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Is high quality homemade bivy worth it?
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Pete Zseleczky
(petez11) - F
Is high quality homemade bivy worth it? on 06/05/2008 19:36:53 MDT Print View

Hi all, I've been thinking of making a nice bivy for some time but always come back to the question: Is it worth the time and money? I went through the SMD plans for their Meteor bivy and added up the Thru-Hiker costs.

Link to plans:

Here are the prices:
2 2/3 yd 1.1 Silnylon $11.50/yd---$34.50
1 1/3 yd 0.9 Momentum $13.59/yd---$27.18
1 2/3 yd Nanoseeum $6.13/yd---$12.26
6 ft #3YKK Coil Zipper $0.35/ft---$02.10
2 #3 Double Pull Zipper $0.35-----$00.70

This number seemed pretty high to me. The TiGoat Ptarmigan bivy with mesh is $110 and the Oware Drawcord bivy DWR/Silnylon is $90.24 ($118.74 for Quantum/Silynylon). For those of you who have made a bivy, have you paid this much for materials and is it worth it?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Is high quality homemade bivy worth it? on 06/05/2008 19:44:59 MDT Print View

if you make it from 2nd you can do it for under $5yd for both sil and uncoated 1.1oz. The noseeum is around $3yd. It will be a tad heavier, i think it should seriously be a tad, but much cheaper and if you don't like it it wasn't such a cash hog.

also Silnylong from Noah Lamport could be under $3yd for 2nds.

I always use 2nds and have never found anything wrong with them at all.

also, can't order partial yds at thru-hiker (i don't think)

Edited by MarshLaw303 on 06/05/2008 19:48:01 MDT.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Is high quality homemade bivy worth it? on 06/05/2008 20:06:15 MDT Print View

Definitely nothing wrong with the seconds silnylon. I used it for a poncho and have had no problems with it. It appears thru-hiker doesn't have it in stock right now, but OWF has it for $4.90 a yard.

And like Tim said, I don't think you car order partial yards from thru-hiker. I've never ordered from OWF, so I can't comment on them.(Edit: just noticed they only sell by the yard as well)

As for being worth it, I take a lot of pride in my homemade quilt and jackets (poncho-tarp not so much). The cost savings is nice if you have plenty of time, patience, and space. During the school year, I'm rather short on all three, so I don't make as much gear as I would like. Those are the times I don't mind paying a little more for something of higher quality than I could produce to receive it in much less time.

If you haven't sewn before, definitely have some one to teach you. I learned a lot watching my mom do the harder stuff while I did the shorter seams. And practice with the scraps a lot too.

Have fun!


Edited by aroth87 on 06/05/2008 20:09:21 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Is high quality homemade bivy worth it? on 06/05/2008 21:26:16 MDT Print View

I used 2nds on mine ... here's what I bought:

3 yards 2nd sil at $5 a yard -- $15.00
1 yard Momentum -- $13.59
The rest was the same .... about 15 bucks.

That takes it to around $50 with shipping.

Then I cut the Bivy down from 8 ft to 7 ft long. The Sil comes up a bit at the foot, but that's not a bad thing.

Another one I built I used 3 yards of 2nd's sil and then just extended the Nanoseeum down by using whatever I needed of the 2 yards of nanoseeum netting. This one was about $35.

You can also use cheaper DWR coated nylon in place of the momentum ....

There are less expensive options if you'd like.

Of course ... just ordering the TI Goat bivy is a no brainer .... order it and you're done.

Michael Barber
(barber5) - F

Locale: Midwest
I agree with Pete on 06/05/2008 21:51:47 MDT Print View

I did the same price analysis. Why go that route when the Equinox Bivy is like $60 and 6.5 oz? Hard to beat. Also I happened upon some tyvek for cheap and have been messing around with that. It works. Plus a good practice material.

Robert Bruce
(jvlmstr27) - F
owfinc yardage on 10/13/2008 21:30:11 MDT Print View

Just a heads-up. OWFINC will let you order partial yards. I've ordered all my material from them. They are fast and friendly and have been happy to answer questions and make suggestions/reccomendations when I've asked.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Is high quality homemade bivy worth it? on 10/16/2008 18:59:23 MDT Print View

I am in the process of making a Meteor Bivy ala Six Moon designs. I got my stuff from owf inc as I always do and it was very cheap. 2nds sil, 1.1 dwr, and no seeum. I expect about a 7 oz finish weight. rerun your numbers with their prices and see the difference. Construction is going very smoothly and is one of the easier large projects I have done. I am very busy with other things, but I will probably end up with under 3 hours work on it. The reason I am doing this instead of getting the equinox is due to the extra breathability compared to standard bivies, but more rain protection than a bug net like the MLD one.