With the annual summer music festivals underway this month, there's a feast of major hard rock and pop events coming up: 'Glastonbury Festival' (25th June), 'Sonisphere' & 'Wireless Festivals' (4th July), 'V Festivals' (16th August) and 'Reading & Leeds Festivals' (22nd August) so here are some really great and useful pieces of kit that will make outdoor survival a little more comfortable and enjoyable having not to worry about anything apart from which band to see next ...and don't to forget to check out these websites for 1'000's more super festival and camping ideas!
Vango Ark 300
3 Person Tent - £100
The main qualities you need for a festival tent is something light to carry and easy to put up. You need to find that premium space quickly otherwise you'll end up pitching by a walkway or even worse by the toilets! As the Vango Ark 300 has only 2 poles it can be put up in less than 5 minutes but has all the usual high spec that you'd expect from Vango tents, plus helpful extras such as colour coded poles and reflective webbing picks if you're erecting your tent in poor light. The Gothic arch styling not only looks cool but gives this 3 man tent a little extra height and the large 2 metre wide window at the front gives you ease of access and plenty of social interaction when chilling out with friends.For full specifications of this compact, but spacious tent, please visit: www.vango.co.uk
Packaway Jacket - £50
The 'Mantua' packaway jacket from Craghoppers is a perfect example of what type of waterproof coat is necessary for our very changeable British festival weather. Stored neatly in a stuff sack until required, this breathable jacket can be simply thrown on with cuffs, hems and peaked hood fully adjustable tight to your body to keep out the wind and rain. The Velcro fastening storm flap makes for a tight seal on the main zip and with additional zips on the pockets makes it more secure for valuables not to be pinched by busy hands!
These handy packaway jackets are available in black or pink, for more information, please visit: www.craghoppers.com
Pocket Wellies - £9.99
If you want to risk not taking wellies as you've got far too much to carry then theseingenious 'Feetz' pocket overshoe wellies are just perfect for you. Launched at the end of last year with the idea that sometimes when you're out and about for a long time and caught out by the weather, you can just reach into your bag and slip these lightweight (350g), water and mud-proof wellies over your shoes. These aren't just carrier bags you shove over your feet, but well designed reusable footwear with hard non-slip soles and drawstring tops to give you maximum protection from the wet stuff.
These handy (feety) pocket wellies are available 4 colours and various sizes, for more information, please visit: www.feetz.co.uk
iWalk Extreme 10'000 Duo
Back-Up Battery - £59.99
The 'iWalk Extreme' rechargeable back-up battery was designed for the iPod, iPhone and iPad but is compatible with all USB smartphones and devices. With two charging points and big on power you may want to keep this charger a secret from your friends otherwise they'll be wanting to share! The '10'000 Duo' (10'000mAh) has handy charging lights to show you how much percentage of power you have left and an LED flashlight to help you out in the dark. Finding the right cables isn't a problem either as this sleek looking battery comes complete with Apple and mini USB charging cables.
Fore more information and other great products please visit: www.iwalkuk.com
Camouflage Onesie - £129
OnePiece onesie's are simply awesome and you may excused thinking they're not particularly cheap, but you're paying for high end fashion and superior quality! I tried out the 'Camouflage' Onesie and it just made me smile, thinking this is categorically perfect for lounging and chilling out in and I even look pretty cool too! OnePiece Onesie's are unisex and made from premium supersoft cotton with attention to nice details such as embroidered branding which is also included on the strong canvas zip pulls on the pockets. The front 2-way zipper is a must especially if you're a man and having a few festival drinkies (you don't need to be a genius to work it out) and it even zips the hood shut tight - great for getting some early shut eye on bright lazy summer mornings. These onesie's of course aren't just stylish and practical but very warm and comfortable too, take a look and treat yourself from the great range available at: www.onepiece.co.uk
Travel Wallet - £34.99
Outfox the pickpocket with the cunning 'Pacsafe Walletsafe'. This brilliant tri-fold travel wallet can be attatched to an item of your clothing such as a belt loop via a sturdy metal chain connected to a twist lock dog-clip. There's plenty of compartments for your credit cards, paper money and concert tickets, plus a window for your photo ID so you can get served at the beer tent! There's even a zipped compartment on the outside for all your loose change, so for that extra piece of mind this seems to be a no brainer at a busy outdoor festival.
The Pacsafe Walletsafe is available with 100's of other great outdoor products from: www.safariquip.co.uk
360-degree Directional Lantern - £55
I you need light and lots of it, this 'LumaPivot' 360-degree directional lantern by Kelty will give you 60 lumens for 12hrs or 110 lumens for 6hrs and it's not just the power from the rotating LED panels that makes this lamp special but the adjustability of the light output. Lightweight enough to pack easily this lantern can be placed stable on a surface or be hung by the handle with each panel pivoting 180° and rotating 360° for customised illumination. Not only is this lamp useful for your personal needs, but if you have a gazeebo, great for social gatherings.
The LumaPivot requires 6AA cell batteries, for more information please visit: www.smgeurope.com
Veho 360 Degrees
M4 Bluetooth Speaker - £35.99
I must say I'm impressed by this amazing little bluetooth speaker from 'Veho', when I first saw it I thought it couldn't possibly sound any good due to it's size but how wrong was I? This ultra small 360 rechargeable 2 x 2.2 watt speaker is absolutely ideal for travel or camping and plays music either by line-in, micro SD card or blutooth up to a 20 metre range! Smart looking and well designed, the simple volume and track controls make it easy enough for any technophobe to use. Sound quality isn't just loud, but crisp on all levels of music, I should know as first tested it on Pink Floyd then Iron Maiden!
Fore more information and other great products from Viking please visit: www.viking-direct.co.uk
Lightweight Sleeping Bag - £59.99
Another slightly bulky item to carry are sleeping bags, but the 'Coleman Pathfinder' has been developed with this in mind when it comes to storage and travel. Firstly this lightweight mummy style sleeping bag comes in a clever dry bag with compression valve, so you can push all the air out when repacking and keeps it dry in the wettest conditions. The sleeping bag itself has ample room but feels cosy - the large size fits me well and I'm 6ft and a tad overweight! Made from 3 different layers of Coletherm® hypoallergenic micro insulation it offers great protection from the elements and with the pull strings around inner body and hood, you will really fill snug as a bug!
For more information on this and other Coleman camping products please visit: www.coleman.eu
Beach Hut - £99
Now you've got your main sleeping tent but what about this 'Beach Hut' from Olpro for a good festival idea? If you're going to a festival with a group of friends and you've only got small tents then why not club together and invest in this funky 'pop-up' hut to get changed or washed in for that extra privacy (especially the ladies). This lightweight hut transforms from an 80cm disc in it's carry bag into a 2m² cube and can be erected in seconds! Fully waterproof with an attached ground sheet, this attractive panel effect beach hut comes with a roll up front door and rear window, plus being UV 35+ will protect you from the sun when you're hanging out back at the tents with your mates.
The Olpro Beach Hut comes in red, blue or yellow. For more information and pictures please visit: www.olproshop.com
VARTA Indestructible Torch and Portable Power range
For a powerful, reliable torch that's not too bulky the 'Indestructible Torch' from VARTA is just the light source to carry in your back pack for when you return to where you thought your tent might be! Being water and shock resistant this robust torch won't let you down when you most need it; rummaging around between guy ropes when you've had a few festival drinks. Two power modes, 140 lumins and 40 lumins for power saving means you you've got the power when you need it and when it's time to chill out in the tent you're battery won't be zapped.
VARTA also offer a wide range of powerpacks ideal for instant charging for your mobiles and tablets. These are great because their so small, you can pack them and forget about them until needed in an emergency. The Mini Powerpack for example which is compatible with all micro USB and Apple (30-pin) can give you 1hr of extra talktime whilst the 'AlkalinePowerpack' is slightly more heavy duty and can give you 7hrs extra talktime with 100% phone charge.
For more information on these and other VARTA power products please visit: www.varta-consumer.co.uk
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