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Q&A: Hooped Bivies Under $250

by Dave MacLeay
January 14, 2007

Occasionally we receive outdoor gear questions from readers. Since we figured others would find them useful too, we’ll share some of those Q&A’s here. If you think we missed the mark, let us know by leaving a comment.


I have been looking for a bivy sack. I backpack four to six times per year. I would like a bivy that would function well in temperature ranging from fifteen degrees to sixty degrees. I would like it to be good in a rain. It does not have to be that good in snow as it rarely snows in my typical trips. I would like to be able to read and not be to aggravated by a drizzle while reading in the bivy. I would like it to be less than 3 pounds and less than two hundred and fifty dollars. I would like it to be reasonably large as I am six feet one inch tall and weigh two hundred and thirty pounds. I recognize that all of these details may not be possible but when you do not know it is time to ask. I would really appreciate advice.


Take a look at the Bibler Bipod and the Integral Designs Unishelter EXP. These both seem to fit all of your requirements. The Bipod is one of the few hooped bivies significantly under $250, and at 92 inches should be plenty long (though I don't know about girth). The Unishelter EXP costs a bit more but is specifically designed for larger occupants (up to 6'6").

Other alternatives are the Bibler Tripod and the Black Diamond Lightsabre. The Bibler Tripod is a little bigger than the Bipod, but also heavier and more expensive. The Black Diamond Lightsabre is less expensive, but its Epic fabric isn't as good in the rain as the ToddTex used in the Bibler bivies.