Bivy Vs. Tyvek Vs. CCF

OregonSteeler

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Last year was my first couple of uses with a floorless tipi. I'm going to give it one more year but I'm not sure if it's right for me. Here's the issues I've had, mostly related to sleeping.

1. I camped a couple of nights in a high desert area and the best spot we could find was an area of loose dirt/sand. I used the tyvek and everything got super dirty. All the tyvek did was seem to collect the dust and dirt.
2. Camped with a bivy from REI and I literally laughed at myself getting into it. That particular bivy just had a zipper across the chest and it was stupid how hard it was to get my air pad, and sleeping bag laid out properly then get myself in it. I tried it for 2 nights and each time it took 5+ minutes to get myself inside and comfy. I'm a bigger guy and that bivy was way too small for my size. Returned that POS the second I got back.
3. Never tried a CCF pad but they don't seem to be very padded compared to an air pad and very bulky. I liked the Tyvek and bivy because they were small and easy to pack.


I'm looking at a MSR full tent that only weighs 2lbs, same as my floorless tipi (I have a Luxe). Now the only advantage of the floorless is it's bigger, I can cook in it, and use a wood stove (which I haven't bought one yet).

I do a fair amount of camping in the spring and fall but not so much in the winter. I like the option of utilizing a backpack stove, but not sure if I'll even use it.

If I can figure out an ideal sleeping arrangement, I may just stay with the floorless.

Any thoughts here? How does everyone handle their gear, clothes, and sleeping bag getting dirty when you're using a small ground sheet?
 

BBob

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Over sized MLD superlight solo bivy with full mesh window. Claustrophobia will not allow for the little half moon window. With the large L zipper it's easy to get in and out of and the shock cord it keeps it off your face. Add a stick on loop or two to your tarp to clip the cord to. I only use a closed cell foam pad if I'm trying to add R value in really cold conditions. I cannot sleep on one alone like when I was a kid, way too uncomfortable for me now.
 
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Wapiti151

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IMO, Bivy 1000 times over and floorless shelter. I have gone to a bivy sleep system in my floorless shelter and will never go back. I've put it through its paces on dry trips, and also here in Alaska in the PWS this year. My first hunt in the PWS, but it's essentially a cold rain forest. The ground is totally saturated to the point that puddles form in each boot print...even if it hasn't rained for a few days. On this same trip, we also got hit with 15" of snow in the alpine on the first day, and the next 5 days after we moved camp involved sleeping directly on the snow each night in our bivys. Bag and pad never left the Bivy for the whole trip.

I am running the MLD Event Soul Bivy, it's a water proof bivy that weighs 12 oz and packs into nothing. For 6 days in the above conditions, i did not even get damp in the bivvy and, for me, having something to keep my sleep system together was clutch. Not waking up at night cold because i rolled off my pad or the tent condensation has soaked through my footbox. For me, the Bivy adds so much versatility to my system in the winter months, while opening up spring and summer trips too. For scouting trips, or warmer spring/fall trips...i leave the shelter behind all together and just sleep in the bivy. if bugs are an issue, you can zip the bivy up all the way and there is a netting that covers your face to keep bugs out and allow moisture to escape.


edit: I am 6'4, 210 and the MLD (Large) above fits me, my blow up bad and a 0 degree down bag beautifully...to give you an idea on size if you were to look into going that route.

F94E4EA0-B122-4E94-BA4E-52F33EA3550B.jpeg DF6C0E08-461C-4E97-BBEB-16BF7C79CCB8.jpeg B1C62AA2-934B-463A-BCFD-0D6F00EE7C1A.jpeg
 
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OregonSteeler

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I do think a better bivy would be something I need to try. Thank you for the recommendation. I also looked into Jimmy Tarps bivy and seems to be out of business??
 

Wapiti151

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I haven't heard of Jimmy Tarps, but Borah Gear is another really good one. Super small operation, and they are all hand made to order, I believe. Borah is the definition of ultralight when it comes to a bivy, but i don't think they are totally waterproof. Depending on where you'd be using it, waterproof may not be necessary but they are DWR treated. I would rather pay the extra 5oz of weight and get piece of mind in any situation. I know Borah is big in the through-hiking community...generally, anything those crazy bastards like, is also bad ass for backpack hunting. I know I have learned A LOT from talking to triple crowners.

 

Tall_Vol44

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IMO, Bivy 1000 times over and floorless shelter. I have gone to a bivy sleep system in my floorless shelter and will never go back. I've put it through its paces on dry trips, and also here in Alaska in the PWS this year. My first hunt in the PWS, but it's essentially a cold rain forest. The ground is totally saturated to the point that puddles form in each boot print...even if it hasn't rained for a few days. On this same trip, we also got hit with 15" of snow in the alpine on the first day, and the next 5 days after we moved camp involved sleeping directly on the snow each night in our bivys. Bag and pad never left the Bivy for the whole trip.

I am running the MLD Event Soul Bivy, it's a water proof bivy that weighs 12 oz and packs into nothing. For 6 days in the above conditions, i did not even get damp in the bivvy and, for me, having something to keep my sleep system together was clutch. Not waking up at night cold because i rolled off my pad or the tent condensation has soaked through my footbox. For me, the Bivy adds so much versatility to my system in the winter months, while opening up spring and summer trips too. For scouting trips, or warmer spring/fall trips...i leave the shelter behind all together and just sleep in the bivy. if bugs are an issue, you can zip the bivy up all the way and there is a netting that covers your face to keep bugs out and allow moisture to escape.


edit: I am 6'4, 210 and the MLD (Large) above fits me, my blow up bad and a 0 degree down bag beautifully...to give you an idea on size if you were to look into going that route.

View attachment 374965 View attachment 374966 View attachment 374967

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm looking at the event soul bivvy and the mld superlite. I'm 6'7" and will be around 290-300# next season. First time going out west. Just gonna do OTC CO Elk. Do you think The mld in XL would be a better choice for me? 2.5" pad, and 30° +/- 45° WM down bags Depending on temps either bag alone, or both if it's cold.
Also, have you had any issues with condensation inside the these bivvys?
 

Moserkr

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Another vote for the borah bivy. Call em up have it custom made if the biggest one wont fit you. Definitely get the side zip.

I leave my bag and pad inside the bivy, even when moving camp. Just deflate, roll it up, new camp roll it out, inflate done. Leave for the day to hunt, feel like my beds made when i zip it up. Keeps the bugs out while im gone although ive never used it zipped up while sleeping. 5+ years with it going strong, looks brand new.

As far as dirt goes, floorless gets a little dirty, thats just it. I layout some extra stuff sacks for my belongings while i sleep. Other than that the bivy keeps me pretty clean. Just dont set up exposed on dirt in a wind storm…. Lesson learned there, had a full blown dirt bath.
 

Tall_Vol44

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Over sized MLD superlight solo bivy with full mesh window. Claustrophobia will not allow for the little half moon window. With the large L zipper it's easy to get in and out of and the shock cord it keeps it off your face. Add a stick on loop or two to your tarp to clip the cord to. I only use a closed cell foam pad if I'm trying to add R value in really cold conditions. I cannot sleep on one alone like when I was a kid, way too uncomfortable for me now.
Have you noticed any condensation issues with the MLD super light??
 

Wapiti151

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Not to hijack the thread, but I'm looking at the event soul bivvy and the mld superlite. I'm 6'7" and will be around 290-300# next season. First time going out west. Just gonna do OTC CO Elk. Do you think The mld in XL would be a better choice for me? 2.5" pad, and 30° +/- 45° WM down bags Depending on temps either bag alone, or both if it's cold.
Also, have you had any issues with condensation inside the these bivvys?
In my opinion, I would order the large and try it. The XL is not returnable from what i understand on their site, since they don't sell many. The L is. Order the Large, get it home and test it...if it's too small, return it for the XL and know for sure. Maybe call them directly and see what they think. I have never talked to MLD on the phone, but i have heard their customer service is great. I am not quite as big, but am almost as tall with broad shoulders. The L gives me plenty of room to move around in the bivy, roll over to sleep on my side or stomach, etc.

I have not personally had any condensation issues inside the bag. The bug screen on the Event lets the air and moisture vent in my experience, i think the other waterproof one does not have a bug screen...i could see that causing a condensation issue if completely enclosed. With the superlight, since it is not waterproof it should be more breathable and i wouldn't expect this to be an issue at all.
 

BBob

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Have you noticed any condensation issues with the MLD super light??
Not at all. With the full mesh window and using the shock cord it gets plenty of ventilation. Cowboy camping I’ve been able to find a tree to rig it up. I hate things on my face while sleeping and can’t stand bivy’s that aren’t supported in some way for that reason. I sleep better that way. I used a Bibler tripod bivy for many years but they are heavy compared to todays options. I also used a Bibler wire bivy a lot but only for quick overnights. Too hard to get in and out of.
 

BBob

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I leave my bag and pad inside the bivy, even when moving camp. Just deflate, roll it up, new camp roll it out, inflate done.

I do the same and I do it when initially packing too. It all goes rolled and folded to fit into a contoured Osprey stuff sack including the pillow. I have two sizes for moderate and cold weather setups. The Osprey fits nicely into the bottom of the pack wasting less space than a regular cylindrical stuff sack.
 

Desk Jockey

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+1 for borah bivy. If you are husky, email them and special order to your size. I will occasionally run my bag and sleeping pad in the bivy and just roll it up all as one.

if I am not using A bivy and if bugs are an issue I prefer a tent. My go to is a DCF two person. That is plenty for me and gear.

I use a z packs DCF Duo ground cloth when not in a tent. It does better when the corners are staked or weighted down.

closed cell foam has its place but for me I use it to supplement my air pad. Take a look at matty mcmatt face from seek outside. It is 1/8 inch thick and a combo of thin foam and ground cloth.

as far as dirt goes, a bathtub floor in your tent can help, but not if you track dirt in with you. Same thing on a ground cloth. Take off your boots and leave them at the edge of the cloth. Try and keep it clean but a ground cloth is never going to be as clean as a tent.
 
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OregonSteeler

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I looked into Borah and are highly recommended on this site. Unfortunately, even if I ordered today (which I'm not), I wouldn't get until April. Awesome to support a small company but I'd rather not wait months to try something im not 100% sold on. Looking heavily into MLD.
 
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sneaky

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I have an EE Recon bivy that I run under my DCF tarp. Easy to get in and out of, mesh top so it breathes well, holds everything together. Can be clipped up at either end.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Wapiti151

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I looked into Borah and are highly recommended on this site. Unfortunately, even if I ordered today (which I'm not), I wouldn't get until April. Awesome to support a small company but I'd rather not wait months to try something im not 100% sold on. Looking heavily into MLD.
you'll love the MLD if you go that route. I haven't used the Borah but i have a buddy that has used it on our hunt. All i know, is his bag got wet and mine didn't. If the options there, I am going the waterproof route every time.
 
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OregonSteeler

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you'll love the MLD if you go that route. I haven't used the Borah but i have a buddy that has used it on our hunt. All i know, is his bag got wet and mine didn't. If the options there, I am going the waterproof route every time.
Unfortunately ship times are months....not days for MLD too. 3-4 months before it's shipped.

Crazy!
 

Laned

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To prevent your experience with that REI bivy, you should be trying out all your equipment either at the shop or at home before you go out so you can find what works and what doesn't before it's too late.

Regarding groundsheets, there are some companies that make some with a bathtub floor, in addition to several threads and videos online to make one yourself. It can help a little bit. There are also material considerations when going into sandy areas. For instance, a quick reference would be Seek Outside's Silex and/or Eolus (I don't remember which specifically). They found that the material they used for the lighter green color was less susceptible to clinging sand than the other color. There also groundsheets designed specifically for sand, wherein sand can pass through one way but not the other. I think the design was originally created to keep sand away from helicopters.
Also, setting up your tent opening downwind will also help keep dirt and sand from blowing into your tent and all over your stuff.

Regarding closed cell foam pads, yes they're bulky and thin. They can work well if you sleep on your back. But side sleeping is a pain. You can take a CCF pad and cut it to make seat pads for yourself and a buddy or 2. You then have something to sit on that will keep your backside dry and someehat comfortable as well as something to stand on to change clothes or whatever, it can add some cushion and insulation under your sleep pad at your hips or shoulders or wherever you have a cold or pressure point, and you can set your gear on it to keep them dry if the ground is soaked and/or muddy.


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OregonSteeler

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To prevent your experience with that REI bivy, you should be trying out all your equipment either at the shop or at home before you go out so you can find what works and what doesn't before it's too late.

Regarding groundsheets, there are some companies that make some with a bathtub floor, in addition to several threads and videos online to make one yourself. It can help a little bit. There are also material considerations when going into sandy areas. For instance, a quick reference would be Seek Outside's Silex and/or Eolus (I don't remember which specifically). They found that the material they used for the lighter green color was less susceptible to clinging sand than the other color. There also groundsheets designed specifically for sand, wherein sand can pass through one way but not the other. I think the design was originally created to keep sand away from helicopters.
Also, setting up your tent opening downwind will also help keep dirt and sand from blowing into your tent and all over your stuff.

Regarding closed cell foam pads, yes they're bulky and thin. They can work well if you sleep on your back. But side sleeping is a pain. You can take a CCF pad and cut it to make seat pads for yourself and a buddy or 2. You then have something to sit on that will keep your backside dry and someehat comfortable as well as something to stand on to change clothes or whatever, it can add some cushion and insulation under your sleep pad at your hips or shoulders or wherever you have a cold or pressure point, and you can set your gear on it to keep them dry if the ground is soaked and/or muddy.


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Luckily, I was prepared and didn't need to rely on the bivy. Had the Tyvek tarp also (which wasn't much better).

I was also thinking bathtub floor, but looking more into the bivy first.

I'm a definite side sleeper so CCF is a no go. I use a small foam pad that gardeners use to kneel down. Super cheap and perfect size to sit on. Just strap it to the bottom of the pack and that's it.

Appreciate the recommendations.
 

Pn8hall

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I am a side/stomach sleeper and I am running a Borah Bivy in a Cimmaron. I had them do a custom zipper that is horseshoe shape or basically zips down both sides. Super easy to get in and out and I can fit my 25" wide exped pad in there. That sucker is roomy as hell. I cant speak to whether or not its fully waterproof on the bottom because I have not had it in any rain just snow conditions. I do however lay down a tyvek ground sheet also just to help keep things clean. Bonus of the bivy is it keeps your pad and bag together so you cant slide off the ole pad at night.
 
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