We won't bother to go
right back to standard umbrellas, but we will include the good old
overwrap that converted a standard umbrella to an effective overnight
shelter that would keep the worst of the weather from the angler.
My first 'real' overwrap was made from green waterproof material by my wife Sandy, not her usual wedding dress material for sure, but being trained as a dress maker from the age of 15 a bivvy was no problem! This first bivvy was based on the upright position with centre pole 45'' umbrella, however the mk11 fitted my new 50'' nubrolli just as easy.
Stable and warm, what else do you need from a bivvy? The use of a bedchair bigger than the standard 'sunlounger' would have caused problems, but as beds like the KM Everlevel hadn't arrived there wasn't a problem.
Times move on, it had to be easier to get out of bed without the centre pole in the way, I can't remember how Sandy managed it but mk111 came soon after. I now needed two long telescopic poles to attach either side of the doorway to the ribs of the umbrella, the back of the umbrella rested on the ground. This system is much the same as used today, it did make the shelter more stable in winds and of course the space inside became much more usable without the centre pole.
Sorry about my underpants on the roof! As you can see in the background polythene sheets were used by some??
Tent type bivvies have become very popular in recent years, these are great for longer sessions or trips abroad. My first one of this type was purchased on the quick for a trip abroad, space in the vehicle was to be a problem so something very compact was needed.
As you can see from this picture, small, strong and perfect for the job, the bivvy wasn't bad either!
Kevin Nash invented the Titan. This bivvy became the place to 'live' whilst on the bank, they were expensive but they were very stable in all weather conditions. The thing I like about my Titan is for single overnighters or longer sessions in summer you can remove the whole front section and therefore observe the water from beneath the shelter, for more protection you simply replace the front. They have a clip in ground sheet and are very quick and easy to erect. I have never purchased the winter skin or other add ons purely because they are too expensive for what you get, however the same material purchased all those years ago for the mk1 bivvy has been converted to a second skin for the Titan. The second skin does help to prevent condensation, especially in the winter.
The Titan gets used for most of my overnight fishing, however when session fishing here or abroad I now use a dome style bivvy. The one I use I purchased 2 or 3 years ago from Humberside angling for less than £100 'The Terminator' the cover is the thickest I have seen, it's very stable, water resistant and warm. It takes longer to erect than the Titan but I have found it excellent value for money, a good bit of kit.
Less than £100 Terminator bivvy