How we pick our products
Welcome to our big fishing tent test 2023. Here we present all the fishing tents we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best fishing tent for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a fishing tent.
- There are three classes of fishing tents: the umbrella, the brolly (also called an umbrella tent) and the bivvy (also called a carp tent).
- An umbrella is intended for milder weather and short day trips. A brolly is usually shell-shaped and can be converted into a closed tent with a winter skin. The brolly is suitable for long fishing trips and can withstand any weather.
- There are many good fishing tents in the medium price range. When buying, look for good material and quality workmanship.
The best Fishing tent: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a fishing tent
What is a fishing tent?
A fishing tent is basically a weatherproof and compact tent without a floor. It is designed to protect the anglers and their equipment from harsh weather and to provide a comfortable place to sleep during long fishing trips. The fishing tent is also known as a carp tent. This name is derived from the catching behaviour of carp, which are known to bite better in the rain. In general, many fish are better caught at night and in bad weather. Fishing tents are designed precisely for such conditions. A good fishing tent is therefore part of the basic equipment of passionate anglers.
Compared to a conventional camping tent, a fishing tent either has no floor or a removable floor. This is because a tent floor is forbidden at many fishing spots and can lead to being banned! The colour is also very important. While camping tents are represented in the colours of the rainbow, fishing tents are exclusively made in camouflage colours. This is because the tent must blend in with its surroundings. Here, a colourful tent can lead to a dismissal. In addition, fishing tents are usually equipped with many stowage spaces that offer enough room for fishing equipment and accessories. This keeps your gear with you protected from the elements. Some fishing tents also have integrated rod holders. The front section of many fishing tents can also be completely removed through the zip. This offers a clear view of the fishing rod, while at the same time you remain protected by the tent. In summer, for example, a mosquito net can be attached instead of the front area.
What size fishing tent should I buy?
The following criteria will help you to find a suitable size for your fishing tent.
- Length of fishing trip
- Number of people
- Mass of fishing equipment
For day trips in mild weather with light showers, a fishing umbrella is sufficient. It can be set up quickly and protects you from rain and sun. For short fishing trips in mostly fine weather, a smaller tent, such as a brolly, is a good choice. You don’t have much freedom of movement, but it offers you enough protection if it rains, is easy to transport and you can spend 1-2 nights in a small tent without any problems. For multi-day fishing trips in rather rough weather, you should go for a larger tent, such as the bivvy. It offers enough space for a fishing stretcher and you can protect your fishing equipment from the weather inside the tent. Depending on how ambitious and adventurous you are when fishing, you should make sure you have enough freedom of movement in the tent. A 1-person tent can usually suffice here, or for more comfort, on long tours with stormy weather, a 2-person tent is also recommended. The more people you want to fit in your tent, the larger the tent should be. Since more people usually mean more fishing equipment and more accessories, it is advisable to choose a 2.5-person tent instead of, for example, a 2-person tent for 2 people. This way, there is not only room for fishing loungers in the tent, but also for a bivvy table. This offers enough room to move and comfort, which would be advisable especially on long, strenuous fishing trips. If you also want to store more things in the tent, such as fishing chairs, tackle, grill or smoker, then a 3-person tent is the better choice if you are fishing with two people. Some fishing tents can be adjusted in size. You then have the option of pitching them shallower or deeper. Large bivvy tents often allow headroom, so you can stand upright without any problems. This makes sense especially on long and extreme weather fishing trips.
What does a fishing tent cost?
Depending on how often you want to use your fishing tent, you should pay attention to quality and high-quality materials. You should avoid going for the cheapest product, as these are usually either not sewn properly or use short-lived or heavy materials. However, it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a good fishing tent. In the mid-price segment you will find a wide range of quality tents with a good price-performance ratio.
|Fishing umbrella||ca. 30-100 €|
|Brolly/umbrella tent||ca. 70-170 €|
|Bivvy/carp tent||ca. 100-600 €|
Let’s start with the fishing umbrella. This is available from as little as €30 and the most expensive model can cost up to €100. Although the fishing umbrella is thus the cheapest option, it is only designed for day trips and is not recommended for overnight stays or severe weather conditions. You can get an umbrella tent, i.e. a brolly, from 70 to 170 euros. Brollies are convertible and are suitable for short fishing trips as well as for several nights on the water. Winter skins and other extras that you can get make the brolly an “all-rounder”. The carp tent, or bivvy, is available in its smallest size from 100 euros. Here, the price rises to up to 600 euros, depending on size and quality. A bivvy is designed for longer fishing trips and can withstand the wildest weather.
Should you buy a new or used fishing tent?
In principle, there is nothing to be said against a used fishing tent. You should just look at it carefully before buying. If you are an expert in fishing tents and you are sure that you can inspect such a tent for defects, then a properly maintained and serviced used fishing tent is certainly the cheaper choice. Even if you are not yet sure of your fishing affinity, a first used tent is a good option. In general, however, if you like to go fishing regularly, it’s a good idea to invest in a new fishing tent. A fishing tent is designed to last, but if the previous owner didn’t look after it properly, you’ll feel the effects during your fishing trips at the latest.
Decision: What types of fishing tents are there and which one is right for you?
There are different types of fishing tents:
- Fishing umbrella
The following paragraphs will tell you what each type is about and which one is best for you.
What are the characteristics of a fishing umbrella and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A fishing umbrella is similar in design to a parasol or umbrella. The difference is that the fishing umbrella is larger and, above all, much more stable and waterproof. It is considered the basic model among fishing tents.
The function and handling of a fishing umbrella is very simple. You simply stick the fishing umbrella into the ground. Then you adjust the tilt angle (usually adjustable up to 45 degrees) so that you are protected from rain, wind or sun. With many models you can also adjust the stand height. The flatter you set the umbrella, the more stable it will be in strong winds. And you’re ready to go fishing! In stronger gusts of wind, you can also attach additional storm poles to your fishing umbrella. However, if the weather is very stormy, it’s better to use a fishing tent such as a brolly or bivvy. The fishing umbrella will not protect you adequately in extreme weather conditions, which can be very uncomfortable when you’re fishing from a hide.
What are the characteristics of a brolly (also called an umbrella tent) and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A brolly is the extended version of a fishing umbrella. The difference is that the brolly is larger, much more stable and more waterproof. The brolly is therefore suitable for one-day trips as well as for fishing trips lasting several days with overnight stays.
You can buy many extras for the brolly, such as winter skins, and adapt it to your fishing needs. With this variable quality, you can almost transform it into a bivvy tent over time.
The function and handling of a brolly is versatile. You can remove the front completely. This way you are still protected from the weather and at the same time have a clear view of your fishing rod. With many models you can also roll up the side walls. Brollies are often equipped with transparent windows and mosquito nets. This also protects you from pests. With winter skins and overwraps you can adapt the brolly to the weather conditions so that you are protected all round. Many brollies can also be adjusted in height. This allows you to increase or decrease the protected area. In strong gusts of wind, you can attach additional storm poles to your brolly. However, if the weather is extremely stormy and cold, you should go for a bivvy. The brolly will not protect you sufficiently in extreme weather conditions and cold temperatures. This makes long, multi-day fishing in such conditions very difficult.
What distinguishes a bivvy (also called a carp tent) and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A bivvy is the advanced model among fishing tents. Bivvies are even more stable and resistant to almost all weather conditions. If you are looking for comfort and ideal protection in extreme conditions, then the brolly is the right choice. It is suitable for people who are professional anglers and mainly go on longer fishing trips.
A bivvy is the advanced model among fishing tents. Bivvys are even more stable and resistant to virtually all weather conditions. If comfort and ideal protection in extreme conditions are important to you, then the brolly is the right choice. It is suitable for people who are professional anglers and mainly go on longer fishing trips. You can also buy many extras with the bivvy to suit your fishing needs. With this variable quality, you can transform it over time from a tent almost to a mini home. Since the bivvy is already more stable and offers all-round protection, the extras play a more comfortable role here. The function and handling of a bivvy is well thought out. Bivvy tents often have a door and a window, which is very important for air circulation. A bivvy usually resembles the shape of an igloo, which makes it water-repellent in addition to the water column. You can add a canopy to the front of the bivvy if it’s not included from the start. This way you are still protected from the weather and at the same time have a clear view of your fishing rod. Many models come with an integrated rod holder and plenty of storage space for your fishing gear. Bivvys are often equipped with a sleeping cabin, or you can add this as an extra. This protects you from pests and small animals while you sleep. With other extras, you can adapt the brolly to the weather conditions, so that you are protected all around and can create a pleasant temperature in the tent at any time of the year. Bivvys can also be adjusted in height. This allows you to increase or decrease the protected area.
The bivvy is a must for experienced anglers who like to fish all year round, in wind and weather no matter what. If you’re adventurous and want comfort at the same time, a bivvy tent is a better choice, especially for long and demanding fishing trips.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate fishing tents
In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many possible fishing tents. The criteria you should look for are:
- Weight (fabric + poles)
- Water column + seams
- Type of construction
- With or without floor
Weight (fabric + poles)
The weight of the tents is made up of the material of the fabric and the poles. The quality of the tent can be assessed by the weight. If, for example, it is a small tent but has the weight of a larger tent, then heavy and inexpensive materials were probably used in the fabric and poles.
There are fishing tents that are made of synthetic materials, such as polyester and polyamide. Then there are tents made with impregnated cotton fabric. Here it is good to know that synthetics are generally much lighter in weight than cotton fabrics. However, both types of fabric are waterproof. So if you want to save on weight, it’s better to go for plastic fishing tents.
Very cheap tents usually use fibreglass poles. They can break quickly and are unsuitable for stormy weather conditions. They are also comparatively heavy.
Aluminium poles are much stronger and lighter than fibreglass. However, there are also different versions of aluminium poles. These are given a value from T1 to T10. These values describe the heat treatment, so they say something about the elasticity of the poles. For a good hold in many weather conditions, T6 is recommended. Values below T6 should be avoided if you want to use your fishing tent for a long time. Carbon is the highest quality material used for poles. Carbon poles are extremely robust and can withstand extreme cold and heat conditions. They are also up to 30% lighter than fibreglass or aluminium poles. However, there are only a few high-quality tents that have carbon poles. Of course, the type of fishing tent also plays a role in the overall weight. For example, a fishing umbrella is lighter than a brolly, and the bivvy is the heaviest model. Then 1-person tents are correspondingly lighter than 3-person tents.
In general, 10-14 kg is considered a good weight for a plastic fishing tent with aluminium poles.
Water column and seams
When buying a fishing tent, you should pay particular attention to its waterproofness. The water column values are used for this purpose. In general, you should always go for the higher values, depending on your fishing needs, as this will keep your tent dry. A fabric is considered waterproof from a value of 1,500 mm water column. The highest value is 20,000 mm WS. So the higher the water column value, the higher the quality of the fabric. So if you are more of a recreational angler, or prefer to fish in predominantly pleasant weather, a low water column value, between 1,500 mm and 5,000 mm WS, is sufficient. However, the higher value is always the safer choice. If you are an ambitious angler, or you want to be prepared for all weather conditions, then a higher value, at least 6,000 mm WS, is the better choice. But again, if you fish a lot in the rain and stormy weather, then a water column of at least 10,000 mm is strongly recommended. The seams should also not be ignored when buying. A good fishing tent should have welded or taped seams. This ensures the stability of the tent and supports the waterproof function of a fishing tent.
All fishing tent models today are designed to be assembled quite quickly. Most tents can be erected in 2-5 minutes. However, there are different techniques that are used for this. Probably the best-known assembly technique is: Put the poles together, throw the tent over or clamp it in place, anchor the whole thing to the ground and you’re done. Of course, this is a bit simplified, but most bivvy tents are set up according to this principle. Bivvy tents generally need a little more skill to pitch, but then they stand more firmly on the ground than any other. Bivvies are designed for extreme weather conditions. The Ruck-Zuck fishing tent, as the name suggests, is quick to set up. The special thing about it, however, is that it can be taken down just as quickly. So you can change your fishing spot spontaneously and quickly, even in bad weather conditions. Another aspect that this type of pitching offers is that it makes the fishing tent lighter overall compared to tents with a conventional pitching method. But beware: the floor and the front of the Ruck-Zuck tents cannot be separated from the tent. This can lead to a reprimand at many fishing spots! Inflatable tents are a different construction method. There are no poles on these fishing tents. Instead, where there would normally be poles, there are so-called air channels. These air channels are inflated with a hand pump or an electric pump, depending on the model. Pop-up tents are the quickest and easiest to set up. You throw the tent, which has been folded using a special folding technique, into the air and it unfolds its shape. However, such tents are more suitable for mild weather conditions, as they are usually equipped with fibreglass poles.
With or without a floor
In a nutshell, a fishing tent with a removable floor is optimal. Many fishing sites do not allow a floor in the fishing tent. If you are caught having a floor, you can be banned from the site. With a floor that can be attached and removed, you can adapt to the regulations. Sleeping cabins in a tent (or sleeping tent) can also get you into trouble. Here you should also make sure that the sleeping cabin can be completely removed.
Condensation can be a problem, especially on longer fishing trips. To avoid this, you should make sure that the fishing tent has a window. This allows air to circulate between the entrance door and the window. The window should also have a mosquito net. Especially in summer, the annoying mosquitoes can disturb the fishing peace. To be protected from the weather, a fishing tent with an inner and outer tent is a good idea. Condensation collects in this double-walled fishing tent between the inner and outer walls and can simply drain off at the sides.
A sleeping cabin (which can be removed!) offers the same effect as a double-walled tent.
Interesting facts about fishing tents
What extras/accessories are useful for a fishing tent?
There are many extras and accessories for different tents. Which ones are useful depends on your fishing needs. Here we have compiled the most important ones for you. With a brolly and a bivvy, storm poles and strong lines are important for anchoring and securing the fishing tent. A good rubber mallet will make it easier for you to attach the pegs. A winter skin offers extra comfort for both the brolly and the bivvy. In the case of the brolly, the winter skin transforms it into a closed tent and in the case of the bivvy, in particularly stormy and cold weather, it keeps the heat in the tent better and provides an additional protective layer. If you choose a bivvy (carp tent), you are probably planning a fishing trip lasting several days. There’s nothing wrong with making your stay as comfortable as possible with as little as possible. Especially if you’re fishing in a cold and stormy environment, a cot with a good sleeping bag and, depending on the degree of cold, a tent heater would suit you. Especially if a floor in the tent is not allowed, an angler’s couch (also called a carp couch ) becomes indispensable. It can be used to comfortably bridge the wait for the fish. If your tent doesn’t already have a mosquito net as part of the basic equipment, then this is also a sensible purchase. Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance when fishing in summer.
How do I clean and care for a fishing tent?
To get the most out of your tent for as long as possible, you should take care of it seriously and not neglect it. A good fishing tent is only as good as the care it receives.
- Ventilate the fishing tent well so that it does not become saturated with condensation.
After each use
- Allow the tent to dry completely first. Otherwise unpleasant mould can form and attack the material. (Sometimes it is not possible to dry the tent at the fishing spot, in which case it is very important to open it up again at home and let it dry properly, for example on a clothesline)
- When folding and packing the tent, it is important to remove or tap off the coarse dirt, i.e. all sand residues, leaves and grass etc., from the tent. Otherwise the coating of the tent fabric can be damaged by friction.
- Dirty spots can be cleaned with a soft sponge or cloth and water. Never use chemical or household cleaners! This can damage the impregnation. Scouring pads are also not suitable.
- Dirt on the zips can easily be removed with an old toothbrush.
- For stubborn dirt, you should invest in special tent fabric cleaners.
From time to time
- Regularly impregnate the tent with products specially designed for tents.
- Regularly maintain the zips. Plastic zips like a little silicone spray. Metal zips like to be rubbed with wax. After the process, pull the zip open and closed a few times.
Image source: unsplash.com / Marks of Mana