Tape measure elements are great for use in the bush where you have to worry about
the elements hitting tree branches -I've built quite a few of them. But the steel elements
have more loss than copper or aluminum, especially at VHF.
If I don't plan to use an antenna while running through the woods, I also prefer the
WA5VJB technique, using #8 aluminum ground wire for the parasitic elements and
#12 solid copper house wire for the driven element (so I can solder to it), assembled
on a length of PVC pipe. (I rotate the driven element around the axis so the short
side is in front of the long side - that is easier to build.)
The half-folded driven element steps the feedpoint impedance up by a factor of 4,
just like a regular folded dipole, so if you are designing your own antennas you can
aim for 12.5 ohms to get a 50 ohm match or 18.75 ohms for 75 ohm feed.http://wa5vjb.com/references.html
[edited to add] $20 for an antenna? That seems high. Radio Shack used to sell
40' of the aluminum wire for $6, and I've got plenty of scrap PVC pipe and wire around.
But I guess some folks would rather have their pipe look clean...