Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy

2:49 a.m. on January 9, 2010 (EST)
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No I am in no means an ultra-light hiker. But the OR Alpine Bivy has caught my attention. Anyone out there have any insight on this product or for that matter use one?

I am considering buying one for my solo trips and don't want to waste the $ if the product is not worth it.

I know it is gore-tex but how would this product fair for winter use? Thanks.

3:11 a.m. on January 9, 2010 (EST)
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I got an OR early on, but found it inadequate for anything more than an emergency bivy in the summer in the Sierra or Rockies (and it was marginal in the Rockies). I find my Integral Designs bivy to be far superior. However, a bivy, no matter who makes it, is for just that - a bivouac. That means an emergency, temporary survival night out. Bivouacing is not camping; it is bivouacing. Yes, if you want to travel fast and light and don't mind being uncomfortable for a few hours of rest, a bivy sack is just fine. But don't mistake it for a tent substitute.

11:40 a.m. on January 9, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks Bill. That is my intent of use. I wanted to get 1 for that situation that emergency situation that can happen. I am also looking for a Hilleberg Akto for 4 season solo use. I have seen the Integral Designs. I will look more into that product. I would be using it more for hunting purposes(cold weather.)

5:03 p.m. on January 10, 2010 (EST)
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I have had quite a number of bivies and do not like the OR one, based on how a friend's performed here in BC on a Sept. hunt when a major snow storm hit us, miles into the roadless wilderness and with no means of leaving, other than a 20+ mile hike. I had my Integral Designs eVent Bugaboo bivy and was comfy.

For hunting, the best option is the Integral Designs EVENT Unishelter combined with the ID Silwing, both in green. You can rig a camp, with these and trekking poles that will keep you alive, safe and comfy in any weather. I have had the original TegralTex version since 1994 and it has been my main emerg. rig until a couple of years ago, however, the EVENT one IS better and worth the extra cost.

For a solo hunting camp, there are two tents I consider FAR better than the Akto, which I do not care much for. These are the Hillberg Soulo and, my favourite, the ID Mega Sola, again, with an ID Silwing and/or Siltarp, I have the STIII and my hunting shelters are all in various greens...wild sheep have SHARP eyes!

I prefer the ID MS and tarp for 3-5 day treks where alpine country above timberline is involved. For day or o-nite hunts, in most parts of BC in early season, I carry an ID EVENT South Col. with an ID Silponcho and can make a GOOD, SAFE emerg, bivouac in forested areas...and it is light.

ID gear is NOT "cheap" , but, it is among the finest, most functional gear I have ever used and it lasts a long time. Hilleberg is beyond compare, IMO, I wouldn't buy another tent from anyone else.

5:05 p.m. on January 10, 2010 (EST)
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i carry a U.S. Military gore-tex bivy back. it's not light, weighs in at slightly over two pounds, but the fabric is heavy and won't easily tear. have only used it to make a sleeping bag feel a little warmer, but it works fine, didn't wake up drenched or damp, and it's a very affordable safety net.

10:59 p.m. on January 10, 2010 (EST)
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Here is a pic from my late Sept. trip on the Flat Tops. It is my ID eVent unishelter under an ID 5x8 siltarp set up on treking poles. I use this combo on my solo trips which usually run from 5 to 10 nights out. It keeps me warm and dry in any situation and is very comfortable. The eVent breathes very well as long as frost doesn't build up on the outside to block the pores and the horseshoe shapped opening makes it very easy to get in and out of and is great for star gazing on clear nights. There is enough room under the tarp for my pack and other gear to stay out of the weather. This is my favorite piece of gear to pack with as you can pitch it almost anywhere.

9:42 a.m. on January 11, 2010 (EST)
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Yup, looks like "home", but, I just prefer a larger tarp as it seems a bit better in wind driven rain storms. A STII is probably the best compromise, however, your setup is similar to various bivy/tarp rigs I have used since the '60s. I actually prefer these in Grizzly country to any tent as I can see around me at night far better and they do give all the shelter really needed.

What bag are you using with that, an ID Pl. or a down one?

1:39 p.m. on January 11, 2010 (EST)
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I own the OR Alpine Bivy. Someone gave it to me as a gift. I used it once on the AT and would never use it again. Maybe as an emergency bivy, but not for a fast light tarp tent trip. First, it does not breath well at all. Next, there are much lighter, better made bags out there. I now own one by Mountain Lauel Design. It is very light and perfect for an emergecy shelter. Also works great with a tarp, for those fast light trips. Intergral Design also makes a great product.

7:25 p.m. on January 11, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks to everyone for the info. I rely on you all for insight when it comes to gear. I am looking into the ID bivy as well as all other systems mentioned. So many choices. I love user feedback. If it wasn't for this site I would have a basement of gear that I would probably want to throw a match to. Thanks.

12:07 a.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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I use a Mountain Hardware Phantom 15 on top of an Exped Downmat7. Very comfortable and warm. Most nights the sleeping bag stays partially to mostly unzipped. There is plenty of extra room in the unishelter for the down bag to loft. It will easily take a full winter bag/sleep system.

I hear you on the extra coverage of the siltarp 2. I also have an ID siltarp 2 and 3 that I use when the family comes along. I have found the 5x8 tarp to be sufficient for most conditions by myself. When things start blowing too bad, I drop the poles and let the tarp collapse on top of me. It usually takes care of any driven rain or spindrift and the hoop on the bivy keeps the tarp off my face. That's what I had done the night before this picture was taken.

I have witnessed so many things sleeping under a tarp that I would have missed by being closed off from the world in a tent that I won't use a tent anymore except for car camping in a camp ground where you want some privacy or for winter camping (which I don't get to do much).

4:30 a.m. on January 12, 2010 (EST)
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SnowGoose-interesting logic :)

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