There's no excuse for not being comfortable when night fishing, given the array of bedchairs available to the modern carp angler.
Whether, like me, you prefer a firm bed or your preference is for something altogether softer, just as when choosing a mattress at home, there’ll be something in your chosen tackle shop to suit you.
What’s more, as you’ll see on this page, it needn’t always cost you an arm and a leg to get it.
I remember some of the really early bedchairs, when companies like Fox and, latterly, JRC led the way. While these pioneering models were a godsend at the time, they now seem pretty dreadful compared to those of today!
Bedchairs now come packed with features, are constantly evolving, and their manufacturers
are always updating the materials being used, all for the comfort of people like you and me. My one piece of advice would be to choose carefully – your bedchair might well be one of the most important purchases as an angler you will ever make.
Rarely do we find ourselves setting up on perfectly level ground and so, as well as adjustable legs, mudfeet which swivel at the base can be a key feature of any bedchair. These, as seen here on Avid’s Benchmark, rotate as well as moving quite freely up and down at all angles. This helps with stability, and also reduces the likelihood of damage to your groundsheet.
One of the single biggest factors in determining the comfort factor of any bed is its mattress, and bedchairs are no different. Look for something that offers the right feel for you and, crucially, that comes out far enough to cover the frame when you lie on the bed itself. The Benchmark features memory foam and offers plenty of coverage all round.
HINGE OR HANDWHEEL?
Most modern bedchairs now feature a hinge rather than a handwheel. This is not only easier to
use, but prevents any potential ‘pinch point’ around your shoulder area. In the case of double-hinged frames it also helps maintain a flat profile both when opened out and packed away. A hinge can even allow you to leave your sleeping bag folded in your bed in many cases.
Again essential when setting up on uneven ground, some legs offer more adjustment than others. There’s plenty on this Benchmark. Look for the adjustment to be on the outside of the leg as well, because trying to adjust the legs at the rear of your shelter, at the same time as leaning over the bed, can be very fiddly!
Bedchairs can be configured in different ways when it comes to the elastics. Few have a single elastic around the entire frame, as used to be the case, instead using a combination of shorter elastics and solid material. Each can be adjustable but will need tweaking over time to get the correct support and maintain the right feel for you.
SEVEN OF THE BEST BEDCHAIRS
PROLOGIC COMMANDER CLASSIC
RRP: £119.99 | www.prologicfishing.com
Exceptional value. Prologic’s traditional handwheel is smaller than most, so doesn’t the dreaded pinch point is less noticeable. The thick mattress feels soft, and subtle camo detailing on the outer skirt will appeal to many. Adjustable legs and large mudfeet both feature.
FOX FLATLITER MK2
RRP: £259.99 (Compact and Standard) | www.foxint.com
A complete system with zip-out sleeping bag, this is a top-end bedchair, hence the price. Excellent lumbar support, easily adjustable and surprisingly easy to fold away with the bag on it. Inside is a combination of micro fleece and nylon for the ‘best of both worlds’ in comfort.
RRP: £94.99 (Standard size) | www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk
An extremely flat design with no handwheel, it’s distinctive in style and finish. The DPM camo skirt will appeal to some. With minimal use of elastics this firm bed gives excellent lumbar support which lots of anglers prefer. Compact and Wide versions also aavailable, all of which offer exceptional value.
DAIWA MISSION DELUXE
RRP: £129.99 | www.daiwasports.co.uk
No need to spend a fortune to get a bedchair comfortable enough for overnighters, the Mission Deluxe is basic but built to last. Locking pins keep everything in place and the thick mattress easily covers the frame. The handwheel does create a slight narrowing at the shoulder area.
NASH SCOPE AIRLITE
RRP: £208.99 | www.nashtackle.co.uk
Minimal, light and easy to transport, the Airlite’s symmetrical design means you can sleep at either end, while the low-profile bed slides effortlessly under even the smallest shelters. It’s a doddle to put up and down. Not the most luxurious bedchair, but Nash has its Indulgence beds for that.
JRC COCOON 2G LEVELBED
RRP: £190 (Standard size) | www.jrc-fishing.co.uk
This brand-new bed is extremely flat and level for your comfort. After all, your mattress at home is flat, so why not your bedchair too? Plump mattress, adjustable legs and huge mudfeet, as well as twin zip-out accessory pockets complete the set-up. Compact and XL models available as well.
AVID CARP BENCHMARK
RRP: £249.99 (Standard size) | www.avidcarp.com
The ludicrously comfortable four-leg Benchmark has a lumbar support system, underneath a two-inch-thick memory-foam mattress. It also boasts ‘throw-hinges’, allowing you to pack a sleeping bag away inside the bed, and a strap to secure the bed in transit.