Winter Emergency Bivy Sack
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David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 11/30/2009 21:05:43 MST Print View

I am looking for an emergency bivy sack. Not to be used in conjunction with a sleeping bag but solely for emergency use for planned single day climbs. I currently have an Adventure Medical Heatsheets bivy sack but I do not think it will be sufficient for winter climbs. I don't care about bug netting or any frills. I would use this sack most likely in a snow cave in conjunction with a winter Belay Jacket. As with all bivy sacks condensation issues are a worry esp. for the winter for an emergency bivy sack. I don't want to have my emergency gear causing more harm then good.

I was looking at something sub $150 if possible. Lightweight and durability is a must.

Possible Choices:

MontBell Breeze Dry-Tec UL Sleeping Bag Cover- $120 (6.3oz)

Adventure Medical Kits Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivy- $27.95 (6.9oz)

MSR-E Bivy- $68.95 (9oz)

Black Diamond Winter Bivy- $89.95 (9oz)

REI Minimalist Bivy- $64.93 (15oz)

Marmot Alpinist Bivy- $124 (14oz)

Rab Storm Bivi- $73.74 (17oz)

Integral Designs eVent Micro Bivy- $157 (18.5oz)

Wild Things Half Bag- $110 (29oz)

Suggestions? Advice?

Thank you.

Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
MontBell goretex UL Sleeping Bag Cover on 11/30/2009 21:28:23 MST Print View

I have a MontBell goretex UL Sleeping Bag Cover.
I like the simple designs and light weight.
You have to notice that the goretex coating will be abraded to be thiner and thiner at some parts, but I think it will still be useful for using it under tarps or in a cave. Because of the coating problem, it will not be totally waterproof, but it's just enough.

I haven't used it in snow season, but I've never encountered any condensation problem even when vary humid or heavy raining days. I think it breathes pretty well since when folding it, the air inside comes out easily and quickly. It may because of the thin outer fabric, the air flows out quicklier than in other goretex bivy I've used before. If I use a down bag, I'll definitely bring it as well to protect the bag from getting damp.

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
... on 11/30/2009 21:38:28 MST Print View

My sugestion is if it is as emergency on one day winter climbs is to take something like a WM Highlite rather then a bivy.
1. lighter and warmer then bivys
2. if you are only out overnight and can dry things out the next day - who cares if the down gets wet, it will still be warm enough (or nearly) for that night.
I think Marrmot and MEC make WP/B syns overbags that might be a good option too (but heavy).

The Highlite assumes that by winter you mean real winter in which rain does not fall - if that is not the case add a Bothy Bag.

Actually a two-man Bothy Bag is another option and if you are mainly concerned with weather protection rather then warmth (bivys add hardy any at all on their own, mostly wind protection - which a sleeping bag does as well).
The nice thing about Bothy Bags is that with two people in it, and possibly a stove going, is that they can be surprisingly warm from body heat and sheltered.

Hope that helps, either a Highlite or a Bothy Bag would be my call. Where are you climbing?

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Reply on 11/30/2009 21:58:30 MST Print View

Mainly in NH. Mt Washington and surrounding mountains. One thing about living in New England, Mt Washington sure isn't like other mountains in the United States it's not nearly as high etc. But the weather patterns that hit the Presidential region are unique and can be potentially very dangerous. Last yr was my first trip out west climbing and I did Mt Rainier, it was great. Next trip I'd like to head out to Colorado for a week or two possibly to Rocky Mountain National Park and a few other mountains on the 14ers list.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 12/01/2009 10:25:53 MST Print View

Both Bill Martin and I have looked at winter bivy requirements similar to yours (very detailed analysis including reverse engineering measurements). We both selected the EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag @ 12 oz for $8.50 http://www.botachtactical.com/mpiexproteem.html as the best light weight solution available.

Total bivy weather protection is provided in addition to an honest 8 TOG, 5.8 clo of insulation to augment what you are wearing. Also carry a torso pad.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 12/01/2009 10:49:02 MST Print View

That looks very similar to a Blizzard Bag Richard.
A potential life saver in winter.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 12/01/2009 10:51:06 MST Print View

Thanks for that info, Richard. I always value your comments.

I just ordered 2 of them based on your recommendation for Mr. B and me to carry in our daypacks on our winter season scrambles. As a bonus, right now there is a 15% discount at that website.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re : Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 12/01/2009 11:07:23 MST Print View

Mike,

Blizzard (UK) owns the patent and is the manufacturer. The US sources are just retailers for it.

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Reply on 12/01/2009 11:09:04 MST Print View

How does the MPI Extreme Pro Tech Emergency Bag compare to a bag such as the Adventure Medical Thermolite 2.0? It looks very similar in theory to the reflective material to increase warmth. Also what would you say about the durability? I worried about the Adventure Medical Thermolite's durability and ripping the material with my boots or just being in a snow cave.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Winter Emergency Bivy Sack on 12/01/2009 11:20:12 MST Print View

Cheers Richard. The US price is about a 1/5 of what we pay here!
Seems crazy, but flying them back here from the US is much cheaper than buying at source. We pay over $30 for them. I think i'll order some from the US! :)

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Reply on 12/01/2009 13:29:57 MST Print View

David,

Blizzard licensed the "Super Stretch" patent from Montbell. They use the elastic to shape multiple air cells and block tear propagation. In addition the two IR layers have signicantly less emmisivity than many competitive alternatives such as the AM Thermolite.

Edited by richard295 on 12/01/2009 14:42:45 MST.

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Reply on 12/01/2009 13:52:37 MST Print View

Richard,

Is the Blizzard bag the same bag as the EXTREME Pro Tech Bag? I see one US Distributor in Texas that sells Blizzard Bags, I am emailing them to see if they sell to the public. They have quite a few Blizzard bags actually. I was looking at the BPS-11.

http://www.ps-med.com/bps/description_bps01.html

Edited by stanhope2003 on 12/01/2009 13:53:40 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Blizzard Distribution on 12/01/2009 14:39:10 MST Print View

David,

The Extreme Pro Tec Bag, sold in the US, is the same product as the Blizzard bag manufactured and sold in the EU.

PerSys Medical
3050 Post Oak Blvd
Suite 1710
Houston TX 77056

The above company is the sole US distributor for Blizzard. They will probably only sell to dealers with a minimum order size.

Edited by richard295 on 12/01/2009 14:44:27 MST.

David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Reply on 12/01/2009 15:18:06 MST Print View

Richard,

The bag is $39.99. Compared to the MPI Extreme Pro Tech Emergency bag at $8.50. Why is there such a large markup for the Blizzard Bag if it is essentially the same bag as the MPI Extreme?

Edited by stanhope2003 on 01/19/2010 12:44:10 MST.

Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag on 12/01/2009 19:15:19 MST Print View

Does any one have idea about the approximate temperature rating of this product?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Reply on 12/01/2009 19:24:04 MST Print View

David,

I don't know the answer to that question. My wild guess is that they are sensitive to alienating the dealer network by matching or undercutting their retail prices.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag on 12/01/2009 19:42:09 MST Print View

Jangtian,

Leeds University tested this product as providing 8 TOG. With an EN13537 sleeping pad (R4.8) this would equate to a ~LLimit rating of 38F.

Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
Re: EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag on 12/01/2009 20:21:53 MST Print View

Richard,
Thank you for the information. That sounds quite efficient. I'm now using a BPL UL 60 quilt which let me feel cold at only 50F with only thin base layer. I'm wondering how EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag works as a casual bag but not a emergency one. How is the condensation problem? Is there any other downsides?

Edited by syoten on 12/01/2009 20:24:13 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag on 12/01/2009 20:51:08 MST Print View

Jantian,

The Pro-Tech Bag is not viable for the application you described. It is fragile, noisy, and voluminous once it is unpacked from the shrink wrap. The inner layers of the Pro-Tech are perforated to minimize (not eliminate) moisture accumulation in your clothing layers. It is design optimized for one-time emergency use.

Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
Re: Re: EXTREME Pro-Tech Bag on 12/01/2009 21:28:22 MST Print View

Richard,
I see. Thank you~