What size bivvy do you need?
The first consideration for your bivvy is the size that you will need, fishing bivvies primarily come in 3 main size groups; 1 man bivvy, 2 man bivvy and euro bivvy. The first two are quite self-explanatory and denote the intended size, although you can get 1 man bivvies that in theory can fit two people and 2 man bivvies that are large enough to comfortably fit 3 people, so it's still important to check the dimensions. A euro bivvy is designed as more of a communal travelling bivvy for longer holidays and fishing trips and can sleep a number of anglers inside and still provide plenty of space for your fishing tackle and clothing.
Although it may seem obvious to decide to get the largest and most spacious bivvy it's often not the most sensible choice as these can come with a number of drawbacks, namely:
- Much tougher to erect and put down
- Larger carry bag and much heavy than the smaller bivvy shelters
- The larger bivvies tend to be more expensive
- The bivvy will be too big to fit in a number of swims you may encounter and so reduce the options when choosing a spot to fish from
If you are planning on fishing in a number of spots during your fishing sessions and don't require gale force weather protection or lots of space inside the shelter then there are plenty of small 1 man bivvies that can be erected in well under a minute (some as quick as 20 seconds). This erection speed provides the keen carper the flexibility to move from spot to spot and still provide them with all the protection and shelter they should need in all but the most extreme of conditions.
The size, ease of transportation and erection speed trade off will need to be thought through in order to hone in on the right size for your particular requirements, however the clear labelling of bivvies into the three categories mentioned above should help you cross a number of shelters of your shopping list.
Expected bivvy price
Fishing bivvies, like most things, come in a range of different qualities which dictate how much you are likely to have to pay for a particular model. When looking for the right bivvy for you it's handy to set your budget quite early on (high and low) as it enables you to filter out a number of models quickly and easily. The price of the bivvy is primarily related to the quality of the materials used in its construction, the number of features the bivvy has and finally how lightweight the manufacturers have managed to make it. An example of a high end bivvy shelter is Trakker's Tempest 1 man bivvy which can cost close to £600 and a lower end cheaper bivvy is Fox's Warrior Hood 1 man bivvy which should cost around £150, both are a similar size and therefore act as a great indicator of the potential quality differences you can encounter.
As the above example suggests the size of the bivvy doesn't necessarily have a bearing on the price that you will have to pay apart from a few of the larger euro bivvies (e.g Avid HQ Euro Bivvy) . This is the main reason for suggesting to work out size requirements first when it comes to finding the right bivvy and then filtering out the available bivvies using your budget restrictions.
Where To Get More Bivvy Advice
This article has hopefully provided you with a simple breakdown on the two important factors when looking to buy a bivvy, namely its size and its price. The next step should be to browse a number of online stores or angling sites and look through the customer reviews. When you've found a few models that you are interested in search for some carp and angling forums and ask for opinions on the bivvies that you're thinking of buying, this should give you enough confidence to know that when you narrow down your options to one model that it's the right bivvy for you.