When it comes to outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, many people like to opt for the lightest and most compact gear possible. This often means sacrificing comfort and protection in favor of saving weight.
However, there are some pieces of gear that are worth carrying a bit more weight for, and a bivy sack is one of them. In this article, we will discuss what a bivy sack is, why you might want one, and how to choose the right one for your next outdoor adventure.
What is Bivy Sack?
A bivy sack is a small, lightweight tent that is designed to provide shelter for one person. It can be used in a variety of settings, including backpacking, camping, and mountaineering. Bivy sacks are generally made from waterproof and breathable materials, which help to keep you dry and comfortable.
Types of Bivy Sacks
There are a variety of different types of bivy sacks available on the market, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The three most common types are:
Single-wall bivy sacks:
These sacks are typically made from waterproof and breathable fabrics, such as Gore-Tex or eVENT. They feature a single layer of fabric that covers the user's head and body. Single-wall bivy sacks are lightweight and pack down small, making them a good choice for backpacking and other adventures where weight and space are limited. However, they can be uncomfortable in hot weather conditions and they offer little protection from the wind.
Double-wall bivy sacks:
As the name suggests, double-wall bivy sacks feature two layers of fabric – an outer shell and an inner tent. This type of sack offers the best weather protection and is the most comfortable option in hot weather conditions. However, it is also the heaviest and most bulky option.
Three-wall bivy sacks:
Also known as “tub” or “cave” style sacks, three-wall bivy sacks feature an inner tent that is suspended from the outside of the shell. This type of sack offers better weather protection than a single-wall sack, but it is heavier and takes up more space when packed.
What is the purpose of a bivy sack?
Bivy sacks are designed to provide shelter for one person in a variety of settings. They can be used as an emergency shelter in the event of bad weather, or as a standalone shelter for backpacking, camping, and mountaineering. Moreover, emergency bivy sacks can be used to sleep in warm weather conditions, as they provide good ventilation and breathability.
6 Best Bivy Sack
As you now know, there are different types of bivy sacks available on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this section, we'll take a closer look at six of the best bivy sacks currently available.
1. Go Time Gear Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag
- Versatile - The Go Time Gear Life Bivy Sack is a must-have in any survival bag. Each one functions as an emergency sleeping bag, a makeshift blanket, or as part of a survival shelter when camping.
- Ultra Durable - This reusable bivy bag isn’t just wind and waterproof. It’s also made from tear and puncture-resistant PET 26um mylar, with an interior that reflects 90% of your body heat.
- Escape The Elements - Need emergency shelter? Our survival bivy gives you cover in the rain, wind, and snow. Add extra warmth to your standard sleeping bag by using it as a liner in cold weather.
This is an emergency sleeping bag that can also be used as a blanket, survival shelter, or bivy sack. It's made from durable material that will keep you warm and dry in extreme conditions, and it's also bright orange so that rescuers can easily spot you.
The Life Bivy also includes a 120-decibel emergency whistle and 550lb nylon core Para-Synch Technology drawstring, which may be used to tie down or mend gear.
This ultra-lightweight bivy is made of 26um mylar material, which is tear and puncture-resistant. It's also waterproof and windproof so that it will protect you from the harshest conditions.
The reflective interior of the bivvy helps to reflect your body heat, keeping you warm in even the coldest temperatures. It only weighs 4.1 ounces, but it's still durable enough to withstand extreme conditions. The Life Bivy is also waterproof and comes with a stuff sack for easy storage.
- Ultra-lightweight bivy sacks and durable
- Waterproof and windproof
- A reflective interior helps to keep you warm
- Comes with a stuff sack for easy storage
- Some users find it too small
2. Survival Frog Tact Bivvy 2.0 Bag
- Ultra Lightweight Compact Sleeping Bag: Made out of ultra-lightweight HeatEcho reflective polyester film, this thermal survival blanket sleeping bag weighs just 4.8 ounces. It also compresses into a tiny oversized stuff sack, so you can reuse and carry this emergency sleeping bag with your survival kit everywhere you go. Use as a sleeping bag liner and raise your body temperature by 20°!
- Made for Emergencies: The color of this light weight sleeping bag cover helps you blend or stand out into your surrounding. Plus, the HeatEcho material reflects 90% of your body's heat back to you, making it an essential survival tool and addition to your bug out bag, emergency shelter, camping gear or car emergency kit.
- Incredibly Durable: 100% WATERPROOF: For its weight and thinness, these sleeping bags will surprise you with their strength. The material ensures these sacks are tear-resistant, windproof, AND waterproof. Plus, these emergency Tact Bivvy bags feature reinforced taped seams, creating weather-resistant barriers between you and the frigid cold.
The thermal survival blanket sleeping bag is constructed from lightweight HeatEcho reflective polyester film and only weighs 4.8 ounces. It can easily compress into a small stuff sack for easy transport. The HeatEcho material reflects most of your body's heat back to you, making it perfect for use as a sleeping bag liner or in any emergency situation where you need to raise your body temperature.
This incredibly durable bag is 100% waterproof, tear-resistant, and windproof, with reinforced taped seams to create a weather-resistant barrier against the cold. It's multi-purpose: the drawstring is actually a para-tinder paracord, so you can use it to tie down your gear or expose the tinder cord and use it as a fire starter. On the end of the drawstring, you'll find a 120-decibel whistle for emergencies, and a carabiner so you can clip it to your bag or pack.
- Ultra-lightweight and durable
- HeatEcho material reflects 90% of your body heat
- 100% waterproof, tear-resistant, and windproof
- Drawstring doubles as a para-tinder paracord
- Comes with a 120-decibel whistle and carabiner
- Decent for the money
3. Esky Emergency Sleeping Bag
- 【A Life Saver in Emergencies】: This Emergency Sleeping Bag is an invaluable asset when the chips are down. It's a must have for emergencies such as disaster, and automobile danger, and more--you'll never know when it'll come in handy. It also can serve other functions such as an emergency blanket, ground cover, rescue or distress beacon, poncho, rain tarp or sun shade.
- 【Durable Mylar】: The Mylar shell chases the chill out and provides superior warmth and comfort for you even under harsh conditions or when your body is weak. It's soft, waterproof, windproof, tear proof and puncture proof. Rain, shine, snow, or something in between- this bag can handle it all.
- 【Ultra-bright Reflective Surface】: Trapped in the dark? Let this Survival Blanket Bag light the way. The bright orange emergency sleeping bag and its reflective surface will provide crucial visibility and help first responders find you.
Made from durable Mylar, the sleeping bag is soft, waterproof, windproof, tearproof, and puncture-proof. It also provides superior warmth and comfort, even under harsh conditions or when your body is weak. The sleeping bag can also be used as ground cover, an emergency blanket, rescue or distress beacon, rain tarp, poncho, or sun shade.
The Esky Emergency Sleeping Bag cover is designed to do just that. With its ultra-bright reflective surface, the sleeping bag will help first responders find you. The included storage bag also features a strap for easy carrying or hanging on your motorcycle or in your car. Moreover, the 3000 Hz survival whistle and precise compass will help you signal for help and stay on course.
- Durable mylar material
- Soft, waterproof, windproof, tearproof and puncture-proof
- Provides superior warmth and comfort
- Can be used as an emergency blanket, ground cover, etc.
- Ultra-bright reflective surface helps first responders find you
- Comes with a 3000 Hz survival whistle and compass
- Great to have as a backup
4. AquaQuest Pharaoh Bivy Bag
- NOW MORE BREATHABLE! - We have re-engineered our waterproofing system to more than triple this bivy's moisture vapor transmission rating to 10,000 gr/m2/day, while maintaining an industry-leading 10,000 mm waterproof rating. 70D ripstop nylon fabric + Laminated PU and DWR coatings + Heat-taped seams = A 3-season shelter that protects against exterior moisture and minimizes interior condensation.
- ULTRALIGHT & COMPACT - The Pharaoh weighs in at only 1.1 lbs and packs down incredibly small. Packed Size = 15 x 5 x 3 inch. Compressed = 6.5 x 4 x 3 inch.
- VERSATILE - Extra wide for maximum comfort, and long enough to comfortably fit anybody up to 6’6” (2 m). Zippers on both sides to fit left and right zippered sleeping bags. Use it by itself, or inside any other shelter, such as a tent, boat, under a tarp, in a cold building, etc.
With a packed size of only 15 x 5 x 3 inches and a weight of 1.1 pounds, it is perfect for backpacking or camping in the backcountry. The Pharaoh's waterproofing system is altered for a third time, with a new moisture vapor transmission rate of 10,000 grams per square meter per day and an industry-leading 10,000 millimeters waterproof rating.
This makes it ideal for use in three-season conditions. The 70D ripstop nylon fabric and laminated PU and DWR coatings create a durable bivy shelter that will protect you from the elements. The heat-taped seams ensure that the Pharaoh will keep you dry and comfortable in all weather conditions.
The bivvy bag is extra wide and long enough to fit anybody up to 6'6 comfortably”, and it has zippers on both sides to fit left- and right-zippered sleeping bags. Their bivy bags can be used by themselves or helium bivy inside any other lightweight shelter, such as a tent, boat, under a tarp, or in a cold building. The full-perimeter hood elastic minimizes exposure to the elements, and the bivy or alpine bivy bag comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Ultra-lightweight and compact
- Waterproof, breathable, and durable
- Heat-taped seams for all-weather protection
- Zippers on both sides to fit left- and right-zippered sleeping bags
- Full-perimeter hood elastic minimizes exposure
- Lifetime warranty
- Some users found it too thin
5. Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag
- Designed to fit our Backcountry Bed and sleeping pad
- Large U-shaped opening to make getting in and out easy
- Mesh window panel for ventilation in good weather
This bivy bag fits Sierra Designs' Backcountry Bed and sleeping pad, creating a snug and cozy sleeping environment. The large U-shaped opening makes it easy to get in and out of the bivy, and the mesh window panel provides ventilation in good weather.
The waterproof/breathable top fabric protects you from the elements, while the guy line loop increases the peak height of the bivy for increased comfort.
- Fits Sierra Designs' Backcountry Bed and sleeping pad
- Large U-shaped opening for easy access
- Waterproof/breathable top fabric
- Guy line loop increases peak height
- Mesh panel window for ventilation
- Good for mild weather
6. Delmera Emergency Sleeping Bag
- Ultra Lightweight & Compact Sleeping Bag—Delmera’s emergency sleeping bag's dimension is 3.08 ft x 6.73 ft, weighs just 4.6oz. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The survival sleeping bag comes rolled up inside handy nylon stuff drawstring bag sack so you can store it in bug out bag,camping gear,glove box,emergency bag in your car
- Stay Warm and Alive in Extreme Conditions—Originally designed by NASA for space exploration, these insulating mylar bags provide compact emergency protection in all weather conditions by reflecting back and retaining 90% of a survival victim's body heat,to cover injured victims in order to help reduce shock. The bivy sack serves as your emergency blanket, survival shelter, and emergency bivy sack all-in-one
- Emergency Use and Extra-Thick Tear—Delmera Emergency Thermal Mylar Bags are ideal for all emergencies, such as travel,hunting,camping,climbing,fish on the sea. Your ultra-lightweight survival sleeping bag is constructed of 26um extra-thick mylar material with a tear and puncture resistant coating so it stands up to extreme conditions
Its dimension is 3.08 ft x 6.73 ft, and it only weighs 4.6oz. The small size makes it easy to store in a bug-out bag, camping gear, glove box, or emergency bag in your car. These mylar bags were originally designed by NASA for space exploration, but they can also provide compact emergency protection in all weather conditions. They reflect back and retain 90% of a survival victim's body heat to cover injured victims and help reduce shock.
Made of 26um mylar material, it is both lightweight and durable. The aluminized PE interior material provides protection against the elements, making it a great choice for camping, hiking, or fishing trips. This sleeping bag is also easily packable, so it can be taken along on any adventure.
- Lightweight and durable
- Aluminized PE interior for protection against the elements
- Easily packable
- Great for camping, hiking, or fishing trips
- The bag cord rips for some users
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bivy Sack
As you can see, there are a variety of bivy sacks on the market, each with its own set of features. So, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here are some things to consider:
The material of your bivy sack is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will determine how waterproof and breathable the sack is. If you're planning on using your bivy sack in wet weather conditions, you'll want one that is made from waterproof and breathable materials.
Secondly, the material will affect the weight and packability of the bivy sack. If you're planning on carrying your bivy sack in your backpack, you'll want one that is light and compact.
The size of your bivy sack is also important to consider. If you're tall, you'll want a bivy sack that is long enough to comfortably accommodate your height. Likewise, if you plan on using your bivy sack in cold weather conditions, you'll want one that is wide enough to fit a warm-down sleeping bag.
While the color of your outdoor research interstellar bivy sack may not seem like an important consideration, it can actually be quite helpful. A bright-colored bivy sack will make it easier for rescuers to spot you in an emergency situation.
The weight of your bivy sack is another important consideration, especially if you plan on carrying it in your backpack. The lighter the bivy sack, the easier it will be to carry. But we don't recommend the lightest bivy sack for you.
The shape of your bivy sack can also be important. Some bivy sacks are designed to fit technical sleeping bags, while others are more general-purpose. If you have a specific sleeping bag in mind, make sure to choose a bivy sack that is compatible with it.
Are bivy sacks warmer than tents?
It turns out that both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to heat retention. tents are generally better at trapping heat since they have more surface area for trapping body heat. However, bivy sacks can be easier to keep warm since they are smaller and easier to seal up tight. In the end, it really depends on your personal preferences and what type of camping you’ll be doing.
Is a bivy better than a tent?
Tent camping is the more traditional option, and it offers a number of benefits. Tents provide a comfortable and spacious sleeping area, and they protect campers from bad weather and insects. However, tents can be bulky and difficult to set up, especially in rocky or mountainous terrain. Bivies, on the other hand, are much smaller and lighter than tents. They're also easier to set up, making them a good choice for solo campers or those who want to travel light. However, bivies offer less protection from the elements than tents, and they can be cramped and uncomfortable.
Why use a bivvy and not a tent?
Bivvies are typically smaller and lighter than tents, making them a good choice for solo hikers or anyone looking to cut down on weight. They're also quick and easy to set up, which can be a major advantage if you're caught in bad weather. However, bivvies do have some drawbacks. They offer less protection from the elements than a tent, and they can be uncomfortable in warm weather.
A bivy sack can be a great addition to your outdoor gear, whether you’re backpacking, camping, or hiking. They offer protection from the elements and can help keep you warm and dry in bad weather.
Furthermore, they’re small and light, making them easy to carry. When choosing a bivy sack, be sure to consider the material, size, weight, and shape. And remember, a bright-colored bivy sack will make it easier for rescuers to spot you in an emergency situation.
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