Bivvy Bags

11 Feb 2009 07:36 #295 by Magan
Bivvy Bags was created by Magan
Hi

Has anyone had any experience with a Bivvy Bag ?
What's it like ?

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11 Feb 2009 14:04 #298 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bivvy Bags
Hot and steamy! :lol:

I have a lightweight Capestorm bivy which is almost always with me. It is breathable, but it is very difficult to totally prevent moisture build-up inside the bag - even with the very good, Gortex ones.

Friends of mine with the identical model have endured a substantial storm in theirs and reckon it's fine (except for the condensation). I would avoid sleeping right in the open, even with a bivy bag - some kind of protection can always be found somewhere. And it is a good idea to test the bag with a garden hose before the time.

I know someone on this site that has a Gortex Mountain Hardware bag...let me see if I can get him to write something about it here.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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11 Feb 2009 19:09 - 11 Feb 2009 19:17 #301 by domsmooth
Replied by domsmooth on topic Bivvy Bags
@Magan. Only in a survival bag, in a very windy cold night in Vergelegen from the cave pictured. It was not a night filled with much sleep, as the bag fluttered too much in the wind, but I guess I was dry, apart from the condensation (as Intrepid mentioned).

I guess if push came to shove I would do it again. There is a reason why they call it a survival bag... ;)

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Last edit: 11 Feb 2009 19:17 by domsmooth.

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02 Feb 2012 12:30 #52987 by mike
Replied by mike on topic Bivvy Bags
Hi Guys

I'm in the market for a small lightweight bivy bag.
Has anyone on this forum had experience with either the bd twilight or bd spotlight bivy bag? (or any bd nanoshield fabric for that matter)
Do they handle water ok? The bd website states that they are 4 season bags but wont handle really heavy rain, I have read a few reviews but just wondering if they have been tested in our climate and if its worth buying.

I am pretty set on one of those bags, I dont want a full gore tex bag that weighs a kilo. In that case I will just carry my tent.
I want it basically to take to the Berg when I know I will be near caves and in my climbing pack for a quick sleep on a wall or unexpected night out.


Thanks ! :thumbsup:

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02 Feb 2012 13:21 #52988 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Bivvy Bags
I use a bivy bag on 9/10 Berg trips. It has proved v.useful for sleeping out (no tent, no cave) which raises the flexibility of routes HUGELY in the Berg.

The bivy bag has kept off:
-light rain (a v.small overhang near Upper Injisuthi Cave in summer when 2 others had booked the cave and would not let us in),
- pretty serious snow in Mbundini Cave which is poorly protected from bad weather,
- dew in spring and autumn in the Little Berg just sleeping out near the bottom of passes
-and has been v.useful in damp caves in summer (e.g. Bell).

It is a prime piece of kit. It isn't a fancy gortex thing, just a mid-range 'ventex' material. I have never slept in full-on rain with it though. Most of all it has allowed me to leave the tent behind knowing that a shelter of sorts can almost always be found.

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02 Feb 2012 14:16 #52991 by mike
Replied by mike on topic Bivvy Bags
Great, Thanks for the info there.

I have been carrying my fly sheet on odd occasions when its looked a bit misty. I bivy bag seems like it can do the trick

In your experience would you reccomend buying the just a bag with a mesh piece under the hood, or the bag with the single DAC pole above the head area?

The plain bivy will fit into a coke can at 300 grams, the bivy with the pole is 700 grams and R1000 more.

The plain Bag will fit perfectly into a climbing pack, Is it worth it however spending a little more for the comfort or will the plain bag work just fine?

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02 Feb 2012 18:33 #52992 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Bivvy Bags
Mike,
if I were to buy another bivy bag, it would be like the one I have, not the 700g one. I think the more expensive, heavier one is going to be better in the rain > light, but that isn't something I've ever used the bivy for.

The closer the bag gets to 1kg, then more likely I'd be to get a very light tent. The difference between the 700g bivy and a really light tent is whether you have the better part of a litre of water on you or not.

So that's why I stick with the lighter job. I have never had to walk out because of being too wet.

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03 Feb 2012 12:46 - 03 Feb 2012 12:47 #53000 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bivvy Bags
I agree with mnt_tiska. Go for the simpler one. R1000 difference... sheesh, thats a factor too. I use a simple Cape Storm bivy bag that doesn't even have a hood. The intention is also just to tolerate wet mist, light rain and gusts or snow and rain into a cave or basic shelter. Friends of mine used the same bags during a brutal downpour in the Magaliesberg and though they held, it was not pleasant and they got wet inside from breathing. I wouldn't ever aim to sleep right out in the open in the Berg, at least not in the rainy months. Always aim to reach a shelter of sorts and to have at least the upper half of your body protected. If you're heading into an area you don't know with just a bivy, rather reserve that for the drier months. If you do know an area and where shelter can be found that makes a big difference.

I've seen some 2-man 3 season tents weighing in at about 1.2 kgs!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 03 Feb 2012 12:47 by intrepid.

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05 Feb 2012 18:46 #53007 by RobD
Replied by RobD on topic Bivvy Bags
I use a heavy goretex bag - bought it second hand in a UK army surplus store for GBP 10 about 15 years ago. I have slept dry in pools of water more than 5 cm deep, in thunderstorms, ice, snow, strong wind etc. My only fear is to suffocate inside it when the weather is really heavy outside - in thunderstorms I leave my face out and shelter it under my pack so I have a gap to breathe.

The goretex is amazing - if I sleep in wet gear it dries during the night from body heat. You may think it really gross, but I have even dried out a kiddies sleeping bag that got peed in ( soaking wet!) while sleeping in drizzle by wearing my goretex shell over fleece then getting into the wet (smelly) bag then getting into my goretex bivvy bag. Within a few hours the holofil sleeping bag was dry (but still smelly).

I always carried a groundsheet anyway (actually a bright orange Karrimor survival bag)and now I just carry the bivvy bag. Maybe its heavier than a modern new one, but its robust and was cheap! Often use it to stash gear while on a climb or day walk. Its camo coloured.

I think whatever bivvy bag you buy you'll be very happy!

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08 Feb 2012 12:44 #53023 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Bivvy Bags
@RobD: I simply had to comment on the pee soaked sleeping bag, but your new profile pic cracked me up and I figure its "nuff said"! :laugh:

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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