Carpfeed tackle editor Marc Coulson casts his eye over six of the best short-session shelters on the market...
The opportunity to make the most of the lengthening days with a short session or even a quick overnighter is upon us.
If you're travelling light or don't need to take the proverbial kitchen sink, a lightweight shelter is all you need for cover.
Ditch the full bivvy, winter skin and other paraphernalia and get yourself tucked away under something altogether more user-friendly. There are certainly enough brollies or what many call 'quick-erect shelters' out there to suit all tastes and budgets.
Some are just a basic shell, while others can, if you're that way inclined, be upgraded to something more akin to a bivvy with the addition of infill panels and even overwraps.
Assuming that we're talking about day or overnight sessions, I've chosen six such shelters, which I feel give a fair representation of what's out there.
I have more direct experience of some than others, but am familiar with them all, so I hope that one or more of my top six will suit your taste and budget.
What to look for when buying a carp brolly or shelter
Obviously the natures of the shelter that you choose will largely be dictated by how much gear you're taking and, also, if somebody else is going with you.
Getting your own and a pal's guest chair and kit under cover will require a certain amount of room, but all the shelters on test here have plenty enough room for day sessions.
When it comes to overnighters, some offer more coverage and space than others.
If you're trying to cut down on the amount of gear you take for a short trip, then obviously the weight of the shelter you pack is an issue. I think the days have gone where we carry our kit, though, and even when fishing for just a few hours in the evening I still tend to take my barrow and fish from it, so to speak.
That said, I still want something lightweight and not too bulky.
3) Ease of use
This covers not only how easily and quickly a shelter can be erected, but also how easy it is to dismantle and transport.
There can be few systems quicker to erect than a traditional brolly, but one or two more modern designs are catching up in this respect.
Of course, while we're not talking winter storms, the UK weather can still throw up some surprises in the spring and early summer. So first, and foremost, any shelter you use must perform its primary task of keeping you protected, be it against squally showers, flash storms or high winds.
For many anglers, a lightweight shelter may be all they own, while for others it may provide a second option, a 'better-weather' alternative to taking the bivvy, if you like.
With this in mind, and always with an eye on anglers' budgets anyway, the price of these six shelters has to be taken into consideration.
Six of the best fishing brollies and shelters
The RS-Plus offers great coverage and stability, and also packs down into a slim package.
Tension bars keep everything rigid and there's ample room for two day anglers, or a bedchair and night-fishing kit.
At this price, it makes the ideal second shelter for those not wanting to spend more than they have to.
FOX SUPA BROLLY MK2
BUY NOW for £219.99 from Amazon.co.uk (60ins version)
The MK2 has benefited from several upgrades and is available as just the brolly or as a system with infill panel.
There's also a separate wrap available and it now comes in green and Fox's Camo Lite pattern.
The excellent Ven-Tec material is among the best out there.
TRAKKER TEMPEST BROLLY
This is the entry-level model in the Tempest family.
It's a doddle to erect and dismantle, although the nylon material can take some time to dry after use.
That said, it really is an impressive shelter and can be upgraded with a wrap, skull cap and insect panel.
NASH SCOPE BLACK OPS RECON
This shelter packs down into a ridiculously small package, offers extreme ease of use and yet still boasts pretty decent internal space.
Protection is far better than you might imagine from such a compact shelter.
If you're a truly mobile angler this could be the one for you.
WYCHWOOD HD MHR
BUY NOW for £219.94 from Amazon.co.uk
I've tested one of these over a period of three seasons and it was terrific.
Lots of headroom (MHR stands for Max Head Room), great internal dimensions and some very handy internal pockets make it a great all-round brolly that also packs away very easily and quickly.
AVID TARDIS RT
This Road Trip (RT) edition of the popular Tardis aims to fill the gap between a bivvy and a brolly.
It takes the longest to erect, but offers by far the most comfort and protection.
A separate wrap is available, meaning this could be the ideal one-shelter choice for year-round use.