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Homemade bivy.
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Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Homemade bivy. on 02/01/2007 18:07:20 MST Print View

My lovely and talented spouse, whom I love dearly and forever made my new ultralight bivy sack this afternoon. She gave up a perfectly good snow day from school to do it, too.

The bivy has a sil nylon bottom, and a top that is Momentum 90 fabric and Nanoseeum mesh from The zipper runs around the outside edge from the right shoulder down to the left hip for easy access. The bottom and top ends are 'boxed' like a stuff sack, for more room, and it has tie-out points at each corner. We used a #3 zipper with four pulls, so I have several options for getting in and out. I like having mostly mesh over the upper body, for breathability.

I spent the last week trying to teach myself how to sew. Yeah, right. Dragonfly sews flat-felled seams with two very light, slippery fabrics, without using any pins. All the seams are straight and perfect. My pathetic attempts pale before the goddess of the sewing machine. Many thanks for all her help.

The final weight, with a mesh stuff sack, is exactly 8 ounces. I am very happy with that, since this is a huge bivy that holds me (6-2, 205) and my winter bag and pad.

Here are some photos:

Dragonfly cutting out the bottom fabric:

Sewing one of the edge seams:

Attaching the hood to the bottom fabric:

Dragonfly inside my winter bag -- a Western Mountaineering Antelope, testing out the bivy. It's a little big for her, but fits me just fine:

Edited by ken_bennett on 02/01/2007 18:10:39 MST.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Re: Homemade bivy. on 02/01/2007 22:19:29 MST Print View

very nice ken and dragonfly. just a quick question though, do you have a way to keep the netting off your face? a pull out is a sweet feature if you've got some slack for it.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: Homemade bivy. on 02/02/2007 05:03:53 MST Print View

Thanks, Mikey. I do have enough slack in the netting, but I didn't install a pullout. I've been using a similar commercial bivy for about 8 years now, and the netting never bothered me (and I never used the pullout).

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Homemade bivy on 02/07/2007 12:30:13 MST Print View

Hi Ken and Dragonfly. I'm just getting into the whole MYOG thing, so I'm wondering if you used a pattern or just winged it. If a pattern, where can I get a good one? Thanks!

Justin Ling
(ling_jd) - F

Locale: columbus ohio
Re: Homemade bivy. on 02/07/2007 13:03:50 MST Print View

pretty amazing end product! what weight silnylon did you use? and what kind of sewing machine was she using?

David Stenberg
(dstenberg1) - F

Locale: South
Re: Re: Homemade bivy. on 02/07/2007 13:16:11 MST Print View

Very nice! I like the design. Similar to the meteor bivy on the Six Moon Designs website. For those who are learning (definitely me) SMD has the pattern for their bivy online.

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
Re: Re: Re: Homemade bivy. on 02/07/2007 18:47:50 MST Print View

Here's my own pattern for a bug-bivy:

You can replace as much as you want of the netting with something water-resistant. In my experience, excessive warmth and mildew are the major problems with 3 season hiking, and thus a bug-bivy is a better idea than a water-resistant bivy. Provided you use a big enough tarp, wind-drive rain shouldn't be a problem.

One of my designs is for a bivy with a zipper on the center seam (which makes it easy to get in and out), the other is without a zipper (zippers are potential points of failure). I used the version without a zipper last year and it worked fine for flying bugs, but ants were still able to get in. Maybe the zipper version will reduce this problem this year.

Ray Jardine sells a net-tent kit at This is effectively a bug-bivy.

Jane McMichen
(jmcmichen) - F

Locale: Maine, DownEast Coast
Re: Homemade bivy on 02/08/2007 06:12:44 MST Print View

Thanks for the pattern info guys! :-)

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Homemade bivy - a 3rd Bivy Pattern found (2 variants) on 12/29/2008 01:25:14 MST Print View

I just saw this thread tonight. I found 3 ultralight bivy patterns starting with the research above which pointed to 2 of them, this 3rd one has 2 variants): to get cuben fiber

(scroll down to nearly the bottom to see two ultralight bivy patterns, in between a tarp and backpack pattern)

(The above can be gotten to thru drilling thru then patterns then Rain Shed Patterns, then look down the page for the Bivy pattern)

(Shown above, just verified this link is still active).

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Homemade bivy - a 3rd Bivy Pattern found (2 variants) on 05/12/2010 22:50:59 MDT Print View

Thought, I'd update my bivy pattern links:,sleeping%20bag-cart.htm#Tent/Sleeping%20Bag%20Patterns (scroll down)

fabrics can be bought here: