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Wednesday Review - ESP Hideout

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Wednesday Review - ESP Hideout

Reviewed by Carpology Magazine… Carpology-Logo-Blog

Late last year, ESP reinvented the oval brolly concept with the Lo Pro. Now they’ve taken it one step further and produced a full-blown bankside house…

WE’VE LONG BEEN ESP patriots, ever since we purchased our first set of Terry Hearn MK1 Carp Rods, a pack of Stiff Riggers and a spool of 20lb Stiff Bristle. And what has followed since the brand was founded in 1999 is an impressive collection of clothing, luggage and, more recently, a revolutionary retake of the original oval brolly: The ESP Lo Pro. With its unique freestanding design it caused quite a stir when it was launched at the end of last year and predictably it wasn’t long before we all started asking for a full system, incorporating a front panel and door. Fast-forward to now and we’re pleased to introduce the Hideout: ESP’s first full-blown bankside home.

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The Big Questions

What was so special about the original then, the Lo Pro? Allow us to explain: Where all other ovals rely on the slightly improvised system of being propped up at the front by banksticks or storm poles, the Lo Pro’s two front ribs feature an elasticated joint which elongates the front side ribs when assembled, allowing them to be in contact with the ground. Not only did this new design create more stability, more inner space and a more compact body once packed away, it also has weight advantages: Not having to carry storm poles saves on poundage, and excluding the eight pegs and lightweight bag which houses the brolly, it balanced the scales at a very modest 3.3kg.

Sounds impressive, but how does the Hideout differ then? First off it’s based on the same free-standing design concept as the Lo Pro but with a larger, higher frame. To take the strain of this bigger footprint, the frame incorporates a combination of 8 and 10mm fibreglass ribs: 8mm on the six ribs that make up the rear and sides and 10mm on the two top front ribs. Now for the latest clever invention: The front panels are integrated rather than attached with a zip and this greatly reduces the weight and bulk and allows them to be simply rolled back while not in use.

So it’s quite versatile then? Very. One or both of the front panels can be used or rolled up out of the way; the removable door (which also has a mozzie panel built-in) can be rolled from the base or rolled down from the top letter box style so it’s still easy to see out in bad weather whilst optimising coverage.

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What’s really neat about the Lo Pro is how low you could set it... You can do exactly the same with the Hideout. By moving those extended front ribs in or out, the height of the front of the shelter is adjusted, allowing for different weather conditions, varying terrain and visibility requirements.

How do the stats compare on the Hideout then? It’s bigger, so there’s more material, which obviously means it’s heavier, but it’s by no means overweight. On its own, the brolly weighs 4.15kg; add in all the included accessories (heavy-duty groundsheet, pegs and two storm poles) and it comes in at 7.90kg. Dimension-wise, in its packed-down form it measures 1.8m so it’ll fit into most quivers. And when it’s set-up its footprint occupies an area of 2.45m (width), 1.85m (depth) and has an optimum height of 1.3m. And thanks to the Space Saver Frame mechanism inside, it means you won’t bang your head!

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Sounds like another great step forward in bivvy design from ESP. What’s the damage? It certainly is. The Lo Pro was a genuine development on the oval umbrella theme - giving the travelling angler lightweight mobility combined with a pleasing amount of coverage. The Hideout takes that original clever concept and just gives you more protection and more comfort. And being ESP, it’s very well priced.

 

 

Key Features - Based on the freestanding design concept of the ESP Lo Pro - Larger, higher frame than the Lo Pro - Frame incorporates a combination of 8mm & 10mm fibreglass ribs - Versatile system with integrated front & removable door - One or both front panels can be used or rolled up out of the way - Optimal sightlines when you're sheltering from bad weather - Includes heavy-duty groundsheet & 2 storm poles - Height adjustable, space saver mechanism - Brolly weight 4.15kg, total weight including accessories 7.90kg - Dimensions: width 2.45m, depth 1.85m, optimum height 1.3m - Pack down length 1.8m. Will fit most quivers

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