Bivy Help Needed
Jun 15, 2021 at 4:44 pm #3718807Jun 15, 2021 at 5:20 pm #3718809jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Well, there’s this…
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.Jun 15, 2021 at 5:50 pm #3718811
Katabatic Gear Bristlecone Bivy or Piñon bivyJun 15, 2021 at 9:20 pm #3718898Lee WBPL Member
@ltwLocale: 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.Jun 16, 2021 at 4:24 pm #3718954
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.Jun 16, 2021 at 8:01 pm #3718988H WBPL Member
fyi MLD bivys are 10 weeks out on delivery.Jun 16, 2021 at 9:43 pm #3718995
Are ground cloths needed under the bivy? Seems like some use them.Jun 17, 2021 at 4:55 am #3719011
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 7:27 am #3719018Zack LBPL Member
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 9:36 am #3719031jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: 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.Jun 17, 2021 at 10:19 am #3719035
@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.Jun 17, 2021 at 10:24 am #3719036
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?Jun 17, 2021 at 10:29 am #3719037
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 10:32 am #3719039
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 10:36 am #3719041
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!Jun 17, 2021 at 10:39 am #3719044
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 11:23 am #3719067
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 12:26 pm #3719070Dustin VBPL Member
+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.Jun 17, 2021 at 12:38 pm #3719071
@ 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.Jun 17, 2021 at 12:49 pm #3719075Russ BogardusBPL Member
@bogardusLocale: Colorado Springs
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.
RussJun 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm #3719087
@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.Jun 17, 2021 at 4:27 pm #3719088
@ Lowell K .. yes for sure. Without a doubt it helps.Jun 17, 2021 at 5:20 pm #3719091matthew kModerator
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.Jun 17, 2021 at 7:24 pm #3719097
I also have/use Borah Gear bug bivy. I would not hesitate to use any style bivy from them either!!Jun 18, 2021 at 8:36 pm #3719219obx hikerBPL Member
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.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Our Community Posts are Moderated
Backpacking Light community posts are moderated and here to foster helpful and positive discussions about lightweight backpacking. Please be mindful of our values and boundaries and review our Community Guidelines prior to posting.