerThe Eurohike Lounger
The Eurohike Lounger | Go Outdoors

Chilling out between gigs is a vital aspect of any festival, and what better way to relax than on one of these inflatable loungers.

Filling them with air is a bit of a fine art, and it'll give your friends some entertainment, but once you master the technique, they fill in seconds and you'll be having the last laugh as you lie back with a can of something cold, in the lap of luxury.

Best price: £18.99, from Amazon

A portable camping stoolA portable camping stool
A portable camping stool | Amazon

These are such a good idea, and they're a great addition to any festival packing list. They can clip to your belt and, if you find you need to take the weight off your feet for a few minutes, you just flick out the telescopic extensions, lock them into place, and take a seat.

OK, so the people you're queueing with might think you look a bit silly, but at least you'll be comfortable. They'll be the ones with blisters by the end of it.

Best price: £99, from Go Outdoors

The Jetboil ZipThe Jetboil Zip
The Jetboil Zip | Go Outdoors

Making yourself that all-important campsite coffee, or boiling up a cup of beans, is going to be a doddle with this lightweight cooking system. Clamp it to a small gas canister, and the Jetboil will heat up two cupfuls of water in minutes. And it takes up very little room in your backpack.

If you need a caffeine hit in a hurry, this is the gadget for you.

Best price: £55.90, from Amazon

The Wacaco MinipressoThe Wacaco Minipresso
The Wacaco Minipresso | Amazon

Another great option for proper coffee on the go is this Wacaco Minipresso. Pack in some ground coffee before you head out, fill it with boiling water when you're ready for a drink, and use the piston system to create a perfect espresso.

I've used one of these for years, and it's one of the best ways I've ever found of brewing up a decent cup of coffee off grid.

Best price: £12, from John Lewis

The John Lewis Hand FanThe John Lewis Hand Fan
The John Lewis Hand Fan | John Lewis

While it might feel like cold and wet weather is more likely than hot weather at a British festival, if the sun does shine, a portable fan is a lovely thing to have.

People can't get enough of this cracking little cordless fan from John Lewis, and it's only £12.

Charged through USB, you can hold it in your hand, or fold the handle down and stand it up. what a great bit of kit.

Best price: £11, from Argos

The Beldray Collapsible BucketThe Beldray Collapsible Bucket
The Beldray Collapsible Bucket | Argos

You'll thank me for this one. Very few people think of bringing a collapsible bucket to festivals, but they're so handy. They pack away to nothing but, pop them out, and you've got a wash basin for cleaning your teeth, washing cups and cutlery, soaking filthy clothes, or even for carrying muddy shoes.

It's one of the most versatile gadgets you can take to a festival, because you'll keep finding uses for it.

The Risepro Portable ShowerThe Risepro Portable Shower
The Risepro Portable Shower | Amazon

Let's not talk about festival shower facilities. Suffice to say it's no wonder some people will just go without a wash for the weekend. But if that thought fills you with dread, consider a portable shower like this one.

Just fill the bag with water, leave it in the sun for a bit, hang it up, and you'll have a warm shower to refresh you, ready for the next performance. I guarantee your mates will want to borrow it.

Best price: £59.99, from Amazon

The Bivvy Loo camping toiletThe Bivvy Loo camping toilet
The Bivvy Loo camping toilet | Amazon

While on the subject of sanitation, why not go for all-out luxury and bring your own toilet? Festival toilets are notorious, but bring your own and you never have to share a smelly Portaloo with anyone again.

The loo works by capturing human waste into a gel, and in compostable bags, so it's designed not to smell and to be easy to empty. It might not be for everyone, but just imagine not having to trudge across a muddy field when you need a wee at 4am. Sounds more appealing all of a sudden, doesn't it?