Fox Ultra 60 Brolly System
I purchased my new brolly in November 2017 and was immediately impressed by the quality of the fabric and general feel of the product. First time out fishing the overnight temperatures were due to drop to minus 5 so I elected to leave the internal vapour shield attached and make use of the ground sheet, both of which come supplied with the system. I was glad I did since arriving at the lake I discovered that I had left my sleeping bag inner at home and would be doing the night with only a summer bag! Fortunately, it retained the heat well which afforded me a decent night sleep as I failed to catch anything other than some persistent, albeit rather large roach. At first light, I unzipped the top of the door, “letterbox style”, and this is when I discovered that half of the lake had frozen during the night.
I have always favoured brolly type shelters over the more traditional bivvy design since they are generally lighter and faster to put up and down, allowing me to move quickly onto fish and not feeling tied to one area because I have set up base camp. The Fox Ultra utilises a unique pole system at the front which increases stability whilst giving the brolly shape and helps guttering away the water during periods of significant rain. Like anything new it took a little bit of practise to work out the best way to put the brolly up, but with a little bit of guidance from Mike in St. Ives tackle, and a bit of trial and error, I am now able to put this brolly up and down very quickly in any weather conditions.
Once out of the bag I remove the sock which protects the end cap and remove the strap which keeps the bottom of the brolly together (this greatly aids taking it in and out of the bag). The brolly is erected by simply pushing the centre pole in until it clicks. Next I remove the 2 storm poles which are housed inside the brolly and place them in the ground at the required height. Depending on the wind I add a couple of pegs to stop it being blown around whilst I insert the thin poles in the front. Now it is a simple case of removing the centre pole and pegging out the brolly. Job done!
I don’t think that the brolly needs the 2 larger storm poles which also come supplied since it is very sturdy without them. If I want to attach a door, then I select the required one and it simply zips in. The system comes with a choice of 3 doors: Clear infill panel, mozzy mesh infill panel or solid. I favour the solid door but I know that I will use the mozzy mesh once the weather starts to warm up. Unlike more traditional brollies the Fox ultra has mesh panels at the rear so you can ventilate the shelter during the warmer months.
Once inside it is surprisingly roomy and it has a similar footprint to most bivvies. There are 2 rod retaining straps at the front which have proved useful whilst tying on fresh hook baits or generally tinkering with rigs.
Taking the brolly down is simple and you just reverse the process of putting it up.
Whilst this brolly is not the lightest shelter on the market it is very well constructed and it is a true four season shelter without the need to purchase any additional extras. The quality is very good and I expect to have this shelter for many seasons to come. Prior to buying this system I used a brolly during the warmer months with a mozzy throw and a much bulkier bivvy during the colder months. The flexibility this system gives allows me to add or remove components depending on the fishing situation and time of year and I no longer need a separate brolly and bivvy. In the bag, it is quite long and thin and easily fits on my barrow. I have been very impressed with this product and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone that is looking to replace their existing shelter. It offers good value for money, it is well built and extremely versatile….Plus it looks very carpy in camo!
Regards, Neil Owczarkowski