We’ve rounded up a wide selection of bedchairs for this group review to show you what’s on offer in this competitive section of the carp market in 2019…
What to look for
Generally speaking, cheaper bedchairs are made from steel, making them relatively heavy for their size. Aluminium frames reduce this weight, but they come at a cost.
If you are regularly fishing a venue to require a long walk to your swim, reducing the weight of your bedchair can be a gamechanger.
Most beds have six legs these days, though we have an eight-legger on test that is pefect for larger carpers.
Adjusting the legs on uneven ground can be one of the most frustrating parts of setting up your swim, so inspect an potential purchase to see how easily and securely its legs extend.
Most bedchairs feel great when you lie down on them for a few moments in a tackle shop, but you won’t really know how comfortable they are until you’ve spent the night on one.
It’s generally mattress sag that cause this, so have a look at how the mattress is supported and see if it can adjusted over time.
JRC Stealth X-Lite Levelbed
This aluminium-framed bed stands out a mile in a hands-on grouptest due to its lack of weight.
We spent a lot of time lifting and unfolding these beds, and every time we picked up the Stealth X-Lite it felt like we’d accidentally grabbed a guest chair.
Despite that incredible lack of bulk – it’s the lightest six-leg bed JRC has ever made – it’s not short on comfort.
The padding is surprisingly generous and the mattress feels taut. It’s a narrower bed than all the others on test, but not restrictively so unless you are a much larger angler.
That reduced outline also means it’ll fit nicely in smaller shelters and brollies.
On the flipside, the legs don’t adjust by much and the mechanism is a cam lock with no spring loading, making it slightly fiddly on uneven ground. Overall, however, this is one of the standout beds on test.
Total Fishing Gear Survivor
The newest bed in this review is from Total Fishing Gear. Like much of TFG’s kit, this product has been designed in collaboration with long-term consultant Dave Lane.
It’s clearly been specced for comfort, with a contoured mattress and a built-in pillow with an almost horseshoe shape for much better neck support.
The padding around the perimeter of the frame is very generous, but then it has to be to conceal the hand wheel that controls the rake of the head end.
This is old-school technology that most manufacturers have left behind, but it does allow you to position the head section upright to use the Survivor as a chair during the day.
The retro theme continues with the camo patterning, which feels a little bit slippery, but is certainly comfortable. The large mudfeet are a welcome touch for a sub-£100 offering.
Solar Tackle SP C-Tech
Solar has taken its time to enter the bedchair market, but that time has clearly been well spent in research and development. The SP C-Tech is typical of the brand – well thought out and beautifully engineered.
The aluminium frame keeps weight down, but the most impressive aspect of this bed is the mattress and cushioning.
The mattress itself is built into the frame, keeping it ultra-taut and supported. On top, the air-pocketed mattress is the most comfortable on test and very warm.
The SP C-Tech’s party tricks don’t stop there. The Spring-Loc legs are by far and away the best we’ve seen – they shoot out like a pneumatic ram, making them an absolute doddle to align in undulating swims.
You’ll like them so much you’ll definitely end up firing them out to full extension just for the fun of it.
The eye-catching twin-pivot hinges accommodate the biggest sleeping bags, while the detachable accessory bag (included) is a very handy touch that provides extra storage.
It’s not cheap, but this is an absolute cracker.
Wychwood Tactical X Flatbed Standard
Wychwood have a canny knack of producing quality kit that looks and feels much more expensive than it is. The £155 Tactical X Flatbed certainly has the air of a much dearer offering.
Its aluminium frame makes it the second lightest on test and it really is no effort to cart around.
The main section of the mattress has a super-comfortable fleece lining, while Wychwood’s trademark camo adorns the outer padding.
In essence, this bed offers luxury feel without the weight and heft. The frame is thin and sits nicely off the ground, allowing you to stuff plenty of kit under it while also supporting your back.
The adjustable-leg mechanism is very well designed and can be operated in gloves or with cold hands, and the whole unit is kept neatly packed away with a retaining strap. A very capable bed indeed.
Daiwa Black Widow Six-Leg
This budget option has a recommended retail price of £99.99 but can be picked up for much less. Coming from the trusted Daiwa stable, it’s very impressively built and functions well.
The mattress is supported in time-honoured bedchair fashion using elasticated cord, which can be adjusted for firmness simply by pulling it tighter and re-knotting.
Our favourite feature is the fact the legs click into a locked position very easily with a spring-loaded pin, meaning the bed won’t collapse in on you as you lay down.
All six legs adjust easily enough and the integrated pillow provides decent support. A retaining strap to keep the bed neatly folded in transit is another good touch.
Our only real gripe is that the mudfeet are sadly smaller than all the others on test.
Carp Spirit Air-Line
Among a field of established tackle companies, this is the real surprise package.
Carp Spirit is a huge name in Europe and has recently become part of the Dynamite Baits/Rapala family in the UK.
The aluminium-framed Air-Line is a genuinely innovative product. Its mattress is filled with air – it self-inflates and easily deflates, so no need to worry about pumps or lung capacity – and is topped with a quilted fabric for supreme comfort.
That layer of air also helps insulate against cold air coming up from the ground.
The pillow, which can be removed, is also the best on test. It has a gel-like texture similar to those keyboard and mousemat supports you get to ward off RSI!
Another nice touch is the addition of two grab handles either side of the centre section, which helps when manoeuvering the Air-Line in and out of your car. Finally, the retaining strap has its own stash pocket on the underside of the mattress, which stops it dragging in the mud or getting trodden on.
The adjustable legs proved slightly argumentative, but this is one of the best beds we’ve seen.
Avid Benchmark Memory Foam System
The first of two full sleep system in this group review is from Avid. Boasting the company’s unique memory-foam mattress, this is a hugely comfortable bed.
The integrated sleeping bag is also very nicely done. It has two layers – a thicker one closest to the mattress and a slightly thinner one on top – so you can choose how swaddled you want to be depending on the weather.
The fleece lining is very comfortable, while the peachskin outers have a real quality feel to them.
The earliest memory-foam beds from Avid were pretty heavy and cumbersome, but this current version has evolved into a really good overall package.
The mattress is very well supported, with additional bracing at key points, making this ideal for anglers with bad backs.
It’s obviously heavier than a bed alone, but 14kg is an acceptable weight for an all-in solution.
Nash Indulgence SS4 Sleep System 5 Season
This is the fully kitted out Range Rover of bedchairs. It’s big and brash but offers comfort like no other.
The integrated sleeping bag is twin layered so it can be adapted to suit the conditions, but in the coldest weather it’ll offer toastie five-season protection.
In the warmest weather, the bag and the mattress can be Velcroed off to reveal an airflow mesh lining which lets fresh air circulate.
Eight legs provide ultimate support. Nash confidently states there is no need to put a weight-rating on this bed – it will support you no matter how big you are.
Those legs also extend way beyond anything else on test here, giving you an elevated sleeping position that can really help those with mobility problems.
There are toggles to attach a waterproof cover (sold separately) and the unique camo design is made up of outlines from famous lakes from around the world.
Unashamedly luxurious, this Indulgence model is expensive and heavy (it weighs 4.5kg more than the Avid system), so it’s won’t be an impulse purchase or for short-session brolly anglers.