Cyprinus XLR8 2-Rib Fishing Shelter
Andrew Kennedy is won over by the versatile XLR8 Shelter from Cyprinus.
This versatile pram hood-style shelter from Cyprinus incorporates advanced materials along with some clever innovations in bivvy design, making it exceptionally lightweight - at just a shade over 5kg - yet robust and very stable when erected.
The XLR8 fits a handy niche previously solely occupied by the large brolly shelters, which are useful as both year-round day shelters and as night shelters during the warmer months.
However, the XLR8 has a few major advantages over a brolly shelter. It’s bigger when erected, but smaller and lighter when packed away. Inside too, there is much more headroom due to the lack of internal umbrella ribs and runner hub. I can comfortably sit upright on a bed chair, anywhere between the two ribs, whereas in a brolly shelter I have to pick my place or risk banging my head. This gives this shelter much more useable depth, so a bedchair can be pushed far enough back to keep it dry in the event of a flash summer storm.
The structure centres around a pair of bungeed fibreglass tension poles, which fold down into five pieces and easily assemble in less than 15 seconds. Once the poles are assembled, a tension strap which features aluminium carabiner-type clips on either end, links the two ends and holds the shelter in its dome shape.
Finally, a couple of telescopic aluminium support bars keep the tension poles in place, but allow for adjustments to be made in the setup. For example, the ribs of the shelter can be pushed forward to provide more cover when it‘s wet or windy, or they can be pulled back to give the angler maximum visibility from inside.
As with all Cyprinus products I’ve seen, the XLR8 is constructed from top grade materials and seems to be built to last. For example, the area where the tension poles attach to the canopy will be subject to a great deal of stress in use, so it is reassuring to see quality hardware incorporated. From the heavy-duty webbing reinforced with steel eyelets to the aluminium carabiners, there has been no scrimping.
Other areas liable to stress include the ten pegging-down points, so Cyprinus have fortified each of these with shock-cords to take the strain away from the canopy stitching, which will surely extend the life of the shelter, besides making it more secure and comfortable in adverse weather conditions.
The canopy itself is made from a high quality material which has an almost rubbery feel to the inside and it seems extremely water-repellent. As with all Cyprinus bivvies and shelters, the XLR8 is supplied with ample T-handle, spiral-point pegs in a heavy, pierce-proof bag.
The XLR8 2-Rib has a removable groundsheet, which quickly and easily Velcroes into place, onto the generous 4in internal skirt which runs along the floor around the inside of the canopy. The groundsheet folds away inside the shelter when packed away and both are carried in the zip-up carry bag.
I was won over by the design of the XLR8. It’s the first shelter of this type that I’ve seen up close and had a play around with and it’s very impressive. The recent advancements in design and materials which make this type of shelter possible, could well spell the end for brolly shelters because the XLR8 does everything that a brolly shelter is capable of, but it’s much lighter, more spacious and just as quick to erect. So it’s light enough to carry to a far-flung reservoir bank for some respite from the elements on a winter pike session and it’s also large enough to take a bed chair for a 1 or 2 night summer night session.
Very versatile indeed and an item which would make a great addition to many anglers‘ armoury, from the occasional pleasure angler to the more hardened specimen hunter.
When erected, the dimensions of the XLR8 2-rib shelter are as follows:
Width = 290cm
Depth = 219cm
Height = 130cm
Dimensions when packed-away in carry bag:
Length = 105.5cm / 41.5in
Diameter = 24cm / 9.5in
Weight = 5.2kg / 11lb 7oz
The XLR8 2-Rib retails at £119.99 but it is available from the Tackle Discounts website HERE for just £59.99
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