What is a bivi bag?
A bivi bag were first developed as solo shelters for mountaineering, climbing, ultra-light backpacking and adventure racing where participants were interested in light weight and highly compressible gear. The original bivies were little more than waterproof sleeping bag covers that protected extreme athletes from rain or provided them with a temporary emergency shelter. However, in recent years, a bivi bag has evolved, which incorporates high tech breathable fabrics like Goretex and eVent with elements of ultra-light tents such as mesh screening and collapsible vestibules.
Are bivi bags suitable for camping?
A bivi bag (camping) is better when compared to tents and traditional sleeping bags. Take a look:
Some bivy sacks weigh less than one pound, which make them extremely light and portable. When compared to a tent, a bivy sack is a much more attractive option when venturing out into the wilderness, especially because you need to carry your sleeping gear on your back.
Don’t take up much room
With a bivy sack during camping, all you need is a flat surface big enough for you to lie down on, whereas, if you are using a tent, you would need a large enough area to place your tent as well as a way to secure the tent to the ground to prevent it from blowing over during inclement weather.
Bivy sacks are also waterproof, providing you with better protection against the elements. Ideally, you should use it as a sleeping bag inside of a tent. They will prevent your sleeping area from getting wet should your tent spring a leak during a rain storm.
Bivvy bags to go outdoors – are they feasible?
Just like benefits, there are a few demerits of using bivies over tents as well – check it out:
Discomfort during rains
You can use bivvy bags to go outdoors, but can be pretty unpleasant sealed inside a fabric coffin when it rains.
Unlike a tent, there is no room where you can change or place to cook. All your stuff has to stay outside.
Dealing with pests
It is fine when you are zipped up tightly, but if the bivi bag doesn’t have a mesh covering like tents that can be used to keep insects and bugs at bay, it can cause a problem.
What is the best sleeping bag for camping?
When you consider the best sleeping bag for camping, you should opt for one with Goretex material. It is a quality, innovative and constantly advancing material which is useful in a variety of situations, especially in some forms of clothing and when looking for a high performance bivi bag that will keep you warm and dry and will last the distance whatever weather conditions you may face. It is a very durable material and will ensure that, as long as you take good care of it, it will last you longer than other fabrics. Moreover, Goretex is lightweight and compact, so it enables you to add it to your survival kit without any added frustrations of extra weight or space.
Waterproofness bivy bag – it matters!
A bivy bag is breathable whilst still being waterproof to give you maximum protection but still keep you comfortable. Wind protection is also provided by Goretex and again allows moisture to escape, something you won’t find amongst other materials. That is why the waterproofness of a bivy bag is necessary so it can protect you against rain and keep you dry inside. All seams can be hot taped, meaning that there will not be stitching in the seams, unlike other fabrics in which stitching of the seams can inflict small holes and allow heat to escape and moisture to enter.
How crucial is a lightweight bivy bag?
Packing size of lightweight bivy bag is an essential factor that slips out of your mind, but when it is time to pack everything in the trunk of your car or the back of your minivan, this tiny aspect assumes enormous significance. What happens if you don’t have a truck or hatchback with extra packing space? You should pay attention to the weight as well – avoid heavier varieties if you don’t have someone to help you carry camping gear when it is time to leave.
Are Should you opt for a hooped bivi bag?
A hooped bivi bag is better as it comes attached with mesh panel for allowing excellent views and keeping out insects. hooped bivi bag. These bags combined with Goretex technology will keep you fully insulated yet allowing for increased space, meaning that you will get a far less claustrophobic feeling when zipped up for the night and also make you more visible and provide you with more room for storage. A non- hooped bivi bag can be irritating as the fabric keeps flapping around the face in blustery conditions.
Bivvy bag reviews – what are people saying?
If you look at the bivvy bag reviews, you will find praises about the Goretex technology that is constantly advancing and how new innovations are regularly coming into mainstream use. For example, the introduction of triple layer Goretex fabric has further optimised the breathability, durability and windproof and waterproof properties of this material.
Bivi bag available in UK – Have a look at some of the best examples!
Looking for an emergency bivvy bag? Try the Highlander High Viz Bright Orange
Highlander High Viz Bright Orange:
This lightweight, compact and brightly coloured orange sleeping bag from Highlander is made from heavy duty polythene and can be used as a short term shelter or as an emergency bivvy bag making it an essential for any crisis situations.
Suitable for two people so couples can use it for weekend getaways when they want to spend quality time with each other.
The emergency bivvy bag easily fits in pocket or backpack so carrying it around isn’t much of a problem.
Can be improvised to form a short-term shelter because survival tips and instructions printed on the bag.
Bright orange colour ensures high visibility, even in bad weather that makes it perfect for camping, mountaineering and general outdoor activities.
British Army Goretex Bivvy Bag – know all about it
British Army Goretex Bivvy Bag:
A British Army Goretex Bivvy Bag is made of ripstop nylon and incorporated with water resistant qualities. The sleeping bags also come with a double-pull reversible slider, allowing for bottom or top ventilation, and a draft flap which helps to prevent heat loss.
In cold weather, a British Army Goretex Bivvy Bag can be placed on top of a sleeping mat made of polyfoam or tree boughs layered beneath the sleeping bag.
Breathable fabric – ventilation won’t be compromised in any way as the fabric allows plenty of air to pass through.
Taped seams – British Army Bivvy Bag has taped seams for better durability and withstanding wear.
Compact yet spacious – the bag is designed to put your sleeping bag inside for a comfortable sleep at night.
Rab Ridge Raider is a great waterproof bivy bag
Rab Ridge Raider:
More than a waterproof bivy bag, less than a tent, the Rab Ridge Raider offers the best of both worlds. Thanks to its small footprint and freestanding design, this bivi can fit almost anywhere, making it great for wild camping in rough terrain. Weighing just over 1kg and highly compact, you can enjoy the freedom of a bivi bag, but with a little extra comfort. The Ridge Raider has a single, lightweight DAC Pole which hoops over the head to offer extra breathing space. 6 V stakes allow you to secure the Ridge Raider and the internal mesh door means you can let in extra air whilst keeping the midges at bay. It is a big waterproof cocoon where you place yourself, sleeping bag and bed within to shelter from the elements. No messing about with tent poles, clipping hooks on, unzipping doors, flinging kit in and getting organized – you don’t have to bother with all that.
It gives greater flexibility when selecting a pitch compared to a tent.
The footprint is small so you can pretty much make home anywhere – including stealthy camps out in the lowlands of Britain. They are relatively light and pack small too.
The waterproof bivy bag protects you from rain so you don’t have to worry about sleeping outdoors. The door zips open and shut over the complete arch of the bivvy alongside the upright pole and is covered by a sizeable storm flap to prevent any water ingress via the zips.
The hoop is easy to insert into an outer sleeve, which is then pegged out to keep it upright.
The front entry shelter allows you quick entry and exit.
A bathtub groundsheet, 10,000mm waterproof nylon base width 80cm, is amazing for maintaining the loft of your sleeping bag all year round.
Here is an ultra-light bivy bag – the MSR AC Bivy!
MSR AC Bivy:
When weight and space really count, the AC Bivy shelter is the best and most efficient way to get the all-condition protection you need. Maximum waterproof-breathable fabric coverage on top delivers the best possible breathability, while an extra-tough floor with 10,000mm DuraShield coating lets you rest confidently through anything. A zippered shoulder entry with mesh allows excellent bug-free ventilation and makes this ultra-light bivy bag easy to get into and use while sitting up. The low weight, spaciousness, and packability of the AC Bivy are incredible, and are the highlights of this product.
There are no extra bells or whistles, no unnecessary frills. It has no poles and only 1 zipper, so after a long day adventuring, you don’t have to set much up to get ready to sleep.
The bivy does have a mesh screen about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the bag for keeping the bugs away while you sleep.
It is designed so that the head portion of the top cover of has a zipper that attaches to and overlaps the mesh and body portion of the top cover.
The ultralight bivy bag is large enough for all essential gear, and even has space to lay out items that needed to dry overnight.
Terra Nova Jupiter – check out the hooped bivi bag
Terra Nova Jupiter:
The classic hooped bivi bag is designed for minimalist backpacking use, using a Goretex FLO2 upper for greater comfort and featuring a Waterbloc ground sheet for extra durability. It is a great alternative to a tent for the solo backpacker.
A single pre-curved 7075 T9 aluminium alloy pole provide extra headroom and ensures good ventilation making it suitable for warmer, more humid conditions.
No-see-um mesh door keeps out insects from the hooped bivi bag and has a storm hood for better weather protection.
The Goretex FLO2 fabric creates a more comfortable sleeping environment by allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through as well as water vapour.
Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy – the best bivi bag we recommend
Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy:
When backpacking and faced with extreme weather, such as a sudden rain, hail, or snowstorm, having a bivy with you is a great thing. Designed to protect backpackers and hikers from not-awesome weather, Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy can easily slip over sleeping bags, providing additional warmth as well as protection against the elements. Aqua Quest is one of the industry leaders in waterproof gear, so it is no surprise that their Hooped Bivy is more waterproof than most other single walled shelters. It is truly one of the best bivi bags out there!
70D ripstop fabric, PU coating, heat taped seams, and a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm.
Featuring one lightweight collapsible shock cord pole and 5 lightweight aluminium pegs, and weighing just 2.4 lbs for the entire kit.
Unzip the front panel and there is a ‘No-see-um’ mesh between you and the beautiful night sky! Set up takes about 2 minutes only.
The clear TPU window ensures your view of the outside remains unimpaired even if you are zipped up.
Extra wide shoulder and foot areas, and long enough to comfortably accommodate anyone up to 6’6”.
The best bivi bag has an air-vent in the head section, and “Batwing” stiffeners to elevate the footbed, increasing airflow and comfort.
Bivi bag reviews (UK) – choose wisely
While reading bivi bag reviews available in UK, please make sure you browse the features of the model you are considering buying or else you might regret the purchase later on if it doesn’t meet your requirements. While bivi bag reviews (UK) are vital in determining if a particular product is of good quality, it is also important to know if the brand is reputable too.