When I mentioned to Ray recently that I was looking for a new barrow as my old one that I had been using for the last 5 years or more, became unusable for me for a number of reasons because of my health, he mentioned that he was expecting the Carp-Zone Barrow through any day soon and that my name would be on it for review. Well that day came around a couple of weeks ago, and I had to put my first impressions down in writing.

Carp-Zone have not been around as long as a lot of the other companies but that does not mean that they should be discounted when looking for value for money products with no frills (designed for the angler who wants to catch fish instead of looking like a "poser" on the bank). When the box with the barrow inside of it was opened I was not expecting anything special, especially for the price, but I will hold my hands up and say that my thoughts were wrong!



Inside the box, the barrow is extremely well packaged with all the metal parts of the barrow (basically every single inch of it) wrapped in thin foam sheeting, you are certain that the product is going to get to you in the same condition as it left the factory. After removing the pieces from the box, I was a little concerned that there was no instruction leaflet on how to assemble, but it was found that it was not needed to assemble to barrow as it is all self explanatory once the foam sheeting and cable ties had been removed.

Once all the packaging had been removed (this was the longest part of the job by a long shot!!!!!), you are confronted with a pair of handles, two base plates (one with wire mesh over it and the other with a gap for the included Barrow Bag), the wheel frame and axle, a pair of legs with mudfeet, the wheel, two side bars and the front bar, as well as a plastic bag of handwheels, a pair of adjustable bungee straps and the aforementioned Barrow Bag.

Assembly is a piece of cake to do. I found it easier to do by fitting the handwheels to where they are required on the base sections first before putting anything together (this way I could tighten everything up without trying to hold it together and inserting the handwheels). Once the handwheels have been placed it is a simple task of putting the two base sections together and tightening the handwheels. I was surprised how sturdy the base was when held by just the two handwheels and there was no movement at all between the two sections. Once the base was assembled, I then placed the side bars and front bar into the base and folded them flat down on top of the base to make it easier to work on. To fold the barrow the flattest, fold the side bars down first, then the front bar. Once the side bar handwheels have been tightened up, there is no chance of the base coming apart due to the side bar fitting into a box section placed on each of the base sections. After doing this I then placed each of the legs into the swing out section on the base and locked them in place with the sprung pin mechanism.



To assemble the wheel to the wheel frame was probably the hardest part to do, but once a few seconds of thought had kicked in, it was simplicity. With the axle, a pair of green spacers and two washers are supplied, along with a pair of unique split pins. The easiest way of assembling the wheel was to place one of the split pins in to one end of the axle (place the long pin section through the hole in the axle then place the larger loop of the end of the axle to lock into place), then place one of the washers on to the axle. The washers need to be on the OUTSIDE of the frame. Place the other end of the axle through the hole in the wheel frame and then place one of the green spacers on to it, then locate the wheel and push the axle through so it is just protruding from the other side of the wheel. Place the other spacer onto the axle, then push through the other side of the frame before placing the second washer on and the remaining split pin. Job done!



Once the wheel has been fitted to the frame, you can now fix it to the base by sliding the frame over the stubs that angle down from underneath the meshed base panel. Tighten up the two handwheels and it is secure.

You can now stand the barrow up on its own and fit the handles into the base. This is one place where most barrows are let down because there is movement in the handles where they fit into the base, but I was extremely pleased to find that there was NO movement whatsoever once the handwheels had been tightened.



The final thing to do is to fit the barrow bag into the gap in the base near the handles, and this is done by velcro straps and buckle clips fitted to the bag. The velcro straps are just the right length to fit around the frame without excess and the buckle straps are adjustable to cater for heavier loads.

All that is needed now is to load it up and away you go!

The dimensions of the barrow are just about right for the majority of anglers and their kit, and the barrow has dimensions of 147cm in length and 81.5cm in width before the side bars and front bar are extended. With the side bars fully extended, you then have a total width of 107.5cm (although you only need to adjust to suit the largest item width you are carrying), and with the front bar fully extended, the length of the barrow comes in at 170cm! This is more than large enough to take everything including the proverbial kitchen sink on the longest of sessions.

The Front Bar is also height adjustable so if you have loaded the barrow up reasonably high, you can still rest your rods on top securely.

The wheel is one of the most important parts of the barrow and the design of it can make a difference on how easy it is to push. The wheel supplied with the Carp-Zone Barrow is quite wide which means that it spreads the weight more on soft ground and is less likely to sink as deep as a narrower wheel would. The tread on the wheel is also deep and you will not be for loss of grip on the majority of terrains. I cannot figure out if the wheel has puncture proofing built-in, but to be safe I would go to Halfords or other bike shop and purchase a bottle of Slyme or similar type liquid that will seal a puncture instantly as there is nothing worse than after a very long trek with all your gear, only to find that the tyre is flat on loading for the return trip!



The Barrow Bag is like a Tardis and you can fit a fair bit of kit in it and still zip it up. Personally I wouldn't put anything of any weight in it as this will mean that the barrow would become harder to push comfortably due to that you would be carrying that weight on your arms rather than on the wheel when you lift the handles. For storing spare clothing, food or a bedchair cover, it is perfect and is also the right size for placing the handles and bungee straps into when packed away so they are not misplaced.



Underneath the main frame, there are 4 metal loops which have been welded on to give securing points for the bungee straps. The claw on the straps fits in the loops perfectly and will stop any messing around with trying to locate the hooks onto a free area of the frame and risking a bungee hook in the face (which is not fun at all from personal experience!).

Weight wise, the Carp-Zone Barrow isn't going to win any slimming competitions, but this is forgotten about once it is assembled as it isn't going to flex or groan when loaded up.

Some of the other barrows on the market require you to have a relatively large vehicle to get them to and from the venue, but as the base splits into two sections (remove the side bars first!), you can fit this barrow in to a small hatchback car without losing any room or scratching the interior.


First Impressions

I have tried to find fault with this Barrow but I cannot find anything that could not be sorted by use of a screwdriver and spanner to tighten up the leg hinge points on the frame. 10 seconds a side at home before leaving for a session will keep the legs where they should be. When fully assembled, the Carp-Zone Barrow has no movement in the frame and puts some of the more expensive barrows to shame in this aspect!

The centre of gravity of the barrow is as close to perfect as possible and even loaded up, does not feel unbalanced or wieldy. With my disability, I found it simple to push around with what I would usually take on a session, and the only thing missing that I would love to see is a three wheel conversion kit (which could replace the extending legs with wheels) which would then make it literally childs play for virtually every angler to push, even on uneven terrain.

The Carp-Zone Barrow has a RRP of £79.99 including delivery to your door! I could not believe the price on it and had to ask Ray if that was the trade price as it was so low! My last barrow cost me more than that before VAT at trade price when I bought it!

If you are on the look out for a new barrow, then make sure that the Carp-Zone Barrow is close to the top of your list as you will not regret it!

For further information on any of the Carp-Zone products, please click the image below

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