SOL Escape Bivvy
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $49.95
The SOL Escape Bivvy is excellent for campers who don't use tents, but prefer to use a tarp or sleep under the stars. It in conjunction with a sleeping bag can perform even in very low temperatures as a full shelter system.
- Extremely light
- Very space efficient
- Reflective interior keeps you warm
- Waterproof and breathable carrying bag
- Very little 'elbow' room
- A little bit expensive
- Difficult to pack in case
SOL Escape Bivvy
The escape bivvy, in my opinion, is a bivvy like no other. It’s durable, warm, and comfortable. It does have its downsides though like the fact that you can’t move your arms very easily while inside, especially when using a sleeping bag inside of it.
When I first bought it, I didn’t understand what breathability meant. But I discovered its importance when I first used it. My friend and I went minimalist camping in the mountains, bringing only a tarp, our bivvy bags, and sleeping bags as shelter. The night went smoothly for me, but my friend woke up with pretty horrible surprise, his sleeping bag was completely wet from his sweat. It turns out that because his bivvy bag wasn’t breathable, his sweat built up and couldn’t escape like mine did. So started my day dry and rested while he was wet, cold and miserable.
The reflective interior helps decrease the amount of heat radiating from your body out to the atmosphere by reflecting the infra-red radiation you emit back at you. This means that you keep yourself warmer for a lot longer. This has been vital in some of my recent mountain journeys where I didn’t sleep in a tent, but under a poncho, or a tarp.
Like all products it has a few flaws. The biggest one is the fact that it is hard to move while inside with a sleeping bag. One time I was sleeping under my poncho inside my bivvy and sleeping bags when an animal began gnawing at my food bag, by the time I could get my arms out to chase it away, it had grabbed a bar of chocolate and run. Another issue is that it takes a good five minutes to pack it completely back into the carrying case; I suggest that anyone who buys it should find another bag that is maybe a bit bigger to allow easy packing.
All in All
All in all I can say that the escape bivvy bag is probably one of the best, if not the best bivvy bag available even though it has a few little flaws.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $39
This bag is supposed to be breathable, but if it does at all it is not detectable at -10°C. Collected considerable amount of condensation which turned to icy frost and later water when melted.
- At 39 dollars it is cheaper than other bivys
- Not breathable and will accumulate dangerous amounts of condensation
Went on a Junior Forest Wardens outing in a Wall Tent with temperatures at -15°C. As there was not enough room in the tent for everyone I took the opportunity to sleep outside in a down mummy bag and the Sol escape bivy.
By 3:30 in the morning the cold and dampness had prevented any sleep. The amount of condensation was such that the socking wet interior of the bivy was turning the bag into a damp and cold sleeping bag. I contemplated taking off the bivy and just using the bag, but it was already wet, so I went to my truck and got my 25 pound down rectangular sleeping bag. This was only good for the lower half of my body as the top was still open to the cold air as it lacked a drawstring.
Rather than get up again and go back to truck for another down mummy to put inside the 25 pounder, I put up with it for the rest of the night. In the morning I discovered the drawstring of the bivy had come out of the bivy and would require repair, though this was the first time I had opened the package.
I only used it for a night but in a multi-day survival situation the amount of condensation could be dangerous or even life threatening, if there was no way to get the sleeping bag and bivy dry every day. I only tested it in the -10 to -15 range, and it is possible with the right bag and outside temperature there would be less condensation, but as this is meant to be a survival bag, it should work in relatively mild winter conditions such as this.
It is fortunate I got the chance to test the bivy before taking it out on an expedition.
Where to Buy
The SOL Escape Bivvy is nothing less than a revolution in backcountry shelters. The complaint with most ultralight emergency shelters is the same: condensation builds up inside as you get warm, leaving your clothes soaking wet.
With the Escape Bivvy, condensation is no longer an issue, and you never again have to choose between staying dry and staying warm. The proprietary fabric lets moisture escape at the same time that it keeps rain, snow, and wind on the outside – all while reflecting your body heat back to you.
Waterproof seams plus a drawstring hood closure and side zip mean you can seal out the elements entirely or use the bivvy like a traditional sleeping bag, and the high-visibility orange exterior makes it easy for rescuers to spot you even in areas with high tree cover.
Here's what other sites are saying:
Breathable and durable, the Adventure Medical SOL Escape Bivvy Sack sets a new standard for lightweight backcountry shelter. The complaint with other lightweight emergency bivvys is that condensation builds up inside, leaving you wet.The SOL Escape solves that problem by being breathable, no longer forcing you to choose between being warm and being dry.The proprietary material lets moisture escape while keeping rain, snow and wind at bay.The inner liner reflects your body heat back to you for ultimate efficiency.Waterproof seams seal out water while a side zipper and drawstring hood closure let you shut out the elements entirely or open the sack to cool down.Use the SOL Escape Bivvy by itself as a warm weather bag or slip your sleeping bag inside for extra warmth on cold nights.The high-visibility orange exterior makes it easy for rescuers to spot you, even in areas with high tree cover.Whether you're using it for emergency preparedness, ultralight backpacking or as part of a thermal layering system, the SOL Escape is sure to be a favorite piece of your outdoor kit.
The Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivy combines breathability, body heat reflectivity, and water resistance for the most fully featured backcountry emergency shelter from SOL.
When a leisurely day hike turns into an epic survival situation, you'll be glad you packed the Adventure Medical SOL Escape Bivvy into your pack. The entire shelter weighs just 8.5 ounces, packs up small, and has an aluminum coating that reflects 75% of radiant body heat. And unlike most emergency shelters, the spun-bonded olefin material has the ability to breathe so you won't end up feeling clammy and chilled to the bone.
The SOL Escape Bivvy is nothing less than a revolution in backcountry shelters. The complaint with most ultralight emergency shelters is the same: condensation builds up inside as you get warm, leaving your clothes soaking wet. With the Escape Bivvy, condensation is no longer an issue, and you never again have to choose between staying dry and staying warm. The proprietary fabric lets moisture escape at the same time that it keeps rain, snow, and wind on the outside all while reflecting your body heat back to you. Waterproof seams plus a drawstring hood closure and side zip mean you can seal out the elements entirely or use the bivvy like a traditional sleeping bag, and the high-visibility orange exterior makes it easy for rescuers to spot you even in areas with high tree cover.
- Ramsey Outdoor