Tackle editor Marc Coulson has picked out a selection of the best carp barrow bags on the market for this group review. You’ll find something for all budgets here
The vast majority of carp anglers own and use a barrow of some description these days and, in response, there is no shortage of suitable luggage available.
Many companies offer a dedicated barrow bag, but designs and features vary significantly across the board.
Be it a traditional, large holdall-type affair or one of the flatter designs intended to slide under your bed or keep the height of your loaded barrow to a minimum, there is certainly plenty of choice.
I have selected seven of the best dedicated barrow bags on the market and put each one to the test to see what they had to offer.
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
Capacity: Consider whether you’re a ‘take the kitchen sink’ angler or prefer to travel a little lighter, then choose accordingly. Sizes vary considerably from model to model.
Base: It’s essential that damp cannot get into your bag when it’s on the floor as you unpack it or root around for items of tackle, so look for a bag with a reinforced or hardened base.
Material: The bag will be on and off your barrow every time you go fishing, and will also have to face the elements at times, so has to be made from a highly durable material and have strong zips.
SOLAR TACKLE SP BARROW RUCKBAG
RRP: £99.99 | www.solartackle.co.uk
One of the new breed of flat designs, the SP has proved popular since its launch last year.
The PU-backed material is waterproof, while the reinforced, EVA base offers further protection and insulation.
Multiple external side pockets house everything from terminal tackle, tea kit and even bank sticks, as long as they’re short.
Internal dividers aid organisation and I like that there is no pocket on the lid as this keeps the profile low, allowing the SP to easily slide under a bedchair when not in use.
JRC COCOON BARROW BAG
RRP: £69.99-£74.99 | www.jrc-fishing.co.uk
Two sizes of this traditional-style barrow bag swallow up whatever kit you take, depending on the type of angler you are or length of sessions you fish.
A huge number of solid and mesh pockets cater for smaller items while the large internal space carries everything else.
The XL version is cavernous inside – I don’t take enough stuff to fill it, but I’m sure it’ll appeal to many of you reading this.
The outer is water resistant but there’s also a waterproof cover included for when you’re barrowing in a downpour.
AQUA BLACK SERIES BARROW BAG
RRP: £94.99 | www.aquaproducts.co.uk
At first glance this appears to be a standard, albeit large, carryall. However, it’s designed specifically as part of Aqua’s modular luggage range and makes the perfect barrow companion.
The external pockets are all sized to take specific items from Aqua’s luggage range, although of course they’re perfectly suited to all manner of your own stuff.
A reinforced base adds protection and shape, while the EVA lid is the flattest of its type and makes for an ideal surface from which to work on mobile barrow sessions.
FOX CAMOLITE BARROW BAG
RRP: £100 | www.foxint.com
While this can be used independently, it’s specifically designed to sit on one of Fox’s two Horizon Barrows.
The rear flap sits snugly over the front bar of the Explorer and keeps it firmly in place, even if the barrow should tip over, as I’ve experienced (I use one of these for my own fishing).
All space is cleverly utilised, even the inner section of the lid which boasts mesh pockets. The reinforced EVA base and lid add rigidity and protection while twin handles make it easy to lift on and off the barrow.
AVID TUNED BARROW ORGANISER
RRP: £26.99 | www.avidcarp.com
This is very simple in design, and quite different from the rest of the bags here, but therein lies its strength.
Designed to either sit in the under-bag of many barrows on the market – not just Avid’s – it can be used to organise all of your essentials either loose or in pouches.
It works particularly well with Avid’s Tuned luggage. The Organiser can then be lifted out of the under-bag and taken into your shelter. Failing that, it can also be utilised on top of the barrow, again with some luggage inside to create a modular system.
GARDNER TACKLE BARROW BAG
RRP: £69.99 | www.gardnertackle.co.uk
One of the very first flat design barrow bags, Gardner’s ever popular version has been around for some years now, but continues to sell in droves.
A huge number of external pockets swallow up a surprising amount of kit, while the internal space takes care of bigger items. Even the lids each have twin zipped pockets, ideal for smaller items or those essentials which you need to keep to hand.
Two handles on the top make lifting on and off the barrow easy and the overall build quality is excellent.
NASH LOGIX HIGH LOADER
RRP: £98.99 | www.nashtackle.co.uk
The internal space on the High Loader is cavernous and Nash has deliberately not used internal dividers so that you can utilise the main compartment as you choose.
The lid is as rigid as I’ve seen and boasts a clever interlocking design so that multiple bags can be stacked securely.
The top section offers access to a tackle box from any angle, without opening the main bag and the multiple pockets swallow up all your gear. There’s also a Low Loader version available.
ESP LARGE CARRYALL
RRP: £52.95 | www.esp-carpgear.com
The bigger of the two ESP carryalls, this one is ideal for use as a barrow bag.
It’s traditional carryall shape will be familiar to all carp anglers and it has four external pockets and four internal areas.
The outer is made from 900D PVC-backed nylon with a reinforced base and, as you’d expect from ESP, it feels typically well made.
This version boasts a 50-litre capacity and there’s a zipped buzzer bar pouch in the lid for easy access, although that does limit stacking and stowage options.