Looking to channel your inner Terry Hearn and fish from under an open-fronted, old school brolly? Let’s check out the best carp brolly system you should have amongst your kit this year!
Brolly systems used to be all the rage in the 90’s. Before quick-erect bivvies like the Tempest or Titan hit the market, the humble brolly system was the best thing available.
And today, a brolly system is still an excellent piece of kit.
There is little that can beat it in terms of packing up and moving around the lake fast.
Not only that, but they provide an excellent viewpoint across the water.
This is a key reason why many a big fish angler swear by their carp brolly system.
But is a brolly system right for you, and which are the best ones on the market? Let’s check them out!
What are the advantages of a brolly system over a traditional bivvy?
The main advantage of a brolly system over a traditional bivvy is the speed at which it can be set up.
Due to the spoked design, they typically take seconds to go from folded to fully-fledged shelter.
This makes them beneficial if you’re an angler who likes to move onto showing fish.
Typically, they are a bit more stripped down in terms of features too, which typically yields a lighter pack-down weight. Again, this helps a lot when you’re regularly moving swims.
However, perhaps the most underrated advantage of a brolly system is the excellent viewpoint you get from your bedchair. Most brolly systems can be opened up completely at the front, giving you an excellent viewipoint for spotting showing fish.
For short sessions and overnighters, you really can’t be a brolly!
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What to look for in a brolly system for carp fishing
If you have decided that a brolly system is for you, here are some things you might want to look out for.
Set up time is certainly one of the biggest advantages of a brolly system. However, not all of them just pop up and cover your kit as quickly as you’d like.
Some brolly systems have more bells and whistles, and as such take a little longer to set up.
The Avid HQ for example, includes a vapour barrier and multiple storm poles at the front and side. You really have to use these in order to get the best from the full system.
Whilst they do transform it into a more stable brolly, they take away from the lightness and manoeuvrability that you might be looking for.
The Aqua Fast and Light definitely has the fastest set up time of those we’ve listed here. That’s why it makes out top pick for the best carp brolly system.
Again, if you’re looking for a good brolly system, weight should be a consideration.
Typically you don’t want something that will add unnecessary weight to your barrow. Having a brolly system is all about staying nimble in my eyes. For that reason, you typically don’t need the highest rated hydrostatic head material.
These just add extra weight which are often not required throughout the warmer months. This is when you are most likely going to be using your brolly system.
For some anglers, it’s a requirement that their brolly can be used all year round.
If this is the case for you, you’ll want to make sure additional extras are available. There are a few things you can add to your carp brolly system to make it more suitable for colder weather conditions. These include:
- HD Ground Sheet
- Vapour Guard or Inner Capsule
- Zip in Front Panel or Mozzie Panel
- Storm Poles
It’s worth noting that most anglers tend to only use their brollies in the summer. But if you are someone who doesn’t want to fork out for a bivvy just for the winter, the AVID HQ is probably your best bet in this regard.
With a 20,000mm hydrostatic head, it really does feature some of the best bivvy material on the market. And there’s a removable vapour guard to stop the dreaded condensation too.
How we picked these carp brolly systems
Real + Group Reviews
We’ve combined real experience plus group reviews from Facebook and leading eCommerce stores to determine what products to feature on this guide.
People have different budgets for their carp brolly. Therefore we tried to provide some variance amongst the products we’ve looked at.
No Commission Focus
Whilst we do earn from some links clicked through this site, we have not been biased towards a single product because of that. This is unlike other guides that only feature Amazon listed products.
Our Top Pick: Aqua Fast and Light
The Aqua Fast and Light is our top pick for this guide.
Put simply, the reviews for this brolly are excellent.
Checking it out first-hand, it is made from really high-quality materials, hence the rather steep price tag.
But like most things in carp fishing, you get what you pay for. And I think that saying has never been more true than with Aqua Products.
Whilst their gear isn’t often groundbreaking, it definitely lives up to the demands of modern day carping.
For all contents and purposes, The Fast and Light really if the definition of an open-fronted carp brolly. The clue is in the name, it’s super fast to erect and lightweight enough for moving onto fish.
Perhaps it’s biggest feature though is actually the material. It’s made from Aqua’s own Aquatexx material which is hardwearing and virtually immune to condensation. – Just what you need when fishing under the brolly without an overwrap.
Other than that, there are some subtle adjustments to the design which make this rather unique.
Firstly, Aqua have added a 9th rib to the brolly, providing a peak in the centre. What this does is heighten your field of view, allowing you to sit up on the bedchair and gain a panoramic view of the water.
And secondly, the ribs are cut down to just 55 inches. With most brolly systems having 60inch ribs, this might sound like you’re losing some space. But with the extra rib and two redesigned ‘wings’, you’ve got more of a round profile that adequately protects you and your gear.
If you’ve got the money and want the best brolly out there, you won’t go wrong with the Fast & Light in my opinion.
Budget Pick: Fox EOS 60″ Carp Brolly System
Our budget pick on this guide is the Fox EOS Brolly System.
Whilst Fox are currently dominating with the Frontier, which is widely considered the best carp bivvy, they’ve also stuck to what they’re good at; products in the budget category.
That’s exactly how they’ve marketed this bivvy. According to Fox, it;s ideal for anglers on a tight budget or newcomers to the sport.
We completely agree.
What you get here is a very flexible brolly system, one that can get you through all but the harshest months of the year.
Like most budget brollies and bivvies, most of the cost saving is in the material itself.
On the EOS, it’s an 8000mm hydrostatic head polyester. This is actually higher rated than budget bivvies of the past. It’s even higher rated than the Trakker Tempest 100T brolly, surprisingly.
Either way, it’s enough to keep the wind and rain off your back. Just don’t expect it to be bone dry inside in the cooler months. This sort of material will suffer from condensation, and there is no overwrap or vapour guard available.
On the plus side, you do get an integrated front with the EOS Brolly. This is ideal for keeping the wind and rain at bay.
It’s got a letter box style front door and two sides that can be rolled back to expose a wider view of the lake.
A nice addition is the vents on the side, which is something you don’t normally see in budget brollies and bivvies.
Aside from the main structure itself, the brolly also comes complete with four storm poles. These help give some extra rigidity to the front, but they’re not a necessity.
Overall, an ideal choice if you want a cost-effective brolly for the warmer months.
Fox R-Series Brolly System
The Fox R-Series is a true all year round brolly system.
Benefitting from a heaver hydrostatic head and larger footprint than the EOS, it provides that extra of coverage and comfort for those who want to use a brolly system all year.
At first glance, you’ll notice just how large the R-Series is. It’s a full 20cm wider than the Aqua Fast and Light. As a result, you’ve got sizeable footprint inside to fit days worth of kit.
Whilst it can be used as more of a ‘full bivvy system’, the R-Series can be stripped back too.
The front is completely removable, making ideal for those who want to fish with an open front in the summer.
As part of the brolly system, you get a clear PVC, solid khaki and mozzie mesh door to choose from.
But that’s not all. For those who like a social, or taking everything but the kitchen sink, the Fox R-Series has another trick up it’s sleeve.
You can buy a brolly extension that zips on to the front. It’s similar to an open awning, giving you lots of extra room for socials, cooking, or just storing kit on longer sessions.
To be honest, there aren’t many brolly systems as adaptable as the R-Series. If you’re looking for something to cover multiple scenarios, this should definitely be on your list.
AVID HQ Dual Layer
AVID have impressed with their range of bivvies in recent years, and the HQ Dual Layer Brolly is no different.
As the name suggests, this benefits from one feature not found on any other brolly on this guide. This carp brolly system has an inner vapour guide, designed to prevent condensation drip.
Typically, you don’t see this on brolly systems as they aim to keep weight to a minimum for mobile anglers.
However, AVID have designed a brolly here that really can be used throughout the depths of winter, as well as the warmer months.
The 20,000mm hydrostatic head provides more than enough protection throughout the harshest conditions. In fact, this brolly has one of the thickest materials currently seen on any carp fishing bivvy.
This does have one downside though, weight. The HQ Dual Layer is known to be a heavy brolly system, so this is worth bearing in mind. If you’re looking for something easy to transport, this isn’t the one for you!
What it does have though, are features that will make it feel like more of home-from-home.
You’ve got a heavy duty ground sheet as standard and front/rear mozzie mesh to keep air flowing in the summer months.
If you’re looking for something that’s closer to a bivvy than a traditional carp brolly, this one is for you.
Solar Tackle Undercover Carp Brolly System
Like Aqua, Solar Tackle are known for producing high-quality carp gear, so it would be rude not to include them on this guide.
Of all the brollies on this guide, it’s probably a cross between the Fox R-Series and the AVID HQ Dual Layer.
Weighing in at just 7kg, it’s dramatically lighter than the AVID Brolly.
Most of that weight is saved via the use of a 10,000mm hydrostatic head material. You will find this material more than enough to get you through the colder months. However, expect some condensation drip throughout winter.
Unfortunately, the Undercover Brolly doesn’t come with an option for a vapour guard or overwrap. – An oversight from Solar in our opinion.
You will notice that it has a unique difference to the front though. This brolly features a peak at the front which helps to keep driving rain out when you’ve got the door set up letter box style. This is a nice addition that many brolly systems miss.
Overall, if you’re looking for a decent quality brolly that you can use all year round, it’s worth checking out the Solar Undercover.
About the writer
I’m Rob, Carp Squad’s main contributor. I’ve been carp fishing on and off for 15 years, but the bug is well and truly back at the moment. Hopefully the articles I write on here help you put more carp on the bank.