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Avid Carp HQ Bivvy Review

Posted by Editor On October - 26 - 2010

Avid Carp HQ BivvyThe two hour journey to Stoneleigh Park for this year's Tackle & Guns Show gave me plenty of time to think about what tackle and which manufacturers I wanted to see. A manufacturer that was front of mind was new carp brand, Avip Carp - a company that we've been following since they launched at the start of the year (Avid Carp Tackle). I couldn't wait to see all the new products up close.

Once in the show I wasn't disappointed. The Avid Carp display was part of a huge Preston Innovations trade stand, also featuring Korum alongside their established match gear. More on those brands to come. Center stage was the new Avid Carp HQ Bivvy and impressive it did look too. While I was drooling over the more obvious design features I was lucky enough to be approached by none other than carp supremo, Ian Russell. A more perfect guide I could not have wished for. Ian was clearly passionate about the new HQ bivvy, and justifiably so given that he had been involved in the design and testing phases for Avid. His grin was infectious.

Ian helped me identify the finer points of this top-of-the-range bivvy. Being someone not too shy of cold weather camping I was really impressed by both the quality of the fabric used and the addition of a detachable 'winter skin'. In addition to the obvious warmth benefits of this secondary layer, I see the real benefit in terms of managing condensation. You see, if it's cold outside and you're warm inside, condensation is inevitable (I've slept in highly breathable Gore-Tex tents and still suffered from that freezing cold drip down your neck!). What Avid have done is add a seperate breathable, but warm layer under tension, inside of the outer fabric. Because it's breathable, any moisture passes through the inner layer and condenses on the inside of outer fabric. Any water droplets can't make it back down to you - no more drips. Another great feature is that with the lack of a sewn in groundsheet - which normally just causes a mess when it comes to pack up anyway - the condensation that runs down the inside of the outer, runs straight away into the ground, not into the tent, or as I've experienced, into internal storage pockets - they'll stay dry in the HQ bivvy.

Avid Carp HQ Bivvy DimensionsVentilation is also key to a comfortable stay under canvas.  The porch options are numerous; whether you want your HQ fully open, centre door raised or set part open in a 'post-box' manner; windows closed or rolled back to reveal the mosquito netting; it's on those nights where you have to enclose yourself that the next innovation comes into play. Avid have designed a rear ventilation system that's simple but highly effective. Air circulation can be increased from the inside (and out) and if need be, easily accessed without the need to leave the comfort of your sleeping bag - a favourite with Avid's testers.

The design of the HQ porch has more to it than first expected. With a clever design this bivvy has an almost flat front, meaning when you have the front up or off, almost all the floorspace is sheltered. Very handy for keeping dry feet when the odd shower passes through.

Avid Carp product integration is a big part of the design and while some may think that's a trick to make you buy more Avid Carp products, you only have to see the new, full-size Restbite bedchair sat perfectly across the bivvy with acres of headroom, with the Transit luggage system fitting neatly under the bedchair and you'll be sold - everything designed to work together perfectly - this is a true System!

If there are any retailers reading this, I'd highly recommend getting the full HQ bivvy, Restbite bedchair,  and Transit luggage set-up on display if you have the room - it's a sight to behold.

Moving outside the bivvy, the poles look to be manufactured to the same high quality as the other components - they looked to be some kind of alloy with a 'grippy' matt finish - a nice touch for dismantling with cold, wet hands. As you may expect, they're sprung loaded too. Once you're outside you can see that it's the clever pole design that gives the bedchair so much headroom. The three hoops are kept stable with the use of tension bars between each. The result is a very stable setup in all weather conditions. These tension bars have been strategically placed within easy reach and are available with padded, velcro sleeves to act as a safe and secure rod retention device - a great, dead-simple addition.

As you can probably tell, I was really impressed by the well thought out design and top grade materials used in the HQ bivvy.

The Suggested Selling Price for the awesome Avid Carp HQ Bivvy is £379.

In summary, the Avid Carp HQ Bivvy is the best design I've seen, only enhanced further by the level of integration between the other Avid products. It's not cheap but in my mind it's worth every penny.

For more information visit www.avidcarp.com/bivvys

Avid Carp HQ Postbox ConfigurationAvid Carp HQ Rod RetainerAvid Carp HQ Ventilation

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One Response to “Avid Carp HQ Bivvy Review”

  1. Editor says:

    Forgot to mention – Avid Carp are working on at least one other bivvy to add to the range. It’s quite specialist, but will be well received I’m sure.

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