A popular hip name for the “bivouac sack,” a Bivy sack is a popular lightweight shelter for mountaineering enthusiasts, minimalist hikers, climbers, competitive racers, backpackers, and others fond of camping and exploration. These Bivy sacks are a huge hit amongst the outdoor camping enthusiasts.
An efficient Bivy sack is small, lightweight, closeable, and breathable that can fit an individual inside it, in a cozy manner. They are easy to carry and offer basic protection from the elements of nature such as rain or insects. Bivy sacks can also be simply considered as easy-to-carry waterproof shelters. Bivy sacks form a popular part of the camping gear for solo outdoor enthusiasts who are light travelers. An ideal Bivy sack acts like a tent that fits around the human body.
So, if you are one such solo traveler who travels ultralight, you can rely on a Bivy sack to offer you protection from pesky bugs or rain. It also takes up no time to set up and isn’t cumbersome as a tent when you are faced with unexpected weather or other trip complications.
So, if you are heading out for an overnight hiking adventure or just want to simply get rid of the burden of carrying a tent, you must get yourself a Bivy sack. A Bivy sack is a great companion if you are hiking/camping in colder and more humid climates. They are also a great fit for you if you don’t mind sleeping under the starry sky as you look at the drizzle pit and pat.
If you are new to the hiking/camping/mountaineering world and are just curious to know more, it would be great for you learn of the reasons that compel you to get a Bivy sack for your next hiking trip.
To begin with, if you are a frequent solo traveler in the backcountry or prefer to camp while hiking, look for every opportunity to minimize your hiking load, or simply like to experience winter camping in snow caves, Bivy sacks need to be your thing.
Here are some of the other use cases of an efficient Bivy Sack:
Offers protection against rain splatter and mild wind. Keeps the user’s sleeping bag completely dry
Makes up for a lightweight emergency weather protection for sleeping bags
It keeps a camper’s sleeping bag dry
It increases its warming capacity by about 10°F. In winter camping, Bivy sacks help keep the body warmer
Saves you from the hassle of setting up a tent or putting up a tarp
Offers protection against insects, bugs, and mosquitoes
Keeps your body well-protected from heavy precipitation, low temperatures, and high winds, which often lead to hypothermia
Design of an ideal Bivy Sack:
If we talk about the built of an ideal Bivy sack that serves its purpose, it has to basically involve 2 tiers of fabric. There is a durable grade of nylon coating with urethane to make the bottom tier waterproof. This fabric material is similar to the fabric material of tent floors. Talking of the top tier on this Bivy sack, it is made out of a lighter fiber, ripstop nylon. Since it is the top tier, it is waterproof and has a breathable laminate such as Gore-Tex®.
Based on the amount of money you are ready to shell out for your Bivy sack purchase, you can also get an expanded area of shielded headspace and a full enclosure to block out bad weather and insects.
An ideal Bivy sack will have other features as well. The presence of multiple zipper sliders, full-length zippers, factory-sealed seams for waterproofness, and straps to let you secure your sleeping pad in place is highly helpful.
Types of Bivy Sacks:
You will find three kinds of Bivy sacks in the market: minimalist, emergency and the four-season bivvies. The Minimalist Bivy sacks are lightweight and they offer protection against the weather and the insects. The emergency bevies are meant to last the occasion whereas the four-season Bivy sacks are sturdy and serve their purpose well. They are great for extended usage
Factors to consider before buying a Bivy Sack:
Now is the time in this article to help you identify the real factors that must be considered before buying a Bivy sack. Taking into account these factors will help you make a more informed choice, ensuring that you absolutely get a bang for all your bucks spent on the purchase of your next Bivy sack.
Psychological factors at play:
Before you go out and spend your money on the purchase of a Bivy sack, you need to address a lot of psychological factors. If you are not a fan of the tight or compressed spaces, then a Bivy sack might not be a thing for you. Also, if you have never slept in a tent before, you must refrain from making this purchase. In a nutshell, if tight spaces make you uncomfortable, being inside a Bivy might not be an ideal thing to do.
Duration of your outing/trip:
Your choice of an ideal Bivy sack will depend upon the average duration of all your outings. This is so because the knowledge of the duration of use will help you easily determine how you want to put your Bivy to use. It is a fact that Bivy sacks for an overnight hike are going to be different from the ones used for extended trips.
The Material of the fabric:
The chosen Bivy must be made out of a material that is breathable. Going with the choice of the waterproof Gore-Tex membrane will let you experience better breathability. Alternatively, you will also find Bivy made out of fabric from ToddTex, Sympatex, Silnylon, and Momentum, eVent, etc. However, the breathability quotient on these fabrics varies.
Since the recent trend is that of minimalism, a lot of hikers, campers, and mountaineers prefer to travel light. They want their gear to be lightweight at all costs. So, understand your inclination towards the weight of the Bivy sack as a crucial determining factor.
Space, on the two fronts:
Now, you will be required to consider the space i.e. the room offered inside the Bivy sack. This is important so that you don’t end up feeling claustrophobic due to the dearth of space. Also, your Bivy should not take up a lot of space in your backpack.
Bivy sacks, of all, must be waterproof at all cost and they should be the best at offering this feature. The ability of your Bivy sack to resist water will only help you shield yourself from a light drizzle to heavy rainfall. This waterproofing has to be offered as a combination so that the sack remains no longer vulnerable to rainwater coming in from the top or soaking in through the ground.
An appropriate Bivy sack strikes the right balance between the ratio between breathability and water resistance. This ensures that there are no problems with the condensation of the sack. Breathing externally from the Bivy sack is a great way to tackle the dramatic increase of condensation inside the sack caused due to inside exhalation. If you are going to an area that experiences high rainfall, you must refrain from the choice of a Bivy sack.
Insulated Bivy Sacks:
For hiking and camping enthusiasts who like to explore snowy regions and cold weather, insulated Bivy sacks are just designed for them. They offer additional protection from the cold weather by adding a few degrees to your warmth.
Did you know that there are some Bivy sacks designed specifically designed to keep the pests away. So, if you are camping or hiking in an insect-infested location, these Bivy sacks can turn out to be your savior.
Place of travel:
We believe that the most important factor for consideration for the purchase of a Bivy sack is the place you will be traveling to and using this Bivy sack at. So, always plan well in advance and assess the weather conditions so that you are not caught unprepared for any sudden weather changes.
This Bivy Sack Buying Guide discussed above will definitely help you have a better idea about making an informed purchase of the same. Now, here are the top fifteen Bivy Sacks that you can choose from, in case you are still indecisive about your ultimate choice.
The Military Modular Sleep System 4 Piece with Goretex Bivy Cover and Carry Sack is your best bet at getting your hands on the best from what the market has to offer. Touted to be the best sleeping bag ever produced by the US Military, the complete set of this sleeping bag includes the OD Green Patrol Sleeping Bag, Black Intermediate Sleeping Bag, Gore-Tex Woodland Bivy Cover and Black Compression Sack.
The Military Modular Sleep bag comes with the product dimensions of 24 x 17.9 x 10.3 inches and it weighs 12 pounds. The system includes an outer sealed bag that contains 4 more sealed bags with the individual 3 piece sleep system and a cover sack. These sealed bags come with military re-issued labels.
The Military Modular Sleep System 4 Piece with Goretex Bivy Cover and Carry Sack serves its purpose of being an ideal Bivy Sack. It provides ample warmth to you if you are trying to explore things in colder weather. They are pretty easy to set up and save you the hassle of setting up an entire tent.
Authentic; each piece comes with an inspection number sticker
This is one of the largest sacks that offer ample space for heavier bags and thicker sleeping bags. They can easily replace a single-person tent. The dual-pole helps in improving ventilation along with the interior space. The fabric minimizes condensation by restricting the weather outside, and at the same time helps the internal warmth and moist air escape.
The sack is waterproof. It is made up of a highly breathable fabric GORE-TEX. It offers enough space to accommodate thicker mats. It is 7 feet in length and 2 feet in width. With 2 poles, this sack weighs around 2 pounds.
This sack has a zippered vent at the toe-end that helps in airflow during humid nights. The seam of the fabric is completely sealed. The sack has an anti-fungal coating on the floor, which prevents the odor of the sack over time.
The floor of the sack is coated with durable Hydroseal. It has a five-stake and three guy line loop. It also has a small internal pocket made up of mesh for storing headlamp or sunglasses. It has removable no-see-um netting covers. The sack has an overhead as well as a circumferential dual-pole system made of Delrin.
The pole system allows the sack to be opened in multiple configurations
Allows airflow through vents
Comfortable even on the humid night
Very lightweight and easy to carry
Some people with larger built may find it less comfortable
If one wants to use the net only, securing the hood open can be a little difficult.
This is a sleeping bag cover that can accommodate most of the commercially available sleeping bags. One can insert their sleeping bag into the cover and use it as per their requirement. One might find these covers either in the new form or a used version. It is one of the components of a 4-Piece Modular Sleep System.
This cover measures 84” X 35” at shoulders and 23” at feet. The fabric for this cover is made up of GORE-TEX
The Cover is waterproof and windproof. It prevents condensation. It has a Woodland Camo Pattern zipper and a snap storm flap. It can be used with a modular sleeping bag or by itself.
Lightweight and spacious
Adds more warmth to the sleeping bag, irrespective of their capacity
Ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, hunting, and many other outdoor activities
These sleeping bags can be used in emergency situations to keep oneself warm and dry during different types of unpredictable weather occurrences. They are made up of Paratex dry fabric and are very lightweight in nature. They are extremely durable and act as a protective shell.
The Bag is 90 inches long and 33 inches wide and weighs about 12 ounces. They come with a half-length center zip and a sack, in which the bag could be rolled up into 6 inches by 4 inches size.
The bag is waterproof as well as windproof. It locks the warm air inside and restricts the entry of the cold air. It is made up of Paratex Dry material that is extremely lightweight and durable. This material makes the user feel comfortable within the bag, irrespective of the weather condition outside. The sack is wider on the chest area and ideal to use with the Antarctica RE and the Special Forces System.
It is light in weight
Can be compressed into a smaller size
Easy to carry
It can be used for emergency situations
Provides moderate protection from moisture and rain
People with a larger built might find this bag to be small for them
This is a 5-piece Modular Sleep system sleeping bag. All the components are constructed in such a way that they can either be used with each other or can be used separately as well. This unit comes with a patrol sleeping bag, an intermediate sleeping bag, one ACU GORE-TEX Bivy cover, one small and one large compression stuff sack.
It measures 85 x 35 x 28 inches. The modular sleeping system is designed to provide comfort to the users when the external temperature ranges from 50 degrees F to -40 degrees F. The Patrol Sleeping bag is ideal for 30 degrees F, the intermediate sleeping bag is ideal for -10 degrees F.
The modular sleeping system has a reversible double pull slider that opens end to end and allows ventilation on the top or bottom. The hood helps in retaining heat and it comes with a nylon drawcord and a barrel lock. The quilted chest collar prevents the air drafts to pass up and down through the hood. The compress sack is made up of water-resistant material and can be compressed to one cubic foot.
It is a complete cover for the sleep system
Provides warmth and comfort to the user
Three different types of sleeping bags in a single unit
Since it’s a surplus product, quality might vary between different units.
This is a sleeping bag cover used to cover both the Patrol as well as the Intermediate sleeping bags. It is a lightweight cover, durable and can be easily accommodated in a compression sack. This cover is easy to set up and manage. It is mainly used for different types of outdoor activities.
The unit measure 81”- 83” in length, 34”-36” in top width and 27”-29” at food width. The cover weighs less than 3 pounds.
It can accommodate any adult sized sleeping bag. One can use this cover alone or can slip a sleeping bag inside it and use it. It provides enough space in the interior when used solo. This fabric of this cover is made up of GORE-TEX which is waterproof in nature and water vapor permeable. It ensures that the user stays dry and warm within the bag. The seam of the cover is heat sealed.
It can accommodate any type of sleeping bag
Can be used solo or along with a sleeping bag
It is waterproof and provides comfort to the users.
It is light weighted
Can be easily compressed in a sack
When used with a sleeping bag, some people with larger built might experience a lack of space.
If you are an adventure enthusiast who likes to hike and trek to the regions that can utilize a camouflage gear, the ACU Digital Bivy cover might be the right one for you. Featuring the ACU Digital Camouflage, this Bivy cover comes with a 100 percent water/windproof outer layer.
The ACU Digital Bivy cover has been designed as an intermediate cold weather sleeping bag and designed to enclose patrol, making it a complete modular sleep system. The dimensions for the ACU Digital Bivy cover are 12 x 8 x 6 inches and its shipping weight is marked at 1.6 pounds.
The ACU Digital bivy cover is nonflammable and also machine washable. So, you won’t have to worry about cleaning it up after you are done with your amazing hiking adventure. The sack comes with a 2-way nylon zipper to let you experience top and bottom ventilation, as you like. Also, the zippers self-repair in case they get jammed or snagged because the zippers are in a form of non-locking sliders.
If you are in an area which experiences warmer temperature range, you can use this bivy sack alone. Needless to say, the sack is super strong, very light, and packs down surprisingly small. You can easily use this cover to seamlessly fit your winter sleeping bag and winter sleeping mat without losing any loft. It works well to block the wind and provides ample warmth. It definitely offers great camouflage.
It is a lightweight sack and can be used as a mini tent. It is mainly used for outdoor activities such as mountaineering, backpacking, etc. It keeps the user warm and dry and protects them from wind, rain, and snow. It provides adequate internal space to the users.
The product measures 80 inches in length and 36 inches in width at the shoulder. The product weighs 13 ounces.
The product is made up of 100% nylon material. The sack is light weighted. The fabric of the sack is windproof and waterproof. It can be used in different types of external weather conditions. It is designed to accommodate the Backcountry Bed and a 2.5” inflatable pad in the inside of the sack.
The sack is light weighted
It protects users from wind, rain, and snow.
Keeps the users warm and dry
Can be used in various types of outdoor activities
Users might experience problem regarding condensation
This product mainly acts as an emergency shelter for mountaineers as well as for people experiencing different types of outdoor adventures such as backpacking, camping, hunting, etc. They not only protect the sleeping bag from various external elements but they also help the users survive in cold weather. They provide additional warmth to the users and help them sleep comfortably even if the sleeping bag is extremely cold to sleep.
The product measures 31 x 84 inches and weighs 8.5 ounces. The olive green color of the exterior helps it to easily blend in nature. This product comes with one Bivy and a stuff sack.
It keeps the users warm and dry within it. The fabric of the Bivy is made up of highly water-resistant material and helps the users stay dry even in wet and soggy conditions. The fabric is durable and resists any kind of wear and tear caused as a result of heavy use. It also reflects almost 70% of the radiated body heat. It comes with a fully featured side zipper, a foot box for user’s comfort and drawcord hood closure.
Acts as an emergency shelter
Protect users from external weather condition and keeps them warm and dry
It is durable
Can be used as a standalone product
People with heavier built might experience a shortage of space in the interior of this Bivy.
MSR AC Bivy sleeping bag provides efficient all-condition protection that one requires. It comes with waterproof and breathable fabric which provides extra comfort no matter where you sleep. It also consists of a zippered shoulder which is covered with a mesh. The mesh provides bug-free ventilation. Moreover, the sleeping bag is also easy to get into and out even when you sit up.
This product is built with 30D nylon Ripstop 2-ply on the top. The bottom portion is made with 30D nylon with 10,000mm DuraShield™. The sleeping bag is 7 x 4 x 4 inches in dimension and 10.1 ounces in weight which is highly comfortable. It comes in a smart blue color.
This sleeping bag is versatile and spacious for every use. It is light in weight and comfortable. It fits perfectly in your bag pack too. It is suitable for all seasons and environment. If you are in search of a light sleeping shelter, then MSR AC Bivy sleeping bag is a good choice.
The mesh option allows for better breathability, providing extra comfort. The laminated nylon material provides more breathability to the whole body instead of only one area. The design allows the condensation to escape. The AC comes with the widest shoulder area for more space. You do need a broad space when you sleep.
Spacious in comparison to other sleeping bags
Lightweight and small packed size
Provides solid weather protection
No zipper closure except for bug resistant mesh
Tight and uncomfortable for individuals above 5’11” height.
Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Bag is extremely lightweight and streamlined in shape. It is perfect for a single person. It comes with an overlapping zipper which allows proper breathing. It also has a foot box with proper ventilation. The net on the top also keeps the bugs out. This makes it suitable for every weather and environment condition.
You can use this product during your sports or camping. It is suitable in every season. It provides a single person sleeping capacity. The product is 15 x 6 x 4 inches with 1.55 pounds total weight. It is made with Ventia fabric. There is an Anti-fungal coating on the floor side.
The product is extremely breathable due to its Ventia fabric. It has taped seams and comes in the classic clamshell design. The overlapping zipper at the top allows proper air movement without allowing the weather in. The 70-denier floor is coated with anti-fungal material which can withstand several seasons.
The foot box present at the bottom is vented and spacious. It promotes proper air circulation near your foot region and also minimizes condensation. The net keeps the bugs out and there are also small mesh pockets inside the shelter. The shoulder width is around 25 inches which is a comfortable space for sleeping. Moreover, due to its ultra-light quality, you won’t face any problem while carrying it.
Aqua Quest promises to provide 100% waterproof material in this ‘Mummy’ Bivy bag. It is lightweight and simple in design for your easy carrying. It provides enough warmth for comfortable sleep. It fully encapsulates a single person without any problem. No matter what type of weather condition, you will be able to sleep peacefully in this.
This Bivy bag is made to accommodate a single person. The total size of this product is 91 x 33 inches. The shoulder width is 33 inches, comfortable for almost anyone. The foot space too is spacious with around 18 inches of space. It can easily fit anyone with 6’6″ height or lesser.
Aqua Quest ‘Mummy’ Bivy Bag is made up of 70D RipStop Fabric with PU laminated coating. It consists of taped seams. The bag’s waterproof rate is 10,000 mm and breathability rate is 3000 gr/m2/day. This product is highly compactable and lightweight. The bag can easily be squashed down to 6.5 x 4 x 3 inches for an easy fit in the bag pack.
The high-quality materials present in this Bivy bag make it durable. You can easily use this for several seasons and it would still be productive. It is extremely strong and lightweight for pleasant sleeping experience while you are outdoors!
Slumberjack Contour Bivy is perfect for those adventurous trips where you don’t want to take any tent. The Bivy bag comes with a mesh net window which allows enough visibility and free air movement. It also consists of arm ports which allow one to comfortably sit up. The material is extremely high quality and allows protection against moisture.
The color of the product allows camouflage. This Bivy is made for every season and can accommodate a single person perfectly. It is 88” x 34” in dimension and around 1 lb 6 oz in weight. The floor material of this contour Bivy is made up of 70D PU polyester and the upper fabric is 40D WPB.
It comes with an adjustable visor which is easily opened to a bug-free mesh. This allows maximum air flow. There are dual zippers of hook and loop mechanism for the proper arms-out facility. It comes in a hood like design which provides proper ventilation as well as extreme comfort.
There are 4 zipper sliders on this bag which you can be used as additional vents. It consists of taped seams and stuff sack too. Moreover, it is also fire retardant so you don’t have to worry much! This is super lightweight yet very strong. So you can carry it easily and also don’t have to worry about its durability.
Survive outdoors longer S.O.L escape Bivy is an innovation in the Bivy industry. It is built and designed to keep the user both warm and dry when outdoors. It maintains the moisture as well as the weather for maximum comfort. It comes with an additional drawstring closure along with waterproof seams.
It comes in a size of 84” x 31” and weighs about 8.5 oz. Comes with a hard fabric which is resistant to tear and damages even after heavy use. The durable fabric also radiates 70% of the body heat, creating a warm atmosphere. It is available in both bright orange and olive drab colors.
The material of this Bivy bag is waterproof. It can keep the user dry and warm at the same time in any kind of weather. In order to keep the person warm, it reflects back 70% of the body heat. It is highly breathable and comfortable. It is a good choice for your survival kit.
It comes in a good quality bag which is sturdy and resistant to damage even after prolonged use. Considering that it is also durable, it can be used for several years. The material is constructed to eliminate any amount of condensation so there are fewer chances of water damp when you wake up in the morning.
Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy is extremely light, breathable, and waterproof. It is suitable for every kind of solo adventures. It is applicable for paddlers, bag packers, climbers, or cyclists who want outdoor shelter at an affordable price. It takes about two minutes to set up the whole thing and is easy to carry too. You will get a satisfying foot and shoulder space in this product.
It can accommodate 1-2 people easily. It is perfectly comfortable for anyone with height 6’6” and less. The dimension of this product is 87 x 35 x 28 inches. It has a good breathability rate of 3000 gr/m2/day and waterproof rate of 10,000 mm. It is made up of 70D RipStop fabric with PU coating.
This product comes from a branded company which is known for waterproof gears. It has all the elements needed for proper water shielding which are 70D RipStop fabric, PU coating, and taped seams. It has a lightweight shock cord pole which is also collapsible. It can be easily set up within 2 minutes.
For proper comfort, you can simply unzip the top panel and allow the mesh. This also lets you easily sleep while you star-gaze and look at the sky. It has a TPU window which can even be used to look at the moon. It provides enough space for you to have snacks move around, read a book, or change clothes.