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by Born 2 RidefromSome good times and some bad times.Used this on a river tirp. Worked great as an alternative to just being under the stars.
Used for some high mountain backpacking and did not stay dry and warm. The bivy ended up filling with water every night from light rian storms and would take a long time to dry out when hung up inside out in the sun.
Still the best bivy I have ever had.
Date published: 2009-06-17
Rated 2out of5
by TrailTamerfromUnimpressedI found this bivy cumbersome to set up,the adjustable hood would not stay up and would fall closed in a slight wind. The zippers on the mesh were a pain. When sleeping on my side the upper pole was resting on my ribs. Not a product for me especially for the price!
The material seems very durable and I believe it would hold up for quite some time. Its just not for me so I returned it.
Date published: 2009-10-14
Rated 5out of5
by tms3993fromExcellent productExcellent product for a hard core outdoor adventure or to keep in your car on a road trip... "just in case". I never go anywhere without this bivy.
Date published: 2009-10-22
Rated 5out of5
by Idler family survivalfromtough and warmlightened my pack by 7 lbs for when I go solo (with out family). and tough enough to set up in the living room and play peek a boo with a infant that puts all my gear to the tough test.
Date published: 2013-04-11
Rated 3out of5
by SilentWolf333fromSticky Icky after 20 yearsI have used this many years all over the Eastern USA and in Belize for 6 Months.I have an earlier version of this and for some reason after about 15+ years the interior of it seems to be breaking down.Its sticky,very even and there is like a white sticky substance peeling off of the inside of it.Not sure why or whats causing it but it is getting to the point of replacement and i am not sure if i will choose this Bivy again due to that factor.Also i am not much of a fan of the front entrance and would like one with a side entrance.Bottom line i do love this bivy and i would continue to use it if not for the break down problem.Well built has made it through some rough times in Belize and here on the East Coast of the USA and never let me down.I just dont like the fact that all this white stuff is coming off and gets all over me my Sleeping Bag and anything else i bring into it.Mabye the newer design has addressed this issue, but for the price i dont want to find out it didnt.
Date published: 2012-05-20
Rated 3out of5
by statsman4fromOR Advanced BivyI do not want to be too critical of this equipment but there are two major problems from my perspective. First, the zipper does not close all the way unless one of the poles becomes disengaged. Once this happens, the height of the bivy is decreased 3-4 inches. Second, a considerable amount of condensation collects on the ceiling. Granted, I was camping in 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 C) but a film of ice would form on the entire ceiling which began to drop on my face and sleeping bag throughout the night. This happened with the bivy completely closed on one night and partially open on another night. The company claims this does not happen but they may be referring to higher temps. I have decided to return this product and purchase a one-person tent for this type of camping.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4out of5
by SierraHkrfromGreat product - nearly perfectI do virtually all of my backpacking in the Sierra and purchased this bivy 14 years ago in order to lighten my load on long trips. It was one of the best gear decisions I have ever made. Originally, I viewed it as an "emergency shelter" to use only in inclement weather. However, I now use it every night. As a sleeping bag shell, it adds warmth to my bag, and any dew that falls ends up on the bivy (which dries quickly once the sun comes up), rather than on my down bag (which is slower to dry).
As a shelter from the elements, this bivy is rock solid. I have endured several nights of heavy rain and stayed bone dry with virtually no condensation. On one trip, four inches of snow fell on me overnight in the bivy and temperatures dropped into the teens. Again, I remained warm and dry inside. On that occasion, a small amount of condensation did occur in the hood area from my breath, but that was due to the fact that I had to zip the bivy completely closed to keep snow from blowing laterally into the bivy. Fortunately, it was cold enough that the condensation froze on the hood, so I remained quite dry and simply flaked the ice off in the morning.
My only complaint with the bivy (remember this is the 1999 version) is that the hood design is not quite perfect. There are nights when I use the bivy for mosquito protection. In its natural configuration, when the bivy is unzipped and the mosquito net deployed, the bivy is not open enough to allow as much circulation as I would like. I get around this by tying the bivy poles in a more open position using a cord threaded through some loops that are provided. It is workable, but not ideal.
The bivy does have a finite lifetime. After 14 years of use, the floor in the head area has developed some tiny holes that, during a recent heavy downpour, did allow water to seep through the bottom. That was mostly my fault, as I chose to sleep in a slight depression on a slab of granite (there were no clouds when I went to sleep...the storm came up suddenly in the middle of the night), and I was literally sleeping in a puddle. For that reason, I have retired the bivy and ordered a new "OR advanced bivy." I did notice that the specs on the new model indicate it weighs 2 lbs 7 oz, and so is a little heavier than my 1999 model, which weighed slightly under 2 lbs. I am curious to see if the added weght has to do with a change in floor materials.
All in all, I highly recommend this product. Indeed three friends have all purchased this bivy based on my recommendations, and all are happy with the outcome.
Date published: 2013-04-13
Rated 4out of5
by JCNfromGood choice for soloingI used this bivvy as a primary shelter for several weeks in South America, including both high-altitude camping and lowland camping. Overall I really liked it, and would use it again without hesitation, but there are some things to be aware of.
The most frustrating thing for me is the pole design. The bivvy comes with two poles, and five end pieces (two per pole with one extra). The end pieces have snaps on them, which is how the poles are attached to the bivvy. The problem is once you snap the poles into place, if you move around at all, the poles come out of the snap pieces, and the hood collapses. I'm not sure why the snap ends aren't just permanently attached to the poles. I tried it out, and the snaps easily slide through the material into place. So I think I might just glue the snap ends onto the poles and make it permanent. That way I can't lose the snaps, and they won't come unattached while I sleep.
Another potential problem is that the screen gets snagged in the zipper very easily. I'm not sure how to improve on this, but it was very frustrating when, on the first night I spent in the bivvy, I snagged the screen in the zipper, resulting in a 1-inch tear in the mesh.
Condensation was definitely an issue, but I'm pretty sure that's always an issue. I didn't have any pooling, but the entire inside of the bivvy became wet every night. It wasn't enough to soak through my sleeping bag, and it didn't adversely effect me at all, but it was something to be aware of. Every morning I would empty out the bivvy and let it dry out.
One other issue to be aware of is that for people who are on the large size like me (5'11", 220 lbs) there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room. It's big enough for me to get into and lay comfortably, but if I lay on my side, my shoulder is against the roof of the bivvy. So a person much larger than me would definitely be tight.
Also, one other small issue. The stuff sack that comes with the bivvy is exactly the right size, so there is no room for error, it has to pack very tightly into the stuff sack. Which means stiff fingers on a cold morning will probably have a hard time getting everything back into the sack. I just used a slightly larger stuff sack and it was fine.
Those are all complaints, but I don't want to make it sound like I dislike the product. I still like it, and look forward to using it on all of my future solo trips. The material is very durable and lightweight. It sets up quickly and easily. It kept me warm. There was plenty of room for my large (77" x 25") rectangular sleeping pad. It's definitely a cool little solo shelter.
Oh, also the product image shows the hood arranged in several positions. That is slightly misleading, as there is no way to keep the hood partially open. Gravity pulls it back down. You can open it all the way open, or let it rest in the closed position. It won't stay 30% or 50% open unless you rig up some way to hold it open.
Date published: 2009-11-24
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Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy Sack Customer Reviews