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Noobie Bivy Questions
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Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: tarp/bivy combo under 1lb on 05/07/2013 18:05:50 MDT Print View

My current solution

GG SpinnTwinn
ZPacks Poncho Groundsheet

Don't need Bivy if no bugs. If Bugs then will bring/use my Katabatic Gear Bristlecone Bivy 7.8oz. I am thinking about getting the MLD Bug Bivy but made with full nanoseum. I find the Silnylon bottom to be way too slippery and I don't really need a waterproof bottom with the Zpacks Poncho Groundsheet.

I would highly recommend a larger Tarp than 5x9. During rain you will find that size is terribly restrictive. You won't be able to do much except lay down.

Edited by randalmartin on 05/07/2013 18:07:11 MDT.

Jack Newton
(figster) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas and light! on 05/08/2013 22:43:07 MDT Print View

I use a custom Zpacks cuben tarp and a MLD bug bivy in hot, humid Arkansas. You'll get bit from time to time and sometimes get a little moist, but that is the cost of an SUL experience. Whoever says that there is not room for a bivy in humid and buggy environments has a pack that weighs too much! I lost my charts and graphs though i'm pretty sure the combo is around just a half pound.


Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Heat and Bugs on 05/09/2013 06:26:08 MDT Print View

The SMD Meteor has a tall half mesh top. More comfortable in hot bug season.

Doesn't provide as much protection under a 5x8 tarp as a full coverage bivy, but I consider it the best compromise for warmer weather where some splash/spray in heavy rain is OK.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Noobie Bivy Questions on 05/09/2013 07:24:30 MDT Print View

I found that the USGI bivy vented well so I'm doubtful that you'll find a traditional bivy which will be less muggy than that other than a bug bivy. I've slept through some torrential downpours under a poncho with the USGI bivy; this was my primary shelter in the infantry for a decade. There was nothing psychadelic about it. Just a simple A frame with bungee cords. I found that the poncho would do 90% of the work and the bivy was just for the occasional spray. I could have used a large ground sheet folded over me or a DWR bivy and had basically the same performance for less weight.

If I was shopping for what you are looking for and trying to stay on a budget....

Borah/Bearpaw/etc 5.5 x 9 tarp. 8.6oz $50

5x7 polycro ground sheet which you can pull over your sleep system for added protection from rain spray. 3.65oz $10

Sea to summit nano bug canopy 2.9oz $50

Total weight 15.15oz (still need to add lines & stakes)
Total cost $110

IMHO, if you want better performance than this, it's probably going to require writing a bigger check for a 8x10 cuben fiber tarp or the acceptance of a modest weight penalty and going with a larger silnylon tarp.

Same as above but with Zpacks 8x10 tarp 6.7oz $255

Total weight 13.25oz (still need to add lines & stakes)
Total cost $315

Same as above but with Borah/Bearpaw/etc 8x10 tarp 13oz $95
Total Weight 19.55 oz (still need to add lines & stakes)
Total cost $155

Edited by IDBLOOM on 05/09/2013 07:25:23 MDT.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
5x8 Tarp with DWR Bivy on 05/09/2013 08:09:48 MDT Print View

There is no reason you can't get by with a 5x8 tarp and a DWR bivy. That can be pretty light and not very expensive. It is pretty easy to go under a pound even with stakes and cord. It is also easy to get it all for under $200.

I do think that a 6x9 tarp would be tempting as an upgrade in wetter climates, but it isn't a very common size.

Edited by staehpj1 on 05/09/2013 08:10:24 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Inexpensive tarp and bivy on 05/09/2013 09:01:09 MDT Print View

A couple of new products I make. Tarp AND bivy for $87.
$29 for mini tarp
In stock
$58 bivy/sleeping bag cover
Just came in, need to add to shopping cart and get exact weight.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Tarp AND bivy for $87 on 05/09/2013 09:35:44 MDT Print View

"Tarp AND bivy for $87"
Very kool!

At that price that combination could also prove to be a good emergency shelter for non-UL types as well.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Tarp and Bivy for $87 on 05/09/2013 09:53:37 MDT Print View

Very cool deal. I used a similar bivy for years until the bottom leaked. I like the tiny tarp but honestly I'd pay a bit extra for the 6x10 tarp if you can. Much for a bit more money and weight you'll be much more comfortable in the rain.