Sssshh! Please don’t buy these…

We’ve been asked to review a few camping and outdoors thingies recently that, while fantastic in some ways, we’d like you NOT to buy. Why? Because we think camping should be about listening to the birds and looking at the stars!

BenQ outdoor camping projector

We couldn’t quite believe that a company would make a projector specifically for camping. In fact, this is a pretty brilliant piece of kit. It’s tiny, light, works wirelessly and let’s you watch films, go online (via a wifi network) and even has a waterproof cover. You can use the built-in streaming options, pair with an Android phone and access films on a PC-formatted USB stick. You can connect via HDMI to a Mac too.

The picture is really good and the sound from the built-in speakers is decent…but there’s the problem. Would you like it if your neighbours on the campsite were screening Wonder Woman on the side of their caravan? So, while we’d definitely recommend this for home use, please, please don’t take it camping!

Hub Chair

Is it naughty to say that this just has to be Australian? It’s a camping chair with a built-in power bank for recharging equipment, a built-in torch, a cooler, optional off-road wheels to turn it into a trolley, an optional solar panel and…bluetooth speakers.

So, get it, plonk yourself down on the beach, fill the cooler with beer, sit playing games on your ever-charged phone and listen LOUDLY to your favourite tunes. Not for the caring camper, perhaps.


camping stove biolite

People love the Biolite. It’s a small, wood-burning camping stove that can recharge your phone while it cooks. We reviewed it thoroughly in our feature on wood-burning and rocket stoves. It’s problem, apart from a bit of flimsiness, is the noise of the fan. Now, it’s not in the same noise league as full-blast Taylor Swift, but if you want to commune with nature (and we imagine that’s why you’re cooking with twigs), then do you want to hear machinery noise?

Sony SRS-XB10 water-resist speaker

You’ll get all the bass you need with this water-resistant speaker, but your campsite neighbours will hate you.

It’s very good at what it does, it’s wireless and its batteries last up to 16 hours. So, there’s probably a time and a place for this…just warn us ahead of time so we can choose a different spot to camp!

Electric airbed pump

Of course, you need a comfy bed, but please don’t arrive just before bedtime and start pumping up a family’s-worth of airbeds with this £12 electric pump. It sounds like a moped. Thank goodness it’s fairly quick and efficient– that’s all we can say!

A better option is a self-inflating mat or one of the clever new options for quick-to-inflate (and comfortable) camping mattresses. We’ve done a round-up of the best.

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