User Review: REI Minimalist
Design: personal sleep system for mild climates
Ease of Setup: dead simple
Weight: about 25 ounces?
Price Paid: gift
I have used this bivy about 20 times over three years. Day before yesterday, just south of Pinchot Pass in Kings Canyon National Park, the face screen gave up the ghost.
Zipping myself in has always been awkward (37 inch sleeves) and as I did so with my head resting on my synthetic vest as a pillow the screen tore in two parallel places. Duct tape cannot grip it adequately for a repair, and I fear stitching it would only cause a new tear.
June in these moist mountains means gnarly mosquitoes. Mercifully my vest/pillow obscured and plugged the tear zone.
Next night, halfway down the exquisite Sawmill Pass Trail on its final yards next to Hogsback Creek, at substantially lower altitude and much warmer weather, I was forced to use the hot vest/pillow to keep the wretched insects out, sweating for my sins.
REI's inability to match the bivy's fabric and screen's tear strengths more closely has marred an otherwise superb little package.
Prior the foregoing episode I had slept like a baby-never cold, never wet, never harassed by mosquitoes. I grew-up sleeping in bedrolls made from burro hairpads and blankets rolled in canvas. The bivy concept is very close, if only the screen didn't rip.