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Some of us might be able to cast our minds back to a time when something resembling a bedchair was a luxury on the bank, with most anglers making do with camping roll mats or a standard day chair. Nowadays, bedchairs are as commonplace on the bank as carp rods and reels are – and with good reason too. As carp fishing has developed and progressed over the years, the techniques that we use have grown and expanded too. Overnight fishing, whether that is a quick night on the bank midweek or a longer weekend session that sees you arriving on the bank on Friday night and leaving Monday morning, has grown in popularity massively, particular in the carp fishing discipline. It’s easy to see why carp anglers have begun to demand a more comfortable sleeping facility that is designed with angling in mind. The tackle industry has answered this request whole heartedly and today the modern carp angler has a huge range of bedchairs from which they can choose.
We, here at Angling Direct, have collected some of the best bedchairs from the very best brands in the industry, in order to bring you the perfect sleeping solution for all your nights at the bank. To complement our range of bedchairs, we also stock a huge range of sleeping bags and pillows, too, as well as bivvies to complete your overnight angling collection. We understand that when you’re faced with such an impressive range of products, it can be difficult to sort through and locate that one item that is perfect for you. We’re here to make this process that little bit easier, with our handy guide to carp fishing bedchairs.
On the face of it, a bedchair might seem like a fairly simple tackle item to purchase. After all, all you’re really looking for is a comfortable place to rest your head whilst you wait for the inevitable scream of your bite alarm – right? However, with a huge range of products on the market, each with their own unique features, it’s important to put much more than basic comfort on your list of requirements. The weight of the bedchair, its size, and the impact it’s going to have on your wallet are all important things to bear in mind, too. This is why the very first thing you’ll want to consider when you’re looking for a bedchair is exactly what you need your bedchair for. For example, if you’re someone who regularly spends long weekends on the bank, chances are that you’re going to need a more heavy duty sleeping solution than the angler who does the odd quick overnight session. Similarly, if you’re someone who suffers from back problems, your needs on the bank are going to be markedly different from the angler who could spend a week sleeping on the floor without noticing any problems with their spine. This is why it is important to consider each of the individual features of your prospective bedchair prior to purchase, as these will ultimately lead you towards a comfortable bedchair on which you’ll be happy to spend many an angling night!
The frame of your bedchair has a lot to answer for when it comes to the lay, fold, and weight of your bedchair. You’ll find that frames are usually manufactured from aluminium, ensuring that they are lightweight and durable. The top end frames in our range will be manufactured from an aerospace grade of metal, often referred to by the code 6061, which mixes aluminium with magnesium and silicone to create a comprehensive heavy-duty but lightweight frame. This is the same material which is used in top end fly fishing reels to ensure that they are durable enough to withstand the rigours of a fly fishing session. This will ensure that your bedchair is light enough to transport down to your swim, whilst also being hard wearing enough to stand up to many years of angling.
Frames vary in size, from standard bedchairs which are ideal for the average angler, to roomy wide boy frames. These are perfect for the angler who carries an extra bit of timber around with them, as well as being ideal for the angler who likes to have a little room to move when they sleep. It is worth noting that wide boy frames might not always fit in smaller bivvies and these frames will often be heavier too. If you’re someone who enjoys a quick overnighter or a more mobile style of angling, then you might want to stick to a standard sized bedchair frame, whereas the angler who spends longer periods of time at the bank might find a larger framed bedchair more to their liking.
Most bedchairs will have two hinge points in the frame, allowing you to fold the bedchair into thirds. This is to make the transportation of your bedchair down to the bank as easy as possible, as well as to aid with the storage of your bedchair. You’ll find that some models will offer dual or double hinges. These are extra wide hinge points which allow you to store other items within your bedchair – specifically your sleeping bag and pillow. Some bedchairs can even accommodate pop-up tent systems, too. This gives you the ability to significantly reduce the amount of luggage that you need to carry down to the bank, as the majority of your overnight gear is neatly stored in one location. These bedchairs are ideal for the mobile angler, for whom ease of transportation is paramount.
Your frame will also determine how flat-lying your bedchair is. In the past, it was traditional for bedchairs to be reclining, so they would never lay completely flat even when fully reclined. However, now that many anglers also bring day chairs down to the swim, brands have redesigned their bedchairs to do away with the reclining feature. The result is that more and more bedchairs are offering a completely flat lay, devoid of the lumps and bumps which are so often associated with a night spent on the bank. This also helps to ensure that your body weight is supported evenly across your bedchair, reducing the risk of painful pressure points forming and ensuring that you can enjoy your full range of mobility come morning.
The legs of your bedchair are the next area to consider. You’ll find that the vast majority of bedchairs in our range have six legs (although some suppliers will confusingly refer to their six legged bedchairs as having three legs). As a general rule, one pair of legs is fitted under the head section of the bedchair, the second pair at the top of the middle section, and the final pair at the base of the middle section. This ensures that the three key pressure points (head, torso, and legs) are supported by the bedchair, keeping weight distribution even. A number of our bedchairs will offer an additional set of legs under the feet section of the bedchair too, adding additional stability to the setup. Most of the legs on the bedchairs we stock will be height adjustable, too. This helps to ensure that that you are able to get a perfectly flat laying bedchair, even on uneven terrain. You’ll also find a final stabilising feature on the base of each leg: the feet. The feet on your bedchair will often be swivel feet, also known as mud feet. These are wide and flat ‘ball-and-socket’ feet, which self adjust to give you a completely flat base which doesn't sink into the ground. With all of these stabilising features, the chance that you’ll find yourself pitched to the floor in the middle of the night is at an absolute minimum – unless you’re a particularly active sleeper, that is!
Now that we have the framework out of the way we can turn our attention to the padding that the bedchair offers. Bedchair mattresses vary model on model. They can range from densely padded memory foam options, which promise to cradle your entire body perfectly, through to more traditional foam options, which are lighter in weight and provide a more basic level of support. If you’re somebody who suffers from a bad back, or you’re someone who spends several nights in a row on the bank, then you might want to choose a mattress with more extensive padding. However, as these mattresses tend to be heavier in weight, if you’re somebody who only spends a couple of nights a week at your swim then a more traditionally padded mattress will likely be more than adequate for your needs. You’ll find that many of the bedchairs will also have an additional rim of padding around the outer extremity of the bedchair. This serves a dual purpose. Firstly it provides extra protection for the hard outer frame of the bedchair and, secondly, it also helps to ensure that you don’t fall from the bedchair in the night.
You might also want to look at the material that covers the mattress, as this might well have an impact on its comfort factor. The two most popular bedchair cover options are fleece and peach-skin. Peach-skin is a soft brushed material, often cotton based, which offers an exceptionally soft touch finish. Fleece is an equally soft material, but it also has the benefit of being incredibly heat retentive – ideal for those cold winter nights spent on the bank. You might also notice that many of the bedchairs we stock have a different material section in their bottom third. This is known as a ‘welly’ section and it has been purpose designed to be easy to clean. If you’re someone who likes to sleep in your boots, to ensure that you can respond quickly to any sound from your bite alarm in the night, or you just enjoy relaxing back during the day time whilst you wait for a bite, this will ensure that you can easily wipe clean any debris which might have transferred from your footwear to your bedchair.
As an added bonus, some of the bedchairs that we stock in our range come complete with their own inbuilt pillow sections. This is an ideal addition for the mobile carp angler as it reduces the amount of luggage you have to carry between swims before bedding down for the night. The one downside of this is that your bedchair might be slightly bulkier when packed down, so you might want to weigh up the difference between having an additional piece of luggage compared to a slightly bulkier bedchair. Additionally, some of the bedchairs in our collection will come with their own pre-supplied quilts. This will once again add additional bulk to the pack down size of your bedchair, whilst removing the necessity of carrying extra gear down to the bank.
Your complete comfort on the bank is our number one priority, which is why we have collected this comprehensive range of bedchairs to suit the individual needs of each and every carp angler out there. Our range is populated by some of the biggest names in carp fishing, including the likes of Trakker and JRC. In fact, we’re so committed to your comfort on the bank that we have made sure that bedchairs were one of the first products we added to our own-brand Advanta range of tackle. Offering a range of bedchairs to suit both your need and your budget, we have also collected together our entire Advanta sleeping range into impressive sleeping bundles, offering you up to 10% savings on a whole range of night time essentials.
If you’re still unsure of which bedchair is best suited to your needs then you can always give our customer services team a ring. Many of our team are serious about their carp angling and will be able to give you bedchair advice based on their own personal experience, tailored to your needs. All advice is completely without obligation, so you can mull it over before placing your order. If you prefer to try out your tackle before buying it, you can always head to your local Angling Direct store. We try to display a range of bedchair and bivvy options in store, for you to get a real feel of how they are going to suit your needs on the bank.