/ Bivvy bags

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fionafluffy - on 03 Sep 2013
I'm thinking of getting a bivvy bag, mainly because I have ridiculous shoulders which can't reliably carry much weight.

I am not a hardcore camper. I don't want to sleep out in a blizzard. I just want to be able to wild camp when we have fantastic summer nights like we have had this year. I feel the cold, but have a very warm, cuddly cosy sleeping bag. Although I wouldn't actually go out in the rain to camp, this being the UK it is highly likely that I will get rained upon at some point during the night, so I don't really want to have my face uncovered to the wind and rain (although in my minds eye I am camping on a sultry mid-summer's night where I will be too hot rather than cold and there will be a bit of dew but no cold...)

What kind of bivvy bag would be recommend? Weight is my main consideration - I have a 1 person tent which is 1.6kg. It is a very old gent now and the front pole is bent and although it is serviceable when I finally managed to pitch it, it is a devil of a job to pitch properly if there is only one of you. To replace it with a modern counterpart requires me to take out a mortgage... So, given that, I am looking for something that is lighter than my tent - or at least no heavier - and considerably cheaper than the equivalent lightweight tent - Alpkit do a bivvy bag for as little as £30...(although I am not sure about this as it doesn't seem to have a cover for the face)

Anyone got any suggestions or recommendations?? I am thinking of going on a hiking tour of the Lakes next week and though I expect to stay mainly on hostels it would be nice to have some emergency backup...
MagnusL - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy:

I've always been very happy with the Army surplus ones. Cheap as chips and very hard wearing. Plenty of space to put your rucksac inside down by your feet too.
kirstypallas on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy:
I use a Mountain Equipment Ion Bivi but only really for clear evenings. I do carry it around with me as a just in case option as well though. It is very light weight bivi and has been great when I've used it but beware of how much condesation you get over a night.
Here is the link to ME website:http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/tents_+_bivis/bivis/ion_bivi---375/
But look around for a better deal.
Hope this helps
fionafluffy - on 03 Sep 2013
That is very helpful - thank you
psaunders - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy: I have an envelope style bag with a zip which runs around the end and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this design.

It does give you good weatherproofing but if the weather is fair it makes it harder to keep the bag off of your face and you get worse condensation problems. I believe the drawcord hood style is better in this respect.

If you are intending to use the bag only with a good forecast I would go for something like a rab survival zone which is very light and has a drawcord hood.
csw on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy:

I second the army surplus option - They're very roomy, which makes a huge difference.
Mr. K - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy: I'm quite happy with my Alpkit Hunka, have used it in the Alps in Summer and Scottish Winter and all things in between. =o)
frqnt - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Mountain Gal:
> (In reply to fionafluffy)

> Here is the link to ME website:http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/tents_+_bivis/bivis/ion_bivi---375/

highly water resistant (1500m hydrostatic head).

The most waterproof bag in the world?!
Cameron94 on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy: RAB Ascent bivi. 30,000 hydro-static head thanks to event, bath tub design, zip opening with velcro flap, glow in the dark toggles & midge netting.

I had a army surplus thing but it was rubbish and I woke up soaking every time, whether from sweat or rain.
98%monkey - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Cameron94:

Used both army surplus and RAB ascent.

Returned the RAB bag after one use.

Bivvy bags depend on the weather. Sometimes you will just get a little wet due to body heat and ambient temperature - that is it.

Either spend a few hundred on a really good one or get the army surplus - in between is a bit of a waste in my opinion.
sleavesley on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy: have used an alpkit which was fine coupled with the mat and bag I had. Used it in freezing conditions so wet wasnt an issue.
Don't know your budget but check out the marmot home alone bicycle bag on the outdoor shop website that is £163 though at 800g.
Trangia on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy:

Get one with a wire loop which holds the material off your face at the head end, unless you are very tolerant to having your face constantly rubbed - something that makes me wake with a panic attack thinking I can't breathe.

tjin - on 04 Sep 2013
The army ones are just plain heavy. They are very good in size and breathable, but the weight! It's almost as heavy as my ultralight tent (2 person)!

I got a old breathable wafo bivvy bag. Nice zip in the front to get in easy and the hood closes tightly around your face. But i think they stopped making the one i have.

sleavesley on 04 Sep 2013
Dr.S at work - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to sleavesley:
is that any cop? I've often wondered, and thought about getting one of the beefier Terra Nova/Rab/Integral designs hooped efforts - but the weight is greater than my laser photon, and the footprint is almost the same.....
TomBaker - on 04 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy:

Similar weight to your current tent, cheaper than a number of the bivvy bags suggested, and a tent :p
alasdair19 on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to fionafluffy: We ahave a gore exchange light one, its a nylon base for cheapness i guess and a gore top. the fabric is air permeable so you can zip yourself fully inside quite happily and so it doesn't need a pole/vent/complications.

Ideal for minor weather issues and I've been really impressed
not sure on cheapness, i got it from CCC/Go outdoors on some sort of deal.

ALternatively my friend has a tarp tent which is both very light and cheap. an american concept that seems to work well. it's roomy one person thing as you can't touch the walls and relies on ventilation to keep condensation at bay. I was really impressed, friend got it online she's alexD on here so may send you a link or soemthing if you ask.

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