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leejams

Bivvy sack question

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Wondering what everyone else uses and likes/dislikes. Also can't make up my mind to go with a bomber type bivvy sack, or a cheaper bivvy sack with tarp?

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I say go with a cheap/light bivi sack, if it's crappy out, you should be headed home. I have the MEC/Integral Designs South Col and it's a compromise between lightweight and storm worthy, I'd go even lighter next time.

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Take into account that Bronco is Irish, and therefore cheap as a tin cup. I never go cheap on gear that my life may depend on.

 

I, on the recommendation/endorsement of several friends, purchased an Integral Designs Unishelter. It's totally bomber, comfy, and has a great hoop system that gives you some headroom. I've used it on a bunch of different occasions and woken up to rain and been totally comfy.

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As long as you plan on using it in good weather, more as a back-up in case you do hit bad weather, I would go light and simple.

 

Why carry a three pound bivy sack with fancy poles and bells and whistles? My Bibler weighs a hair less than four pounds and sleeps two (One-door I-Tent). So unless its less than two pounds, it ain't worth taking a bivy. (For me anyway).

 

bigdrink.gif

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they are all the same. go with cheap.

dont get poles if you are alpine climbing with it.

go as lite as possible.

use the trap or the bivi, but not both, that is overkill.

why bivi?

 

bigdrink.gif

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All good points, thanks for the input. Sounds like cheap and light are the way to go. Seem to never find any of em on sale though madgo_ron.gif

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I'm with the light and cheap school on this question. I don't think there are very many times when the heavier or more expensive one is going to keep you drier, and the fancier ones with tent poles start to weigh nearly as much as a small tent.

 

Cheaper and lighter yet is to skip it altogether. For more than one person, the weight savings as compared to a light weight tent are not all that substantial -- especially when you look at everything else in your pack. If the weather is good, you don't need the bivvy sack and I don't know many people who would take just the bivvy sack when headed out in questionnable weather anyway. Lots of people swear by 'em, but I have never used a bivvy sack in thirty years' climbing. If the weather is fair, I just take a sleeping bag and maybe a headnet and plan to put my feet in a garbage bag or in my pack and pull on a raincoat if it rains.

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find caves under boulders to sleep in. no need for sack.

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How waterproof are those space bags? I took one with me in case it rained last weekend and I needed to cover my down bag like mattp suggests, but I dunno if it would have just shredded quickly in the wind.

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i have a micro swift one man tent from walrus, and what i like is i can use any variation of things to keep me as protected as i want or to go lightwieght... i just take the tent as bug protectant (and a lil weather) at less than most (nearly all) bivies and i sometimes just take the cover and wrap myself around it... it was cheaper tahn any decent bivy bag i have seen adn kicks ass... fully guyed it is decently storng too... thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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mattp said:

Lots of people swear by 'em, but I have never used a bivvy sack in thirty years' climbing. If the weather is fair, I just take a sleeping bag and maybe a headnet and plan to put my feet in a garbage bag or in my pack and pull on a raincoat if it rains.

 

I was with that school of thought myself for many years (not 30 years though hellno3d.gif) However, borrowed one awhile back from JoshK on a trip and became instantly convinced.

A.) I sleep better alone.

B.) it adds a bit of warmth to the lighter bag.

C.) Last Friday night I just went with the sleeping bag aproach, woke up and in half sleep grabbed something on my face and a big ass slug wazzup.gif Freakin gave me the willy's.

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Any comments on the REI (Capitalist Pig - see another thread) Minimalist Bivy? There is not much out there in the outdoorgearreview.com world about this cheap and light sack.

Edited by HernyG

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cj001f said:

Bibler Winter Bivy. Cheaper & Lighter.

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

absolutely love mine. used it a bunch last year instead of taking a tent. super light and kept me dry in the middle of an unexpected downpour. Thought it was pricey at the time but well worth the $$$

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all you need is a tarp, you can wrap yourself up in it if you can't pitch it, use it like a blanket, but a 5x8 siltarp for one pitched low to ground is the way to go-packs up the size of a tennis ball!

 

lightest, most breathable option, obviously not for Alaska summer trips but everything Cascade, THAT'S ALL YOU NEED- don't take anything more and you'll be okay... for two people a 10x12 is better.

 

Learn how to pitch the darn thing, and get creative with how you pitch it, is my advice. bivies have a place, but not much, and tents have places but not many, and i'm just a dirtbag climber anyway who likes sleeping out with mother nature as the floor.

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The tarp is a good option as long as you are going to spend the night at or below timberline. It's not so good above, though I have set them between boulders and stuff. Bring a headnet if you are tarp camping in the summer!

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Beck said:

all you need is a tarp, you can wrap yourself up in it if you can't pitch it, use it like a blanket, but a 5x8 siltarp for one pitched low to ground is the way to go-packs up the size of a tennis ball!

 

That sounds good in weather like we are having now. However, with a down bag will that keep out the melting snow,bivvys sights with a small pond in them, slugs etc... I do like the siltarp though just wondering how many seasons you can go with that idea?

 

 

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I have a Bibler bivy sack that is nice, but I get a bit claustrophobic in it if it is fully zipped up. It hasa hoop, but the bug net droops on my face.

 

If you're trying to save money check with stores like second ascent about factory seconds. I got mine in Berkeley at a good discount just cause the fabric had a wrinkle in it that was considered a blemish. Saved about $70.

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Lee-

I have been using a tarp for years, and at all times of the year. The advantages of a tarp over a tent are actually INCREASED in bad weather or when snow camping. In these situations, there are no mosquito's to worry about, and you can set the tarp high or low or tip it one way or the other, depending on whether wind is blowing rain or snow underneath, whether you are doing a lot of cooking or whether there may be something to look at. The chief advantages are that you have much more room to hang out in for much less weigiht, you can lounge around in your sleeping bag while you cook, and you can see where you are instead of being walled off from the woods and mountains that you have come to enjoy. It takes a little more effort than just throwing up a tent, but I use a down bag with a normal shell (not goretex), and no bivvy bag, and not once in litterally hundreds of nights out under a tarp* have I gotten my bag seriously wet because I was using a tarp rather than a tent. In "weather like we are having now," I would leave even the tarp behind, but a tent might actually be better because of the mosquito control it offers.

 

*As I posted above, you do have to camp at or below timberline, though. I DID get wet, though not dangerously so, on one occasion when trying to set a tarp on granite ledges above timberline in a snowstorm in the Sierra.

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The Integral Designs sola is a great bivy that you can change in and is their version of Gore-Tex. It's about 3 lbs. cool.gif

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Why would you carry a three pound bivvy bag? Many small tents weigh less than four pounds!

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It packs smaller and costs less than anything else comparible, like the Bibler I-tent, or the ID tent styled like the I-tent. cool.gif

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I have a Wild Things bivi bag and I think it's great. The whole thing is made of sympatex so there's very little condensation. The mosquito netting is effective at keeping the bugs out and is large enough to allow for adequate ventilation as well. It weighs in at 15 ounces.

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