Mar 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #1299984
So I'm loving the look of the new MLD Mini Trailstar, and I plan on ordering one. I also love camping in storms… I think I'm gonna pick one of these up for when my hammock is a liability.
If I wanted to get a bivy for sleeping underneath a tarp, what's the most breathable? I'd love one with foot venting options, and a LOT of space. I'm tall and I like to dry gear out next to me.
I need it to protect me from wind spray under the edges of a tarp, bugs, and saturated ground, although I will have a thin tyvek groundsheet.
Under 16oz is a plus, but not a prerequisite.
Price is no consideration.
Thanks!!Mar 4, 2013 at 10:03 am #1961238
Mld bug bivy
You kill me dude! :)
Google that stuff- search "bivy" on bpl
You aint dumb… All the answers are on the box that you are typing on. You just have do do a little work instead of asking the same ol q's that have been asked since the dawn of time
Ttdr vs smdld anyone?Mar 4, 2013 at 10:03 am #1961239Mar 4, 2013 at 10:49 am #1961255
It's not a stupid question. Check out the work they did in the Patagonia thread. Some forum users do quantitative tests on breathability. I want to know the difference, quantitatively, between Gore-Tex, e-Vent, and all the little proprietary spin-offs. Someone has a fabric that is slightly more breathable than the competition at a low weight. All bivy bags are "good enough," one is "better."
It's a serious question. if you can't answer it, don't worry about it!
Daniel, thank you for the heads up. I will cross it off my list.Mar 4, 2013 at 10:57 am #1961258
Travis LeannaBPL Member
Check out Borah Gear. They have some bivys with M50 and M90 material.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:11 am #1961261
John HarperBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
A bug bivy with a full netting top would probably be the most breathable, but I don't think that's what you're looking for?
Look at Miles Gear: http://milesgear.com/
The upper material he uses is very breathable and waterproof (see the "Uber Bivy" page for more fabric details). He can pretty much build you whatever you want.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:19 am #1961263
Mole JBPL Member
like he said. a search on this site will give you plenty of info. That's always the first port of call IMO.
But your question isn't totally clear anyhow.
You're talking about sleeping under a tarp with a bivi, but seem to be asking about WPB bivis judging by the 16oz figure (which is lower than any of the most breathable available in that class (i.e. something made of eVent)
Lighter than 16oz wpb's tend to be made of less breathable coated fabrics.
Water resistant topped bivi (with waterproof base) is likely more appropriate and more breathable than WPB. And much lighter. weight range 5-9oz.
Travis linked to one maker.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:20 am #1961264
FWIW this is my next MYOG project once I finish my sleeping bag/quilt conversion.
I'm going to add a bug net and see how it works out.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:35 am #1961272
I CAN tell you that none of the most breathable bivys will have a membrane.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:42 am #1961275
Just my 2 cents,
You guys that post "run a search" are not being helpful. I don't know if you noticed but this forum is not over run with endless posts.
Since I have been a member here I have seen the post count drop off significantly, and one reason is the attitude some members have on here.
We are all hikers here and unless someone is an obvious troll, either be helpful or don't post.
OP, sorry. No help on the bivy but good question.Mar 4, 2013 at 11:49 am #1961279Mar 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm #1961292
Suggesting that somebody who "isn't fooling around" do a little research before posting is snarky? Sorry.
And sorry for misspelling "Routa". Those are just the first three companies that popped into my elitist head.
Zpacks Quantum Bivy 5oz. $175
ooooohhhh Loooord…. Kum By Ya
Scroll down for Nisley's explanation of air movementMar 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm #1961293
Mole JBPL Member
I thought my answer had useful content?
It appeared to me that the OP and subsequent post showed a lack of understanding about types of bivi/fabrics. I hope my post helped shed some light. Also my advice to do a little research was meant to be helpful.
That was my intent.
Not to reprimand anyone, as some seem to think necessary ;)Mar 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm #1961307
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Integral Designs all event overbag is the gold standard.Mar 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm #1961317Mar 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm #1961320
1. I did do research. I know what MLD and Integral Designs are making, and I know Zpacks makes split bivy's with a water resistant top and a bathtub bottom. I also know there's a sea of bivy's from non-cottage companies and all use independently developed fabrics touted as "breathable." I have no idea which stand out.
2. I read the entire most recent thread on bivy breathability, but it's much older. Every company seems to be launching redesigns this spring, I have seen new tents from three companies alone, and new sleeping bags from one as well.
3. Unhelpful is assuming since you yourself found out over the course of a few months or years, I must have too, and otherwise, I have failed to do enough on my own. Agree with everyone calling a few users out for being snarky- save it. At the risk of sounding cocky, the amount I contribute to other people when I have good info earns me the right to shortcut straight to the experts once in a while.
Now, in case I'm being unclear…
What I'm looking for is to know
1. Which fabrics are Water-Resistant/Breathable and which are Waterproof/Breathable. I know Pertex is the former and Goretex is the latter, any other examples worth knowing about? I'm fairly certain I want the former, since I'm using a tarp. I want the bathtub waterproof bottom (hopefully tough stuff) and a nice, light, water resistant top for wind spray and bugs. And good netted venting so I don't condense all over myself.
2. What are the low-weight options that fit what I'm looking for, in either the WRB or WPB category?
3. Anything I'm wrong about philosophy-wise when it comes to a bivy. I have never used one. Maybe I need more than I think for sleeping in storms. Remember, this is a New England storm camping kit, up to 50MPH gusts (The trailstar goes to 60mph).Mar 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm #1961321
Nico .BPL Member
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
I'll echo a couple of the other commenters…
If you're considering a shelter like the Trailstar (or Trailstar mini), these provide a good bit of coverage so you don't need to rely so heavily on a bivy for weather protection. Instead it's main purpose with a shelter like this is to offer some wind/bug protection, perhaps a little splash protection and can serve as your groundsheet (no need for the tyvek then).
Because these bivy's aren't doing full weather protection duty, folks opt to go for a lighter water repellent but breathable (DWR) bivy over a fully waterproof (WPB) bivy. The DWR style bivys tend to weigh significantly less (5-6oz is pretty standard) than WPB bivy (probably most start around 16oz and go up from there).
You still get a waterproof floor (usually silnylon or cuben) with the various DWR bivys but the top half of the bivy is constructed out of various materials that tend to breathe better than the waterproof fabrics but that actually still also do a pretty good job at repelling light spray, spindrift, etc.
Lot of top materials to choose from in this regard… pertex, M50, M90, etc. I'm not sure on how they rate compared to one another, my hunch is that in the real world they're all fairly comparable. Of course the most breathable of all is a bug bivy (solid silnylon or cuben floor/sides with bug net top).
If you truly want a fully WPB bivy, I'd agree with Stephen that an eVent bivy is the way to go.
If you want to look at DWR bivys, most of the cottage companies offer their own version. I have a bivy from Katabatic Gear. My GF has one from Borah gear. Both serve their purpose well.
A couple of final notes… you mention being tall:
– Most of the cottage gear makers offer their bivys in various length and width options, so you can get it scaled to your liking.
– I've read somewhere (perhaps the Trailstar mini thread) that the trailstar mini might not be big enough for taller folks. Maybe check with Ron at MLD before you commit to this shelter… or go for the "normal" Trailstar. I use one and love it; although I have yet to use, or need, a bivy with it.Mar 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm #1961322
Herbert SitzBPL Member
@hesLocale: Pacific NW
". . . loving the look of the new MLD Mini Trailstar, and I plan on ordering one. . . .
If I wanted to get a bivy for sleeping underneath a tarp, what's the most breathable?"
The miniTS is of course smaller than regular TS and Ron Bell has said it may not work well for people taller than 5'10". Why not get the full Trailstar for 2.5oz more and then not worry about having to bivy at all? Coverage is good with Trailstar, you're not going to get splatter if you set it up right, just get an inner net and you're good to go. You'll have (1) no worries about breathability, (2) more space, and (3) much less than 16oz weight. See BearPaw Pyranet, Ookworks trailstar designs, MLD's bug bivy, and I assume inner nets like MLD's and SMD's Serenity net tent can be made to work without much problem.
I don't think you'd need bivy bag merely for splatter coverage with mini-TS, either, but maybe it's hard to tell at this point.Mar 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm #1961323
Stephen, it looks awesome but there's no bug net from what I can tell. That's a must for me; I hate sleeping with critters and I don't find headnet sufficient at night.
Any similar ones?Mar 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm #1961325
Pertex makes wpb stuff — pertex shield I believe.Mar 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm #1961326
Nathan WattsBPL Member
I use a waterproof breathable bivy made by MLD out of eVent and Cuben with a mesh window. I don't use a tarp though. It weighs something like 12 ounces.
If I was to use a tarp I would to ably just use some type of mesh netting for bug protection since your tarp, your bag, and your Tyvek ground sheet should give you protection from the elements. I prefer to use a tent instead of all this though. It's lighter and less complicated. Maybe I'd think differently about tarps if we didn't have bugs around here.
Edit to note that I don't use my bivy in the tent. Usually the bivy for light and fast overnighters. The tent for everything elseMar 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm #1961328
Thanks for the info, guys. here's what I'm thinking.
Perhaps I'm going to end up going for the Trailstar full over the Trailstar Mini, but I'm a side sleeper that doesn't mind curling up. It would bother me to not be able to stretch out my legs inside a bivy, but in a tent it wouldn't bug me at all. I've slept in some confined spaces before. I'm generally a very, very easy sleeper and nothing wakes me up.
I'm going to stray away from full bug bivy's. Maybe I'll own one in the future, but not for this purpose. The "fun" (clearly Type 2) of going out in a big thunderstorm or early fall hurricane and sleeping in a field or clearing is facing the elements and winning, NOT getting wet. I think the Tarp does 99% of the job, but just in case I can't get a good pitch because of my site, or in case water saturates around me, I want good coverage from my bivy above and below. I don't need sustained exposure waterproofness, but I can be talked into eVent, as my understanding is that this is the best WPB fabric since it has pores.
Phew. Getting carpal tunnel over here.
I'm looking at the bags from integral Designs, but I think only the Spartan Bivy has bug netting. If someone knows otherwise, let me know.
Otherwise, I'm looking at the MLD Superlight Bivy at 7.5oz, but I don't know how waterproof the silnylon bottom is and I don't know what "Endurance" fabric has in the way of comparative strengths and weaknesses.
I have yet to find an e-Vent bivy with a bugnet. If you know of one, let me know! If I missed it in previous reccomendations, I might catch it in a minute…
Thanks for the help!Mar 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm #1961361
Steven McAllisterBPL Member
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
Regarding waterproof, water resistant or mesh top.
Be aware that the mesh top style will be much more comfortable for 3 season use. Full coverage bivys are hot, stuffy and can trap condensation.
If a full mesh top scares you, maybe the SMD Meteor? But even that can be too stuffy in the summer.
I find that under a full coverage tarp, a full coverage bivy is overkill.
A mesh top/bug net/bivy will be much more usable.
There are a lot of good bug nets out there that have bathtub floors to protect from wet ground and splash.Mar 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm #1961378
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
First point: get the full size Trailstar. I'm a hair under 6 feet and the fully was just long enough on some occasions.
Second point: define your use. You will not need a bivy for rain protection in a Trailstar. A tarp is another question. If you want bug protection, a groundsheet and the Gossamer Gear bug canopy will be fine.
Third point: If you're out in 30+ mph winds in the Trailstar you might want a bivy or overbag for wind protection if it's chilly. The cat-cut edges make it pretty hard to seel the side unless you have snow to work with.
Fourth point: a WPB floor will make a pretty big difference in breathability compared to a sil or cuben floor and the same top material.
Fifth: Pertex is a company which makes many fabrics. Quantum, often used in bivy tops, is pretty darn breathable.Mar 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm #1961387
I don't think you guys are understanding me, or reading my posts. Which is fine, I mean, I talk alot, I'd ignore me too!
I'm specifically buying this setup for conditions where my hammock is unusable due to high winds, intense rain, and the risk of falling branches. I am buying this for cold, wet, windy storms in the middle of clearings.
I DO want full coverage and NOT a bugnet, because of the wind drafts and the associated spindrift and spray. Thank you for the suggestion of a full-coverage bugnet, but that is something I don't need help deciding on. If I want one of those I'll get them but it's irrelevant.
To the point of my OP, please feel free to recommend full-coverage bivy's made of WRB or WPB fabrics from reputable manufacturers. I'd love to hear of your experiences with condensation.
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