Bivy Comparison

4:35 p.m. on December 5, 2008 (EST)
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I am looking at a new bivy. My current bivy does not breath very well, weighs 18oz and the zipper keeps failing. Time to upgrade. Anyone farmiliar with the Mountain Laurel Design Alpine Bivy or the Soul Bivy, or any other recommendations? Alpine is made with Event, something specific I am looking for in my new bivy.

10:27 p.m. on December 5, 2008 (EST)
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Look at Integral Designs bivies. Mine has served extremely well (like all ID gear that I have used). ID is time-proven, made in Canada (not South or Southeast Asia), and stands behind their products. Which is more than I can say for a couple of Big Name companies, whose bivies I have also used.

3:21 a.m. on December 6, 2008 (EST)
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I recently found out that Exped offers a couple of eVent bivies, including one with a full length side zipper which is the best option in an emergency, IMHO. I have my two regular gear suppliers currently checking to see if these can be had in North America....I hope so.

I carry a bivy on EVERY trip I go on, with a sleeping nbag of some kind, just got a new Wildthings Epic/Primaloft 3/4 bag and a pad and siltarp. The few pounds this all weighs is easy to carry and can save your life in an un-expected storm or if you get lost or hurt...and it can happen to even the most experienced and highly trained persons.

I am looking more and more to Wildthings as they make superb gear, are easy to deal with and tend to live up to the verbal commitments they make...not the case with certain other firms who make good gear, but, are just more trouble to deal with than they are worth.

11:20 p.m. on December 7, 2008 (EST)
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I contacted Outdoor Research with respect to the Event Exped bivy. They can special order it but it is $349 USD. Way too much.

With respect to the MLD eVent bivies, they have 2 ply event v.s. 3 ply and thus do not have the third protective layer so the event membrane is exposed. Not a big deal but will require more care. The benefits: much lighter than the Integral Designs offerings and much smaller packed size. Additionally, the 2 ply breathes better than the 3 ply and is just as waterproof.

12:07 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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CWF, what do you mean by "will require more care"? I am not that familiar with Event, but I am learning. I like the lighter weight of the MLD, but I am looking for the down side. Is it that the material is easyer to snag? I move around alot in my sleeping bag and I also put some of my gear in my bivy. I do not want to damage the membrane.

1:15 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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It is that the membrane can scratch if subject to an abrasive surface. If scratched it reduced the effectiveness in the scratched area. However, MLD's eVent bivies only have an eVent top so no worries about the floor. They simply require a little more care - thrashing about in the bivy won't affect the fabric. If you are really concerned then you should look at 3-ply which will likely put you back at Integral Designs. It is a tradeoff: Lighter weight v.s. more durability.

1:24 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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For love or money I can't grasp how a bivy sack can cost nearly $300.

2:33 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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kutenay -
I have had the Wild Things elephant foot (as alpine climbers refer to 3/4 bags) for a while now. I have only used it on a couple of (planned) bivies, just to see how it worked out. I am very well pleased with it. I picked it up a couple years ago when I was in North Conway and stopped into their shop, where I discovered it.

4:30 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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Hey Bill,

I was looking at the 3/4 bags. It looks like a bivy with a pull top closure. It weigh more then their normal bivy, but is only 57" long. That is a few inches short for my needs. Why not just use a full length bivy? Is it for the added warmth?

6:01 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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I made a bivy modeled on MLD,s Superlite. The top is Momemtum which is a DWR coated breathable nylon. The bottom is standard silnylon which is not breathable. Momentum is good for sleeping bags, it has a nice feel, and is tough enough. I llike putting my sleeping pad into the bivy along with my bag, so I will not slip off the pad in the night. I switched to an inflatable pad, but when I filled it too much it tightened up the bivy and compressed the down of my bag. At least that is what think happened when I got cold. I add a bivy for warmth, so a 3/4 bivy would not do it for me. I have a large head, good for losing a lot of heat. I like keeping it covered. The prices do seem high, but the material is expensive, and they take time to sew.

6:26 p.m. on December 8, 2008 (EST)
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The "elephant's foot" that Bill and I refer to is NOT a bivy, it is a sleeping bag cut short and intended to be used with a "duvet" type jacket in alpine bivies. One puts this on, then one's "duvet" or down jacket and possibly one's bivy and then, nods off to dreamland while securely clipped into one's climbing rope, affixed to ye olde cliff face by various pitons, chocks and nuts....one hopes....

Apres le snooze, one divests oneself of the "elephant's foot" and "duvet" and puts them in one's alpine pack and sallies forth again, to climb the "Eigerwand" or whatever. It is simply a lighter, less bulky system for sleeping on short term climbs and evergency bivies.

This is my second one, my first was by Yvon Chouinard and was getting a little old, after 20+ years of duty as an emerg. bag in my packs. I tried an Exped Wallcreeper PL., but, it weighed too much and my wife swiped it for a cuddler when watching TV, who am I to argue with the Cherub?

I would not suggest this system unless you require the least bulky sleeping rig available, as in climbing and/or alpine hunting with a small pack. I will always carry a bag if conditions permit it, but, for it's niche use, this Wildthing's rig is the best of it's type that I have seen and I find the company better to deal with than many others.

9:44 a.m. on December 9, 2008 (EST)
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On Wildthing's we site, they list their bivy as 1 lbs 8oz (24oz) with a 3 ply event system. Do you know if the whole bag is Event or if the bottom is Ripstop Nylon? I like to put my pad in my bivy, so I need a durable bottom material.

9:52 a.m. on December 9, 2008 (EST)
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"I tried an Exped Wallcreeper PL., but, it weighed too much and my wife swiped it for a cuddler when watching TV, who am I to argue with the Cherub?"

I'm learning to buy my wife her own set of stuff as she is continually making off with mine and I'm then out in the cold.

One thing to consider is the dimensions of the bivy. Some are cut narrower than others. If you're going to be using the bivy with a winter bag versus a summer bag you'll want the extra room.

2:06 p.m. on December 9, 2008 (EST)
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Good point. I will be using this in the winter.

5:21 p.m. on December 9, 2008 (EST)
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I check Wildthings bivy aginst the MLD bivy. The Wildthings bivy is a lot smaller by about 5" at shoulders and 6" at feet. I was leaning towards the Wildthings bivy, now I'm back to the MLD. Better to find out now I guess.

9:44 p.m. on December 9, 2008 (EST)
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The all event Bivy or Microbivy from ID is larger still. But of course, heavier. Pick your poison.

7:58 a.m. on January 23, 2009 (EST)
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My friend have a bibler Hooped bivy, and I have tried it once, it made with toddtex, the breathability is quite good. And the hoop is supported by wire, more light weight and easy to set up in worse weather.

July 25, 2014
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