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Bivy Help Needed


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  • #3718807
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    I am needing help choosing a bivy. My setup is a neoair Xtherm and a quilt or bag, and I sleep under a MLD Grace Duo tarp. I expect to be sleeping in the Sierras mostly and want to keep the Xtherm in the bivy ideally.

    Thaks,

    LK

    #3718809
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

     

    Well, there’s this…

    https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/mld-superlight-solo-bivy/

    I once owned an even lighter bivy with a waterproof bottom and water resistant top. It stopped at the shoulders, so no face coverage. I think it weighed about 3 ounces. I can’t recall who made it–I bought it used and it may have been a one off to specs by a cottage manufacturer. The advantage was, it kept my bag dry while not generating a lot of condensation, because I didn’t breathe into it and the top was more breathable as well. If you’re under a tarp, a bivy will keep your bag clean as well, as you know.

    #3718811
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Katabatic Gear Bristlecone Bivy or Piñon bivy

    #3718898
    Lee W
    BPL Member

    @ltw

    Locale: Mojave Desert

    +1 for Katabatic.

    I’ve spent many nights in the old Bristlecone, new one looks like a better design with more mesh, better floor, and accommodating a 25″ pad in the standard size. Always great craftsmanship from them and reasonable lead time and price.

    #3718954
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    I 3rd the Katabatic bivys. I got the Pinon-more mesh than the Bristlecone but both would be great. I got the large wide and with my large Xlite there is plenty of room. 

    #3718988
    H W
    BPL Member

    @olddude

    fyi MLD bivys are 10 weeks out on delivery.

    #3718995
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    Are ground cloths needed under the bivy? Seems like some use them.

    #3719011
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I dont ever use ground cloths.. bivy or tent.. never had any issues or regrets. Personal preference and also, I guess, depending where you are sleeping.

    #3719018
    Zack L
    BPL Member

    @zloomis

    Do you want the bivy to be a stand-alone shelter or will it always be paired with a tarp? I used to pair a bivy with a tarp, but typically just use the weight and volume to bring a bigger tarp, but for use with a tarp I’ve been very happy with a Borah Gear bivy, and I size it up so it easily fits my pad without compressing the loft of any of my bags. I have recently gone to the MLD eVent bivy so that it can be a stand alone shelter if called upon, I feel like I give up a tiny bit of breathability and some weight and pack volume but the piece of gear is more versatile. Both options can be sized to have your pad in the bivy easily.

    #3719031
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    RE: the Pinon. If paired with a tarp, I have to wonder why not just go with a tent. You’re essentially there already.

    #3719035
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @jscott 1) Modular. I always bring a tarp in case of weather, stays in the pack unless weather is expected. The bivy alone allow for use in sites a tent may not fit in-the photo isn’t good example as there was plenty of space. Many of the desert spots I hike to don’t have ideal site for tents but many that the bivy can tuck in to. There are one person free standing tents that have almost as small of a footprint but at a large weight penalty. Also I can also get a great view of the stars from the bivy 2) Weight. The bivy and a tarp(13.7oz) are lighter and cheaper than all but the lightest one person DCF tents.

     

    As for the polycro ground sheet-Most times there is some moisture on the bottom from condensation/heat with causes dirt/gravel to stick to the underside. The groundsheet is not needed, just makes it easier to pack away bivy without dirt/debris on the bottom.

    #3719036
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Pinon with tarp vs tent.  Small footprint. No poles required. More versatile. Less weight ( possibly ). less pack volume. No bugs just sleep under tarp. Clear night no rain/snow don’t pitch tarp at all, just sleep in bivy. Just sleep on bivy if no bugs and weather is perfect.  Personal preference?

    #3719037
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    not the Pinon bivy, but here is example where a tent may not have worked as well for me. Tight spot with lots of rocks.. But I had a perfect fit.  

    #3719039
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @dirtbag I forgot the small pack size. The bivy and tarp pack down to almost comical size when compared to larger DCF tent or even my REI Quarter Dome SL1.

    The narrow spot needed for a bivy or your bug tent is really valuable feature for me. I see my friends with the Triplex searching for the perfect spot-I can setup anywhere I could lay down flat.

    There are times I would choose my Duplex tent over this setup-heavy bug pressure for example.

    #3719041
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Agree.. Heavy bug pressure I prefer the Serenity net tent, as seen in my photo above. It it was cooler weather or winter and no bugs, I would take the bivy..

    Bristlecone bivy in the snow!

    #3719044
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I will also add this. If need to sleep in shelter, the bivy is nice for added warmth, bug protection and rodent protection. No need to have the mice jumping on your face while you are catching some zzz. It also will not interfere with others in shelter.

    #3719067
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Good point about shelters. The bivy adds a decent amount of warmth. Lots of positives. Negative is small interior space-which is fine for me, I am not claustrophobic.

    #3719070
    Dustin V
    BPL Member

    @dustinv

    +1 more on the Bristlecone. I use it when I need draft prevention.

    Zip it up for bugs during the day, but when it gets cold at night, just unzip and fold back the mesh back to regain headroom. You still get a bathtub floor and a nice windbreak at the head.

    #3719071
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @ Lowell K fyi, the picture of my Bristlecone bivy in the snow.. I have my large/wide Neoair X-Therm and my 10° EE 950 Fill down quilt in there. I am currently at 5’10” , weigh 200 lbs with approximately 17.5% body fat. I am comfortable in there and it works perfectly. Also, in that photo, I did not have the face net pulled up, which is always an option if you need.

    #3719075
    Russ Bogardus
    BPL Member

    @bogardus

    Locale: Colorado Springs

    Lowell,

    I use the exact same tarp and pad as you use plus an MDL Event Soul Bivy (large and wide) and a MDL Prophet pack. All work great together between 8000 and 13000 feet in the Rockies for the spring, summer and fall seasons.

    Best wishes,

    Russ

    #3719087
    Lowell k
    BPL Member

    @drk

    @dirtbag – I read that the bivy helps keep the quilt in place and helps lessen cold air getting in when you move around. Has this been your experience?


    @Russ
    – always good to hear from someone using the exact setup and that it works. I tried the Prophet but couldn’t get the weight distribution to work.

    #3719088
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @ Lowell K .. yes for sure. Without a doubt it helps.

    #3719091
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I have a Superlight Bivy and my son has a Borah bivy. The Superlight is nicer with a a more tailored footbox and theoretically higher quality materials but I don’t think I would pay extra for it if I had it to do over again – the Borah bivy is fine and a total steal at their price point.

    I did get one of YMG’s bug bivies recently and I like the three zipper system, the extra width, and deeper bathtub. You’d have to look at Gen’s production schedule to see when he is going to release more bivies but it’s likely sooner than MLD. Related: I saw Yama hired a new sewer on IG today so maybe that means it will get a little easier to purchase their products.

    #3719097
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I also have/use Borah Gear bug bivy. I would not hesitate to use any style bivy from them either!!

    #3719219
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    Looking forward to trying out my new Borah bug bivy. I like the way you can customize width and/or length. They were really communicative and easy/pleasant to work with. In my dotage I’m coming to require a wider pad.

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