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The North Face Asylum Bivy

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Small footprint, good headspace for a bivy, under…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Price Paid: Aust $220


Small footprint, good headspace for a bivy, under a kilo. Hoop pole at foot end, with ventilation, nice touch.


  • Weight
  • Head space
  • Sizeable mesh panel for added ventilation in warm weather.


  • Condensation in cold, still conditions.
  • Dampness gets into down bag.

The North Face Asylum Bivy is relatively roomy, particularly in the head end. I've only used it once so far, in damp, cool weather, and the fabric seemed to cope well.

Very quick to set up, the two poles give it structure that most bivies lack. I used a small tarp fly to give me some additional shelter for cooking etc, but the weight of the Asylum is such that you can afford to carry a fly for when the weather is iffy, and it gives you more usable space than the vestibule on any one-man tent.

I won't be giving up using my MSR Zoid for most of my hiking, but when culling weight is crucial, the Asylum will be my shelter of choice. Yet to be tested in heavy rain!  

Update Aug 2012: 

Still happy with the bivy, when you need to save space and weight. Used in conditions where there is some breeze, condensation is not a problem at all. In cold (0° Celcius) but still conditions however, with main side panel zipped up, there was considerable dampness which dampened my down bag. In such conditions, taking a synthetic bag may be a better option.

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The North Face Asylum Bivy


The North Face Asylum Bivy is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen March 26, 2014 at Backcountry.com.

If you're looking for a new bivy sack, check out the best reviewed current models.


Trail Weight 1 lb 10 oz / 0.73 kg
Floor Area 16 sq ft / 1.5 sq m
Drywall Canopy Fabric 50D Polyester Ripstop, 1.9 oz / sq yd (67 g / sq m), 1200 mm Hydrostatic Head, 869 g / sq m
Mesh Fabric 20D Polyester “No-See-Um” Mesh
Floor Fabric 50D 270T Nylon Taffeta, 2.3 oz / sq yd (78 g / sq m), 3000 mm PU Coating, Water-Resistant Finish