User Review: SOL Escape Bivvy
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.