A lot of people are using conventional tents for their fishing trips. But there is a type of tent which is far more advanced than the average camping tent; the fishing bivvy.
A fishing bivvy is an advanced type of tent, which is commonly used for overnight carp fishing sessions. It is 100% waterproof and very easy to erect. Thanks to its heavy-duty fabric and thermal insulation, the bivvy is an all-season type of shelter that can withstand very cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy rainfall.
I have used bivvies for over ten years now and can honestly say that it is a vital element of my fishing equipment that I do not want to be without.
If you want to learn everything there is to know about fishing bivvies and why they are such a perfect fit for anglers, keep reading this article.
Most Important Features of a Fishing Bivvy
Everything about a fishing bivvy screams optimization and practicality.
This comes as no surprise, as bivvies were originally used in the army, by soldiers who had to camp out in the open and had to be able to quickly blend in with the natural environment that surrounded them.
This both explains that bivvies usually are green or camouflaged, very lightweight and that they are very easily erected and dismounted. All of these features fit fishermen more than well, which is why bivvies are such a popular choice for many anglers.
Easy to Erect And Dismount
The bivvy’s most exclusive feature is, without a doubt, the quick erect feature. There are bivvies that you can unwrap and fully mount in less than 60 seconds.
Most other, more basic models take only slightly longer to erect and can be fully mounted in anything between 2 and 5 minutes.
Equally, modern fishing bivvies can be dismounted and packed up in no time at all. For the angler who values time and optimization on the bank, the bivvy is the perfect shelter to use while fishing.
Carp and specimen anglers in particular are known to be drawn to bivvies and in venues in which carp or specimen fish can be found, bivvies are usually a common part of the local scenery.
These types of anglers carry a lot of gear with them to the bank, which means that any part of their equipment that isn’t adding much to the overall weight and volume of what they have to bring with them in their cars and down to the bank is highly appreciated.
Bivvies are clearly part of this category, as they can both weigh very little and take only a limited room when they are rolled up.
Many bivvies weigh under 15 lb, which is extraordinary if you consider that this weight equals a fully equipped and highly advanced outdoor shelter that will keep you warm and dry in almost any type of weather.
Both when erect and rolled up, bivvies are very compact and take up surprisingly little space.
A standard 1-bivvy measures an average height of 140cm, a length of 220cm, and a width of 275cm, which is a rather compact and limited space.
However, thanks to the bivvy’s roomy interior, you can virtually fit all of your gear, a camping mat, a bedchair or carp bed, your sleeping bag, and yourself into that bivvy.
And once you are done fishing and roll up your bivvy to pack it into its bag, it will measure no more than roughly 100cm in length, with a diameter of about 30cm!
And so, when rolled and packed up, a bivvy will fit into your car without taking much room at all!
This is a very smart and practical feature that anglers find extremely useful. Many bivvies have removable fronts, which, if taken off, turn them into open shelters.This basically means that your bivvy is a 2 -in-1 tent solution that can be used in bad weather and cold conditions (closed bivvy) and in good weather and warm conditions (open shelter).Many anglers also prefer using the open shelter alternative, as it enables them to get to their rods faster at night.The “cut-off” front of the open shelter allows for a rod pod, or bank sticks, to be placed directly in front of it, making it super easy for a sleeping angler to basically just reach out and pick up the rod after a take.
This is another great feature of the fishing bivvy; its raised roof. Standard bivvies can have heights of 140-160cm, giving anglers a lot of space to sit comfortably and upright on a chair inside the bivvy.
With the bivvy’s high top and extra headroom, there is no need for anglers to crouch down when entering or leaving their bivvy, which can be extra important when having to get to your rods rather quickly.
Large Windows And Door
Even with the bivvy fully closed, you can still enjoy a full view over your swim from within it, thanks to large PVC plastic windows, which are commonly detachable, and a large door, which can be rolled up all the way.
As a bonus, most of these openings are also covered with mosquito mesh, allowing you to detach the windows and roll up your front door without getting in any unwanted insects.
At night, when you don’t need to oversee your rods and swim, you simply cover all the openings again and enjoy a good night of sleep in a perfectly darkened bivvy, until you get a bite, that is!
Built In Groundsheet
Many fishing bivvies have built-in groundsheets that are attached to the bivvy. This feature has several advantages and adds to the overall comfort of the bivvy.
For one thing, you skip having any types of creepy crawlers in your tent at night, which is something any angler that ever woke up with a spider crawling over his face will appreciate.
For another thing, a built-in groundsheet prevents any cool air from streaming in through openings at the bottom of the tent.
This is especially comfortable when fishing cold spring or autumn nights when that cold air creeps in and disturbs your sleep, as your face is usually at the same height as the incoming air.
I have woken up from a cold, running nose because of that many times throughout the years until I got a bivvy with an attached groundsheet.
This 100% closed system also aids the bivvy’s overall isolation.
A final advantage of having a built-in groundsheet in your bivvy is that it makes your bivvy even more compact.
You simply erect, and then roll up your bivvy together with the groundsheet in one go, no separate folding of the groundsheet and no extra space taken by it either.
More recent bivvy models come with a double outer layer of heavy-duty nylon fabrics, which aids both the bivvy’s isolation and insulation systems, as well as keeps condensation to an absolute minimum.
This design makes it possible for the bivvy to be warm and dry in cold weather, and cool and well air-conditioned in warm weather.
The heavy-duty fabrics that are commonly used for the bivvy’s outer layers also ensure many years of service; no scratches, no holes, and no reparations needed.
These high-quality materials also make sure that a bivvy is 100% waterproof. No matter how much heavy rain is pounding that bivvy, no water will ever get in, if those layers stay intact, it is truly marvelous!
Advanced Air Conditioning
Additionally to the bivvy’s front openings, there are usually a series of rear vents that ensure steady air conditioning and provide an essential flow of air. The latter is extra crucial for those hot summer nights on the bank.
For colder nights, the vents can easily be closed, in order to prevent the cooler air from coming in.
Different Types of Fishing Bivvies
Brollies are open-front bivvies that are basically advanced umbrella shelters. They are very easily erected, light weighted and do not take much room when packed up.Two adjustable quick sticks that can be attached to the brolly’s front give it better protection against wind and rain, as well as better overall stability.Brollies are usually a 1-man size and are perfect for a short, spontaneous overnight session, as well as day sessions in bad weather.
2 and 3 Rib Bivvies
These are the most common types of bivvies. 2 rib models are often 1-man size bivvies, while 3 rib models are 2-man size versions of bivvies.They have all the standard features and designs which are commonly associated with fishing bivvies; such as a quick and smooth pram hood style erection, heavy-duty fabric that can handle all types of weather, plenty of room for the angler and all of his gear, as well as a heavy-duty groundsheet, windows, a door and an overwrap.2 and 3 rib bivvies are perfectly suitable for both overnighters and longer fishing trips that last several days.