Integral Designs Penguin Reflexion Bivy Review

Integral Designs Penguin Reflexion Bivy
Image supplied by Integral Designs

First up is a bivy sack sent by Integral Designs to the crew here at Cascadeclimbers.com. Evan of Integral Designs sent us their new Penguin Reflexion bivy sack to take a look at. The Penguin Reflexion  is a half zip bivy, zipping right down the middle of the top portion of the sack. Integral Designs describes the bivy as “inspired by the Emperor penguins of Antarctica which are able to withstand brutually cold winter weather and cold due to their aerodynamic shape and built in insulation which traps their body heat”. It is designed for winter or high altitude use, but can also be used as a rescue bivy. The Penguin Reflexion features a small screen tunnel (very similar to what is featured on their “MK” series tents) for ventilation for when the bag is zipped all the way up.   It has a waterproof 3-way zip, which makes is useful for remaining tied in and zipped up on a wall.

All packed up and ready to go.
The Reflexion bivy in its supplied stuff sack.

The Penguin Reflexion is completely fabricated of Sympatex Reflexion.  Reflexion is laminated membrane fabric that, according the manufacturer (Sympatex), is breathable, waterproof, windproof, and reflects up to 75% of the bodies own warmth. It gets its reflective properties from a thin coating of aluminum a few micrometers thick, sandwiched between its membrane and lining fabric. This process was developed for the aerospace industry (yes, we are talking outer space technology here).

Aluminum coating on the membrane!
The silver you see here will be reflecting your heat to keep you warmer.

True to Intergral Design’s description the bivy features a more “aerodynamic shape” penguin body-like shape, especially when compared to the Bibler Bigwall Bivy shown here for comparison.  It  has a wider girth in the shoulders, but narrower in the footbox.  It accommodates for up to 6 foot 4 inches of height.

Cascadeclimbers.com will be pass this bivy sack along to the Seattle Mountain Rescue Team on behalf of Integral Design for SMR to use in their operations. One of the intended uses of the sack is as a rescue bivy and we hope to hear some thoughts from SMR on how the bivy performs. Thanks to Integral Designs for donating the bivy to a organization that benefits us climbers out here in the Pacific Northwest!

Integral Designs Penguin bivy shown side by side with the Bibler Big Wall Bivy.
The ID Penguin Reflexion side by side with the Bibler Big Wall bivy.

Specifications:
Total weight according to CC.com scales (including stuff sack): 676.6g
Length as measured by CC.com: 76 inches
Zipper length: 42 inches
Girth (shoulder, waist, foot):  76, 64, 42 inches
Retail price: $285 USD

The Peguin Reflexion Bivy comes with a 3" x 3" x 14" silcoat stuff sack.