About floating hides

Using a floating hide or a hydrohide is one of the best ways to watch, observe and take pictures of birds living on or next to the water.

On this page, you will learn more about the application and equipment, safety measures and how to get the most intimate shots.

The custom-made inflatable hull with an extra 'dip' in the front lets you move your lens freely and as close as 15cm to the water level. 

Building a well-performing and stable hide and combining it with an extreme low-level mounting point was a real challenge. After more than eight prototypes and numerous pre-production models, we let several experienced photographers test the Floating Hide. Yves Adams and David Pattyn were among the first to use it - and they still do. You can find some of their work on the Ambassadors page. We finetuned the hide based on their feedback.

Today the MrJan Gear Inflatable Floating Hide is used worldwide, from the Amazon to Svalbard, from the fjords near Trondheim to the French Camargue, and even in China. 

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F.A.Q.

Can’t finds the answer to your question on this page? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to answer, publishing the most frequently asked questions on this website. 

How much weight can a MrJan Gear Floating Hide carry?

It might seem arbitrary to say 'more than you will need', but this is a well calculated guess.

The float contains about 200 liters of air, so it will produce an upward force of about 200kg when fully submerged. Subtract the weight of the float itself, and you still have 185kg left to lift.

Even if you are a big person who enjoys floating along, you won’t have a problem. Due to the upward force equal to the water displacement of your submerged body, only half of your body weight needs to be supported by the float. So counting on 10kg of camera gear, you’d have to weigh over 360kg to have a weight problem with the hide.

 

The Floating Hide Classic is shipped with a bag to carry the Hide in. This is not much bigger than a sports bag. The bag is larger than you need for the Floating Hide itself and leaves room for extra clothing, a pump, and other stuff. If size matters you can use the pump to extract all the air from the hull and you will end up with a very small package that fits in a suitcase or backpack. The complete kit weighs less than 6.5 kg

The floating Hide II is even compact and weighs less - just 5.3 packed in a small bagasy to carry and take it with you on the plane. That unique opportunities for your photographic ambitions!

 

Is the Inflatable Floating Hide easy to travel with?

The Floating Hide Classic is shipped with a bag to carry the hide in. It’s not much bigger than a sports bag, but offers more space than you need for the hide. It leaves room for clothing, a pump and other stuff. If size matters, you can use the pump to extract all the air from the hull to create a small package that fits in a suitcase or backpack. The complete kit weighs less than 6,5 kg.

The Floating Hide II is even more compact and weighs less - just 5,3kg. It’s packed in a small bag, easy to carry and take with you on a plane. 

Is one air compartment safe enough?

It’s safe. We make the hulls from a very reliable and stable material, the same material used for wild water rafts. It's very resistant and guarantees the safe use of your floating hide for a very long time.

What support for my camera do you recommend?

The most frequently used support is a Wimberly-styled head, but you can also use bean bags, video sliders, ball heads, level bases, straps, and fluid heads. The best solution depends on your needs, so it’s a personal choice. Our favourite head is the FlexShooter. For saltwater we use the cheapest gimbal we could find - nothing withstands salty conditions very long.

We supply a 3/8 RVS screw, which allows you to optimally balance your camera yourself.

For the FHII we offer a custom-made slider to be even more flexible in the positioning of your head.

Discover your options on our webshop. 

Is the tent waterproof?

The tent is not waterproof but water repellent. Since the tent has windows with netting, it would be useless to make it waterproof.

Using waterproof tent fabric for the tent would be a big mistake: it’s considerably hotter in the sunshine, heating up the climate in the hide. We chose polycotton, guaranteeing a comfortable climate inside, making less noise than nylon, and reflecting less light. 

If you are worried about your camera getting wet, you can use one of our rain covers. 

What do I wear when I’m in the water?

Your choice of clothing depends on several things.

A wetsuit is a poor choice because you are not moving enough to warm up the water film in the suit (like when surfing), so you will get cold.

Waders can be a good idea, but wear thermal underwear and beware of the dangers of water flowing into the pants. The air gets trapped in the boots and you may end up upside-down in the water. Funny as this might seem, it’s very dangerous. Buy a pair that has a snug fit (neoprene) and a high top, and use a belt or take other precautions. 

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The best choice is a dry suit, like professional divers. It's heavy and expensive but  the best option. We offer The Suit, a lightweight, fully waterproof dry suit with neoprene cuffs and no hood. 

For heavy use and more difficult circumstances, we can recommend the custom-made models by Otter in the UK. They will keep you warm and well protected and are the safest solution, especially when you are alone in the pond.

How large is the Floating Hide when packed?

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The Floating Hide Classic is shipped with a bag to carry the Hide in. This is not much bigger than a sports bag. The bag is larger than you need for the Floating Hide itself and leaves room for extra clothing, a pump, and other stuff. If size matters you can use the pump to extract all the air from the hull and you will end up with a very small package that fits in a suitcase or backpack. The complete kit weighs less than 6.5 kg

The floating Hide II is even compact and weighs less - just 5.3 packed in a small bagasy to carry and take it with you on the plane. That unique opportunities for your photographic ambitions!

Can the hull be repaired when damaged

The hull of the Classic consists of the same material as a wild river raft. It’s a very resistant material and not easily damaged. Nevertheless, it could be punctured by sharp objects below the water surface such as barbed wire or broken bottles.  

The FHII consists of nylon with a Cordura cover, which is even easier to patch.

If you run out of luck and air, the hull can easily be repaired. The glue needed has a very short shelf life, so we don’t add it to the package, as it would probably dry out before you need it. You can use a small tube of Seam-Grip™ for a semi-permanent fix; you’ll find this in most outdoor shops. Afterwards, order a repair patch and glue for a permanent fix.

Can we use a floating hide wherever we want?

What is the difference between a floating hide and a floating blind?

Floating hides and accessories

Floating Hide II

Floating Hide II Combo

£ 586.27

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Floating Hide Combo Classic

£ 586.27

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The Suit

£ 479.68

MrJanGear pump

Air pump

£ 21.32

Slider-9

Slider FHII

£ 74.62

flexshooter pro lever black ballhead

FlexShooter Pro Lever Black

£ 419.28

MrJan Gear - Noaks - S

Waterproof pockets

£ 1.57£ 3.83

Flyer

For more information you can browse the site or download the flyer:

Stay tuned!

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