What is the best bivy pack?
Bivy packs have become very popular as compared to tents in a various camping situation. For example, bivy sack for sheep hunting is often preferable because most sheep hunters prefer the light alternative to a tent, and don’t like to carry the extra weight. The numerous advantages over tents, particularly for sheep hunting, have quickly increased the demand for bivies. For clarity sake, think of a bivy sack as kind of a waterproof jacket for your sleeping bag.
A lot of effort has gone to the ranking of the best bivy sacks available in the market based on very strict criteria for comfort, protection, and weight, through which the best in terms of value and the best in terms of emergency shelter have been identified. Are you looking to get the best bivy sack for sheep hunting? Are you in search of a bivy sack for any outdoor adventures? This review will provide you with the best bivy sacks to make your pick on your next trip much easier, and much more fulfilling.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 3 Best Bivy Sack Reviews
- 2 Choose the Best Bivy Sack
- 3 Types of Bivies
- 4 Criteria for Evaluation
Top 3 Best Bivy Sack Reviews
1. Military Modular Sleep System 4 Piece with Goretex Bivy Cover and Carry Sack
The Military Modular Sleep System 4 piece with Gore-Tex bivy cover and carry sack is a lot like the name suggests. It consists of 4 key components; a green mummy style patrol bag, a black mummy style intermediate bag, weather resistant camouflage G cover, and 6 or 9 strap compression stuff sack. This incredible beauty has been rated as low as -50ÅF with the correct extended cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) clothing.
This military sleeping bag system offers some exciting features including 4 season options. For starters, it is very soft and comfortable. The lightweight bag can easily be used alone during warm nights, and if the nights are much cooler, you can put the thicker black bag inside the lightweight bag. Furthermore, if you are really freezing, you can tuck the entire thing inside the canvas Bivy giving you the best flexibility in the market.
Each of the selections that make the military bag system easily snaps together at both ends of the zipper, a cool feature that prevents you from getting entangled with the bag. This can be a real drag for some of the low market options. All you need to do is line the zipper and they snap the bags together. The modular sleep system bags are also quite narrow in comparison to the regular sleeping bags in the stores. They are cocooned shape, which makes them narrower at the feet than at the head section. The back part also comes up under and around your head. The top of the bag also wraps around your head pretty nicely. If you are looking for flexibility, warmth, and comfort, this is a definite top pick.
The military sleeping bag also reviews highly in terms of product quality. To begin with, these bags are an American made, and so do not suffer from the various flaws affecting bivy sacks from China. Some of the qualities you are bound to enjoy in terms of production quality include large and durable zippers that are designed for quick exits in the event of an emergency. The material on the bivy sack is also resistant rip-ston nylon. All this comes together in a deceptively lightweight package that does not feel cheap in the least. It is perhaps important to note that this is the same as what is issued by the army, with the exception that comes with an older style of compression cack, and the older coloration and pattern of the Bivy.
Ultimately, this is a super all weather sleep system- a trait that makes it attractive for the army. Additionally, you will definitely have to try very hard to destroy it due to its great durability and quality. It is a purely great yearlong bag. It is however a tad bulky as compared to most civilian bags. A great perk is that you can choose to leave some parts of the system at home depending on the climate you expect to encounter, and cut down on the weight and bulk. This is an excellent buy for all people, including ex-military or military, as well as for regular backpackers or campers who are looking for something that is all season, all weather, and cost effective. It is definitely a great choice for a bivy sack for sheep hunting as well.
2. Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
The Outdoor Research Alpine bivy is a monster packing some really cool features. It comes with a 3 layer Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric, a durable hydro seal coated waterproof nylon floor, and fully taped seams. The Alpine bivy also comes with a single overhead shock-corded Delrin pole, a no-see-um netting, an opening and end zipper, and a wide storm flap. Within it also lies sleeping bag straps, five-stake loops, and one guy line hoop.
The build quality of the Alpine Bivy is nothing short of exceptional and the level of attention accorded to the detail in design can only be described as impressive. One of its features is a three-foot shock-corded Delrin pole which feeds through a sleeve its upper Gore-Tex, resulting in a semi-circular overhead support which gives it an internal height of about 20 inches. This is a good point to note that this feature is especially welcomed for anyone who finds conventional bevies claustrophobic.
This bivy can of course be used without the pole, which will cut a few ounces off the cumulative weight. The bag also has a loop for lifting the top of the overhead hoop is the need arises. With or without the pole, the opening of the bivy can be sealed by a waterproof storm flap or by a no-see-um mesh depending on the conditions. The waterproof storm flap is especially handy when it rains, and offers more comfort and warmth as compared to other bivy sacks that only offer an open mesh to cover the face region. The interior of the bivy does seem roomy, as is very well poised to accommodate a sleeping pad, as well as a sleeping bag.
The Alpine bivy is nicely quick to set up. Takin it down on the other hand required a bit of practice, but nothing too complicated. To put together, simply put together the short pole, slide it in the support sleeve, and then make use of five stakes to stake it down. To pull it apart, simply remove the stakes, slide the short pole out and collapse it. Finally, give the bivy trifold and roll it up. Its most outstanding pros are its light weight, low condensation, and ease in seeing up and breaking down.
This is one of the most spacious bivy, which provides the most space for loftier backs and thicker sleeping pads, and can be used in place of a single person tent. Its dual-pole system increases ventilation as well as interior space, and the second pole can always be left behind when space and weight become critical. Its Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric allows moist, warm air to escape, while blocking out external weather and thus minimizes condensation while providing supreme protection from an external element. It is a great light weight option for cycling, camping trips, as well as backpacking. The Alpine does need a bit of practice and getting used to especially in terms of taking it down and getting the bivy back into its stuff sack, but this becomes much easier after the second or third time. Definitely worth considering as a bivy for sheep hunting.
3. Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover
The Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover is the third of the most highly rated bivy sacks in the market. This Bivy cover is produced with waterproof, the moisture-vapour-permeable material with all seams heat sealed. It is a component of the Military Modular Sleep System, which is designed to cover the Patrol and Intermediate cold weather sleeping bags. Until quite recently, this component was arguably the most useful, technologically advanced, but also the most difficult to individually in the news and perfect condition.
By virtue of being an Army issue piece of equipment, this bivy is very reliable- a factor that make up for it being a bit heavier than other bivies. Some of its other impressive features include its waterproof nature. The Woodland Camouflage Bivy is waterproof thanks to Gore-Tex technology. You can go through a night in the rain and be assured or coming out absolutely dry as long as the cover is on your face. The second major advantage of this bivy is its minimal condensation. Regardless of whether temperatures outside drop to below freezing point, – a factor that would normally result in condensation, thanks to its GoreTex interior, this bivy is absolutely effective at allowing condensation out, without undermining its waterproof nature.
The bag boasts of excellent construction, with substantial fabric layers that are sandwiched and seam sealed. Its snaps and zippers are also of high quality. Most of all, the bag compacts pretty well, going down to the size of a football by virtue of its robust construction. You should however expect to be a bit heavy at about 2 kilos due to its robust construction, but this additional offers great advantages in terms of durability as will be discussed shortly.
The Woodland Camouflage Bivy also packs some advantages relating to warmth. This bivy is expected to add about 5-10 degree of temp to your sleeping kit, which makes it ideal in very cold conditions. However, in the summer, it can become quite uncomfortable if it becomes warm and the cover remains closed. If this happens, you can just skip the sleeping bag, and sleep with just the bivy which usually works out just great.
In terms of durability, you can expect this bivy to take a severe beating across different terrains and conditions without much damage to the fabric. In fact, unlike most fabrics, it would take a lot for you to see wear on this fabric, which makes it a great buy. This is in part by virtue of it made in the United States and adjusted to fit military conditions. Lastly, this bivy is designed to fit two inner bags inside, so expect some ample room for more sleeping bags. Overall, this bivy reviews as one of the best purchases for outdoor adventures, and its service is definitely worth its cost.
The limited weight on these bivies makes them an excellent choice for those in search of a bivy for sheep hunting. Additionally, if you decide on going for some outdoor adventures and are in need of a bivy, and you wish to protect yourself despite the weather conditions and terrain, these are three of the best bivies in the market that are guaranteed to give you your money’s worth in terms of warmth, comfort, durability, reliability, and comfort.
Choose the Best Bivy Sack
The choice to carry a bivy depends on several factors, which range from weather conditions, weight considerations, space available, among others. Below is a review of the various styles, features, and uses of each model that will help you to make a decision on the best model for the right occasion. Before you make the decision to purchase a bivy, one of the critical factors is to determine the conditions in which you will use it, depending on the season of the year. Some of these bivies are explored below with a focus on their features and the various reasons to consider each one of them for the next time you go outing.
When to Switch from a Tent to a Bivy
A bivy is in essence an alternative to a tent, but the choice of one over the other is driven by a few factors. The most common reason why people opt for a bivy instead of a tent is to reduce the weight and size of the pack, by making use of a sleeping system that is both smaller and lighter while still enjoying shelter from external elements. The ease of setting up also presents one of the common reasons why people opt for the bivy sack instead of a tent.
A tent has traditionally been associated with comfort, more floor space, and sufficient room to perform different activities ranging from sitting up and reading, packing gear, to other activities that would essentially be ideal in more spacious situations. Bivy sacks on the other hand offer ample headspace to sit up, to read, and even to enjoy a cup of coffee comfortably, despite lacking the expansiveness of a tent. Bivies are also ideal in various weather extremes, but pale in comparison to tents in the event of a sustained rainstorm.
These factors notwithstanding, some of the features offered by a tent or even a bivy sack are situational, which means that they are not needed by every person in every condition or situation. Because of this, there are several features which can easily be sacrificed in a bid to reduce weight or the amount of space used up in the pack. By losing some of this extra material such as poles, zippers, and doors- which are some of the bulky components of a tent, campers can still enjoy a great degree of ease and comfort, while busking in extreme weather within the confines of a bivy.
It is however important to note that bivies are limited in terms of the period a person can comfortably reside in this limited space. Because of this, trips or outdoor activities that extend to within a few days are better suited for a bivy sack, but extended trips with the possibility of extreme weather may warrant a large tent. For excursions or quick trips which require light packs, ease of travel and flexibility, a bivy sack can offer the same level of protection and performance as a tent.
For the majority of people, a bivy is simply a smaller version of a tent which is much lighter, less bulky, while still offering protection from the elements. Some other aspects to keep in mind are that bivy sacks are much more mobile, possible to be stretched out, ideal for any flat surface, and narrow enough to fit in different terrain and patches. Additionally, unlike tents, most bivy sacks do not require trees or other forms of support for anchorage. This makes them an ideal option for outdoor activities. Lastly, these bivy sacks also offer comfort and warmth in cold weather than some tents are capable of.
Ultimately, bivy sacks offer a greater of flexibility in relation to tents. They can be set up in areas where it would be impossible to set up a tent such as tight snow caves, high rock ledges, and rocky areas. Bivies are also more versatile and provide you with something suitable in the event of an emergency, as well as to protect you from the elements in the event of such an emergency. The versatility, weight, and size advantages do make a bivy the preferred alternative to a tent for outdoor camping, and perhaps some of the reasons most people will prefer a bivy sack for sheep hunting, instead of a tent.
Types of Bivies
This review presents an examination of three common types of bivies. We will place emphasis on the models that offer reliable construction and waterproofing qualities
Bug nets are easier and lighter to pack as compared to the majority of weather resistant models. Their design makes them ideal for areas where insects are a major concern than extreme weather conditions. However, these lightweight bivies can be used together with tarps if both insects and precipitation are a concern.
Minimalist bivy types relate to lightweight, simple bivies which are constructed without a set of poles, or without additional features that make them bulky or heavier. These bivies are ideal for application where harsh weather is not expected, and the hikers intend to hike fast and far. Because of the minimal features, these types of bivies do not offer absolute protection from external elements, and especially from harsh weather. Nonetheless, they are a great addition in case you end up camping overnight.
Four-season bivies traditionally feature a form of pole or wire to keep the fabric away from the face of the camper. These models are also made from the strong material which is capable of withstanding harsh conditions regardless of weather, and regardless of the frequency of use. This is particularly ideal for when snow is expected or where protection from the elements is needed and prolonged. Think of winter for instance.
Criteria for Evaluation
Weather resistance is perhaps one of the most critical aspects when evaluating a bivy sack for sheep hunting. A good shelter should be capable of offering protection from whatever weather may come about, without undermining the camping experience. There are several key factors that are critical when considering which type of weather to expect. The probability of rain or snow is one of these aspects. One should also consider whether the nights will be warm or cold. The critical aspect of the bivy that is determined by weather is the type of fabric used in making the bivy. If the bivy is made from mesh, the bivy in question will offer little protection against precipitation. Waterproofness on the other hand has the advantage of keeping you warm and dry when it is cold, but can undermine the camping experience in warmer conditions, because it leaves you sweaty and interferes with your breathing during warm conditions.
Different types of fabrics work differently in different situation. However, there are some bivies which are designed for all four season protection. These can be used in alpine conditions, wintry conditions, summer conditions, and so one. There are other models which seek to save on weight but undermine complete closure of waterproof material, particularly around the face. This is best reserved for emergency situations, or in conditions of mild temperatures and rain.
One of the qualities of a good bivy sack for sheep hunting is allowing for a lighter camping option especially when compared with a tent, which offers the same kind of protection. Several or light weight models characteristically feature additional bug netting as opposed to shell fabric in a bid to reduce the total weight of the bivy. It is important to note that these become very unideal for campers in very cold or very wet environments. On the other hand, other heavier models such as the four season models, pack an additional tent pole which might add a few ounces. This tell is however not necessary if the top of the tent will remain mostly open, particularly during dry conditions. It is therefore important to consider a choice that is not too lightweight such that it sacrifices the comfort and protection that you need.
The majority of users looking for a bivy sack for sheep hunting will tell you that a small packed size is one of the most defining features of a bivy, and one which they desire most. Most of these people dislike the extra bulk in the pack, which in most instances is seen as an inconvenience and can determine whether the bivy will be carried the next time or left behind. Models that feature separate tent poles often have long obstructive sticks stored separately, which allows for the bivy within the stuff sack to be easily crammed into any available small space. Because of this, opting to cut down from a tent to a smaller bivy can result in larger savings in times of space, and can allow for more room for other essential gear.
One of the lauded qualities of good bivy construction material is its waterproof quality. However, this waterproofing quality often means that it will offer protection from external weather, but may undermine internal breathing. Because of this, how well a bivy ventilates as well as well as the degree to which condensation builds up inside, greatly determine the value and performance of the said bivy. There are however some tricks you can implement to improve the performance of your bivy, and this is pretty straight forward. One of the main issues with condensed exhaled air is that when it gets overheated, it builds up within the sack and can cause massive discomfort. In order to prevent condensation, an easy fix would is to keep the zippers open as often as possible. On the other hand, if your bivy is capable of being staked out, or if it comes with a pole that offers more space around the head, it is well ventilated because these features result to extra air between the bivy walls and your body.
Comfort is critical for outdoor gear, and as such a critical determinant of a bivy sack for sheep hunting. This is more significant when you rely on this gear for shelter. Discomforting aspects such as spending time in a Cramped bivy, or a bivy that is infested with rodents and bugs can dissuade an individual from a given bivy. Some of the aspects related to the comfort of a bivy include roominess, insect protection, ease of use, as well as a variety of additional features such as sleeping pad straps or gear pockets.
When trying to determine which sleeping system is most suitable for you, or which bivy sack for sheep hunting is ideal, it is crucial to consider all the key components. The sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and shelter all work in union to keep you comfortable and warm. It is recommended to pair a bivy sack with a sleeping bag to improve the overall experience. It is also recommended to pair the bivy with any of numerous sleeping pads to increase comfort and warmth, and more so, to improve the camping experience.