The SOL Escape Bivvy
May 14, 2014 at 6:55 am #2102250Robert PerkinsSpectator
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
I tried one of these on for size at my local REI store yesterday because the thought of having a breathable bivy really excited me! While it may work as an emergency bivy or a really warm weather bivy/sleep sack, it's not going to fit the bill for me due to its small size. I tried it with a couple of different sized sleeping pads in it, ( Z-Rest, UL7 ), and crawled in with a sleeping bag and could barely move once inside. I am 5'10", 185 lbs FWIW, and this bivy left me feeling like I was in a cocoon! If they come out with a larger model, this may be a great option as part of a sleep system, but not quite there yet for me anyways. I suppose I could leave the pad on the outside, but I like having the pad inside for protection and keeping it in place.Jul 28, 2014 at 11:54 am #2122948Christoph BlankBPL Member
I'm curious – what are you suggesting to use these for?
It sounds very nice, but I wonder since usually a bivy is more waterproof, especially in snowy/wet conditions when it's cold..
I'm myself also looking for an emergency bivy, maybe also as a backup for when it is too cold.. but I'm not sure what to chose.Jul 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm #2122977Brett PeughBPL Member
I like the fabric because it is really soft to the touch and it will keep you somewhat warm that is why I want a sheet of it to use as a blanket but AMK is not making such things out of it yet. The bivy is a bit too small for my 6’5” 230# side sleeping self but a blanket of the stuff would be fabu along with a tarp/poncho for the summer and shoulder seasons. I really don’t want to buy one to tear it apart but I might just have to as newegg has some for $30.
I just called them and they said there is a double sized one coming out the fall after this.Nov 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm #2148784Tjaard BreeuwerBPL Member
@tjaardLocale: Minnesota, USA
Some mentioned the 'lite' being the same fabric.
According to their video, the 'lite' uses a lighter wright fabric.Nov 13, 2014 at 6:29 am #2148888Tyler NMember
Funny – I actually just used this as part of a shelter system 2 weeks ago.
I wanted to catch the changing leaves so headed to a WMA for a 1-night hike/packraft/camp excursion; I've also been waiting to test some gear and adjust for upcoming trips.
I got the SOL Bivy (in green! fancy) as a car/daypack emergency blanket upgrade; here in the SE this would suffice in many 3-season temps for an unexpected over-nighter.
Bottom line: it worked ok. I combined it w/a separate S2S fleece liner; coldest temp hit about 58˚ at 4:00am. I was in a BearPaw Net Tent 1.5; no tarp since wind was light & I could see the stars. My biggest gripe was the bivy tapering towards the legs. Usually I don't toss& turn much but I was sore & wished I had more room to periodically stretch out my legs. +1 Robert – A larger cut would make this more comfortable
I think there may be better solutions at this price/performance range – the flat blanket may work better & provide more flexibility in use. +1 on Heatsheet idea Dale. Still, the SOL packs small & light & at least replaces the ubiquitous (but useless) mylar "emergency blankets" from 20 years ago.Jan 15, 2015 at 5:29 am #2164761Brett PeughMember
I got one of these to test out and slept in it in my room at about 68F with only a pair of Ex Officio Boxers on and OR Echo T. I mainly used it as a quilt with the zipper part fully open and it coming up past my shoulders. I felt comfortable in that but not overly warm. The nice thing was there no condensation. I will be able to test it this weekend in temps closer to 55-60F so I will see how that goes. If all goes well I may modify it to be much more like a quilt than it is currently. It is just that there are not many options that fill that niche inbetween nothing and a 40F quilt.Aug 5, 2018 at 4:59 am #3549909Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Hey Brett..its been a few years, did you manage to test this thing below 60F?
CheersAug 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm #3549975John S.BPL Member
Bike racers seem to use these too.Aug 5, 2018 at 11:38 pm #3549997David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I used the SOL Escape Bivvy, 8.4 ounces, as my primary shelter on Adak 10 days ago. 48F and blowing at night, low cloud ceilings (so very high %RH), and it drizzled a little bit at night. For one night out, with a 30F down quilt on a 48″ pad, it was fine. I was warm enough with a fleece beanie hat on and could have tucked the bivy tighter around my face. But my down quilt was definitely wetted out a bit after one night. Maybe okay for another such night, but it would have only been viable for multi-night trips if you had a chance to air out your quilt/bag in the sun, during the day.
It gave me a lot of peace of mind knowing that I could bivouac almost anywhere should the weather turn, my ankle turn, or the visibility disappear. Now that I’ve successfully used it overnight, it will give me even more peace of mind.
Almost anywhere else, I could have camped under a tree for more protection from rain and radiant heat loss, but Adak is treeless and usually windy. So we were completely in the open (and because we wanted to notice if any caribou walked anywhere nearby). In most places, “48F, blowing, and high RH” could have mitigated more with good site selection.
There was enough room inside for me (6’0″, 185 lbs), an inflatable sleeping pad and my down quilt. I couldn’t bring my knees up very much, but I could turn over and around and it surprised me how well my down quilt stayed in place, above me, where it belongs.Aug 6, 2018 at 4:29 am #3550054Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
That’s a useful summary David, thanks :-)Aug 9, 2018 at 3:03 am #3550622Edward John MBPL Member
Re the comment about being tight fitting.
I own one, it’s tight on me when wearing clothing as you would in a survival situation, I have a 1170mm chest circumference which when added to my folded arms adds up.
It does fit neatly inside my winter sleeping bags however and I am thinking about using mine as a partial VB liner as it does weigh about the same as the silk liner I need to replaceSep 14, 2018 at 3:17 am #3555789Edward John MBPL Member
A question for long time users of this item?
I’ve used it once so far and I found it far from breathable at -8C and woke up in the early AM with a damp synthetic SB, have other users also found that it may not always be breathable>?
I suggested its use as a partial VB on another forum and got flamed so before I post a response I thought I’d ask here as there are far more users of these products in the USA than OZ, similar scenario with my other Tyvek SB cover too at different times. I supposed its use as a liner based on my second nite in the bag and using it on the inside while wearing the same synthetic suit of armourm DAS pants and a Nanobivvy top.
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