Gear Reviews

Gear Guide: Music Festival Necessities

posted by gumptiongear May 31, 2017 0 comments

Music festival season kicks off each spring, bringing tent cities, massive crowds and the sounds of your favorite bands to incredible outdoor settings. Prepare properly and you’re in for the weekend of a lifetime; show up unprepared and your festival experience may quick devolve into a real-life “Lord of the Flies” adaptation. We partnered up with some of our festival minded industry friends to ensure you’ve got a list of gear that will make festival life infinitely better. 

Kelty Sunshade Shelter

The Sunshade Shelter from Kelty rivals sliced bread in terms of out-freakin’-standing inventions. Whether it’s for your forthcoming sonic adventures or a weekend at the beach, the Sunshade provides the perfect central gathering point during all your outdoor activities. With a removable side wall to protect from wind and sun and an included backpack carry bag for easy transport, the SunShade Shelter is a friend to anyone headed to the legendary Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, an all-day soccer tournament, or planning the sweetest beach party known to man.

Thermarest Uno Chair


Standing around a music festival all day is great, but why stand when you can lounge like a medieval lord? The Uno Chair from Thermarest perfects compact convenience and instantly transforms your grassy knoll into a luxurious, palace of delights. A smart and sleek design allows the Uno to set up at just the right height for festival regulation and then pack into its own disk-shaped base so you can slip it into your backpack with ease. But wait… there’s more! The functional Uno doubles as a small side table. So get ready to set-up, settle in and get lost in the musical mayhem.

Yeti Hopper Two 30

When you’re spending untold hours indulging in sonic hedonism, you’re going to need something to keep your snacks and beverages fresh and cold. Enter the Yeti Hopper Two 30 the world’s most uber-durable high performance softshell cooler. With the Hopper Two 30 you get the same dependable insulating performance that you’ve come to expect from Yeti, but with a festival friendly design. The updated YETI Hopper Two has more cold-holding power, easier loading and a bomber leakproof zipper that ensures easy access to all of your goodies. Thanks to a puncture-proof DryHide outer shell it’s virtually hippie proof.

The engineers at Yeti also appreciate that you’re going to work up a thirst while dancing your way through the summer festival circuit. Rather than go tent to tent in an attempt to find a bottle opener every time you get thirsty, the Hitchpoint Grid allows you to attach accessories like the MOLLE Bottle Opener directly to your Hopper. Whichever size Hopper Two you choose, you can rave on in style knowing there’s absolutely nothing ‘soft’ about this cooler.

Rumpl Faded Puffy Blanket

Comfort is key when it comes to outdoor venues. Simplicity, independence, fluidity — those are the things you want to aim for when walking down to the stages. Add in some stellar aesthetic flair and you’ll be winning on all fronts. Good news festival goers – Rumpl has got your back.

Featuring the same technical materials found in premium sleeping bags, the Faded Puffy is light and airy so you can roll it up and stash it in your pack when it’s time to dance. Utilizing a weather-resistant 20D ripstop nylon shell with DWR treatment, this puffy is durable enough to withstand the rigors of festival mayhem. And let’s be honest, the Faded Puffy you’ve got the most kick-ass blanket around. Maybe best of all is that Rumpl’s veritable cornucopia of colors mean you won’t have to sacrifice your style for comfort and warmth.

Vapur Anti-Bottle

As fun as it is to let your inner bohemian gypsy goddess shine, nothing will earn you a one-way ticket to the medical tent as quickly as dehydration. Between the heat, the dancing, the sweating and those adult beverages, hydration hits elevated status in festival land. But don’t just bring any bottle – leave the bulky water bottle at home and instead pack in the Vapur Element Bottle.

Made in the USA and available in an array of colors and sizes, these reusable plastic bottles can be rolled up or flattened out when empty for easy storage. So when you get to a hydration station you can fill up and hydrate. When you’re finished, roll it up and stash it in your pocket. Want to go big? Pick up the DrinkLink and convert your bottle into a hydration pack. There’s a reason these versatile hydration vessels have been a go-to favorite of ours for years. Load up, fill up and hydrate in bliss.  

Chaco Custom

Photo Credit: Chaco & Carson Brown

The music festival dress code carries with it an unspoken requirement for comfort. Sure, the look is important, but even festival fashionistas know that practicality is key when you’re spending all day in the sun and on your feet. So what’s the solution? Bold, head-turning sandals that also feel like heaven on your feet. And nothing fits that criteria better than a pair of Chacos. Carve out a little bit of personal time and you can craft your own Custom Chacos ensuring that you’ll cruise through festival season sporting your own unique style. Bottom line, these sandals will carry you in comfort whether you’re soaking in the sounds at center stage or just kicking it at camp.

BioLite Charge 20 & Solar Panel 10+

It’s worth it, we promise. By the time you send two Snapchat videos and one Instagram photo, your phone will be at 24 percent battery. And you didn’t kick down all that ticket money to spend your weekend standing in line at the power tent. Solution? The BioLite Charge 20’s 5200 mAh power supply can charge 2 full phones, lights, or any other gear you need to keep your day going.

Burn through the Charge 20 and need to refuel? Be sure to also pack in the SolarPanel 10+. BioLite’s SolarPanels use state-of-the-art monocrystalline technology to provide 10 watts of smart power from the sun. Mount the lightweight, tough-as-nails Solar Panel 10+ onto your Hyphen-Tote while you roam the festival grounds, or use the adjustable 360° kickstand to prop it up on your grassy knoll for clean, portable power and civilized fun. The sundial for panel alignment is useful and so are the indicator lights for seeing the charging status and battery capacity. An integrated 3,000 mAh battery gives your crew one more power source when the sun goes down, but the party rages on.

Buff Headwear

More than 25 years ago, BUFF® invented the tubular headwear category with their Original BUFF® product. Today this jack of all trades is still going to be the most versatile piece of festival gear you can pack along for your weekends of musical mayhem. Infinitely adaptable, the BUFF dries quickly, wicks away moisture, resists wind and festival funk.

Go with the UV line and get the added bonus of built-in-sun protection that blocks up to 95% of UV rays. All the while, COOLMAX PRO fiber wicks moisture and dries fast for comfort on the move and the Polygiene® treatment resists odors which is great because there’s no washing machine at Burning Man!

Kelty Hyphen Tote

One of the inalienable truths of festival going is that once you arrive, you’ll inevitably have to carry your stuff from stage to stage. Part of Kelty’s Built to Wander collection, the Hyphen-Tote quickly and easily changes from backpack to tote carry for extra versatility on the go. The zippered roll-top closure offers expandable capacity, and two internal accessory pockets keep your stuff organized. Plus the hidden “safety” pocket is perfect for any other “essentials” (wink wink). Part of the Built to Wander collection, the Hyphen Pack-Tote blends fun, function, and grab-and-go spontaneity for truly rockstar caliber gear.

Sunski Polarized Sunglasses

Not only would you be blinded without them (unless it’s unexpectedly cloudy), but proper shades always add to your cool factor. Grab yourself the Olema from Sunski and shield yourself from the bright rays. Ready for adventures of all sizes, the Olemas feature a classic silhouette with a unique double bridge design inspired by vintage clip-on sunglasses. And just like all Sunskis, the lenses are polarized, tuned for perfect optical clarity, and thermally coated for maximum durability.

Bottom Line…

Surviving a festival unscathed may not be your main priority, but if it is these essentials will carry you through in comfort and style. Don’t forget, if you’re interested in feeling human and remaining respectable we also recommend packing in hygienic wipes like Action Wipes. As an added bonus make sure you’re appropriately outfitted with frisbees, hula hoops and glow sticks for the downtime at camp. As a reminder, be sure to check festival regulations ahead of time for rules about what you can and cannot bring inside the music area.

Leave a Comment