The Soloist has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best bivy sacks for 2021.
Reviewers Paid: $180.00-$299.00
North Face sucks. Read on. I paid top retail price for this gore-tex bag years ago, and this was a great bivy sack when I bought it. However, the interior lining has now turned to mush. Granted, it's been used for the last ten years. I returned it because it's now more of a sponge than a waterproof sack, and North Face said it was just used up and deteriorated and was not warrantied.
Outdoor Research just returned four dry bags for free and replaced them with new ones when THEIR ten-year-old interior lining deteriorated. Same with Patagonia, which replaced everything that I was ever able to wear out that they make, namely one jacket out of 12 items by them I own and still use.
I join the ranks of those who think that North Face sucks. It's not that they don't have a right to refuse to replace the item. It's more that they are not standup enough to do right by their buyers, like Outdoor Research and Patagonia. North Face has joined the bean-counting ranks of companies that squeeze every penny from their customers, rather than replacing a product that they get made overseas for about ten dollars.
Design: bivy sack (gore-tex)
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $200
The best bivy that I have ever owned. 1/2 length zipper provides very easy entry and elaborate yet quite simple head venting system makes ventilation not a problem. 2 pole head design make this bivy non-claustrophobic and actually quite roomy. The stake out vent in back provides storage capabilities. Made of 3-ply Gore Tex and is very durable and reliable.
Ease of Setup: Roll out and put in two head poles, very simple
Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.
Price Paid: $295
It's funny, I don't think this was a very popular bivy sack for 1998-1999. Maybe people just don't like using bivy sacks or nobody knew about this bivy. I've got to tell you if you have the oppurtunity to pick one up get it. The bivy is so well designed. For example do you know how you usually have to slither in the top of bivys to get in? No more, this thing zips down like a sleeping bag on the right side (if you were in it). This is especially handy if you have a right zip sleeping bag :).
I always wanted a bivy, in fact I bought the Bibler bivy, but hated sleeping in it because the hooped bivy just didn't work. The bivy walls would always fall on my face and wake me up (sucked!). This has got a dome supported by two aluminium poles. It's like a mini tent, great design, and typical NF quality.
Design: bivy sack
Ease of Setup: Roll out slip in two head dome support poles
Weight: 2.8 lbs
Price Paid: $299
This bivy sack is soooo nice. 3L Gore-tex on top, coated bottom. What's so cool is how the head part sets up, it's like a mini tent. Better design than the OR advanced bivy and the zipper is not at ground level. Has zip-in no-see-um netting included and has flow through ventilation via a little window at the back. Ideal for bikers or solo hikers, a bit too much stuff for climbers.
Design: bivy sack
Sleeps: 1 & 2/8
Ease of Setup: cake, 2 minutes
Weight: about 2 or 2.5 lbs
Price Paid: $180 ($295 full retail)