LONG-TERM: Fox Explorer Barrow

LONG-TERM: Fox Explorer Barrow

RRP: £179.99 | www.foxint.com

Marc Coulson on using and abusing the Fox Explorer Barrow

I’m sure everything in carp fishing is getting bigger.

Bedchairs have grown beyond recognition in recent years, bivvies similarly and, of course, with that has to come the ever-increasing girth of the modern barrow.

The Fox Explorer is a smooth and adaptable operator 

The Fox Explorer is a smooth and adaptable operator 

I fish mostly day sessions and trips of up to 24 hours and, as a result, I resist the urge to take all those ‘just in case’ items and the proverbial kitchen sink.

The Explorer is, in this instance, supremely versatile and can be used as a day or short-session barrow, but will also amply cope with larger loads.

Cleverly too, Fox’s range of Camo-Lite luggage is designed to be used in conjunction with it, in a modular system that saves both space and effort. This is available separately.

The basic barrow is supplied with an under-barrow bag which lifts on and off and sits securely on metal runners on the barrow frame. This hangs beneath the barrow and swallows up a surprising amount of kit. Side-entry zips allow access to any items inside, even with the barrow still fully loaded.

Side-entry zips allow access without unpacking your load 

Side-entry zips allow access without unpacking your load 

This is the same on the twin mesh compartments either side of the wheel. Even when I am on a longer trip, I get so much stuff into these that, when the rest of my gear is loaded on top, it never reaches any real height and so is also very stable to push.

An extendable front ‘shelf’ adds capacity where it’s best used, in front of the wheel, further aiding the balance when pushing it fully loaded. This makes a significant difference, and I use a Camo-Lite Barrow Bag with all my kit in it to do just that.

The frame is big enough to take my bedchair, mat, rod bag and shelter, yet it packs away into an extremely compact form and will fit comfortably into smaller car boots.

Finally, compression webbing straps replace elastic bungees, which I find much easier to use and safer.

Compression webbing straps are safer than bungees

Compression webbing straps are safer than bungees

Overall, unless you really are the kind of angler that wants to take every possible creature comfort along with more tackle and bait that you’ll ever feasibly use, then the Explorer might just be the barrow for you. I’ve used this one for a while now and it never fails to draw admiring glances, and questions, from friends at my syndicate. In fact, one lad bought one off the back of seeing mine for the very first time!