School me on ultra light bivys

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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1,976
I used a .mil mss / ecwcs bivy for years. Goretex, tough as nails. Weighs 2#. I swapped it for a OR helium bivy. Works even better and weighs half as much. I also have a SOL bivy that weighs about 8oz but I am not crazy about it.

Lately I have been looking at lighter gear and at ultra light bivys. Borah and mountain laurel designs have caught my attention. Each are under 8oz.

So who uses them or something like them? How waterproof are they compared to goretex or event? Any comments or thoughts appreciated.
 

Brendan

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Aug 27, 2013
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Boston, MA
I use one, most are designed for underneath a tarp. Keep your bag and pad together, eliminate need for a ground sheet, block a little wind and spray. Not designed for bad weather outside on their own.
 

Dirtydan

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May 11, 2016
Messages
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I just ordered another Borah from John last week. I had him do a couple custom alterations to it. He was very responsive to email and very reasonable on the final price. I use mine under a tarp as well and always have either a painters tarp or polycro under me for ground moisture control. I did test it out in the back yard during a heavy downpour and stayed perfectly dry. Buy with confidence.
 

AK Troutbum

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Apr 22, 2012
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Chugiak, Alaska
I have several UL bivy's and have been using them for about 6 years now, also under a floorless shelter of some kind. I've owned silnylon Borah Gear, and Ti Goat bivy's and also DCF Borah Gear and Zpacks bivy's. The heaviest of the four I currently own, surprisingly enough, is the DCF Zpacks (7.2 oz. in it's stuff sack), but it is also the most bomber and I really like the way that the DCF bottom comes up about 4" all the way around, forming a bathtub bottom. What I don't particularly like about the Zpacks is the limited view it allows through the no-see-um netting. I think my favorite one is a custom DCF Borah Gear. It's my lightest bivy, at 4.75 oz in the stuff sack, and also has a very nice DCF bathtub bottom, but doesn't come up as high as the Zpacks. The other two silnylon Borah Gear bivy's I have are a 1/3 bug bivy at 6.15 oz., and an XL Borah at 6.55 oz. I've never bothered with carrying anything like a ground cloth to use under any of them, and so far I haven't sprung any leaks, but time will tell. One thing with the DCF bivy's is, although DCF isn't as abrasion resistant as silnylon, the bottoms on mine are extra think, and if they ever do puncture, DCF is very easy to repair.
 

Lawnboi

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Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
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Location
North Central Wi
I have a standard side zip Borah. Have also used fully waterproof. Almost always use a tarp or shelter of some kind.

The Borah is okay. I really would like to try a MLD as the Borah hood, and cut bother me a bit. The all mesh hood dosnt provide much in terms of protection for your shoulders and head if the wind switches in the middle of the night under a tarp.

The Borah has satisfied me though. It’s light, gets the job done, condensation has never been bad, and it’s saved me a few times.

Keeps your stuff all together, and clean. Provides some protection from liaise splashing as well as condensation from shelter walls. I can’t see a reason I would ever not take it when going floorless.
 
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