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New from Blue Bolt – 18.3oz Ultralight 1 person Bivy Tent


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  • #3756067
    Huzefa @ Blue Bolt Gear
    BPL Member

    @huzefa

    Locale: Himalayas

    After 2 year of testing the product in the Himalayas and making continuous improvements,
    we are ready to take preorders for one of the lightest (18.3oz) and most compact (1.5L) single person shelter on the market. You can learn more and pre order here: https://blueboltgear.com/product/bivytent/

    10% off code for BPL member valid till 31st July 2022: BPL10OFF

    Feel free to ask me questions in comments or by email at [email protected]

    Blue Bolt Bivy Tent

    #3756170
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    Interesting. If you had a stealthy green color option it might help your sales.

    15D ripstop silpoly, that’s pretty unique. Every other shelter I’ve seen made with polyester is 20D.

    Do you have any videos available so as to give the potential customer a better idea of how much space the bivy tent provides? Like a YouTube video for example. The concept is good but the bright circus colors not so much.

    Okay I see the Dutchman has a YouTube video from a year ago. I assume the bivy tent has undergone some changes since then. Peter says “very roomy”, but it looks narrow. Maybe a new video with full screen view would be nice.

    YouTube video

    #3756190
    Huzefa @ Blue Bolt Gear
    BPL Member

    @huzefa

    Locale: Himalayas

    Hi Monte,

    We have offer 2 colors: Red and Egg Blue. I understand these might not be suitable for everyone and I appreciate your feedback for stealth green color option. We can do any custom color as per customer request using 20d silnylon or silpoly.

    Yes 15D ripstop is unique. Its custom made fabric with 4000mm rating.

    >Do you have any videos available so as to give the potential customer a better idea of how much space the bivy tent provides?

    I have video which still requires editing but check this:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ct7i1S83EMeMN8Jh9

    In the new version the internal volume is increased by increasing the width in the foot end from 20 inches to 24 inches and also by adding side guy lines at the area where the shoulder touches the fly.

    Blue Bolt Bivy Tent

    Blue Bolt Bivy Tent

    #3756222
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I’m guessing that condensation must be an issue. Still, it’s far more roomy than a bivy, which is a very good thing!

    #3756232
    simon t
    BPL Member

    @slippery-salmon

    Congratulations.  Some very cool design features.

    I’d love to see a video of her in high winds with measurements.

    #3756478
    Christopher S
    BPL Member

    @chrisisinclair

    Very cool. Can the vents be closed?

    #3756482
    Huzefa @ Blue Bolt Gear
    BPL Member

    @huzefa

    Locale: Himalayas

    Hi Christopher, Thanks! The back vent can be closed with a zipper. This is useful in very windy conditions. We have used a breathable nylon fabric with DWR in the vent cover so that there is still some breathability. Other vents stay open.

    #3756562
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Very nice design. The sleeping bag touching the bivy tent during rains will wet the sleeping bag is what I fear – which happens even in bigger tents at head and foot ends. Here it may happen all over as you toss around in the night?

    #3756584
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Think it’ll be a winning design the more I look at it (you should widen your audience.. I can think of a few thru hikers for 2023 who’d consider this), ..  but color wise, many prefer light green to gray (aesthetics, being low impact visually), though having 2 tones of color really works too.

    5 stakes including the side guy outs is pretty competitive.  Another selling point as some shelters out there need 8.

    18.3 oz itself is very competitive with a lot of shelters out there too..

    Can it fit a full length inflatable pad?

    #3756601
    David U
    BPL Member

    @the-family-guy

    I think condensation management is going to be an issue here.  Hopefully I am incorrect.

    #3756608
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    Overall this bivy tent looks very impressive. Just one change I think could make it a real hit.

    I would seriously consider building a prototype with venting where floor and fly meet by making the floor floating and attaching both with about 3″ of noseeum mesh in between. You can see in the video link below of the Big Agnes Platinum 1 what I’m talking about and really it’s pretty close in concept and size to the Blue Bolt. I’m just afraid without venting along the sides condensation will be off the charts. Wouldn’t be that much of a modification and would probably increase sales by quite a bit. Otherwise I think the Blue Bolt has some real design advantages over the Platinum 1 such as being a lot more aerodynamic, having a vestibule to store pack in and being made with 15D ripstop silpoly instead of 7D silnylon (with very low HH). I believe you could have a real winner with side venting, but without it a condensation factory.

    https://www.bigagnes.com/Scout-1-Platinum

    You can somewhat see the side venting where floor and fly meet in this pic of the BA Platinum 1.

    #3756615
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    If you want a true 4 season Blue Bolt then forget side venting and offer another version with a WPB Pertex Shield fly. Of course weight and price would increase considerably, but you’d still be a lot lighter than say the 2 lb Rab Ridge Raider and provide a lot more space. There’s a reason why virtually all hooped 4 season bivys are made with WPB materials. Without it they’d be saunas.

    #3756624
    Christopher S
    BPL Member

    @chrisisinclair

    TLDR at the end :-D

    Pertex Shield sucks – last material I would use for this honestly for a waterproof breathable material. I have experimented a lot with making my own bivies out of WPB textiles if you are ever interested in this route – keep in mind however it will drastically increase the production cost of your shelter. I could see it being a great value-added option though and you could have two lines of the same shelter with the same production people and different fly fabrics.

    By far the best materials I have used in terms of condensation management (in order):

    Best: Polartec Powershield Pro (same membrane as Neoshell but a a higher CFM and lower HH)

    Good: eVent made by GE (the lighter weight one with less HH and slightly higher CFM / MVTR – GE makes many varieties of eVent)

    Terrible: Goretex in comparison fared very poorly in condensation management compared to the two above. I was not at all surprised by this. I did not try other membranes.

    For my own use I now only use air permeable membranes for both shelters and garments (with the exception of the DWR-less membranes like Outdry EX which I like a lot but are impossible to find actual fabric – if anyone ever sees overruns though I would love to experiment with it in a shelter!). I completely ignore the MVTR measurement as it seems like it is designed to tell you how much a fabric can “breathe” in fancy lab conditions only (breathe meaning pass water – not air – you literally cannot breathe through goretex at all). Instead of I have found that in the real world fabrics with a higher CFM out perform similar fabrics with a lower CFM in terms of condensation and comfort. Most electrospun PU membrane textiles are made for garment use and have a stretchy polyester type face fabric (usually pretty thick) but occasionally textiles that are designed to not stretch will popup that have something like a 100% nylon face or similar – this is exactly what I would use for a shelter.

    In a garment this does indeed make a big difference ( I am WAY more comfortable in a powershield pro jacket than goretex even with zero mechanical ventillation ) but of course if I start working hard I can overcome (ie sweat a lot) even the best membranes quite easily. However for shelter use I have found the WPB fabrics an awesome choice as the requirements are not nearly as high – you are not going to be sweating like crazy inside your shelter vs running up a hill – and even in the worst conditions I almost never have condensation. All the fabric needs to do is pass the small amount of condensation your body produces as you sleep or rest. I do not recommend of course cooking inside a shelter but I have even tested bivies by putting a boiling stove inside (with precautions and without myself inside) to really produce a ton of moisture and the powershield pro bivy worked surprisingly well. It basically filled with water vapor/condensation and then vented that off fairly quickly even with it fully zipped up. The goretex bivy bv comparison turned into a little ice box with frozen water covering the walls and floor.

    Most single skin tent manufacturers are moving to air permeable membranes (such as Neoshell and Powershield Pro) already. The new Pertex Shield Air (which Rab has switched to from eVent) is also air permeable and I suspect is just Neoshell relicensed to Pertex to use with their expertise in very light face fabrics. Rab now uses this fabric in their Latok line of tents and their 4 season bivies. TNF has switched to their own air permeable membrane for their mountaineering tents. Outdoor Research uses Ascentshell in their new bivies (another air permeable electrospun polyurethane membrane). etc etc.

    I also have a bivy from Big Agnes called the Three Wire bivy that is amazing and has awesome condensation management – it uses the same fabric they use in their Shield line of single skin mountaineering tents. I confirmed that it is also an air permeable electrospun membrane (do not know why they dont advertise this – seems like a big miss on their part). It has a small little tag from a european company ( I think from Spain ) I had never heard of – I am guessing they must make a comparable electrospun membrane/textile to the above but more affordable – I can get you the name if your interested. Based on the fact that BA has such a massive discount for American Alpine club members this fabric must be significantly cheaper or they would be losing big money here.

    I would personally NOT recommend doing side venting at all near the floor like Monte is recommending (no offense) – that is a very bad idea for a 4 season shelter. It is obvious this thing is designed to account for wind blown snow and the Big Agnes tent linked above is not that style of tent. If anything I would add a traditional mountaineering style tunnel vent halfway up one of the outer fly sections – or even offer this as a custom option for more money. My main concern was actually the low vents at the ends (in terms of snow) and it sounds like one more more can be adjusted or closed. In addition the way they have angled the vent covers / sides reminds me a lot of very effective tunnel tent 4 season designs – very effective if you angle the tent in the right direction so that it slips through the wind instead of fighting it and you can “catch” a small amount of that same wind into the vents and get some nice cross ventilation going. Setting up the tent properly in these conditions is key (would be great actually if you had a video or instructions on how to do this in general – no manufacturers really talk about this – tunnel tents have a very specific orientation they are ideal in) as you can get some of that wind to help you ventilate your shelter but also angle it in a way that most wind blown snow is not flying inside.

    I have also been experimenting with a new fabric called Monolite Mesh – would highly recommend checking this out – it is almost in between a solid fabric and a mesh. It is also very light and seems marketed toward hammocks but I overall like it much better than mesh and it seems significantly more durable. It still has what feels like a pretty high CFM but I bet would physically also block more crap than a true mesh (by block I mean a very small amount of snow – it is definitely not at all waterproof of course). Could be an interesting option for vents – especially if the vent had a zipper to go from fully open to fully monolite mesh closed to maybe even fully closed closed. In shit weather its nice to be able to customize the venting based on the amount of wind and amount of snow and ice blowing around trying its best to freeze you. More wind generally means more snow / precip and needing to really tighten everything down / close up vents but at the same time means more airflow that can be used creatively in a smaller vent for condensation / internal airflow.

    Offering a premium guyline option would also be cool – I saw that Dan Durston seems to be doing this with his shelters now – in my opinion one of the best things you can do with a shelter is upgrade to really high quality cordage. Big difference in how easy things knot, especially when the conditions are bad and you are wearing thick gloves, and the cost and time is minimal. Lawson equipment line I have found just blows everyone else out of the water – I personally like the 2.5mm stuff the best along with the 3mm as it is the skinniest line I have found that still knots super easily even while wearing gloves. And of course some variety in stakes would be awesome too as when snow conditions vary the requirements change a lot. I personally really like DAC medium or large sized stakes for hard ground / ice + an aluminum deadman style stake (like a tiny snow fluke) for burying in soft snow. And then little strong metal rings for rigging multiple guylines to one extra strong anchor (such as a ski or snowshoe or ice axe) can also be nice in some conditions.

    TLDR because I wrote a huge wall of text:

    1. I like the design a lot – would be great to have more photos / videos on how to use it specifically in 4 season conditions. Manufacturers never give instructions on how to properly angle a tunnel tent.

    2. Custom options for more money would be cool such as a mountaineering tunnel vent on the fly (or monolite mesh instead of noseeum) or halfmoon zippered mountaineering vents and increase your profits.

    3. Much more expensive version would be cool with a fly made from any of the electrospun polyurethane membranes that are air permeable. Or if its cheaper then use eVent.

    4. Your photography is not bad but could also be better – make this thing look cool! If you are ever in California would be happy to take some

    5. Internal guylines are awesome – make every external guy out point also have a true internal loop –  minimal weight increase for big benefits in shit weather – Slingfin does this and I love it.

    6. Depending on the size/shape a detacheable strap system on the outside of the floor could be interesting for attaching a CCF pad to the outside bottom?

     

    Overall though I like this project a lot and there is not enough similar stuff happening in the 4 season space!

    #3756635
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    Lots of good info on WPB fabrics Christopher, but the side venting recommendation I made for the Blue Bolt would of course be for 3 season use, not 4 season. I personally wouldn’t dream of doing winter in the Blue Bolt unless it was in fact made with a WPB fabric. I’d offer 2 models, a side vented 3 season one and a WPB 4 season model made the way it is now without any side venting.

    I agree that what Huzefa is doing is something that’s been needed for quite awhile. Much to like about the Blue Bolt. No one has yet to come up with a really good bivy tent. The Big Sky International Wisp bivy tent is just too large (especially footprint) and a condensation factory and the BA Scout Platinum 1 fails on many levels

    In terms of 4 season WPB bivies, the largest and best looking one I’ve seen is the Lightwave Stormchaser. Weighs only 522 g and is made with Lightwave’s proprietary X-Tec fabric that many reviewers rave on about, but I have no firsthand experience. Something a little larger yet would be great (like a Blue Bolt in WPB fabric) https://www.lightwave.uk.com/product/shop/stormchaser

    #3756636
    Huzefa @ Blue Bolt Gear
    BPL Member

    @huzefa

    Locale: Himalayas

    Thank you Christopher, Monte and others for your valuable inputs.

    I will reply to your feedback and questions in detail tomorrow.

    Simon asked for a video of the tent in windy conditions. I have made one comparing the wind performance of V1 and V2.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ge56Eax15omAcZwb9

    #3756647
    simon t
    BPL Member

    @slippery-salmon

    Huzefa, greatly appreciated!  Looks like some serious wind.

    #3756649
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I have to say that V1 looks like a bit of fail. No way would I want to be camped in it! Not for a whole night of bad weather.

    V2 is a bit better, but in my humble opinion there is still far too much flapping going on. That needs to be significantly reduced. More lengthwise tension might help a bit, but then there is a huge load on the fabric at the top of the pole.

    Or, maybe, perhaps, the design is just not meant for high winds? Not all designs can handle that.

    Cheers

    #3756655
    Christopher S
    BPL Member

    @chrisisinclair

    Just watched the videos – seems like neither is pitched very well? The V1 especially has a bunch of guylines not very tight. With everything super tight and high tension would be interesting to see how it fares.

    I agree with Roger though about the top of the poles – that is a lot of tension just on a piece of fabric (especially with seams right around where the poles go in). Some kind of little harness or something to distribute the force might work much better – you could flip the poles upside down with the handles down and have something that captures the fatter handles nicely and then inside the top little hat thing have grommets that the pole ends are designed to stick into and webbing or some other way to distribute the force. The thing that unclips out of the Gatewood cape from SMD would be potentially a good fit for this. It wouldnt even necessarily need to go inside (under) the fabric – could be full external poles.

    Or potentially you could include something like the Locus Gear DPTE that is designed to fit your shelter and then any pole could stick into it. Or even a little mini strut / hard pieced thing at the top.

    #3757058
    Huzefa @ Blue Bolt Gear
    BPL Member

    @huzefa

    Locale: Himalayas

    simont, jsscott, Murali, David, Monte, Christopher, Roger

    Thank you for the questions, feedback and appreciation.

    Regarding the pitch video, I agree that pitching can be improved. We didn’t have extra stakes for v2 side guy lines, so we had to use stones and those were not ideal.

    The v1 is pitched with only 1 peg in the rear (old configuration) which is not very stable in side winds. Once the rear moves, the entire side walls loses the tension. On the other hand, v2 was pitched with 3 pegs in rear (new configuration) which is far more stable.

    Roger & Christopher,
    Are you guys implying that the load on the fabric at the top of the pole is affecting the length wise tension and flapping? The connection is not clear to me. Can you explain further?

    I see the stress point in top area. The top cap area where poles fit in reinforced with 200d nylon from underside, so in terms of durability, its not been a problem in field test. Other ideas of using harness (like gatewood cape), strut/ hard pc, making the poles external are all good suggestions from Christopher.

    Regard condensation issue, we field tested the Bivy Tent under many different conditions (windy, no wind, clear sky, cloudy sky, rain and snow) and at time we got no condensation even in no wind/ clear sky conditions (which is condensation prone). At other times, condensation was an issue. Pitching the rear in direction of the wind and proper ventilation is the key.

    Monte & Christoper, thank you very much for ideas for improving condensation management by adding side vents in 3 season version and using WPB fabric in 4 season version.

    Christopher,
    It’s interesting that you mentioned Monolite Mesh. We are using the same mesh for the vents in this tent for protection from wind blown rain and snow. This detail is missing on the product page. Thank you for your feedback on side tunnel vents, premium guylines and tent stake options.

    Ripstopbytheroll has a 1.4 oz 10D WPB fabric which cost $20.5 per yard. If someone is interested, I can do a build 4 season version with this fabric and can customise it with internal guy lines, side tunnel vents, premium guy lines, stakes etc as per requirements.

    HkNewman asked if Bivy Tent can fit a full length inflatable pad.

    Yes, it can fit full length inflatable pad.

    #3757107
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Are you guys implying that the load on the fabric at the top of the pole is affecting the length wise tension and flapping?
    That is not quite the right way of expressing it.
    The lengthwise tension will affect the load on the poles: simple geometry tells us that.
    Also, the lengthwise tension will affect the amount of flapping. When there is little tension, the fabric will flap a lot. When the tension is high enough there will be little or no flapping.

    The amount of flapping will also depend on the angle of the wind relative to the tent. If the end anchorage is good, there won’t be too much flapping of the sides. If the end is not well-anchored and stable, there will be lots of flapping, which can be damaging.

    Cheers

    #3757124
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    A 4 season WPB Blue Bolt bivy tent might be even more marketable than the silpoly version. It would be more expensive and heavier to be sure, however the demand might be greater. Of course you wouldn’t need any side venting using a WPB material. Lightwave produces a 1.1 kilo freestanding WPB 4 season tent (which is almost always out of stock) https://www.lightwave.uk.com/products/tents/sigma-0?product=product1 but something lighter and in between the size of a bivy and the Lightwave Sigma S 10 might be a real hit.

    There is a real dearth in large to extra large sized WPB hooped (or in BB’s case trekking pole supported) bivys. One of the best, the Big Agnes Three Wire, is basically unobtainable and not in stock anywhere. The Rab Ridge Raider is kind of heavy at 1 kilo and a little pricey. But a larger WPB bivy tent that comes in around 25 oz might gain some real traction in the world marketplace. I don’t know anything about RSBTR’s 10D WPB material, but I’m sure something adequate could be sourced..

     

    #3757131
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    If there was some way to keep the sleeping bag from touching the outer material, then it will be an attractive option I think. Maybe one more set of guylines near the foot end like what you have will prevent sides from touching the sleeping bag near the feet. Or some dry cleaning hanger guides inside to keep the sleeping bag in place or maybe just some cord like how you they have for quilts to attach to the sleeping pad. This way, you prevent yourself from moving in the night to touch the sides.

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