Brolly vs Bivvy

Well there’s no simple answer, everyone has their own opinion of bivvies and what they should be like. In certain aspects a Brolly seems far more superior than a bivvy and others a Bivvy really excels leaving the brolly behind. But which should you get?

That’s what we’ll be covering today, their good points, weak spots and in which circumstances does each excel.

Here is a typical comparison of a Brolly and Bivvy Made by the same company, results from other products may vary but this what we generally see between brollies and bivvies

JRC Defender brollyJRC stealth compact 2G
Positives: Lightweight
 Easy to setup
More protection
Negatives:Less Sturdy
Lacks Height
Longer setup
Price:Check price on AmazonCheck price on Amazon

Advantages of the Brolly System:

  • Firstly, the setup time in a brolly is much less than in a traditional bivvy, setting up a brolly is a piece of cake and takes no time at all, this not only makes the brolly ideal for short sessions but also active styles of fishing where you’re following the carp around and changing swims a lot.
  • Another point where we think the brolly excels is feeling of outdoors. When you’re fishing you don’t want to feel cooped up which is something, we think the brolly does really well, it provides sufficient shelter and protection from the weather while maintaining that fresh outdoors feeling.
  • Also, a brolly system tends to be lighter than a bivvy system and although bivvies have become incredibly lightweight over the recent years through the use of top grade aluminium, there is still a significant difference in weight between a bivvy and brolly which further increases the brollies portability, again making it the better option for short sessions.
  • As well as this, you’ll also tend to find that brollies are generally cheaper than bivvies so if you are on a tighter budget the brolly could be a better option.

Disadvantages of a Brolly

  • Well a brolly does provide significantly less protection from the weather than a bivvy but this shouldn’t be a big problem unless you’re fishing in extreme weathers, for drizzly weather in the UK, a brolly should also be OK.
  • Another Issue with the brolly system which some people have is the amount of height you get in a brolly, It can be an issue for taller people and because it is shaped like a brolly, the roof isn’t even and is slopes down at the edges giving a more restricted area to move around in.
  • Stability is also something many anglers look for in a bivvy or brolly, in this aspect the bivvy is far superior. It has a much stronger frame and better pegging points which results in a much stronger tent, there are exceptions but for the majority of the time, this is what we see. So, if your planning to fish in extreme weather, its defiantly worth spending the extra cash and going to the sturdier option.

Advantages of a Bivvy

  • One of the great advantages of the bivvy system is the amount of space you get from it, due the roof being much more level you’ll find that you get a significant amount more area from a bivvy than from a brolly. This makes it easier to move about in the bivvy and it allows you to fit in more things which makes it preferable if you’re going to be fishing for long sessions.
  • As we mentioned before, the height in a bivvy also is much better in a bivvy than a brolly as it is level throughout, if you’re a taller person, it would probably be preferable to go with the bivvy
  • Another advantage we generally found in bivvies is that they seemed to be much better equipped than brollies. A lot of the bivvies we looked at came with many extras like a overhanging peak at the top for further protection from the rain, groundsheets, extra layers, mosquito mesh panels and windows.
  • Bivvies are also sturdier and more sure-footed than brollies, they a stronger structure and frame as well as better pegging points, this makes them ideal for harsher conditions

Disadvantages of a Bivvy

  • As we mentioned before, bivvies are sturdier and more secure but this comes as a price which is weight, a bivvy weighs a considerable amount more than a brolly because it has more poles, pegs and a larger frame. This may have been a big problem many years ago but now with the development of new lightweight frames bivvies are also relatively easy to carry around but a brolly is still preferable if your going to be changing swims a lot
  • Another thing caused by the extra sturdiness is the setup time, there are more poles to lock into place, there more complicated locks and features and more pegs to put in. There is also usually a groundsheet that you need to put in place and the whole process generally takes more time


If your going to be fishing for short sessions or your going to be moving swims a lot a brolly system is preferable, however if your going to be staying in one spot, or fishing in harsher weather, the extra sturdiness and comfort of the bivvy is preferable.

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