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4/22/2019 4:29 pm  #1

bivy bag insights

anyone have a bivy bag,, how do you like it, any insights?  i am looking a buying one in the near future


4/22/2019 8:12 pm  #2

Re: bivy bag insights

Me too SP...looking f/w to the input you get here


4/22/2019 10:58 pm  #3

Re: bivy bag insights

Used one 20+ years ago complements of the Canadian government. Civilian models may be a little better but my advice would be to look at a hammock.


4/23/2019 5:00 am  #4

Re: bivy bag insights

I have not used one yet but my son got one about a year ago. He works for a trail crew on 8-day gigs and gets out on his free time every chance he gets. He goes solo a lot plus climbs up in the snow covered mountains. He loves his bivy over his TarpTent.  You can put it just about anywhere and don't have to worry about being able to tie it down like a tent. Pretty sure his is goretex but I know it's waterproof.


4/23/2019 6:38 am  #5

Re: bivy bag insights

Had this discussion a few years ago.

I stand by 90% of what I said. Pros and Cons. I would add this though. I swapped out my Big Agnes Fly Creek 2P I mention in the thread for a TarpTent Moment DW and this tent has kind of changed my perspective. For canoe camping anyway. The point is raised in the thread a few times but solo tents have become so light that unless you are a real gram counter, hiker or just love the simplicity of them and the ability to easily lay out under the stars the tent might be the better option.

That TarpTent is a fairly roomy 1P tent that I can have up in a minute or so. It only weighs 2 lbs. That’s well more than the bivy I mention but again for canoe camping it’s more than acceptable.

Video of how fast this tent goes up.

I honestly don't think I could like a solo shelter more. So it has now stolen the top spot as my go to shelter on solo trips and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

I have a couple of bivies but I think they will now be repurposed to hiking or very short trips only.

Last edited by ShawnD (4/23/2019 6:43 am)

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

4/23/2019 6:49 am  #6

Re: bivy bag insights

Based upon the many glowing reviews online, I bought a new Military Modular Sleep System Goretex bivy a few years ago for under $100.
Here are my findings:
- As you might expect with something used by the military, this is a very rugged piece of gear. High quality zippers and overall solid construction.
- It's very heavy and bulky.
- A deal killer for most of the camping season in Ontario: no bug screen.
- No tie downs for the corners means when you roll, the bivy can roll with you.
- No tie off loop at the top of the bag means the bivy lies on your face.
- I'm 6' tall and weigh about 225 pounds. I can't use any sleeping pad thicker than a Thermarest Pro Lite Plus, or I'll be squished between the pad and the top of the bivy.
- I'm a side sleeper who splays my arms out in front of me when I sleep. The bag is too narrow for me to do this comfortably.
- You can't properly fit a 6.5 foot long, 25 inch wide sleeping pad properly in the bivy.
- It does make a nice addition to your sleep system in a tent that will add a few degrees of warmth when used outside of your sleeping bag.

Hope these observations help when it comes time to pick your bivy!


4/23/2019 8:12 am  #7

Re: bivy bag insights

wow, thanks for all the info ,,, i am looking  at the outdoor research aurora bivy,, clearance product from atmosphere $118.00 great deal.  i am concerned about room inside the bivy using my sleeping bag and pad,, i am 5`7 and 160lbs. i think i will have room.  these bivy bags are difficult to locate,,,, i have a mec scout tarp to tie above the bivy in rainy weather,,
    i have used a hammock over the years and i find that the hammock hyper extends my knee with the contour of the bag,, good idea 

Last edited by swedish pimple (4/23/2019 8:13 am)

     Thread Starter

4/23/2019 10:51 am  #8

Re: bivy bag insights

I second the hammock idea over a bivy however find the leg hyper extension an issue as well. I Have adapted my set up over the years and most recently found putting something under my knees helps allot. Also laying on t he diagonal takes some of that away as well. Love my hammock. Bone dry in all kinds  of weather summer and winter.


4/23/2019 11:40 am  #9

Re: bivy bag insights

​The king of all bivvies is the OR Advanced Bivy. MSRP $400. Goretex. It keeps out the rain and it does a better job of managing condensation than pretty much any other Bivy. That said even the best are prone to condensation issues. I have never heard of one being truly condensation free in wet humid environments. On wet humid days or cool days in APP with big swings in temperature you may feel damp in the morning. Where your sleeping bag touches the Bivvy it will get damp. Or it may get soaked depending on how well any vents are set up.

Outside of mountaineering use, I don't see any advantage the Bivy has over a tent. There are tents that are lighter, smaller, cheaper and more liveable than the OR Advanced Bivy. Getting up, dressed and packing away your bivy on a rainy morning sucks. 

I use the TarpTent Moment DW that Shawn mentioned earlier. It is my favourite shelter! It takes 1-2 minutes to set up. Can be set up pretty much anywhere in APP. It is is cheaper, lighter, smaller in your pack and more liveable than the OR Advanced Bivy. I can hang out in there, bring all my stuff inside, get dressed in there. I can pack up everything inside the tent when it is raining.

Sure there might be smaller, lighter bivies but there are also smaller lighter tents. Check out this video of Doug Outside's experience with an OR Bivy in the rain last fall. 


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