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Rated 5 out of
Lifetime InvestmentI sleep outside 365 days a year, and half the year in some pretty rugged conditions. Let me tell you this bivvy was the greatest investment in gear I have ever made. I have slept in it 600-700 nights since buying it in every situation from Florida to Alaska. After going through many bivvys, this one has the least problems with condensation. The quality put into outdoor research products is astounding. The zippers have worked flawlessly the entire time, and the floor has never developed holes. However, after abusing it for almost 3 years, the fabric has begun to absorb and leak water.
I called outdoor research asking to buy fabric to repair mine, and they SENT ME A BRAND NEW advanced bivy free of charge! That's right: anything you buy from them is guaranteed for LIFE. No joke. This is a company that really cares about brand loyalty. From now on when given the option I will only be buying outdoor research stuff.
Date published: 2014-04-18
Rated 4 out of
Great 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: 2014-03-28
Rated 3 out of
OR 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: 2014-04-19
Rated 5 out of
Idler family survival from
tough 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: 2014-03-28
Rated 4 out of
Reliable and "everything-proof."This bivy holds up to everything. Keeps out rain, snow, cold, and bugs perfectly. It's really good at keeping in heat, but the tent-like arch gives enough space to breath comfortably while inside. I use a pretty small pack (38L) which fits into the top of this bivy perfectly, so I can keep my gear dry inside. Only issue is the hood. The solid layer supposed to kind of "lock" into position so that the net allows for maximum ventilation, but the hood constantly slips off and falls over the netting. In hot summer nights with high humidity you'll get probably get a little sweaty. Aside from that, this is excellent for any type of weather. If you don't mind not being able to sit up, I highly recommend trading in your tent for one of these.