User Review: Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy
Design: Bivy Sac
Ease of Setup: Difficult at Night
Weight: 1lb 7oz
Price Paid: Pro Deal
Compared to other bivy sacks on the market, it is a truly best in class (this review is for the '01 Advanced Bivy edition). The Pro's and Con's are as follows:
Does show a little wear after 6 years and roughly 100 nights. Simple abrasion marks on the outer floor are visible, but have shown to have no effect to the overall performance. My concern relates mainly to the internal bug net zipper. Overtime it has "burned" itself out.
I am a firm believer that nothing is waterproof so it was no surprise that during a torrential rain storm in Virginia's Jefferson NF that I ended up with a damp sleeping bag near the footbox. Also, condensation is apparent when used outside of the dry air of the Southwest.
At its peak height there is plenty of room to shuffle around and stave off the effects of claustrophobia and keep some sense of sanity. There are also three positions that you can set the poles at to keep the flow of air moving as well as protect yourself from the elements.
It is light enough to bring on day hikes in hostile terrain (ie. Tetons, Winds or Alps) and with it weighing in under 2 lbs it is definitely more preferable to pack than a two man tent.
I think the bug net is a great idea, but it always seems to get in the way as I am entering and exiting.
Of the 100 or so times I have used my bivy, I have set it up completely about 10 - 15 times. The poles can get confusing at times (and remember, there are only 2 of them) and trying to find the sleeves to slide them through at night is almost impossible. With a little practice it gets easier, but when you are exposed on a col with a storm barreling down - sliding those plastic poles through those tight sleeves is quite daunting.
I traded my tent in years ago for the simplicity and no frills aspects of a bivy and thanks to the Advanced Bivy, I may never look back.