Matrix XR36 Seatbox

Matrix seatboxes have always been good, right from the start. The drawer and tray system is one of the best of the market and was great from the word go and has remained pretty much unchanged for years. The S36 box however, was its first serious contender as a top range seatbox. The stability was fantastic, with the 36mm legs running through a very thick part of the frame with good solid clamps. I’ve even seen anglers use this box on rocky ground without even extending the middle legs, such is its stability!

For me, the big thing that held the box back is that it was a little ugly. Don’t get me wrong, it looked great from the front but didn’t have a particularly nice rear – the part seen most by passers-by! I know looks shouldn’t come into it, but unfortunately it does with everyone wanting to look the part and more people photographing their setup.

The XR36 has well and truly changed that! It doesn’t matter what angle you look at it from, it’s stunning! This is all now thanks to hydroforming, a process usually reserved for high-end sports cars and bikes. Hydroforming is a process where fluid at high pressure is pumped into the die or inside the metallic tubing itself, which forces it to the shape of the mould. Not only does this mean the box frame can be shaped in ways that no other process can, but a stiffer, lighter frame can be produced with fewer unsightly welds. A newly designed leg clamp mechanism also means that the legs can have a lovely black textured coating without it wearing off during use.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a sexy new look is the only improvement however! The footplate mechanism is a stroke of genius. No more messing around with pins and knobs, just a small lever under the front releases it, allowing it to be slid shut or open with just one hand where it will then just click into place. What’s more, the new breed of large seatboxes are more difficult to fit into cars, store or carry into the house, garage or shed, so the fact that the same mechanism can be used to remove the footplate completely to save bulk and weight is another bonus. Removing is dead easy although lining it back up and into the frame is a little tricky, but will soon become second nature once you’ve got the knack.

Other notable features are the dual spirit levels. A small multi-angle level is built into the front of the footplate while a two-way level is present under the pole heel, which is built into the seat. The heel is also one on the best designed on the market and is rigid and remains open even when sat on, meaning no messing around when trying to get your pole in.

The end caps on each leg are also threaded and once the domed lid has been screwed off, any threaded accessories can be attached. The footplate also has a cover to aid grip and provide less chance of dropped items falling through the gaps and on to the floor or into the water! The rubber handwheels on the leg clamps are also bigger, which really helps in the cold and wet.

The box comes with a deep side drawer unit complete with dividers. This can of course be removed and put into the stack or extra trays or drawer units added, including a front drawer system. The stacker tray comes complete with a lid; all you need to do is add winder kits or additional trays, which of course are all compatible with all older trays. One thing that I do feel really sets Matrix’s seatboxes apart is the width. I’m pretty sure they are the widest on the market, which not only adds stability but makes a superb choice for the larger angler, meaning you can comfortably sit on the box with far less chance of having a box leg sticking into you or your feet hanging off the footplate.

As for colours, I think the Black Shadow version will be the most popular, but don’t rule out the Lime framed version, as it adds a splash of colour to your setup and really shows up well in photos… if you’re that way inclined!

Box includes:
1 x deep drawer unit with inserts
1 x shallow tray unit with removable stacker feet clamps
1 x transport lid with handle
1 x 4-point carry strap

Colours: Lime or Shadow
761mm x 830mm open
761mm x 561mm closed
Weight: 18.5kg

RRP: £700