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Buyer's Guide to Day Shelters

The day shelter has come along way in fishing terms. It used to be a case of having to make do with a brolly for day shelters, but they were often inadequate when trying to protect your gear and yourself from the elements. Today, there are countless variations available, loaded with features to aid the short session angler, but which should you choose?

In this short guide to day shelters, we’ll cover the basics and, hopefully, put you on the right track to finding your perfect shelter.

Firstly, it’s important to check what kind of design you’d like to go for; not just in terms of what would suit your style of fishing best, but in relation to what might or might not be allowed on the water you are fishing. Many day-only waters have rules in place about what type of shelters are allowed, so if you are thinking of using your shelter on a particular water, then it’s always best to check the rules book before you shell out for an all singing all dancing shelter which you might not be able to put up! 

My experience is that the more stripped out the shelter is (or appears to be) the greater the chance you’ll be okay. The more your day shelter begins to resemble a full on bivvy, the higher the chance somebody is going to come down on you.

With all that said, what kind of shelter is best to choose? Well, you need to have a think about your intended use. Is the shelter going to be used as a last resort if the heavens open or the wind whips up into a frenzy, or will you be putting it up most sessions as a sort of chill out shelter, used as part of your normal approach?

If it’s purely for last resort protection, there’s little point getting one that’s packed with features and comes with all sorts of wraps and groundsheets and what have you, as you’ll get little use out of it. Also, some day shelters have integral ground sheets so if you suddenly break it out with the onset of bad weather in a tight swim you’ll be stuck, as you’re going to have to move all your gear out of the way to put it up, before you can then move all your gear back into it. However, if there is no ground sheet, you can simply put it up and drop it straight over your gear and peg it down.

The whole point of a day shelter for me is that it’s got to be simple. The more time it takes to set up or break down, the less use it is to me. I want to spend my time fishing and not faffing about with shelters – especially if I need to put it up in a hurry! Thus, it’s important to study how the shelter goes together. Personally, I’d always favour one with a frame that just needs to be opened out and slotted together over one where you have to start threading half a dozen different poles and then locating one end before bending and tensioning the other end to get in it, etc…. no thanks; by the time you’ve finished, you’ll be soaked!

Weight is also an important factor. If it’s a last resort shelter, it’s going to spend a lot of its life not being used, so the heavier it is, the more unnecessary weight you’re going to be lugging around every time you’re out on the bank. However, it’s not such a problem if you intend to put it up each time as you’ll be getting the use out of it. Whilst on the subject of transporting the shelter, it’s worth checking out how it breaks down and what sort of case or carry bag it comes with. Ideally, you want a shelter than can easily fit into your rod bag, quiver or holdall. Again, if it’s an awkward shape and has to be carried on its own, it’s going to bog you down all the time.

There are a few different styles when it comes to design, and again, choice will depend on how you intend to be using it. Some day shelters are quite low, with good aerodynamics – these, for me, are the shelters best suited to last resort use. They will remain rigid and stable in bad weather, which is great as that’s pretty much the only time you’re going to be using them, but, because they are quite low they won’t offer the best visibility.

The flip side is the shelter that stands much taller with a narrower footprint; great for visibility during your session so that you can keep your eye on the water and all that’s going on around you, but it may not be as stable when the bad weather arrives.

The rib design is worth thinking about, too; those with a pram hood design are often stronger and more robust than those using thin poles, especially if the pram hood your looking at comes with tensioning bars which brace between the ribs. Again, weight factors here though; the more robust the shelter, the more it might weigh. 

It’s worth paying particular attention to the materials as well. For occasional use, a nylon skinned shelter will be fine, but if it’s going to be getting serious amounts of hammer week in week out, then I’d look to pay a little more to get one with a fabric that’s going to last longer.   

Lastly, it’s worth thinking about size and function. Some shelters are designed primarily as day shelters though are also suited to occasional overnighters, too. These will often have a bigger footprint so as to accommodate a bed chair, so won’t be as light or versatile as a stripped out day only shelter, but could obviously allow you to get more for your money if you could get use out of it as a night shelter, too.

So, the only thing left to do is weigh up your requirements and buy one, but we’ve even thought of that too, and have drawn up a few choice selections below….

TF Gear F8 Day Shelter – The perfect short-session solution!

According to Fishtec, the TF Gear F8 Day Shelter is, without doubt, the quickest and easiest fishing day shelter you will ever set up. With guaranteed all weather protection, the TF Gear F8 Fishing Day Shelter should be the first choice for all anglers who want to fish in comfort and shelter.

TF Gear F8 Day ShelterFeatures

  • Erected in seconds
  • 3,000mm hydrostatic head 100% waterproof guaranteed
  • Heavy duty 6oz denier fabric
  • Extra tough ribs to withstand the strongest winds
  • In-built pole panel to enable efficient pole shipping
  • Supplied with high quality steel pegs

Verdict – Cracking little shelter that can be erected with ease to provide a good level of protection should you need it during your session. Very robust once set up.

Available From: Fishtec, priced at: £79.99


Korum Day Session Shelter MKII – Classic design and superb protection

Day session shelters don’t come much better than the innovative Korum Day Session Shelter MKII. Now updated to offer even greater levels of cover the shelter remains incredibly light yet super strong and easy to set up. If you are after a shelter that’s far more stable than an umbrella and can provide more all round cover, then this is the shelter for you.

Korum Day Session Shelter MKIIFeatures

  • Complete protection
  • Rain gutter to prevent water dripping from the front
  • Light and easy to transport
  • The Perfect windshield, the Korum Day Session Shelter MKII is robust and stable in any conditions, impossible to blow inside out

Verdict – Classic design and superb protection make the Korum Day Session Shelter a firm favourite amongst specimen anglers. Great features and a great price – we like this!

Available from: Fishtec, priced at: £79.99


Chub Snooper Shelter Lite – Probably one of the best value for money shelters currently available

The Chub Snooper Shelter Lite is perfect for short day sessions, or summer overnighters, when a full bivvy system is not required. As such, it’s a great lightweight solution for those who don’t want to get bogged down with heavy shelters and accessories.

The two rib design utilises flexible 3-section aluminium 7001 poles ensuring a rapid set-up and reduced weight. This also allows the shelter to be adjustable for both height and width, making it adaptable for different swims and changing weather conditions.

When erect and pegged out, it is incredibly stable. The shelter breaks down to the size of an ordinary brolly, so will fit easily into most quiver style holdalls. Comes complete with carry bag and moulded T-pegs. The Snooper Shelter Lite is a great alternative to the traditional brolly, as the fact it has no internal spokes means there’s lots of internal headroom.

Chub Snooper Shelter LiteFeatures

  • Flexible 3-section 7001 aluminium poles
  • Lightweight 2-rib design
  • Ultra stable aluminium frame support
  • Packs down to the size of a brolly
  • Supplied with T-pegs and carry bag
  • 3 height settings – the Bivvy can be set at one of three height combinations
  • Weight: 2.91 kg (Excluding Pegs)
  • Length when packed down: 153cm
  • Poles: 7001 three section flexible aluminium poles
  • Pegs: Moulded pegs supplied
  • Waterproof: 3,000mm Hydrostatic Head

Verdict – Probably one of the best value for money shelters currently available. Fantastic for quick overnighters with a bucket load of features. Who says bivvies have to be expensive?

Available Rrom: Sportfish,priced at: £79.99


Chub S-Plus Shelter – Lightweight shelters suited to the short stay angler don’t come much better than this

The Chub S-Plus Shelter is a stripped out lightweight shelter specifically designed for day sessions in poor conditions, or quick overnighters where the angler needs to be set up in next to no time.

The open fronted shelter offers plenty of protection, with extended storm side panels that can be rolled back for added vision. Built around a strong and rigid 5 section 6061 aluminium pre-formed 16mm dual frame, the shelter is quick and easy to erect and comes complete with tension bars for added stability in strong winds.

The shelter is fully supplied with inner skirts, a lightweight detachable groundsheet, shock corded pegging points and T-pegs.

Chub S-Plus ShelterFeatures

  • 5000 Hydrostatic head 210D Cover
  • 16mm 6061 Aluminium poles and Frame support bars.
  • Shock corded pegging points
  • Tension strap
  • Detachable lightweight groundsheet
  • Size: One Man

Verdict – Lightweight shelters suited to the short stay angler don’t come much better than this. With shock corded pegging points, extended storm side panels, and tension bars, the Chub S-Plus shelter is a fantastic option for the angler who likes to spend their time fishing, not erecting bivvies!

Available From: Sportfish, priced at: £99.99


Julian Grattidge
February 2011