Try as you might, even with all the skill in the world, there’s still nothing you can do about the Great British elements. You can watch the forecast as long as you like, but it often takes little more than a freak change in the weather to wholly ruin your long-awaited angling session before it even really gets off the ground. It’s a problem so many anglers are all-too familiar with and spending days in dire British weather is something that, unfortunately, comes with the territory. However, the days of packing up at the slightest change in the weather should be long gone. Armed with the most advanced designs in bivvies and shelters, there’s really nothing nature can throw at you that cannot be taken in your stride. Step out with confidence and refuse to let the weather put a dampener on your spirits (or your day) with superior quality coverings from Angling Direct. Our range features everything from the classic super-brolly system right through to the latest advances in long session bivvy design. However, with so many different bivvy and shelter options out there, each of which claiming to be the best in its field, it can be hard going trying to decide on the perfect shelter for your needs.
Firstly, it is important to make the distinction between a shelter and a bivvy. A shelter is most often called a brolly or a brolly system in the angling world and the three terms are generally used interchangeably. These tend to be used primarily for shorter sessions and quick overnight summer angling. Bivvies, on the other hand, are more like traditional tents in the sense that they have a fitted door front and a ribbed construction. These tend to be used for longer sessions and, although plenty of anglers will use a bivvy for a quick overnight session, you’ll rarely see someone erect a bivvy if they are just planning on spending the afternoon and evening at the water’s edge. Regardless whether you’re looking for a shelter or a bivvy you’ll want to look out for a couple of things in the product description.
Materials and Components
The fabric that the shelter or bivvy is made from is absolutely integral to its quality. After all, it is this fabric that is going to keep the wind and the rain off, so you need to ensure that it is waterproof and durable. Most bivvies and shelters will use a high denier nylon fabric. The word denier refers to the fineness or density of the fabric, so the higher the number is the thicker the fabric will be. Most of the bivvies and shelters we stock tend to have 210 denier fabric, which is plenty enough to hold off the worst of the cold and rain. However, you will also find that some brands use their own specially designed fabric, which they have developed especially for anglers. Aquatexx (used by Trakker and Aqua in their top end bivvies and shelters) and Climatex (used by Chub) are two such examples of these. These fabrics will tend to claim a certain level of breathability as well as the classic waterproof rating. If a fabric is breathable as well as waterproof, it significantly reduces the risk of condensation forming inside the bivvy, protecting you from damp on the inside as well as the outside.
Whether you’re interested in a bivvy or a shelter you’ll be looking out for the word ‘footprint’. This refers to the amount of space on the ground the bivvy or shelter takes up. Most manufactures try to minimise this footprint (especially if they are trying to create a compact shelter solution) whilst maximising the internal space available. This is where the rib structure of the bivvy or shelter really comes into play. The ribs or poles are almost as important as the main fabric, as these provide the shape of the bivvy. They are often manufactured from an aluminium based metal, although you will find some variations across the brands. So long as the material used is strong, durable, and lightweight, the bivvy should be ideal for your needs. Shelters tend to be based on the structure of a large brolly (hence their alternative names) with extended storm sides. Bivvies, on the other hand, have a lot of variation in appearance. Some you’ll find will have four ribs, some two, some will be short and squat, and others will be tall and deep. You often have the option between one and two man bivvies, whereas shelters are exclusively one man due to their compact size. A good place to start is making sure that your bivvy offers a relatively flat back. This ensures that you can push your bedchair far back into your bivvy, giving you the maximum amount of floor space for the storage of your luggage, cooking equipment, and other angling essentials.
Another thing to look out for when you’re investing in a bivvy or shelter is the gear it comes with. Most of the bivvies and shelters we stock come with their own heavy duty groundsheets, T-pegs, and carry bags. Groundsheets are vital, if you’re looking to enjoy more than fair-weather fishing, as they keep the damp out from under the bivvy and give you a mud-free zone on torrential days. T-pegs are equally important as they hold your bivvy and shelter in position. This is especially vital on sloping banks, when you don’t want your gear slowly sliding towards the water, and in high winds. Carry bags are fairly self-explanatory: they give you a way of transporting your gear to and from the bank, as well as making sure that you can keep everything together nice and neatly.
Now that you know what to look out for when you’re browsing our range, we’re going to help you to further refine your search so you can walk away with the perfect product for you.
Short Session Angling, Stalking and Sea Fishing
As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re someone who heads down to the bank for a short number of hours then it is unlikely that you’ll want to take a full on bivvy with you. However, if you’re an angler who also likes to be out on the bank in all conditions you’ll be well aware that even the most high-tech of waterproofs simply cannot cut the mustard – especially as they cannot possible keep you and your gear dry at the same time. This is where a shelter comes in extremely useful. Lightweight and compact, shelters give you somewhere to sit away from the wind and the rain, as well as giving you the option of tucking your gear away from the elements too.
For the most part, the shelters we have to offer are based on a large open brolly rested on the ground, with extensions on the sides to offer additional protection from the wind. They are generally wide enough to accommodate a bedchair, at a pinch, in case you do want to do short summer overnighter, and they are tall enough for you to sit in comfortably without your vision being obstructed. Most of the shelters we stock tend to have an open front and, as such, are intended just to keep the rain and worst of the wind off you and your tackle. They literally shelter you from the elements.
Shelters and brollies are incredibly popular among modern anglers who like to remain mobile during their fishing – whether or not they then want to spend the night in their swim. They are ideal for the angler who likes to survey an area before settling down, as well as the angler who likes to know that they can move further around the corner at a moment’s notice should the situation on the water change. Most of the shelters we stock will boast their quick pack down and setup times, with many employing nifty devices to quicken the process further. Shelters are also popular among anglers who don’t like the modern fad of taking everything and the kitchen sink down to the bank. If you’re someone who shuns barrows – safe in the knowledge that you can take everything you need on your back – but you still want to be protected from the elements, a compact shelter is the perfect choice for you. Many of our shelters are incredibly lightweight, with this reason in mind, and pack down to impressively small sizes.
For anglers who want the lightweight freedom of a shelter as well as the 360 degree protection of a bivvy, we also stock a range of overwraps. These enable you to add a door to your shelter, keeping out the elements as well as affording you a little extra privacy. These help to retain heat inside your shelter, too, transforming it into a small bivvy that can be used for overnight angling all year round.
If you enjoy sea fishing then you’ll also be au fait with the world of shelters. Tall and bold coloured shelters are the name of the game in beach or surf fishing, as you don’t need to worry about blending in with your surroundings so as not to scare a nervous fish. These shelters tend to come with extended sand skirts, in order to stop the wind from whipping the sand up around your ankles.
At their most expensive, our shelters come in at just under £300, but you can also buy excellent budget brolly systems for approximately £40.
Carp Fishing, Long Session Angling, Continental Fishing
If you’re someone who likes to enjoy long stints down by the bank then chances are you’ll want to upgrade your brolly system into something a little more substantial. Bivvies are perfect for this. Generally smaller than a tent, the bivvy gets its name from the improvised camping shelters, or ‘bivouacs’, popular among mountaineers of old. However, the modern angling bivvy is significantly more high-tech than these original improvisations and the majority of them allow you to enjoy your time on the bank in relative luxury. Bivvies are perfect for the average carp fishing session, when you want to spend a night or two (or longer) at the bank, and we have tonnes of options for you to choose from in order to maximise your experience.
There are loads of different shapes and sizes of bivvy available on our website, each of which is geared to a slightly different angling need. Two man bivvies are ideal if you’re tackling a large European swim, when it is more than possible to have two anglers in the same area without disturbing one-another (or your fish). They are also great if you like to take a loved one down to the bank with you – for photo-taking and company rather than because they enjoy fishing. Two man bivvies are also used by anglers who like to be prepared for all eventualities, as well as anglers who spend upwards of a week on the bank at a time, as they provide loads of space for all your extra gear. One man bivvies have ample room for all the equipment you need on your average long weekend angling session. You’ll find some large one man bivvies in our store that are almost the same size as small two-man options, so if you do want a compromise between the two there are options available for you; nearly every bivvy clearly states its footprint so it is relatively easy to compare products. However, most anglers favour one man bivvies for their compact size and, as a general rule of thumb, the more compact your bivvy is the more versatile you are able to be. This is because smaller bivvies (even those that feel TARDIS-like in terms of the internal space they offer) tend to be lighter in weight and they can fit into smaller swims – allowing you to tackle more waters with greater ease.
A combination of your needs and your budget will probably end up determining what type of bivvy you go for. For example, if you want a bivvy you can stand up in you are seriously limiting your options from the off, but if you’re looking for something wide and shallow then you will have a range of choice across the price spectrum. As far as prices go, for a top end bivvy you can expect to part with in excess of £500. This will get you a relatively large and high quality bit of kit that can see you through a lifetime on the bank with ease. At the other end of the spectrum, anything between £60 and £100 will get you a compact bivvy perfect for year round use in short weekend sessions. Most anglers pitch up somewhere in the middle, achieving that perfect compromise between durability and value for money. If you do want to splash out on a high end bit of kit that will last you a lifetime then you can always use our direct finance option, which offers interest free finance on any purchase that is in excess of £300.
As with our range of shelters, we also stock a range of overwraps in our angling collection in order to take your bivvy to the next level. These transform your bivvies from single skinned outfits (which are perfect for summer and fair-weather angling) to dual skin winter performance pieces. Adding a second skin to your bivvy significantly increases its heat retaining capabilities, keeping you warmer when the weather is cooler. What’s more, an overwrap also reduces the risk of condensation forming inside the bivvy, too, which ensures that you stay drier and more comfortable for longer.
Whether you’re buying a bivvy or a shelter, we’ve sourced the finest products from the market’s leading brands. In all cases, the angling bivvies and shelters we stock have been tried and tested for not only exceptional protection but unrivalled value for money. Whether you prefer going it alone or you’re looking to accommodate multiple anglers for longer periods of time, we’ll make sure you’re kept warm, dry, and comfortable for as long as it takes to get that perfect catch. We’ve worked hard to assemble a range of fishing shelters that covers not only all needs but also all budgets across the board. From first-time newcomers just getting started to elite pros with life-long experience, we guarantee to deliver the goods at the lowest possible prices.
Our own brand Advanta range also offers a wide variety of bivvies, shelters, brollies, and wraps to suit every need. From one man shelters that are perfect for a quick overnighter to bivvies that can outlast even the longest of angling sessions, we have constructed the perfect product for you. We have even got a number of bivvy mats that are perfect for placing muddy and damp footwear and clothing on so you don’t waterlog the inside of your shelter. Investing in a bivvy or shelter can only improve your angling experience and we are here to help at every stage of your purchase. Our blog offers regular reviews of the newest bivvies to the market, and you can read through our impressive archive to fully research so you can buy with confidence. If you need any extra advice, our customer services team are on hand to help. You can find all their contact information and business hours on their dedicate webpage. Our shop staff have a wealth of angling experience behind them – to find you local Angling Direct shop you can use our store locator.
High-quality bivvies and shelters, from the market’s leading brands, brought to you for the lowest UK prices by Angling Direct: Serious about your fishing…