To Bivy or not to Bivy?

Huntingfarandwide

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Feb 10, 2019
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So....I am looking at reducing the weight of my kit....looking at high end lightweight tents...and now I am carefully considering maybe a (Dare I say it) a floor-less shelter of some type and a Bivy sack. There I said it.

Big step for me.....so are there many of you that do this and how do you like it compared to a tent with a floor.

For the record...I have been using a Marmot 2P Tungsten...great tent but #5.

Blessings
 

Clarktar

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Aug 30, 2013
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AK
There are some floored options that are super light these days. Tarptent makes several DCF options.

I really like the floorless option and use it quite a bit. But if mosquitos are out I use a tarptent.

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Cameron.25

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Zpacks has some great non floorless options, seekoutside has some great floorless ones, both make them here in America too. I have a dyneema shelter from both brands
 

Poser

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Best bivy I’ve used is the MLD E-Vent in the Large size. Plenty of room, great zipper design.

Condensation can and will be a condition specific problem in all bivy sacks at one time or another.
 

Marble

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View attachment 379989 View attachment 379990 I went with a seek outside silex and borah bivy this year and love the combo. I started with larger shelters and nests and keep moving lighter and more simple.
I'm curious what the trail weight and packing volume is for this?

I've considered doing a bivy/tarp set up and I'm trying to see the benefits of it.

My current set up is a Big Agnes UL3 and packed its 3 pounds. I use it solo and with a hunting partner. Enough room for two and packs are covered over night.

I wonder what I would gain (or lose) by going to a bivy/tarp set up.



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BBob

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I do both depending on conditions. Tarptent Notch Li solid (~21 oz) and the Notch Li fly with an MLD Superlight bivy (~17 oz) for a lighter setup. Overall I still seem to like a full tent better but for the sake of weight at times I don't mind the tarp and bivy.
 

Geardo

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Jan 7, 2022
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My claustrophobia keeps me from stuffing myself into a bivvy (but damn I love hammocks)

I like the idea of a mesh tent though.

I already have a 13oz hammock tarp that would pair great with something like this.

Seems like it would be nice an open, while still relatively protected from bugs and weather.


 

Geardo

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i like the seek outside method of floorless shelter + nest, but the weights are a little high I think. Still researching them.
 

BBob

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My claustrophobia keeps me from stuffing myself into a bivvy
Claustrophobia here too. MLD Superlight sized up a size so it's not tight with full mesh over the head and shoulders. It has a shock cord you can tie to something over your head or attach to a loop on your fly or tarp to keep it off your face. Big L shaped zipper so you can get in and out fairly easy.
 

Moserkr

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Went floorless and never looked back. I have a large group tipi and solo tipi, use both with a borah bivy. Bivy is sized up so its not tight, and Ive never even zipped it up completely. Another option is a simple bathtub floor for your bag. I will say zipping up my bivy with my bag/pad inside is like making my bed before I leave. Safe from bugs all day, clean, ready when I get back. Also just deflate the pad and roll it all up inside the bivy to move camp. My solo setup weighs 3.5 lbs with my stove. Big tipi weighs 6.5 lbs with stove. I could cut that solo weight down a pound with the new argali 2p tipi. I prefer 1 pole to two in a shelter and in the solo one, use a trekking pole.
 

GunsAreFun

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The Borah Bivy is like $100 and weighs 5-6 ounces. A Warbonnet Ground tarp is like $140 and weighs 17-18 ounces. So at worst, a 24 ounce shelter that is huge and the tarp can also be used for glassing. You can also very comfortably sleep two people in it so a pair of hunters could have shelter for two and gear for 30 ounces.
 

Millwood21

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Last year me and a buddy stayed in Colorado for a week. He has the SO Cimmaron. I used my borah bivy inside of the tent. Doubled as a ground sheet and during the day I zipped my pad and quilt up inside the bivy. Keeps everything out till your ready to crash at night. I liked it pretty good. That’s my only experience with the bivy so far. I’ve considered buying a tarp to go with it if my buddy doesn’t go but I’ve also considered buying a silex like fishslap’s setup.


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KyleR1985

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I use a few different floorless shelters. I have an EE recon bivy. If I will encounter bugs, or a decent chance of precipitation, or really fine dust (think hunting a burn), I'll use it.

It's a convenient way to keep your pad, bag, etc all together, both for packing, and so things don't yard sale on you during the night. I typically deflate pad, and roll up from opposite end, with everything in my bivvy. I make the roll the size and shape of my pack's shelf. Then I compress it all with the pack straps. The bivy offers enough water resistance to hunt this way all day. If it's going to be storming, I'll pack camp in a waterproof bag on the load shelf.

If I'm hunting clear skies, no bugs, no dust, I'll opt for a ground sheet and ditch the bivy.

My entire shelter and sleep system is under 5lbs most hunts. It was expensive, and a lot of catch on release on shelters, but it is worth it. I can hunt with camp on my back all day, and still have room for the other crap I need to carry.
 

160andup

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I’ve been using. Tarptent stratospire 2 for one person. Has a floor which is a must for me. Maybe a little big for one person, but if you want a little extra space it’s awesome. Use my trekking poles as the tent stakes and it works perfectly. Packs small too.
 

Wapack

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Jan 7, 2021
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I use a bivy for specific trips still, but I have been really happy with my summit refuge and a piece of tyvek. Lots of space for 2 pounds and good ventilation. Bivys definitely trap moisture if you're wearing wet layers dry in your bag.

 

mlgc20

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I would never go back to a tarp/bivy setup. I typically carry my Zpacks Triplex. Tons of space and at 24oz, weighs less than most bivy/tarp setups. I often hunt wi5 my daughter, so I like having the extra space. If I only hunted alone, I would get the Soloplex from Zpacks. Full coverage tent for 1lb.
 

Cameron.25

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I would never go back to a tarp/bivy setup. I typically carry my Zpacks Triplex. Tons of space and at 24oz, weighs less than most bivy/tarp setups. I often hunt wi5 my daughter, so I like having the extra space. If I only hunted alone, I would get the Soloplex from Zpacks. Full coverage tent for 1lb.
Yep i have the altaplex, happy with my choice. Have the dyneema cimarron for late season or if i have my wife or a friend with me
 
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