** Realistic Reviews by Real Anglers **
There are two things you can say about Fox that are undeniable: 1. Their stuff isn’t cheap in any sense of the word. And 2. They have a habit of coming up with some really innovative equipment. The Evolution shelters make the point very well indeed.
This is what Fox have to say about the product:
‘Evolution’: Fox’s choice of name for a shelter that has taken years to evolve. Using a decade of experience in building bivvies and shelters. Fox have thrown everything into the melting pot to design a bivvy system that cannot be bettered using current technology. Deriving its inspiration from the best features of the rest, Fox have added other, neat touches to make this shelter virtually untouchable.
Light – Evolution is ridiculously light. In fact, at half the weight of its nearest competitor it wins hands down.
Stable – Evolution’s stability is total – thanks to a new design system that allows the bivvy to be secured in even the strongest winds.
Flexibility – is one of the most remarkable qualities of the Evolution. Thanks once again to its unique design, the shelter has no fixed shape. Rather it is dynamic and capable of changing shape according to the weather an the whims of its owner
Weatherproof: is an inadequate term to describe a totally new breathable fabric used in the construction of Evolution.
Convenience – is assured because Evolution packs down so neatly into its own carrying pack, making it as easy to transport as a traditional brolly.
This is what I think:
It’s a good product, so good that two of my pals bought one each after they’d seen mine. But maybe not for immediately apparent reasons. They see the Evolution, as I do, as the almost perfect shelter for river fishing, but equally good for one-nighters on stillwaters and on the beach for sea anglers.
It’s the fact that it can change its shape that appeals. At one end of the scale, where there is bank space, it can be spread to the point where the entrance is only a mere couple of feet or so from the ground, which is handy when using a bedchair and you want almost complete protection from the elements. At the other end of the scale the sides can be drawn in to make the shelter look like a watchman’s hut – tall and narrow, which is good when the bank space is limited, or you just want to keep the wind of your back, and yet fish with a rod that is rested at a steep angle. Of course, there are umpteen shapes it can metamorphose to between these two extremes, in order to fit a particular bank space and/or a set of conditions.
The downside to most shelters other than conventional brollies is that they are a pig to erect, which isn’t what you want when faced with a sudden squall and are in danger of getting wet. And when on short, sharp, evening sessions, and wandering is not on the agenda, you don’t want a lot of trouble erecting a shelter then, either. Now, the Evolution is not quite as easy to put up and down as a brolly, and maybe not quite as easy to put up as you may be led to believe – but it is easy, and it gets a hell of a lot easier the more you do it. With a simple plug-in system of 10mm Aero Aluminium arms to two round socket devices I can erect mine now in three minutes, including pegging down time. I’ll have this down to two minutes within the next half a dozen erections…….. There is an acquired knack to master one plug-in point in particular, and I’m nearly there!
Okay, today’s modern, waterproof, breathable clothing will keep you hard river men dry while you sit in the rain. Me, I’ll watch you from under my shelter, for not only will I be dry but all my gear will be too. And I can be a bit of a wimp at times, so a shelter suits that condition too.
The Evolution, made from 4oz, 210D fully breathable nylon with a 5000mm Hydrostatic Head and taped seams, is waterproof, and the stability is truly amazing. Although supplied with real good quality storm pole fittings, I’ve not yet needed them, even in some quite blustery conditions. The four pegging points have held it very firmly. The pegging points are hinged so that they lie flat no matter what shape you’ve chosen for the Evolution. There are enough guy rope points, when they are needed, to hold it steady in anything that the elements can throw at us. And it weighs less than a 50in wavelock umbrella, easily fitting into the umbrella pocket in your holdall or quiver.
It has a tough PVC skirt and an optional extra is a double-sided PVC, tailor-made groundsheet with variable pegging points, and clips in to suit most of the shapes you’ll use. There is also an optional Winter Coverall to make it into a fully-fledged, two-skin bivvy.
I’m a fan of the Evolution, as you may have gathered. It’s ideal for short, overnight visits and it gives me the protection I want, sometimes, when river fishing without carrying too much weight.
The Evolution retails at £ 199.99, although I’ve seen it advertised at £ 20 less.The groundsheet is £ 21.99.And the Winter Coverall is £ 89.99.