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2/02/2017 4:37 pm  #1


Bivy Sacks

I've been looking at Bivy Sacks recently and thinking that they're kind of perfect for solo tripping. Downsides I can see is that you've got no place to keep your gear covered, so a tarp is a must and it'd get pretty confining if you're stuck inside during a rain storm. What are people's opinions on them? If you do trip with them, what brands do you recommend? 

Thanks,

Drew

 

2/03/2017 3:00 pm  #2


Re: Bivy Sacks

Hey Drew,

So I researched the heck out of bivies last year. I think I looked at pretty much everything available.

I also used an OR bivy on 1 trip to make sure I was ok from a confined space perspective. I have no issues with it but could easily see why some might.

Here are some conclusions  from my research and limited experience. . 

1. Yes Bivies can save you weight but perhaps the even bigger savings is volume in your bag if that matters to you. My bivy,solo tarp and all cord and stakes compresses down to the size of a softball. maybe a little bigger. Matters more for hiking than canoeing I think.
2. A bivy is really only worth it IMO if it is well under a lb. More than that why not just get a light solo tent. I have a Big Agnes Fly Creek for example that weighs 2 lbs something and is for 2 people..
3. Bivies are crazy easy to set up and take down.
4. Great for sleeping under the stars on a clear night. 
5. Again on a clear night when you won't need a tarp you can set it up pretty much anywhere. right by the waters edge etc. 
6. I always bring a tarp anyway so I don't really add that to my overall shelter weight. My bivy only weighs 6 ozs, Tarp is 8.5 ozs than all cord, stakes plus compression bag. Total is 22 ozs. but again I would bring the tarp anyway so my shelter is really only 6 ozs.

I landed on a side zip bivy from Borah Gear.with the Argon top. http://borahgear.com/sidebivy.html  

Good value and great reviews. Love the large bug netting at the top and that it can be easily pulled off the face. It isn't fully waterproof obviously hence the solo tarp. Borah Gear does make an Event material  one that is  though. 

Some pics of mine..

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/Shawnld/IMG_0761_zpsb0nhkxm5.jpg


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/Shawnld/IMG_0759_zpsspjjxoen.jpg


http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e229/Shawnld/IMG_0786_zps0ctpdn9m.jpg


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears
 

2/06/2017 9:01 am  #3


Re: Bivy Sacks

Thanks Shawn, this is great information. 

     Thread Starter
 

2/08/2017 10:21 am  #4


Re: Bivy Sacks

No problem AL,

Other options I considered that are also  highly rated.

Titanium Goat - Ptarmigan and Raven Omni .. Similar to the Borah Side Zip I ended up buying.

Borah Gear = Snowyside - (eVent  bag fully waterproof and very breathable)

Miles Gear Bivies - Pico and Uber



 


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears
 

2/08/2017 8:39 pm  #5


Re: Bivy Sacks

I've been using a Miles Gear Uberbivy for the last two summers.
I agree with much of what Shawn wrote above. I'll add my CAD $.02

I love the ability to throw it on the ground pretty much anywhere big enough for your body and sleep there. Close to waters edge, in a narrow spot, etc.
I love this fact because it means I can paddle longer each day, knowing that when I get to a campsite I don't have to waste time futzing around looking for a good tentpad or the properly spaced trees for my hammock. Less finicky.

Like Shawn, I also carry a small tarp. I usually put it up in the place I intend to cook and eat breakfast. The Uberbivy is fully waterproof; A torrential downpour lasting hours left me quite dry.  But when you wake up to rain in the morning, you have to (at some point) get out of the damn thing...you need somewhere to go and sit and pack and eat without getting soaked. What are ya gonna do? You need a tarp.

I like to look at the stars when I go to bed. Bivy is awesome for this.

I like the lightness and low bulk of the bivy. That said, the Uberbivy is one of the heavier, bulkier options among bivies.  I wanted something totally waterproof, big enough to handle a full size neoair pad and also big enough to kind of change clothes inside of, in a pinch. Also big enough to drag my backpack inside of, if it starts pouring.The uber has two plastic bendy poles to give some structure and space over the head, hence the extra bulk and weight.

Overall, I think if you're going to buy a big bivy, like I did, you might as well buy a super light tent and get a bit more interior space, like Shawn said; especially if you are mostly travelling to established campsites in Algonquin Park. Bushwacking and exploring the backcountry, on the other hand,  are ideal for the bivy.

And if you're usually going to sleep on the ground under a tarp, why use a bivy? Just get a bug net to cover yourself, or go for a hammock.

 

2/09/2017 12:35 pm  #7


Re: Bivy Sacks

Methye wrote:

I love this fact because it means I can paddle longer each day, knowing that when I get to a campsite I don't have to waste time futzing around looking for a good tentpad or the properly spaced trees for my hammock. Less finicky..

This.. you can basically show up at camp in the dark and be set up in a couple of mins.. 

Methye wrote:

And if you're usually going to sleep on the ground under a tarp, why use a bivy? Just get a bug net to cover yourself, or go for a hammock.

Agree here too mostly.. that is why I went with the bivy I have. It is 100% bug proof. Not waterproof on the top but is water resistant for any splashes that get under the tarp. Bottom is fully waterproof.

I looked hard at just getting a Borah Gear bug bivy but its the same weight as mine so why not add some water resistance.Love my hammock too but it is for sure way more work to set up correctly.

If  I'm going for say a 2 night solo and the weather forecast looks good I'm grabbing the bivy out of my available shelter options for sure.
 

Last edited by ShawnD (2/09/2017 2:05 pm)


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears
 

2/09/2017 10:00 pm  #8


Re: Bivy Sacks

I posted this before elsewhere, but if I were going to do it all over again, I'd probably look hard at something like this one human tent that has reappeared on the MEC website. Looks like good bivy alternative.
https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5036-963/Spark-UL-1%2B-Tent

Edit: just realized the tent fly is sold separately for an extra $105!
Who does that? I thought it was a good deal at $299, but at $404, not so much.

Edit 2: I was wrong. Fly is included. But if your old fly is damaged, you can buy a new one. Whew! I'll show myself out now.

Last edited by Methye (2/10/2017 4:50 pm)

 

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