Bivys for Active Sleepers

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    David White
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    I find that especially when backpacking I toss and turn a lot when I sleep — switching from back to side to stomach.

    Like many others I’m trying to lighten my load and have considered switching from my current Tarptent to a bivy/tarp combo; but I’m concerned if a bivy will really work for tossers like myself. I certainly don’t want to fork out over $300 for the bivy/tarp combo only to find that it doesn’t work for me.

    Does anyone have experiences to share or suggestions of features to look for?

    Thanks in advance

    Ken Helwig
    BPL Member


    Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA

    I too have that problem. Don’t know of any remedies though. Maybe try a Equinox bivy that sells for around $65.? That is what I have and in conjuntion with my tarp and ground cloth it is a nice little shelter system.

    Ryan Faulkner


    Mont bell makes a waterproof/breathable bivy made from a stretch material that might work for you

    I have also used thier non stretch as well an equinox and they have both worked well in cool rainy conditions

    David White
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    Thanks for the suggestions. Although I usually convince myself that I just HAVE to have the best available (i.e. $$$) — it just ain’t always true.

    So I took your advice and bought an Equinox bivy which (if it arrives in time) I’ll test out this weekend. Now if bivys aren’t for me, I only have to explain $60 to my lovely spouse.

    And if I DO like the bivy experience (and I hope I do), then maybe in a year or so I’ll upgrade to a BMW, MLD, or Montbell solution.

    For this trip, I’ll take my old, heavy, and too large flat tarp (heck, my Tarptent is lighter than this thing ;-)

    Thanks for the suggestions.


    You might check out Mountainlaureldesigns, a small outfit run by Ron Bell. His tarps are topnotch out of the box and he will work with you to come up with a bivy bag that will address your concerns. I, too, am a restless sleeper and his bivy worked fine for me. AND, his prices are very reasonable. For sure you can stay below $300 for a tarp/bivy combo. The website is if this perks up your ears.

    jules metcalf


    Check out this integrated bivy/bag/pack solution

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest


    here’s the company that makes the PowerPac system:

    Moonbow – powerPak system

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