SOL Escape Bivvy
The SOL Escape Bivvy is excellent for campers who…
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.
This bag is supposed to be breathable, but if it does…
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.