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Bivvy or Shelter, what's best for you?

Bivvy or Shelter, what's best for you?

When most people buy a bivvy or shelter they don’t often think about it’s size, or how easy it is to put up, its weight and transporting it to and from the lake and around to your chosen swim. The price and look of a Carp Bivvy or shelter will influence many angler’s decisions. People only realise their mistake once they've bought it and used it. 

I’ve got a chap that uses my shop and fishes on a desirable syndicate water, and he went out and bought a two man bivvy because his other half likes to go with him. I said to him it might be worth buying a cheap two man bivvy for when his wife is with you and a decent one man bivvy or shelter. Knowing the water he fishes, it doesn’t pay to sit in the one spot, but he got the all singing all dancing two man bivvy. Two years on, he’s still telling me he can’t fish three quarters of the swims because he can't fit his bivvy on. This place costs around £1.5k per year to fish with a lot of stunning carp in it. If that were me, I’d want to be able to fish on any swim on that subscription. 

If my chosen swim didn’t have fish in it and I saw them in front of another swim and had the chance to move, then that’s what I would do. I’d want to be able to pack down quickly and go. This was a mistake he made, and he’s still paying the price for it. 

When you are looking to buy a bivvy or shelter look at your style of fishing and what you do 80% of the time. Are you someone that's more than happy to rock up at your chosen venue, not too fussed where you fish because you just enjoy getting out on the bank? 

Are you more than happy to set up a bivvy and stay put till you're ready to go home? Or are you someone who loves to keep mobile, constantly looking for feeding fish, and wants to maximise your time when fishing to have the best chance of catching a fish or two? 

Think of the main waters you fish. Are they busy waters and you need something light to get around quickly. How big are the swims? Will you struggle fitting a larger bivvy on them? 

Also, how's your physical condition? Will your back allow you to lug around a large, heavy bivvy? Do you have the power in your hands and arms to pull the poles of the frame apart because we have many older people who really struggle with this? 

Remember, if you buy a bivvy with an inner capsule, there will be less room inside than your mates one man bivvy without one in because they rarely change the outside dimensions to accommodate this. 

So ask yourself if you can afford the bivvy shelter you want, and if not, is it worth waiting a little longer and saving a bit more so you know you will be happy once you get it?

If I was to advise on which I feel is the easiest frame system to put up and cost isn’t an issue, I would look at the Trakker Tempest Bivvy or Brolly system in the Aquatexx material. The bivvy system will be slightly larger, and the Aquatexx material will be lighter than heavy duty nylon material you get with cheaper bivvies and brollies.

If cost is an issue or you just want more value for money, then the Trakker Tempest Brolly 100 or 100T. They have the same frame system as the top Tempest, which is extremely quick to erect and super strong, and you can add or take what you want away to suit your need, but it's half the price. 

The Nash Titan Bivvy or the Nash Titan Hide range are an option, but due to the plastic lugs on the front peak that you have to pull over the two front poles to create the tension, they could be an issue if you have problems with your ability in the strength of your arms or hands. Don’t get me wrong, the Titan and Titan Hide range of bivvies are amazing, well designed and have stood the test of time. The Titan must be up there as the best all time bivvy that's ever been made because if you look at the design of the centre block of Trakker Tempest and the new Fox frontier Bivvys it's extremely similar, and the Titan has been out far longer. But I had a Titan, and when my hands were cold and wet, those plastic caps could be a bit of a pain to fit over the end of the poles. So in my personal opinion, the Tempest I had was just slightly easier to put up.

A brolly system that is sure to give you value for money is the Fox EOS Brolly System. You get everything you need for a low price, and if you don’t need it, you can strip it out and take what you only need. 

If money is not an issue, have a look at the Aqua Pioneer System, as this is extremely lightweight and comes with what I feel is the best waterproof material on the market that a bivvy or brolly is made out of, Aquatexx EV. Just remember, with this style of brolly, the ribs are inside just above your head, which can take a lot of space/height out of it. Also, when putting them up, many of them don’t have a centre pole supplied, so you have to turn the brolly upside down on the floor and push the boss of the frame down to open the brolly till it clicks and locks in place. This can not only be awkward to do but if the ground is wet and muddy so will be your brolly be if you have to put it up this way. Once you’ve got the brolly popped up, and there's no center pole, make sure your storm poles are close by hand because you will need to screw these in place to hold it up off the wet muddy ground. If it's dry, there's not much of an issue. 

You could also have a look at the Nash Titan Hide Range or Tempest Brolly range. These have a smaller footprint to the bivvies and are a similar size to the standard brolly systems but when you erect them, they have a self standing exoskeleton frame. This means the frame is on the outside, giving you far more room inside. It's important to point out that they are a lot stronger than a standard brolly frame. 

As for bivvies, the most popular budget bivvy we sell has to be the Fox EOS One and Two Man bivvies. These are a pram hood style bivvy, and they offer exceptional value for money. Remember that this style of bivvy has more joints to get apart, and if you have slight issues with strength for any reason, they can be a bit of a pain to pull apart. Another more luxurious pram hood style bivvy we sell a few of are the Trakker SLX V3 Bivvy. It offers better quality and more features, but that does come at a higher price. Finally, when it comes to your top end, bivvies the Nash Titan and Titan Camo Bivvy pip the Trakker Tempest Bivvy to the post. I know what I said earlier about the quickness, but that's just fractions of a second, and if you bought any of these two bivvies, you will be very happy indeed.

Please note that this is my opinion based on my own personal use and feedback received from customers on the most popular bivvies and shelters we sell in our store. If you want to learn more about bivvies or shelters then do get in touch.

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