5 Best Bivy Sacks Reviews, Tips & Guides
Bivy sack is a short abbreviation used for “bivouac sack.” It is basically a waterproof shelter designed for a single person. These sacks are for people who frequently travel solo in the backcountry and desire to shed every possible ounce from their loads. As compared to tents, they are very small and lightweight.
The main problem with these sacks uses to be the humidity that condenses on the inner side. But with time, bivy sacks have evolved a lot to include waterproof breathable fabrics to help reduce internal condensation.
With hooped tent poles you can always convert bivy sacks to bivy shelters. Bivy sacks provide more warmth as your body heat is retained inside. Thus, they can be adapted for warm or cold weather.
As bivy sack is so confined, breathability will be extremely important. Thus, the selection of appropriate material is a must. Bivy design today involves 2 tiers of fabric; the top tier is usually a lighter fabric made of ripstop nylon and treated with a waterproof, breathable laminate and the bottom tier generally consisting of a sturdy and durable urethane-coated nylon.
5 Best Bivy Sacks of 2021
When it comes to selecting a bivy sack, confusion tends to arise as the market is flooded with options. We have filtered out five best bivy sacks for you by some of the best brands in the market. Take a look:
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
- Weight: 32 oz.
- Material: GORE-TEX Respiration Positive 3L, 100% nylon, 30D ripstop upper - 2L, 100% nylon, plain weave taffeta floor
Outdoor Research has now grown into a leader in the outdoor industry and is a trusted brand for outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Their products are of the highest quality and with each new product, they bring something new to the market.
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy is equipped with waterproof breathable 3-layer Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric that provides excellent breathability, soundproofing, and waterproofing.
The best part about this fabric is that it protects from rain and snow without collecting interior condensation. It comes with 30D ripstop upper – 2L and a nylon plain weave taffeta floor.
The durable nylon floor uses a Hydroseal polyurethane waterproof coating. This versatile bivy weighs only 32 oz. i.e. around 2 pounds.
It comes with fully taped seams that provide protection from outside elements. An integrated shock-corded Delrin pole runs over the top of the bag, keeping material off of your face.
The overlapped zipper opening lets you breathe freely without letting in the weather. The single overhead shock-corded Delrin pole keeps bivy up and off of face when a sack is closed. It comes with straps that keep your sleeping pad in place, thereby preventing the bivy from rolling over and ensuring a comfortable sleep.
It features a mesh internal pocket for your headlamp or phone. The Alpine has five-stake loops and a guy line loop. It features a removable no-see-um mesh netting at the opening to keep biting insects away, plus it offers an amazing night view.
The foot section is approximately 14.5 high and allows a more natural position for feet. The footprint is sized in a way to accommodate thicker sleeping pads.
This is a 4 season bivy that is durable enough to offer protection from any outside element. The comfortable features and the weather-resistance it offers is truly appreciable.
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy
- UPPER: Pertex Shield 2.5L 100% nylon 30D ripstop LOWER: 100% nylon 40D with TPU lamination floor
Outdoor Research is a Seattle-based manufacturer of technical apparel and gear for outdoor sports. Their products are innovative and are known for their quality.
Weighing in at only 18 ounces, this functional bivy is one of the lightweight bivies you’ll come across. The Helium features a clamshell design that promotes a restful night’s sleep with a Delrin Single-Pole system acting as a stabilizing structure for the bivy itself.
This bivy is extremely comfortable and packs pretty small.
It is made from nylon Pertex Shield, a 2.5 layer, fully waterproof material and features a clear laminate upper. The Pertex Shield+ 2.5L has a 20,000 hydrostatic head rating, i.e. it is perfect for use in extreme wet climates.
The Helium is made of a durable TPU laminated 70 denier nylon floor that features an anti-fungal coating.
This bivy is equipped with five-stake loops (two at the feet, three at the head and none on the sides), one guy-line loop, sleeping pad straps, a high-volume toe end, and a single shock-corded overhead Delrin pole.
It includes a small internal mesh pocket that can store-in your valuables. This lightweight and breathable bivy feature a removable no-see-um mesh netting at the opening to keep biting insects away, thereby ensuring comfort. It is fully seam-taped and sized to fit thick sleeping mats.
The sleeve for the hoop is opened by velcro at one end and sealed at the other. One of the reasons behind its lightweight is that it includes a light plastic pole and not metal eyelets.
The hood can be unzipped whenever you require extra ventilation plus provides an amazing night view.
However, some people find it difficult to deal with the hood as it can’t be rolled up. It actually falls over the opening, but it includes a toggle with which you can pin it out of your way.
Overall, this waterproof and super breathable tent is not very spacious but offers plenty of room for you to feel comfortable. If weight is a concern while traveling, this lightweight bivy is perfect for you.
Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent
- WATERPROOF - AquaQuest are industry leaders in waterproof gear, so it’s no surprise that their Hooped Bivy is more waterproof than most other single walled shelters. 70D RipStop fabric + PU coating + Heat taped seams = Waterproof rating of 10,000 mm + Breathability rating of 3000 gr/m2/day
- ULTRALIGHT & COMPACT - Featuring one lightweight collapsible shock cord pole and 5 lightweight aluminum pegs, and weighing in at only 2.4 lbs for the entire kit. Packed Size = 15 x 5 inch Compressed = 15 x 3 inch
Aqua Quest is the World Leader in outdoor waterproof gear protection. They have been making top-notch dry bags, backpacks, tarps, and tents since 1994. Hooped bivvy bags are like tiny tents.
They are much better in the rain. The Aqua Quest Hoopla bivy bag is a comfortable hooped bivy bag that comes with amazing features on a budget.
The total weight of this tent is around 2.4 lbs (1.1kg), making it a lightweight tent. Measuring 5-inches in width and 15-inches in length, this Aqua Quest tent is really compact.
However, the shoulder and foot area is wide enough to give you enough space to move around. You can easily carry this lightweight tent inside your backpack or attach it to the outside of your backpack.
This tent is available in orange and green colors. It just takes a couple of minutes to set up this tent, as the work gets relatively simpler with the included stuff sack.
As far as construction is concerned, it uses breathable and waterproof laminated ESTER PU Coated 70D Ripstop Nylon Taffeta, a high-quality material that is durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions.
It features one lightweight collapsible shock cord pole and 5 lightweight aluminum pegs. It also includes an air-vent in the head section, and ‘Batwing’ stiffeners to elevate the footbed, thereby increasing airflow and comfort.
The outside layer rolls down to the base providing excellent insect protection.
It comes with a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and a breathability rating of 3000 gr/m2/day. It comes with heat-taped seams so it offers complete protection from outside elements.
Even if you close the top panel, as a rain-protection measure, you still can enjoy the beautiful sky via a TPU window straight above your head.
It features a fixed rear panel mesh for added circulation and condensation prevention but the foot area is without any opening. Therefore condensation can be a big problem in colder weather. Thus, this tent is only suitable for quick overnight and weekend tours.
As far as price is concerned, it is one of the cheapest bivy tents available, but that doesn’t mean it compromises on quality.
Snugpak 92860 Stratosphere One Person Bivvy Shelter
- Inner dimensions are 91 inches long, 32 inches wide, and 20 inches tall; built to accommodate just 1 person; features a full-length side zip
- Lightweight and compact pack size is 12 inches long by 5 inches wide, it weighs 2.5 pounds; stands up to severe weather with superior waterproofing
Snugpak is manufacturers of quality sleeping bags and insulated clothing not only in the UK but across Europe. Their products are famous all-over and are known for their quality.
Snugpak Stratosphere is an ultra-lightweight one person bivi-bag system that is very easy to set-up and dismantles. It is a very good sleeping bag with a water-resistant shell.
The base of the Stratosphere is 70-Denier Nylon Taffeta with PU coating and the top is 40D Nylon Ripstop, which is waterproof and moisture permeable.
This bivy bag is extremely light, weighing in at just 1.13kgs and comes with a ground area of 230 x 106cm. It is quite spacious for a bivy bag, giving you ample headroom.
It comes complete with six ultralight alloy stakes and one spare to create a self-supporting canopy around the head and shoulders. This, in turn, allows increased breathability and movement while giving protection from the elements.
It’s breathable, yet highly waterproof. It comes with a 5000 mm waterproof polyurethane coating. It also has a roll-away mosquito net in front of the hood. The bivy bag comes with its own compression stuff sack.
A zipper located on the right side when lying in the bivy opens down 3/4th of the length of the bivy, which makes for easy entry. All the seams are sealed with a layer of waterproof sealant. There are extra velcro fastenings on the zipper which provides protection from the rain.
Overall, it is an excellent choice for a 1-person bivy which feels more like a tent than a bivy bag. This bag stands up to severe weather and makes you feel comfortable and dry even in the harsh weather conditions.
Chinook Summit Bivy Bag
- Crafted from the highest quality material ensuring quality and durability
- Perfect for indoor and outdoor use
Chinook has made innovative breakthroughs in mainstream outdoor products, such as apparel, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and technical cookware.
Chinook Summit Bivy Bag is more of a sleeping bag with a miniature tent for just your head area. This lightweight bag just weighs around 32 ounces. This bag measures 91 inches long and by 32 inches wide.
The bag features an expandable height of 17 to 22 inches. It is fabricated from 5000 gauge nylon. The bag can be compressed into a compact size for easy storage.
It is equipped with DAC Featherlite aluminum poles to create a self-supporting canopy around the facial area for better breathability. It features a waterproof and breathable fabric top, and a waterproof Ripstop Nylon bottom fabric.
The seams are factory-taped and completely waterproof. There is a mesh flap behind the head and on the front flap that can be opened up to allow airflow.
It comes in two colors: blue and olive. Perfect for multi-day wilderness trips or trekking and snow camping, this bivy contains a contoured hood. The hood’s design is in a way that it can be kept open during heavy rain.
The mosquito netting ensures that you aren’t attacked by unwanted insects at night. The is a 4 season bag; perfect to handle any condition, including snow and heavy rain.
The bag comes with a roomy foot box, allowing you enough space to move and sleep comfortably. The interior is designed in a way to offer you a lot of warmth.
Overall, this is an affordable bivy bag that offers amazing functionality and will keep you warm even in the harshest winter conditions. This is truly worth the consideration.