bivy sack

slim23

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I am really looking hard at a bivy sack and using a tarp for my main shelter and gear storage. What are tour favorite bivys? I hear about OR and big agnes. I am like most trying to shed weight but a little shy after spending 5 days in the rain last fall wich is my reasoning for a tarp and bag.
 

Matt Cashell

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People seem to like the REI Minimalist for under-tarp sleeping. Integral Designs makes nice bivy's using eVent, so condensation is mitigated. The jury is out on the Mountain Hardwear Dry.Q bivy.

Tigoat bivy's are super light, and should work well with a tarp/floorless shelter, but they are not waterproof, so they aren't stand alone shelters.
 

Lawnboi

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I was checking out tigoat for a bivy for under a tarp, never stand alone. But Im also interested in some of the event fabric bivys.

Honestly i dont know if its even worth taking one with the paratarp and annex.
 

RosinBag

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I have used the Big Agnes Three Wire Bivy a lot. Have no complaints. It works as a stand alone without a tarp as well as any.
 

Gman

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Integral Designs BugaBoo. eVent, light. Kind of a minimalist bivy but so far it keeps all the elements out and breathes fantastic.
 

Kevin Root

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I have a Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy. It is a bit cramped for space but works for me as a sleeping shelter. I leave it open just a bit to keep the air flow going. I have not had much condensation other than by my head and it's kept me dry in rain. Coming into it from a downpour is not the funnest things though. Slipping into a stand alone bivy all wet in a downpour is kind of a pain. Having a floor-less tarp as the main shelter to be closer to gear and such is a better system in my mind too.

I'm debating on going back up to a roomer lightweight solo tent but for now this seems to work for me.
 

Gman

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I have a Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy. It is a bit cramped for space but works for me as a sleeping shelter. I leave it open just a bit to keep the air flow going. I have not had much condensation other than by my head and it's kept me dry in rain. Coming into it from a downpour is not the funnest things though. Slipping into a stand alone bivy all wet in a downpour is kind of a pain. Having a floor-less tarp as the main shelter to be closer to gear and such is a better system in my mind too.

I'm debating on going back up to a roomer lightweight solo tent but for now this seems to work for me.
Kevin makes great points. I probably would never roll with my bugaboo as my ONLY shelter on an extended hunt. I typically have my sawtooth as a backcountry basecamp or a tarp if I'm rolling and on the move. I may not always pitch my tarp if I have a sense the weather's going to stay good but if you get caught in an extended storm then the tarp/shelter bivy combo is where it's at. That's why I got the bugaboo with less features. I may just be using inside the sawtooth the entire time in some cases but if I feel like I want to put some animals to bed and that's away from my camp I'm prepared with a bivy...

In my opinion there are two ways to go on this - minimal features if you use a bivy like I outlined or get a bivy like the BA 3 wire that is a self contained unit with more features and hooped head aread and don't use a tarp. Just make sure it's water proof and breathes.

FWIW I did have a tigoat bivy - it was fine as a ground cloth or emergency bivy but I wouldn't want to be out for more than 2 nights in one of those if that was my only shelter. Again, just my opinion on how I hunt but there's always going to be a slight compromise (comfort vs. weight) with a bivy just try and zero in on how you know you like things for the way you hunt and camp.
 

Lawnboi

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I like the idea of a bivy when sleeping in the paratarp, especially a breathable one. But those event bivies are 1+ lbs! Scratch that idea. May as well take the stove.

Anyone use the ti goat bivy? at 6oz thats more reasonable. this wouldnt be a stand alone shelter it would be used under a paratarp/
 

Matt Cashell

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I like the idea of a bivy when sleeping in the paratarp, especially a breathable one. But those event bivies are 1+ lbs! Scratch that idea. May as well take the stove.

Anyone use the ti goat bivy? at 6oz thats more reasonable. this wouldnt be a stand alone shelter it would be used under a paratarp/
I am leaning towards the Tigoat Raven for those uses, myself Lawnboi. The MH Dry.Q is pretty light at 14 ounces, though, and I may try it as well. Same Waterproof/Breathable membrane as eVent, but different 3 layer laminate. It would be nice to throw a fully waterproof bivy in the pack for the day as an emergency shelter, and leave the tarp at camp.
 

strawman

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I like the idea of a bivy when sleeping in the paratarp, especially a breathable one. But those event bivies are 1+ lbs! Scratch that idea. May as well take the stove.

Anyone use the ti goat bivy? at 6oz thats more reasonable. this wouldnt be a stand alone shelter it would be used under a paratarp/
I have a Raven Omni on the way. Will post up a review after I get a few outings with it.
 

luke moffat

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I've had more than a few outings with my TI Goat bivy (owned it for over 3 years now) and its the perfect combo for using with a floorless or tarp style shelter. Breaths very well and still able to stay off wet ground with the water proof bottom but the DWR top breathes very well so no condinsation on the inside of the bivy. Plus you can get netting options which is nice for buggy country like up here in Alaska.
 

MOHunter

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I've had more than a few outings with my TI Goat bivy (owned it for over 3 years now) and its the perfect combo for using with a floorless or tarp style shelter. Breaths very well and still able to stay off wet ground with the water proof bottom but the DWR top breathes very well so no condinsation on the inside of the bivy. Plus you can get netting options which is nice for buggy country like up here in Alaska.
Which TiGoat model?
 

Tim in Wa.

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I've got a T I bivy and I also use a super tarp.Id say the only reason you would need to use the bivy bag with either a para or super tarp would be if you pitched the tarp up high for more space or if two guys are using the tarp(because you would be up against the sides)
Otherwise I've never had trouble staying dry
Tim
 
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slim23

slim23

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thanks for the suggestions! i really like this idea and the weight savings with the increased room over a tent seems like a great deal. now i just got to decide wich one and buy a para tarp.
I cant see just using a tarp on a week long trip because you never know what the weather will do, nor just a bivy. but together it seems like a great deal. never figured that Id be a ounce counter when I started this!!
 

Mike7

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For me the tarp tent with UL bivy has been much better than any two man tent for the reasons mentioned above in stormy weather. On really humid, cold, windy nights (basically camping inside of a cloud/storm), I have had some condensation inside of the tarp. Not bad, but more than I would want landing on my down sleeping bag during the night. I use the Montbell wide/long sleeping bag cover/bivy. It is 8 oz and has been great for this function. It has no mosquito netting because I have that on my tarp tent. I have had no condensation inside of this bivy or outside on my sleeping bag near my face (I don't sleep with my face/breathing inside of the bivy sack though). I think that I could sleep out in this bivy without a tarp by placing the head/face opening downward like we did with our military gortex bivys, but I have never done it. It is pretty thin, so I would not use it without a pad like you can the heavier gortex military bivy.

I have a TiGoat tent, and it has been great so far with great customer service also for me (no complaints), so I would not hesitate to try the Tigoat light weight bivy if I was interested.
 

rddrappo

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I'm using the REI Minimalist Bivy. So far I like it, haven't had a chance to use it in the rain yet. It looks like it would do well with moisture. It's very roomy, and weighs very little. I doubt I'll ever carry a tent again.
 
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slim23

slim23

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Well i guess i also need to look at my options for a tarp. What other ones do ya like besides kifaru para tarp/super tarp?
 

rddrappo

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I use a lightweight backpacker's tarp from Outdoor Products. They sell them at REI, Walmart, and just about any sporting goods store. I think I paid around $20 for it. I believe it weighs 8 oz, not ultra lightweight, but not bad either. It's gotten me through some wet weather and I'm pretty happy with it. I'd like a Kifaru, but can't really justify the cost right now.
 
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AK Troutbum

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I guess that I just don't get it. Your average bivy costs say around $200 and weighs around a pound. Then something like a Kifaru Para Tarp with the pegs and pole kit cost around $300 and weighs around 2 pounds. So $500 give or take, and 3 pounds give or take. I have a big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Tent that has ample space when only one person is in it, ways around 2.5 pounds, and cost me $300 new. I've never had this thing in high winds, it's only a three season tent, so I don't know exactly how well it would handle high winds, but I have had it on a sheep hunt where it's rained and lightly snowed almost the entire 10 day hunt, and this thing did excellent. It's freestanding, pitches very quickly, and I've never had condensation issues with it. If there is no threat of rain or bugs (which never happens in Alaska) you can just take the footprint and fly, and the thing weighs around a pound and a half.
 
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Lost Arra

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Good points AK but
Para Tarp weighs 11oz maybe 13 with 5 ul stakes. I've never used a pole kit. Tree limbs work fine or trekking poles if available or just guy it out to a tree. Ti Goat bivy (Ptarmigan) weighs 6 oz. So you can get pretty light and these things pack down to nothing and to me that is the advantage especially for an unplanned night out. But your point is well taken. If you get too elaborate with a bivy/tarp then what's the point?

I cannot use a bivy as a shelter. I did a test run in woods behind my house on a stormy night and it's just not for me. Emergency situation? OK but not for my primary shelter.
 
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