Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

just4tehhalibut
Posts: 1152
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:02 am
Location: Spearwood, WA

Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby just4tehhalibut » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:30 am

Yes, I know that there's already a thread about tents however I want specific discussion on bivvy bags, bivi tents, bivouacs, cocoons, whatever you want to call them. A few on BNA have used them, I never have but am wondering if one would suit me and what people recommend. Hokay?

To give you some background I sometimes pedal down south to stay with friends, I don't lug a 2kg tent with me because of the unneeded weight and bulk however there have been times on these 250km trips where I'd wished that I'd carried some small shelter so that I could just pull over somewhere and freecamp, as opposed to doing a 250km overnight commute. I already have a Wilderness Equipment Dart UL tent which I can pitch in minutes without the need for tent pegs, best described as a 1.5 person tent it weighs just over 2kg and can be a bit of a struggle to insert the 3 poles or deal with twisting sheets in a wind or the dark. Plus it has a peaked profile and orange coversheet that doesn't help with stealth camping, takes a bit of space to insert and remove the poles, a bit of time to pack it up carefully.

I've seen some bivvy tents that use a single pole to provide breathing space around your head and to keep the buzzing mosquitos away from your ears, weight 0.6 to 0.9kg, pack away to fit easily between drop bars, deploy in seconds. I'm guessing that most would recommend something like the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy? Pricey but doesn't need pegs.
Image
There's the MacPac Bush Cocoon Bivvy which is side opening. It also uses a guyrope to provide foot space. 1 kg.
Image
Kathmandu has the very cheap and very lightweight cocoon-style bag, the Bivy XT. Only 0.6kg but it uses two guylines to provide headspace.
Image
Then there's the plethora-of-poles approach like Black Wolf's Cocoon Bivy. 1.1kg, 3 poles and packs longer than even my Ortlieb rear panniers can allow let alone fitting between the dropbars.
Image

Having looked at a few of these styles I want something under 1kg, packs real small, deploys and packs away very quickly, has only one pole and no need for guylines or pegs, doesn't cost as much as a good tent, doesn't come in screaming yellow or orange, has weather protection but also mesh about the face so i can breathe insect-free, doesn't trap condensation, can handle me moving about in my attempts to sleep (I need to change positions often). Something that I can pack for the trip and forget about, not a pannier gobstopper. I'm leaning towards the OR Alpine Bivy above but it's pricey and hard to get. What else would work?

As I said, I've only ever tented, never used a bivvy. So, what am I missing?

User avatar
pbekkerh
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:05 am
Location: Odense, Danmark

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby pbekkerh » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:00 am

Why bother with a bivuak sack when you can have a real tent at 950g or 770g?

http://www.campz.dk/nordisk-telemark-tu ... 42248.html
http://www.campz.dk/nordisk-telemark-tu ... 42253.html

[img]http://images.internetstores.de/products/Telemark_1_ULW_red[1000x700].jpg?forceSize=true&forceAspectRatio=true[/img]
Ghost SE7000
Ghost AMR 7500+
Boreas Aër
Bike Friday Tikit Hyperfold
Trailer Extrawheel I & II

just4tehhalibut
Posts: 1152
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:02 am
Location: Spearwood, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby just4tehhalibut » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:10 am

Price is $700-800, has a large footprint and conspicuous height, only one pole but needs all those guylines and pegs to stay up.

User avatar
pbekkerh
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:05 am
Location: Odense, Danmark

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby pbekkerh » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:20 am

I have an Akto(same model as the Telemark) and it needs only 4 pegs, no lines, they're optional in a storm.
Ghost SE7000
Ghost AMR 7500+
Boreas Aër
Bike Friday Tikit Hyperfold
Trailer Extrawheel I & II

User avatar
Aushiker
Posts: 21906
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Aushiker » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:19 am

When I completed my end to end of the Bibblumun Track I used a bivy something along the lines of the Kathamandu one you have mentioned, i.e., a basic one with insect net/zip up cover over the face. For what I wanted it for, an emergency shelter it did the trick. IIRC I used it three times; once on a freezing cold night to sleep close to the fire, once at temporary campsite (slept under the picnic table as rain was likely) and once south of Denmark to escape the mozzies.

After the walk I returned the bivvy to its rightful owner and haven't bothered with one since as I tend to walk/tour in the spring/winter/autumn when rain is more common and being out in a bivvy when it rains is not fun as others I have bushwalked with have learnt.

That said for what you have in mind I would suggest it is worth considering a minimalist bivvy (that packs small, weighs little and is stealth) but maybe with a lightweight tarp for those trips where rain is expected. I have also done a couple of bushwalks just using a tarp but gave that idea away pretty quickly ... amazing amount of condensation on the dry night and in the rain well it was not fun :)

Andrew
Last edited by Aushiker on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

User avatar
Wingnut
Posts: 882
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:01 pm
Location: Mornington Peninsula...

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Wingnut » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:46 am

I considered one awhile back, after my research the one I liked the most was the RAB Ridge Master but I ended up getting a One Planet Goondie 30D tent instead...

Image

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:19 pm

I'm bound to be flamed by the more weight conscious but I often carry as well as a tent, my Macpac Cocoon and a tarp.
When I'm ready to stop riding its sometimes due to being somewhat pooped and I don't always have the faculties when I'm shattered to be
great at finding a good camping spot suitable for the footprint of a tent.
Its rare indeed that I can't find room amongst some scrub for my Cocoon.
There are occasions where its just great to throw down some ground sheeting, plonk what ever is passing as mattress, roll out the bivy (and if necessary utilise the tarp if weathers dodgy) and crawl in and sleep.

For my Mudgee to WA tour I only utilised the bivy and never broke out the tent.

Macpac seems to keep doing away with their "face hoop" when ever I'm in the market for a bivy.
I'm now onto my seconnd one and have never experienced the luxury of a hoop to keep the fabric off my face.
Their current "Bush" model has the hoop and I can say for the first few nights sleep in them I believe the hoop would be a great thing due to fabric on the face causes, me at least, some initial feeling of claustrophobia.

My initial foray into Macpacs bivybags gave me the enthusiasm to buy another once, after more than a decade of use, the first became less than water resistant and the seams started to delaminate.
I had great success with their old "reflex" material which they still utilise for some of their rainwear.
My new Cocoon is made up of two materials unlike the first, in that the bottom is made of "torrent wear" like Macpacs tent floors, and the top is Event.
I've not tried it in inclement weather yet so can't offer a review.

It is however my favourite green with I put down to my ongoing success in stealth camping without harassment.

I only recently discovered that my tent has highly reflective guy ropes and Macpac insignature logo sewn into it. :shock:
My new Wilderness tarp has similar issues.
I'll have to report back at a later date as to wether the new Cocoon offers similar problems.
Great for emergency location I'm sure, but certainly not assisting my freedom camping. :roll:

On a cautionary note, be careful with the deet insect repellant. . :idea:
In fact I'd suggest utilising something different as I blame the deet for the rapid breakdown of my old bivy.
Deet can be extremely detrimental to plastics and nylons so its a toss up between mossie attack and longevity of your bivy.

I'll just add that one man tents are commonly much less than 2kg.
I don't think you'd get a bivy for a big weight savings per say but perhaps as importantly a savings of bulk even with a tarp.
My Macpac Microlight I believe is around 1.6kg with pegs/guys etc whilst my bivy is approx 600g and Wilderness Ultralight Tarp (medium) 700g.
The bivy and tarp make for a smaller (bulk) package - this being more pertinent now with the bigger interest in bike-packing.
(My auto spell check is going to be the death of me due to it keeps changing words :evil: )
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 9619
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby RonK » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:08 pm

Why would you want to sleep in a claustrophobic coffin? I've tried it and disliked it intensely. And talk about condensation...

On the other hand you could sleep comfortably in this Tarptent DW Moment.

One kilogram, one pole, one minute pitch.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

dalai47
Posts: 1610
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:28 am
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby dalai47 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:32 pm

I recently bought a Big Agnes fly creek UL1 weighing 936g for the Mawson Trail in May. I am considering a bivvy sack for shorter trips due to the reduced weight and bulk...

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:54 pm

RonK wrote:Why would you want to sleep in a claustrophobic coffin? I've tried it and disliked it intensely. And talk about condensation...

On the other hand you could sleep comfortably in this Tarptent DW Moment.

One kilogram, one pole, one minute pitch.

I'm sure there is nothing wrong with the DW and its weight is lower than the bivy/tarp combo.
No issue at all for caravan park camping.

On the other hand, absolutely no use what so ever, compared to a bivy, in wild camping spots with overhanging branches lower than a metre.
There is a longevity penalty for that gossamer fabric weight although thats a poor way of me pointing out my reservations about its robustness.
The bivy has some advantages over a tent in where you can sleep including put down and pack up times.

Yes I agree, condensation "can" be (not "is") an issue (like many tents ) - but in my experience, its your sleeping bag that retains any problem moisture and this is easily rectified by putting out your bag to dry either whilst your having lunch or in the hours before dusk when you've found a camp - early morning frosty breakfasts aren't the best solution by comparasin.
You only forget to do this "once" on a trip and get very good at remembering post this occasion.
I utilised my relatively heavy down sleeping bag for my East to West tour and I was amazed at how quickly a damp bag once hoisted up the branch of a tree or even layed out on hot tarmac becomes bone dry.
It was a non issue for me despite my being initially worried about it.

I love the luxury of a tent, but to me, this is what it is - "a Luxury".
Both solutions are fantastic compared to sleeping on the ground or park bench, picnic table or bus stop.
I don't believe one is ultimately superior to the other and as such I utilise both at my discretion and/or convenience.
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

User avatar
Aushiker
Posts: 21906
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Aushiker » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:48 pm

RonK wrote:On the other hand you could sleep comfortably in this Tarptent DW Moment.


I am a fan of Tarptent product and I own a Scarp 1 but I would based on my experience treat the claimed weight with some caution ... probably closer 1.2 kg in reality. That said I wouldn't say no to one :)

Andrew
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

User avatar
Wingnut
Posts: 882
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:01 pm
Location: Mornington Peninsula...

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Wingnut » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:36 pm

RonK wrote:Why would you want to sleep in a claustrophobic coffin? I've tried it and disliked it intensely. And talk about condensation...

On the other hand you could sleep comfortably in this Tarptent DW Moment.

One kilogram, one pole, one minute pitch.


I slept in a swag for 6 months...nice and cosy, ceiling opened up to mesh allowing you to look at the stars at night...many of today's bivy's are just lightweight swags so condensation is less of an issue...

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:39 pm

Wingnut wrote:
I slept in a swag for 6 months...nice and cosy, ceiling opened up to mesh allowing you to look at the stars at night...many of today's bivy's are just lightweight swags so condensation is less of an issue...


I look forward to finding out if the E-vent fabric is an improvement over the older Reflex that Macpac utilised, with regards condensation.
Having a more water proof "floor" of torrentwear should in theory make for less condensation when matched with the more breathable Event fabric.
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

zebee
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:37 am

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby zebee » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:12 am

IF you trot over to http://bushwalk.com/forum/index.php you will find discussions of bivvy bags in the equipment section. Also useful info on tarps. Check the Ultralight subforum specifically and ask there about light gear.

You can sometimes find them for sale 2nd hand on that site as well, plus notifications of sales at shops, and instructions on making your own in the MYOG area. Tiergear.com.au has all the kit for making your own if you incline that way.

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:05 pm

zebee wrote:IF you trot over to http://bushwalk.com/forum/index.php you will find discussions of bivvy bags in the equipment section. .


Equipment section:

http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18201

From the above linked Bushwalk site:
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/2 ... conundrum/
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:27 am

rifraf wrote:On a cautionary note, be careful with the deet insect repellant. . :idea:
In fact I'd suggest utilising something different as I blame the deet for the rapid breakdown of my old bivy.
Deet can be extremely detrimental to plastics and nylons so its a toss up between mossie attack and longevity of your bivy.

God help you when you get attacked by the NZ sandflies :cry:


Remembering mad nights of incessant, irreppressible, itching :x
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

User avatar
pbekkerh
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:05 am
Location: Odense, Danmark

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby pbekkerh » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:50 am

Use insect repellant on your body and Permethrin on your mosquito netting
Ghost SE7000
Ghost AMR 7500+
Boreas Aër
Bike Friday Tikit Hyperfold
Trailer Extrawheel I & II

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:22 am

il padrone wrote:
rifraf wrote:On a cautionary note, be careful with the deet insect repellant. . :idea:
In fact I'd suggest utilising something different as I blame the deet for the rapid breakdown of my old bivy.
Deet can be extremely detrimental to plastics and nylons so its a toss up between mossie attack and longevity of your bivy.

God help you when you get attacked by the NZ sandflies :cry:


Remembering mad nights of incessant, irreppressible, itching :x

They tend to buzz off at dusk, leaving approx a ten minute ceasefire before its time for Mosquitos as big as sparrows to come out for din dins and finish off any survivors.
I found the standard repellant fine for most biting insects in NZ, but its here in Aus. that needs the deet.
When I passed through around Lake Cagellico when the rivers around had flooded from the Queensland waters, the plagues of mozzies were of biblical proportions and jurassic sizes.
They practically laughed at Aeroguard and nothing less then the extra strength Bushmans would keep them at bay. :shock:
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

User avatar
rifraf
Posts: 3354
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:55 pm
Location: Two Rocks, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby rifraf » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:25 am

pbekkerh wrote:Use insect repellant on your body and Permethrin on your mosquito netting

I blame the use of extra strength Bushmans on my body for the breakdown and deterioration of my last bivy reducing it to less than waterproof. :evil:
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.

User avatar
Phil
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:07 am
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Phil » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:03 pm

Try the solo mid. One walking pole. Keeps bugs out, quick to pitch. Can pitch it high for venting or low for warmth.

Over tents.

http://www.zpacks.com
Image

User avatar
Aushiker
Posts: 21906
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Aushiker » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:11 am

Image

510 grams ... Outdoor Research Helium Bivy

Andrew
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

User avatar
Aushiker
Posts: 21906
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Aushiker » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:21 am

The TTarptent ProTrail looks like a serious option.

Image

Might consider one for myself ...

Andrew
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 9619
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:25 am

I can't see the point if you have to carry trekking poles to support it.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

User avatar
Aushiker
Posts: 21906
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby Aushiker » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:36 am

RonK wrote:I can't see the point if you have to carry trekking poles to support it.


If you look at the product page you will see it comes with two optional tent poles weighing, 5 oz. If it required hiking poles only I wouldn't have suggested :wink: It is shown with hiking poles for a reason ... TarpTent's primary market is lightweight backpackers not bicycle riders.

BTW your mate Troy, uses the predecessor shelter, the Contrail when bikepacking.

Andrew
Andrew
~ Aushiker.com

User avatar
RonK
Posts: 9619
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Contact:

Re: Buy Advice for Bivvy Tents

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:18 am

Aushiker wrote:
RonK wrote:I can't see the point if you have to carry trekking poles to support it.


If you look at the product page you will see it comes with two optional tent poles weighing, 5 oz.

Ah, I missed that. And it is actually bug-proof.

I like that it is stuffable. One of the issues I've discovered with the Moment DW is that the poles and struts are quite long so it does not pack well for bikepacking.

It looks high and well-ventilated enough that condensation should not be much of an issue.

Methinks a better choice than a bivvy bag. Will keep it in mind...
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Return to “Touring Bikes and Equipment”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: redsonic