Best camping gear 2023: top tent tech and festival accessories
Gear up for summer festivals, rainy campsites and glorious glens with our guide to top camping gear
If Bear Grylls appeared at a festival like Glastonbury or Coachella he’d probably extol the virtues of being prepared. If you’re planning what to pack for your pitch we’ve got all the best camping gear for you. From illuminated tent pegs that shine bright all night, to compact campfires that can charge your smartphone, the gear below is guaranteed to upgrade your tented getaway. Oh, and check out our guide to the best portable outdoor grills and best Bluetooth speakers, too.
So pick out some gear, pull on your boots and get set for field-based fun. Just be sure to bring a water bottle – because no one wants to see parched desperation drive you to drink your own urine. Got that, Bear?
Anker 521 Portable Power Station
Sometimes it’s good to go off-grid, but an accidental digital detox is no way to entertain your followers. For a full cell all festival, add this personal power station to your camping kit list. Equipped with a pair of USB-A ports, a USB-C slot, a cigarette adapter and a standard plug socket, its massive capacity can boost your smartphone more than 20 times over. Besides keeping your equipment fuelled for days, its LED display ensures you’re up to speed on supply levels, while an integrated light can illuminate the way when you go searching for signal across the field.
Hydro Flask Growler
Like the Pet Shop Boys and Metallica, lukewarm lager remains a staple of the festival circuit. Want beer that’s less than tepid? You could buy chilled drinks from the official bar. Or for a liquid line-up that won’t leave you bankrupt by the end of the weekend, try this stainless steel growler. Equipped with a leak-proof seal and double-wall insulation, it’ll keep the contents of your cans chilled for up to 24 hours. And with a 1.8L capacity, it should at least see you through a few support acts.
BioLite CampStove 2+
A sunny day at the main stage might leave you needing aloe, but crimson skin won’t generate electricity. For a scorcher that cooks and charges, load up the fuel bin of this battery-powered burner. Standing firm on aluminium legs, the compact campfire torches twigs, wood scraps or pellets. Internal fans stoke the flames for smoke-free singalongs, while the attached power pack harnesses heat to send 3W to the USB port (or 3200mAh cell inside). An LED dashboard also provides total toast control when sizzling on the optional grill – so you won’t be left redder in the face by burnt-banger embarrassment.
Nemo Helio Pressure Shower
Maintaining basic hygiene is only fair to your fellow festival-goers, but you don’t want to miss a headliner because you were stuck in a queue for the facilities. Skip the line for shower time with this packable pressure wash. Because its 13-litre tank can be pressurised, you don’t have to hang it for accelerated flow: simply brim the bowser, pump with your foot and enjoy up to seven minutes of cleansing spray – with no-one hurrying you to finish your rinse.
With a field full of guy ropes between you and the loo, a festival faceplant is a foregone conclusion. For safer stumbling after dark, anchor your cords with these battery-powered pegs. Fulled by a single AAA cell, each shiny spike can run for up to 10 hours, casting 17 lumens on your lines. Water-resistant and crafted from hammer-proof aluminium, the stakes should at least give you a fighting chance of staying on your feet. Unless you’ve been on the cider.
JBL Charge 5
Back from the main stage and stoked for more music? Why wait until morning: entertain your tented neighbours with this beefy Bluetooth speaker. Built to be bold, the Charge 5’s dual bass radiators deliver wireless whump worthy of an EDM set. Its 20-hour battery life will keep the tunes pumping past dawn, with a built-in power bank on hand to fuel your phone. And with an IP67 water-resistance rating, it’s sturdy enough to survive the soggiest summer downpour – or an attempt by bucket-wielding wardens to rain on your ravey parade.
Quechua 2 Seconds XL
Kipping under canvas is a fundamental part of the festival experience, but pitch up after dark and you could be fumbling ’til sunrise. For rapid erection at any hour, book a stay in this effortless shelter: freed from its circular carry bag, it pops into position in two seconds flat. Peg in the lines, pop your bags in the porch and reward yourself with some well-earned shut-eye. And when dawn does come around, the Fresh & Black lining blocks heat and light to keep you and your companion dozing in dimmed conditions. Who needs glamping?
Goal Zero Crush Light Chroma
Campsite life is always boosted by sunshine, but it takes a special setup to harness daylight rays. Forecast set fair for your festival weekend? Pack this lantern for renewable radiance. Lightweight and collapsible, it’s topped by a photovoltaic panel for sustainable top-ups. Bright at up to 60 lumens, it can last on lower glow for 35 hours. Hang it from the peak of your gazebo, pick one of the six colour modes and illuminate your pitch with proper solar flair.
Voited Recycled Ripstop Blanket
Single-use plastic has no place on a campsite. Spread the word with this ripstop combo blanket: made from recycled plastic bottles, it’s an insulated lesson in renewable versatility. Equal parts eco and cosy, the Voited quilt can keep you warm when the rosy glow of your green deeds doesn’t quite cut it. Need a place to rest your head? It performs as a pillow when packed into its pouch, or serves as a sleeping bag when folded and popped shut. It can even snap into action as a waterproof cape – perfect for parading around the campground like a sustainable superhero.
Weber Go Anywhere
No camping trip is complete without a few cremated pieces of indistinguishable matter you think may have once been a sausage. But being in the wild doesn’t mean you should eat like an animal. For a solid BBQ that cooks a mean burger and is easy to carry, the Weber Go-Anywhere is a great on the go BBQ for handling high temperatures or cooking low and slow. Made for charcoal and weighing just 6.78kg, it won’t cause too much grief when lugging it across a desolate field either. For those who don’t want to mess around with hot coals, a gas version is also available.
Heimplanet Carry Essentials Dopp Kit
Soap to scrub off that mosh-pit pong. Toothpaste to clear the lingering taste of last night’s kebab. Deodorant to mask the day ahead. It takes a line-up of lotions to stop you being sniffed at, but organising toiletries can be tricky in a tent. Reduce rummaging with this durable wash bag: divided into three, it features an array of pockets, slots and elasticated loops inside. Ready to rinse? Use the integrated hook to hang the unzipped kit for easy access to your arsenal, without balancing balms on slender cubicle shelves.
VOITED Premium Wearable Sleeping Bag
Sure, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The VOITED took this mantra and ran with it, by creating a sleeping bag that doubles as a cosy puffy coat (with arms). The VOITED Premium Wearable Sleeping Bag isn’t a gimmick, though – it’s a tough, hardwearing and toasty bit of kit.
It’ll withstand extreme temperatures down to -5°C (23°F), and has a comfort temperature of around 11°C (52°F). Outside of camping in a snow storm, that should be enough to keep you warm. A Repreve polyester outer shell has a water repellency of 13.000mm, and a 5000mm breathability coating means you won’t wake up at 7am in a clammy hell of your own making.
A camping holiday usually involves a long road trip. That means hours spent folded over after falling asleep in a shoddy yoga position. You need a travel pillow, and not one you hastily bought from an airport back in 2005. A pillow that’s actually suited to your needs.
The bead-filled Mubi neck cushion has served us incredibly well on several long haul journeys, but for convenient and compact comfort, our pick is the Trtl Pillow. This flexible pillow can be bended into pretty much any shape and to any angle, and is designed to protect your neck against pain, strains and aches. An internal support will also keep your neck upright, which should stop you from falling on to the stranger next to you mid-sleep.
Festivals might be about feeling the beat, but your weekend won’t be buzzing if your head’s too busy banging. These miniature earplugs turn down the volume without sacrificing sound quality. Available with ABS, aluminium or titanium stems, the low-profile bungs fit comfy with memory foam tips, while reducing noise by an average of 32dB. Instead of simply muting the music, they lower bass, mid and treble levels evenly – so you can enjoy the gig without the risk of future tinnitus.
Larq Bottle PureVis
Not every festival attendee is self-cleaning, but at least this water bottle can keep itself fresh. A light inside uses UV-C to neutralise 99% of microscopic nasties: simply tap the top for instant purification or leave the lid alone for an automated cleanse every two hours. Insulated stainless steel keeps aqua cool for up to 24 hours, while a month-long battery life means you’ll always have hydrating H2O to hand – whether you fill from a fountain or a farmer’s hosepipe.