Sunday, 5 June 2011

Trakker A-Lite Bivvy

At the beginning of this year I decided to upgrade some of my fishing gear. First on the list was some kind of new shelter. For the last 6 years I’ve been using a JRC Stealth Brolly for most of my fishing. It has been a brilliant shelter and I’ve certainly no complaints with my brolly, when the time comes I fully intend to buy another but for now I’ve relegated my Stealth Brolly to day only sessions where I might need to move quickly. I wanted a replacement that gave me a bit more cover than a brolly but still maintained the option of moving quickly. I didn’t want to spend a stupid amount of money on a top of the range bivvy either, I found what I was looking for in the shape of the Trakker A-Lite Bivvy.

Trakker A-Lite Bivvy has a nice open front

The Trakker A-Lite is a kind of cross between a brolly and a bivvy. It’s a pram hood style shelter but the front is quite open like a brolly and there is no door. I like this style of shelter because it offers a little more cover than a brolly but it’s open enough at the front to still be able to see the water comfortably from the Bedchair. The sides of the A-Lite roll back too offering an even better view should it be required. Fishing for carp is actually quite easy, in simple terms, you find the fish and you put a bait in the area they are frequenting and a fishing shelter that allows a good view of the lake is a big help in achieving this, I like to have my eyes on the water all the time and the open fronted A-Lite has certainly helped me to do this.

Carry bag for the Trakker A-Lite, a neat touch

The A-Lite itself is what you’d call ‘self contained’. By that I mean there are no hidden extras to buy. It comes complete with a groundsheet, all the T-Pegs, tension strap and bars to put it up. The pegs and tension bars have their own bags and the bivvy itself comes in a nice carry bag, when you get it on the bank, all you have to do is put it up which is extremely easy to do. Even in heavy winds pram hood style shelters are easy to put up, you simply put it on the floor, slot the poles together, tension it with the strap, peg the back down then lift from the front and peg down!. It’s a one man job no matter how windy it is and as someone who does overnighters even in rough weather, this appeals to me.

My Trakker A-Lite in action on a recent trip to Sandhurst

Price was also a consideration in picking the Trakker A-Lite and being made of 4oz PU Nylon instead of the more expensive Aquatex material, Trakker have managed to keep the price down to a reasonable level. Retailing at £140 all in, this is one carp bivvy that isn’t going to break the bank. There is also an ‘extra’ available for the A-Lite, an over wrap / winter skin which is available for around £100. I haven’t bothered buying the over wrap myself, the A-Lite on it’s own is plenty enough for me to be comfortable but it is nice to have an over wrap option for winter use should the need arise. The A-lite comfortably takes any size Bedchair and unlike my old Stealth Brolly, there is a lot of room overhead. It took me quite a while to get used to the extra headroom, for as long as I can remember I’ve been used to ducking down to avoid the ribs of my brolly so the A-Lite has proved to be quite a luxury for me.

If you are in the market for a shelter that provides enough cover to be comfortable but doesn’t break the bank I recommend you have a look at the Trakker A-Lite Bivvy, I’ve had mine for a while now and I have to say it‘s a top carp bivvy / shelter at a decent price. Although the A-Lite retails at £140 you can find them cheaper. I picked mine up on Ebay brand new for £130 so it pays to have a look around.

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