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REI minimalist bivy
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Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
REI minimalist bivy on 01/25/2009 20:27:11 MST Print View

Saw the REI minimalist bivy online for $99.00 and was wondering if anyone else had used this bivy before and what they thought of it. The price is right for me, but if it sucks then I'm not going to bother. I've never had problems with REI products before other than the fact they make everything a little smaller than most companies.

I am trying to buy a bivy sack that will fit my big agnes lost ranger, size long, and won't cost me very much. It would be primarily for summer/desert camping in california, so it doesn't have to be bombproof, but I do want one that will protect against dew and ground moisture and light rain. I'll be supplimenting it with a tarp in case it starts raining too hard. I don't really want to spend more than maybe $120.00. I've looked at a bunch of different bivies online, but I don't really know how good any of them are.

My biggest concerns are:
-size; needs to fit my big agnes lost ranger size long
-waterproof; needs to protect primarily against ground moisture but light rain too.
-price; I'm on a tight budget.

I'm not opposed to trying my hand at making one, other than I don't have a sewing machine, so that might be tough...

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: REI minimalist bivy on 01/25/2009 20:55:31 MST Print View

Justin,

I have a Mtn Hardwear Conduit SL bivy I'll let go for $80 paypal (shipped).

I don't know if your specific bag will fit, but I tried it (backyard only, no overnight) with my BA insulated air core SIZE LONG and it had room to spare. I'm 6'2". Had clothes on and my sleeping bag.

The "waterproof" zipper is long for easy entry/exit.

I didn't get a chance to try it overnight, but am using a new sleep system so I won't be using it.

Good Luck,
Todd

Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
Re: Re: REI minimalist bivy on 01/25/2009 21:10:53 MST Print View

That's a really good offer Todd, unfortunately, the money I'm going to use for a bivy is in the form of my REI dividend I'm getting in Feb, so I can only buy something from REI. Thank you very much though!

Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Bivy on 01/26/2009 12:04:33 MST Print View

Hey Justin:

This item has been around for a while. I got one with my dividend and with a great sale in 2005 (I think it was). I use it during the winter - especially if I'm going to be sleeping in a shelter (along the AT, etc.).

Pro's:
Light enough
Waterproofing works well (I was caught in a bad rain storm with mine once and it did great
Built tough
Very easy to get in and out

Cons:
You can go lighter
Zip over the head can be cumbersome to zip from the inside until you're used to it
If you're not used to something being on your face (the mesh) it can take some getting used to.
Not the best for breathing BUT it has so many zipper options that you can actually creat "holes" in it for your arms, head, whatever to stick out.

I've been happy with mine considering what I paid for it and what it can do. I only go on 1-2 winter trips a year so it works for me.

Here are some other opinions (kinda old but I do not think the bivy has changed a lot):

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews?forum_thread_id=1336&cat=Shelters+-+Bivy+Sacks&cid=34

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tarps%20and%20Bivys/REI%20Minimalist%20Bivy/Owner%20Review%20by%20Andy%20Rad/

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
REI Minimalist Bivy (feedback) on 01/26/2009 12:36:29 MST Print View

I have one, and it weighs 17oz. It is water-proof, but doesn't breath well. With a high dew point or cold weather you will get condensation on your bag. I use it for sub-freezing trips, and use a vapor barrier liner inside the bag. The VPL does eliminate the condensation issue and makes sleeping warmer. The bivy is well constructed and will last.

For warmer trips when I use a bivy with a poncho/tarp, my choice is a MLD Soul Bivy Side Zip. It is water resistant, breathes well, and sheds the water/snow the tarp doesn't catch.

- Nick