BUYER'S GUIDE: Winter carp suits and accessories

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Carpfeed’s guide to the best winter carp clothing. Tackle editor Marc Coulson is your guide to the best coats, jackets, trousers and base layers.

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A comfortable angler is an effective angler, and in order to fish at your best over the coming months a set of decent winter clothing is an absolute must.

In days gone by that meant donning a one-piece, and often bulky thermal suit which, although great at keeping the elements out, often left a lot to be desired when it came to things like breathability and mobility.

Thankfully, carp clothing ‘technology’ has come a long way in the past decade, to the point that there are now a seemingly endless host of options available.

‘Layering’, in my opinion, works well, but still requires a large outer garment, as we carp anglers spend so much time sitting or standing still inbetween bites.

In doing so, this means we are not creating that essential body heat that the principle of multiple, thin layers relies upon. With that in mind, I’ve selected some of the best outer clothing I could find, along with a few accessories, to get you through the cold months ahead…

AVID CARP RIP-STOP THERMAL SUIT

£139.99 | www.avidcarp.com

One for the hardcore winter angler, Avid’s latest cold-weather suit boasts all-round protection from all but the most Baltic conditions. In fact, you’ll barely test this suit at all in most UK weather.

Insulation comes via a generous hollow-fill while the outer is rated waterproof to an impressive 10000HH.

It features my preferred bib and brace rather than trousers and these are generously styled to allow freedom of movement.

They also feature reinforced knee and seat sections. That Rip-Stop outer material is hardwearing in the extreme and additional features like storm-sealed zips, adjustable storm cuffs and high-neck all combine to add to what is already an impressive combination.

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NASH CARIBOU PARKER & COMBATS

£149.99 & £89.99 | www.nashtackle.co.uk

If one brand encapsulates the crossover between carp fishing and urban streetwear it has to be Nash, and the Caribou Parker is a classic example of how they do it.

These items wouldn’t look out of place on the high street, yet they are also extremely functional bits of angling kit. The parker’s fleece lining and hollow-fibre filling creates the insulation while the rugged, waterproof outer provides proper protection.

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The fleece-lined combat-style trousers have a waterproof outer, which offers all-round protection with a bit of style thrown into the mix.

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They are exceptionally warm and the micro-fleece hand warmer pockets and elasticated ankle cuff are welcome touches.

DAIWA IGLOO SUIT

£129.99 | www.daiwasports.co.uk

The Igloo has been around a few years now but has stood the test of time and benefitted from recent upgrades.

This is a proper, no-holds-barred winter suit and is designed by clothing specialists Sundridge.

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As I mentioned in the introduction, we carp anglers spend a lot of our time sitting or standing around not doing a whole lot and, so, if you’re fishing in really Baltic conditions the Igloo jacket and bib and braces will be just the ticket as your outer layer.

It’s also extremely hardwearing and waterproof.

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TRAKKER CORE MULTI SUIT

£89.99 | www.trakkerproducts.co.uk

This style of suit has featured in the Trakker stable for many years, with this being the latest incarnation with upgraded materials throughout.

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It’s essentially a three-piece combination as the jacket features a zip-out fleece which can be worn independently.

The jacket itself is waterproof and quilted, with the trousers matching it in terms of performance but also with reinforced knee sections.

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I like the generous fit and the stylish finish with a subtle yet eye-catching red piping. It’s also exceptional value for money.

PROLOGIC LITE PRO THERMO JACKET/BIB & BRACE

£89.99 & £79.99 | www.prologicfishing.com

Although nowhere near as bulky as some, and certainly not as heavy, the insulating properties of this jacket are incredible.

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It can be used as the outer layer on really cold trips or with a modest under layer on days when the chill isn’t quite so biting.

Storm-sealed zips feature throughout and the fleece-lined pockets are a nice additional feature. The sculpted hood boasts a wired peak and the outer material repels water like the proverbial duck’s back.

An impressive jacket with top quality construction throughout, especially given the price tag.

The bib and brace boasts similarly impressive features and construction. A generous mid area provides comfort and ease of movement and even if you don’t own the jacket itself they make the ideal bib & brace. Some shops sell these two as a combination but most supply them as separates.

WYCHWOOD PERFORMANCE PARKA JACKET/BIB & BRACE

£149.99 & £119.99 | www.wychwoodcarp.co.uk

Not a Parka in the same sense as the Nash version, but a parka-style fishing coat as opposed to a traditionally shaped jacket.

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Typically of Wychwood, however, it’s exceptionally well constructed and offers great, all-round protection.

While not as insulated as some of the bigger jackets it makes a perfect outer layer, adding that vital, final insulating barrier against the elements along with impressive waterproof properties.

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The bib & brace offers more insulation against the cold compared to traditional waist-high trousers and eliminate discomforting draughts in the lower back area.

The generous cut on these allows for great freedom of movement, so if you are a bit more active on the bank you can still get around or climb trees!

FOX WINTER SUIT

£149.99 | www.foxint.com

I like that Fox, while offering a range of ‘fashion’ items in their clothing has retained a proper winter fishing suit for those who continue to brave the cold over these coming months.

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While bulky compared to other styles of clothing, the protection afforded to the wearer is extremely impressive.

This is a seriously warm suit and if you ever find yourself fishing in conditions that might overpower it then I’d suggest you go home and have a quiet word with yourself.

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The outer material is waterproof in the extreme and there are numerous additional features which all combine to make the Winter Suit worth every penny of what is a relatively modest price tag.

GREYS MICRO QUILT JACKET and OVERTROUSERS

£119.99 & £149.99 | www.greysfishing.co.uk

Ideal as an insulating layer beneath a waterproof jacket or as an outer layer on drier and less-Arctic days, this stylish jacket offers a versatile additIon to the winter angler’s armoury.

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Despite its insulating qualities it’s extremely lightweight and comfortable and can be stashed away when not in use.

A jacket of this style, in my opinion, is a must-have from autumn onwards.

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SNUGPAK X FORTIS FJ6 JACKET

£129.95 - £139.95 | www.fortiseyewear.co.uk

I liken wearing this jacket to walking around with a sleeping bag on. In fact, it’s so warm that I have often worn mine with nothing but a T-shirt underneath and still not felt cold.

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Manufactured in collaboration with Snug Pak – widely recognised as the leading UK maker of winter clothing – the quality throughout is second to none.

As well as this green version there is also a ridiculously carpy camo finish too, so you can choose the one you prefer.

I’ll avoid any of the technical stuff here, but save to say this is singly the warmest jacket I have ever worn or tested… and by some margin.

ESP STASH QUILTED JACKET

£89.99 | www.esp-carpgear.com

I chose this jacket for inclusion as it’s a pull-over, half-zip style rather than a full-zip ‘coat’ so to speak.

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As such it’s far less bulky but still offers a warm outer layer.

This style also offers a bit more freedom of movement when casting, for example, and, while the bigger coats are undoubtedly better suited for really extreme cold weather, the waterproof, quilted Stash is a great all rounder.

STICKY BOBBLE HAT

£12.99 | www.stickybaits.com

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There’s no shortage of hats available for keeping your noggin warm at this time of year but a proper bobble hat is where it’s at right now.

This olive version from Sticky is a lot less garish than a lot that I’ve seen (including Sticky’s own pink version) and is extremely warm and comfortable. Proper carpy!

NASH ZT HAT, SCARF & GLOVE SET

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£29.99 | www.nashtackle.co.uk

Snazzy three-garment set that finishes off your winter fishing outfit but also, of course, can be worn away from the bank.

SEALSKINZ MID-LENGTH SOCKS

£35 | www.sealskinz.com

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Not only are these thick, insulated socks extremely warm, but they’re also totally waterproof and you could, if you were that way inclined, wade in them!

I’m not recommending that at this time of year, but you get my point…

GARDNER HEAT SEEKER INSOLES

£3.25 - £4.25 | www.gardnertackle.co.uk

Ideal additional insole for your winter footwear, adding an insulating layer to keep out the rising cold.

FORTIS ELEMENTS BOTTOMS

£36.99 | www.fortiseyewear.co.uk

Quite a new addition to the impressive Elements range, these breathable base-layer bottoms boast brilliant wicking properties to ensure that you stay warm without sweating.

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Worn next to the skin they provide the ideal thermal barrier and can even be kept on when getting into your sleeping bag on those long, cold nights.