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Bivy idea
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Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Bivy idea on 04/26/2009 15:18:56 MDT Print View

Hi guys and gals. I have limited skills but can barter with a local seamstress, so here goes. Please suggest improvements in design as needed. Keep in mind I'm still new to MYOG.

I'll try a basic rectangle 66" x 30" bivy, 1.1 oz silnylon floor, breathable 1.1 nylon ripstop top (can't afford cuben yet), lightweight zipper entry at head, and "expandable" noseeum mesh on the sides (sewn into the top part of the bivy). Ok, what do I mean by expandable?

Mesh sewn into a window on each side that has this shape:
Bivy window shape

There would be loops inside the bivy just above each window and light plastic buttons below the window, so in good weather I can have an open mesh window and in bad weather batten down the hatches. I thought of velcro first but figured buttons wouldn't wear on my sleeping bag as much or collect "lint".

I realize this window setup will be more likely to let in blowing rain, etc., even when closed, but I'm a fair weather camper at this point looking to make the move to tarp & bivy instead of a tent. I will use it with a polycro ground cloth.

I'm guesstimating this bivy will come in at <10 oz (don't know how much a 26" #3 zipper weighs). Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: Bivy idea on 04/26/2009 16:58:09 MDT Print View

You might look into using Momentum for the top. It's only 0.9oz/sq yd, is quite breathable, but also has a very good water repellant surface. Thru hiker has is for $13.59 a yard in your choice of colors if the price isn't a deterrent. Since I began using a bivy with my tarp I've stopped using a ground cloth since that is what the waterproof bottom of the bivy takes care of.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Bivy idea on 04/26/2009 17:48:24 MDT Print View

Thanks John, will take that into consideration.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
bivy top on 04/27/2009 19:53:02 MDT Print View

I think you will really like Momentum90. It has a soft feel and nice colors (from I made another bivy (not shown) using only one zipper having it curve around the top, or curve where you see two zippers in the photo below. If you plan to put your sleeping pad inside the bivy, be sure to add a little extra material in the top. A tight fit might compress the fill in your sleeping bag. Putting the pad inside the bag lessens your chances of slipping off of it as you sleep.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Bivy top on 04/28/2009 09:25:07 MDT Print View

Frank, thanks for the heads up about extra girth for a pad. I'll lay out my pad and bag for a template before I cut the material. Then I'll likely pin or tape everything together before I sew it to be sure it's right.

I'm also going to put a tie-out on top of the head and foot (knee) so I can support the bivy when the windows are "open." Bottom corners will also have tie-outs to secure when windows are open. I guess it ends up being a mini tent in some respects, just needing a tarp in wet or windy weather.