May 6, 2014 at 8:17 pm #1316545
@maiaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to:May 7, 2014 at 10:09 am #2100182
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Thanks, Ryan!May 7, 2014 at 10:29 am #2100191
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
One of my biggest gripes with using a bivy is vertical comfort as it is entirely too influenced by the type of pad I use. If I put anything other than a CCF pad, it is so tight on top from pad thickness that often I can't close the bivy. Course, I'm broad and very ogre-like, so this might only be relevant to those of us with an extra or missing a chromosome or two. Either way, sure would be nice to have a little wiggle room. One size doesn’t, and never will, fit all. I can also commiserate with the condensation issue. 20 and below with no wind is not good at all. 60’s and above in Virginia humidity is equally uncomfortable. I have a custom skunk-works bivy with a cuben bottom, waterproof/breathable cuben around the feet, and pertex from my knees to my head. Result – still lots of condensation.May 7, 2014 at 11:07 am #2100205
@morte66Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
As a bivy romantic, I am delighted to read this review. :)
Are there any care instructions for the bivy, e.g. washing it like a jacket to keep the eVent breathing? And might they cause any issues for the cuben or seam sealer?May 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm #2100273
@andyjarmanLocale: Edge of the World
I love my Miles Gear Pico bivy. Granted its 5 ounces heavier than the ML Soul, but at half the price it includes full seam sealing, a hoop, and enough room to read a book inside. It is very roomy, big down bag, down mat, and a down jacket on and the fabric is hardly in contact with the bag around my torso (I'm 5ft 11" and weigh 220 pounds). No condensation to date, water tight in stormy conditions. I can bring my pack to bed with me when the rain is sheeting down outside and stow it in the hood – no tarp required. The eyelid style hood with the large hoop also creates a profile that sheds water and prevents puddles forming. Available in any colour, so long as its white.May 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm #2100301
thanks much for the review, I'm purchasing one solely for multi-day running adventures and the eVENT sounds like the way to go
for hiking I'll stick w/ a light pyramid shelter :)May 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm #2100339
@gbedfordLocale: Victoria, Australia
I have this bivy sack but haven't used it in a large range of conditions.
Past experience led me to add a semi-circle of fabric that covers the zip where my face is. This allows me to keep a good ventilation opening even in heavy rain.
I think the bivy sack is very good for the weight because
The wire keeps the fabric off my face and helps shedding water.
The large zip allows easy access
The netting keeps bugs away
The extra loops are useful for the reasons stated in the article
The eVent breathes well
The floor is waterproof
All the best,
GordonMay 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm #2100359
@lotuseaterLocale: Colorado Foothills
This is the kind of review that keeps me renewing my membership each summer. I appreciate you taking the time to test the bivy in varied conditions, and sharing your impressions on standard sizing, eVent vs cuben floor, and seam sealing vs taping.
After a lot of deliberation I placed a custom order for an eVent Soul bivy last November in long, extra wide (82" shoulder, 68" foot girth) with full length zip and cuben floor. I bought it primarily for winter use under a tarp, and wanted enough extra girth to avoid compression of a winter bag. Total weight came in right at 16oz. The first time out I used it in a snowstorm that my tarp couldn't keep at bay, and it came through with flying colours. So far I've used it in temps ranging between 10-25F, and I haven't noticed any condensation on my bag or inside the bivy each morning.
Regarding seam sealing vs. taping, my understanding is that the latter would add about 4oz to the overall weight if it was offered.
Ron was great to deal with throughout the custom ordering process. I wouldn't change any of the specs if I were to order this bivy a second time. I appreciate the extra space on long winter nights, and the ease of access with the full length zip.May 7, 2014 at 11:33 pm #2100370
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
…mainly in snow shelters. And an eVent bivy is (IMHO) the best of the lot.
As for the need to seam seal it myself, that's a minor "rainy day project".
Thanks for this review. Glad to find another source for an eVent bivy.May 8, 2014 at 12:32 am #2100375
Excellent review.May 8, 2014 at 3:14 am #2100381
i have always loved bivys's and what they enable me to do.
for example i also love sea fishing for bass.
what other shelter allows me to scramble up sea cliffs and sleep out on ledges above the high tide mark? que amazing outdoor experiences!May 10, 2014 at 8:39 am #2101073
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
An excellent review from Ryan as usual. It is nice to see an in depth review of an actual UL product here at BPL. Please, more like this and fewer bike packing, pack rafting, heavy pack hunting articles!May 10, 2014 at 9:25 am #2101088
@harry-nLocale: Western US
Timely as I've been thinking of returning to the single biv sack game for mostly solo (all the other shelters have had the Goldilocks problem of just bring a little off). Maybe a small cuben tarp for entry on a rainy day?May 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm #2101507
W I S N E R !Participant
I've been drooling over this bivy for years but at $355 it's just not going to happen.May 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm #2101536
Craig, why not make your own? I'm not sure about currently, but in the past i've seen eVent material for sale, and bivies are about one of the easiest things to make. Would tend to be substantially cheaper.May 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm #2101538
Craig, for a smidge more weight, but much larger for a winter bag you could look at the ID eVent Micro Bivy
$159May 12, 2014 at 12:00 am #2101555May 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm #2101663
Curious what other colors would folks like as a Soul Bivy option?
We may be able to get a second color option by splitting the dye lot on the next order.
Some folks also adding their votes for a second color on our FB page- looking like stealthy woodland/nature colors in the lede.
ThanksMay 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm #2107310
Couldn't find your Facebook page, but I'd be very interested in a brighter colour for the top. I'm considering this as an alpine/emergency bivy, and visibility is valuable to me. Bright orange is appealing :-)Feb 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm #2172952
I have been looking into this bivy bag for a while now and my question is on the durability of eVENT vs. cuben for the bottom. Is eVENT a durable material? I am thinking of going with the eVENT for the floor but am concerned with leakage over time. Any thoughts? Also, what do you all think of sleeping pad placement…inside bivy bag or external to it? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Oh, I too would like to see an option for a hooped version.Feb 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm #2172967
I find the eVENT top plenty breathable on it's own, the cuben is lighter and appears to very tough
I like the pad in, that way you won't slide off the pad- I'd consider ordering the Large regardless of size, allows use in the winter w/ a higher loft bag, more room inside to store gear and not too big a hit on weight over the Regular
maybe someone w/ a eVENT bottom can also comment
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