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Skylar Ruloff
(skylar.ruloff) - F

Locale: north east
bivy comparison on 04/13/2012 04:00:44 MDT Print View

I'm looking at getting a bivy and I don't want to spend a ton of money. Right now it's between the REI Minimalists Bivy and the Sierra Designs Baffin Sleeping Bag Bivy. Both are almost the same price. I want to know which is better in terms of condensation. the reviews for the REI bivy were mixed, some had problems and some didn't. There are virtually no reviews on the Sierra Designs bivy. I like that the SD has a closable head part in case it rains but other than that I don't know which to pick.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
similar to the REI on 04/13/2012 05:04:01 MDT Print View

Skylar, I would expect it to have pretty bad condensation issues like the REI.

Don't know if you saw my piece on bivy condensation but there is a comparison chart for bivy's there. (the SD bivy is not in it though but there is a comment on one at the very bottom)

http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/the-bivy-condensation-conundrum/

Edited by abhitt on 04/13/2012 09:32:36 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: bivy comparison on 04/13/2012 08:43:25 MDT Print View

ulgear bivies are custom made for you

http://ulgear.blogspot.com/p/ultralight-bivy.html

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/Bivy.html

these are priced in your range,but they are not fully waterproof(you did not specify that it needs to be fully waterproof)but are water resistant and much more breathable than the ones you are looking at,with waterproof bottoms.

Edited by annapurna on 04/13/2012 08:50:46 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: bivy comparison on 04/13/2012 11:56:09 MDT Print View

I have the REI bivy. Do not get it if you plan on sleeping in it through a rainstorm without any other shelter. I tried this on a very rainy and cold night and after two hours I woke up to a thunderstorm inside my bivy. It was so bad I had to bail on my trip and I'm now switching over to a tarp setup with a breathable bivy. SD uses a similar type of fabric as REI so I wouldn't expect it to be much better on condensation.

I'm starting to think WPB bivvies are really only decent for alpine climbing where the small foot print and protection from snow melt is useful but even then there are other systems that may work better.

brandon reynolds
(brandonreynolds85)

Locale: Rocky Mountains
rei bivy on 04/13/2012 19:45:25 MDT Print View

I bought the REI bivy and used it one night in arizona at about 40 degrees and woke up freezing because my down bag was soaked. I now use the MLD superlight, and its greatness. I've also heard great things about the katabatic bivy.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
rei bivy on 04/23/2012 03:14:41 MDT Print View

I have the OR Alpine Bivy and condensation is a normal issue for me but not a terrible amount to be honest. Rain and snow dont make a huge difference over a slight dew.

It's actualy a great bivy but if i had it to do over agian I woudl spend the extra $ and pickup the advanced as it has a vent.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
REI Minimalist Bivy on 04/23/2012 05:51:05 MDT Print View

I used one on a recent bicycle tour from San Diego to Pensacola. I liked it very well until I encountered warmer buggy conditions. I found it unpleasant to be zipped in in on a few warm nights but had to be inside it to escape the mosquitos on the Gulf coast.

Condensation was present, but manageable. I didn't consider it a major problem. Some mornings there was a little water or ice either under my sleeping pad or on the shell down by my feet. Sometimes a bit on the sleeping bag's outer shell as well. It all wiped up pretty easily in the morning. The DWR fabric of the sleeping bag probably helped.

I would use it again either for cooler conditions or where biting insects were not a problem. It was great when it was cold. I did take a tiny (5'X5') tarp to pitch over the head end when it rained.

Edited by staehpj1 on 04/23/2012 05:54:48 MDT.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
bivy on 04/23/2012 06:48:35 MDT Print View

Take a look at Oware's bivy offerings. We've used them for a number of years in Southeast Alaska, where there is a lot of rain, bugs and it occasionally gets chilly.