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Best Bivy Sacks for Mountaineering

Bivvy sack, bivy sack or even bivvie sack? If you’re a backpacker, a hiker or you just like the outdoors, then you might not have decided on its preferred name or spelling yet, but one thing we can all agree on is how useful and important it is.

From substitute tent to emergency shelter, bivy bags have a broad range of uses and for some people, they’re a must-bring item whenever they’ve decided to swap the comfort of a regular house for a day or two in the rigours and splendour of the wild.

If you’re planning a mountaineering trip, preparedness is key. This is actually an activity that should only be carried out by those who are well trained and have a very high level of outdoor survival skill. When mountain climbing, the weather can be quite finicky and difficult to deal with, so ensure that you have everything you need in order to remain dry, safe, warm and comfortable, of course.

Keep in mind that you can only take what you can carry on these type of trips, so ensure to keep things minimalistic. Instead of taking a tent with you, a bivy sack will be a great alternative shelter that will save up space and weight, while also providing similar levels of protection.

With all that said, let’s now take a look at the best bivy sacks for mountaineering and outdoor climbing sessions.

Rhino Valley Bivy

Rhino Valley Bivy Tent, Waterproof Portable Lightweight Bivy Sack...
  • GREAT BREATHABILITY - Embossed cloth and high density gauze net cover with great breathability can effectively drive...
  • WEATHER PROTECTION - With waterproof material, it stops you from getting wet when it rains heavily. It can also be a...
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Easy set up, quick assembling/disassembling just by oneself. It will pop up to a very roomy one...

This particular bivy is most suitable for minimalist backpackers. You may decide to skip this particular bag if you’re looking for an emergency shelter in freezing temperatures. To be honest, it wasn’t created to beat extreme weather. However, it is extremely effective in high temperature because of its breathability feature. 

This is because the high density gauze net cover will not trap the heat and moisture. Instead, it will allow the air to get in so as to keep the user cool and also prevent insects from getting into the bag. The net will cover almost the entire area and the air can then easily enter the bivy.

When you stay inside, you would be able to enjoy a pristine view of the sky and nature in its entirety. So, if you enjoy stargazing, you can still do this even through the net. On the other hand, the net’s durability won’t be threatened from the normal strikes. The spacious interior makes for a perfect place for its users and they can move in it while asleep. Although it isn’t perfect for winter season, that doesn’t mean its usability is very limited. It will serve you well in dry or rainy season.

It comes with a rainproof cover that can quickly cover the entire tent when it starts raining. If you put it over your tent, the rains won’t be able to get access into the bivy. This same cover additionally works as a sunscreen. You can also set it up as a shade if the sun rays excessively increases. 

The simple structure of this bag ensures that its set up is quick and easy. Like other bags, it is also portable and easily packable.
If you have been looking for a strong bivy bag, this might be the best option for you. It comprises of aluminium with a brass buckle, which makes it tough as well as stable.

Stability and security of the bivy is enhanced by the use of strong roles and tent pegs issued when the brand was purchased. This gives it a lot of stability even in stormy conditions.
It has dimensions of 15.7 x 9.8 x 4 and its weight of 45.8 oz makes it quite a light bivy to carry for a range of camping activities. Therefore, users are assured of convenience when or if they decide to use this bag.

This bivy is suitable for different environments. For example, it is manufactured with waterproof material that keeps users from being wet on rainy days.

It is also easy to set up this bag as you do not need any special or peculiar skill to assemble or disassemble it. You can do this within a few minutes. This makes this product very convenient to use. As for this product’s breathability, it has a high-density gauze and cloth – which offers optimal breathability.

Rhino Valley Bivy Tent, Waterproof Portable Lightweight Bivy Sack...
  • GREAT BREATHABILITY - Embossed cloth and high density gauze net cover with great breathability can effectively drive...
  • WEATHER PROTECTION - With waterproof material, it stops you from getting wet when it rains heavily. It can also be a...
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Easy set up, quick assembling/disassembling just by oneself. It will pop up to a very roomy one...

Pros

Cons

  • Comfortable for the user because it is spacious.
  • Durable
  • Offers great breathability
  • Easy to set up.
  • You may not sit upright when inside.

Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent

Sale
Snugpak | Ionosphere | Shelter | 1 Person | 5000mm 100%...
  • Small and compact
  • Low profile with a 5000 mm PU coated fly
  • Single entry and all seams are taped

The Ionosphere is designed for one person. However, the space available in this bag can accommodate more. The bag’s inner part is made of nylon that is combined with polyester mesh. As a result of this, the bivy has a very comfortable ventilation system. The outer part of the bag is composed of polyester and polyurethane coating. This combination is suitable for waterproof qualities.

As for the dimensions of this brand, it is 94 x 39 x 28. What this means is that it suits tall people. This bag’s weight is approximately 3.5 pounds. This is definitely light enough to easily carry. It also comes with a repair kit. Therefore, users of this bivy don’t need to look far and wide for extra tools since all the tools needed for its repair are within reach.

Depending on the environment in which this bag is being used, its colour will provide it with a proper camouflage. When buying this product, you can select the colour that suits you or the environment in which you plan to use the bivy. As well as the olive green, there is also the coyote tan.

Setting up this bivy is quite easy as it comes with stakes. All you need is a few minutes to assemble it. Therefore, you don’t need to fuss about when setting it up or using it.

The Ionosphere is a three-season and low profile tent with its olive-green flysheet providing ideal camouflage for stealth camping or one night stop outs. This tent is not expensive and is generally rated as exceptional value for money.
Sale
Snugpak | Ionosphere | Shelter | 1 Person | 5000mm 100%...
  • Small and compact
  • Low profile with a 5000 mm PU coated fly
  • Single entry and all seams are taped

Pros

Cons

  • Has much space for the user;
  • Very light in weight
  • Durable as it is made of high-quality materials
  • Is stable when properly set up and can withstand strong winds.
  • Thin pegs make it occasionally unsuitable.

Hyke & Byke Quandary Sleeping Bag

Hyke & Byke Quandary -10 Degree C Down Sleeping Bag with...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Hyke & Byke products have been tested and proved on countless epic adventures across the world by...
  • SAVE SPACE and SHAVE WEIGHT with ultralight premium quality duck down filling (superior to synthetic) - nature's best...
  • HIKE FARTHER with the LIGHTEST MUMMY DOWN SLEEPING BAG available (Short: 1.16 Kg, Regular: 1.22 Kg & Long: 1.31 Kg) for...

This is an excellent cold-weather sleeping bag that keeps its user warm while also taking up a minimal amount of space in his/her bag.

The Quandary bag is well insulated with 10% duck feather and 90% duck down, which keeps users warm inside. After spending a night in this bivy, it compresses down to 10″ long and 7.5″ in diameter and will seamlessly fit into Hyke and Byke’s included compression sack. It is made from 400T 20D ripstop nylon fabric.

This design helps to keep the bag safe and portable while it is tucked away in your backpack or clipped to the outside. Also, the bag weighs just over 3 pounds, meaning it won’t be a burden on your back. The sleeping bag is EN temperature – rated down to a limit of 14°F.

For the bag’s design, the amount of down is optimised in every chamber for maximizing the loft. Also, it reduces the size and weight. It accomplishes this fact by using a differential cut. It means you get a smaller bag that is wrapped in a larger outer shell. You can also locate a small channel on the left hand side of this bag. The down insulation can also be customised to suit your needs.

There are two different available sizes – regular and long. The long can fit a person that is as tall as 6’6, so this bag has plenty of room for tall campers. For a mummy-style bag, this bag offers a lot of room at both the feet and at the shoulders. Talking about feet, the bag’s 2-way zipper gives you the ability to open the bottom to let your feet stick out when it’s a little warmer outside.
Hyke & Byke Quandary -10 Degree C Down Sleeping Bag with...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Hyke & Byke products have been tested and proved on countless epic adventures across the world by...
  • SAVE SPACE and SHAVE WEIGHT with ultralight premium quality duck down filling (superior to synthetic) - nature's best...
  • HIKE FARTHER with the LIGHTEST MUMMY DOWN SLEEPING BAG available (Short: 1.16 Kg, Regular: 1.22 Kg & Long: 1.31 Kg) for...

Pros

Cons

  • Temperature rated 14 degrees.
  • Rip stop nylon for added toughness.
  • Fits taller campers.
  • Zipper sometimes catches on the fabric.
  • Needs to be set aside for a while when first pulled from the packaging.

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy, Mojo Blue, 1Size
  • Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Highly-Breathable, Fully Seam- Taped, Durable, No-See-Um Mesh, Hydroseal Floor,...
  • Design Features: Sleeping Pad Straps, Five Stake Loops, One Guy Line Loop, Internal Mesh Pocket, High-Volume Toe-End
  • Functional Details: Delrin Single-Pole System

It looks like a mummy-shaped sleeping bag with an uncanny ability to accommodate a large sleeping bag. This bivy is kind of pricey, but you’d love its ability to shelter a backpacker in extreme weather. This bag is made of waterproof fabric and it stops water from getting in. Little droplets of water might find their way into the bag, but that won’t cause any inconvenience for you. 

The taped seams of this bag also add a lot of effectiveness as it concerns preventing moisture from getting into the bivy. The manufacturers sealed the seams of this bag, so water drops would fall to the ground instead of making the inside of the bag wet. In tandem, the hydro seal and antifungal coat make up a warm, comfortable and healthy place for the user. 

On the other hand, Gore-Tex – a highly breathable fabric – reduces probability of the bag overheating. However, if the inside of this bag becomes too hot, the zippered vents can reduce the moisture and heat.

The pole system also allows you to place your head in the most comfortable position. If you’re the type that likes to connect with nature and view starry skies, you can do this without even closing the door. All you have to do is make use of the bug net that ensures bugs don’t enter the bivy.

It also has a second pole. That means if you need a roomy interior with maximum ventilation, you can decide to turn it on. Inside this bag, its manufacturers put sleeping pad straps. So, the pad can be easily installed if you need a comfortable and cosy bed. Not only is this bivy bag made using breathable fabric, the ventilation can be increased by unzipping the vent at the end of the bivy sack. It also has a removable no-see-um mesh to increase breathability and decrease the likelihood of condensation.

The bag’s durable Gore-Tex material will protect you from wind and will offer a high level of resistance to water. To prevent groundwater from entering into the bivy sack, the floor of the tent is hydro sealed and is treated with anti-fungal coating. In addition to this, the seams of this bivy bag are taped to prevent leakage.

You can sleep with this bag touching your skin or you can decide to create extra space by using the bag’s patented dual-pole system. This will lift the bivy away from your body – meaning it is convenient for users who may feel claustrophobic when sleeping in a bivy. It also creates a little more space for your things.

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy, Mojo Blue, 1Size
  • Fabric Performance: Waterproof, Highly-Breathable, Fully Seam- Taped, Durable, No-See-Um Mesh, Hydroseal Floor,...
  • Design Features: Sleeping Pad Straps, Five Stake Loops, One Guy Line Loop, Internal Mesh Pocket, High-Volume Toe-End
  • Functional Details: Delrin Single-Pole System

Pros

Cons

  • 3-layer Gore-Tex “respiration positive” fabric.
  • Amazing weather resistance.
  • Great breathability
  • Features a storm flap, mosquito net and internal pocket.
  • A little bit short and narrow.
  • Can be heavy to carry

Black Diamond Twilight Bivy

Black Diamond Twilight Bivy Green
  • Frameless construction to minimize weight
  • Proprietary NanoShield single-wall fabric
  • Year-round performance

For the ultralight bivy user, the Black Diamond Twilight offers a functional, well-constructed and superbly compact option for fairer weather ventures. This bag is made using NanoShield fabric, which isn’t as waterproof as most of the other materials, but breathes quite well and can withstand light showers.

This bag weighs a mere 10.7 oz, making it one of the lightest bivy bags on the market. However, with that light weight comes a few compromises. One of them is that the bag won’t keep you as dry as other bags. With its length at just 82″, it is also on the small side.

This bivy is basically made of polyester alongside a special water-resistant silicone nanocell treatment. Bugs are curtailed by the zippered mesh front that is situated underneath the entrance/opening and loops on the outside part to roll up the screen. If this bivy is completely closed, you will not get any stuffy feeling as a result of the breathable NanoShield fabric that also doesn’t have a fragile feeling like some other lightweight fabrics.

Black Diamond Twilight Bivy Green
  • Frameless construction to minimize weight
  • Proprietary NanoShield single-wall fabric
  • Year-round performance

Pros

Cons

  • A solid 3-season sack.
  • Performs well in light rain.
  • Incredibly lightweight (10.7oz).
  • Ideal for ultralight backpackers.
  • Tiny pack size (3 x 5”).
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Not as weatherproof as rivals.
  • Material not suspended from face while sleeping.
  • Tricky to get in and out.

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy

Sierra Designs Backcountry BIVY Long
  • Designed to fit a sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Large u-shaped opening to make getting in and out easy
  • Mesh window panel for ventilation in good weather

With its wallet-friendly price amongst others, the Sierra Designs Backcountry has a lot going for it. It weighs a mere 14 oz, can pack down to 3 x 10 inches and also has excellent waterproofing and great breathability.

Along with this, it comes with a bug mesh netting that allows users to pull down the hood during summer nights without a need to worry about their faces being disturbed by flying or crawling insects.

This bag’s 100% nylon material makes it quite durable against the harsh elements. On the other hand, though, this bag isn’t as tough as a lot of other bivy bags.

Also, it makes use of a poleless design. This means that the fabric of the bag will rest on your face while you’re in the bivy. However, even though it isn’t as effective, an attachment point is present that allows users to pull the headspace away from their faces, giving them a little more room.

All in all, this bivy offers excellent reliability and adequate value for money.

 

Sierra Designs Backcountry BIVY Long
  • Designed to fit a sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Large u-shaped opening to make getting in and out easy
  • Mesh window panel for ventilation in good weather

Pros

Cons

  • It is cheap.
  • Lightweight with small pack size (3 x 10”).
  • Very reliable waterproofing.
  • Bug netting.
  • Great breathability.
  • Made with Ripstop nylon materials.
  • Poleless design means the fabric rests on your face.
  • Ripstop nylon is quite thin (20D on the shell, 30D on the floor).

Final Thoughts

Selecting a bivy instead of a tent is a good option if you’re planning to take a mountaineering trip. You may not have the same kind of space in this shelter, but you will certainly be conserving a lot of important pack space for other essential items. As well as gear, you’ll also be taking food and water with you – which doesn’t only take up space, but can also weigh you down.

We have taken an in depth look at some compact, lightweight and durable bivy bags – all of which would be suitable depending on the preference and personal needs of potential buyers. In this light, we have selected the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy as our top pick for the best bivy. However, it should be noted that this bivy’s price is on the high side, but we’re of the opinion that it offers the most features that helps its users during their journeys.

It is manufactured with Gore-Tex – a durable fabric that is breathable and completely waterproof. It also has completely taped seams as well as a pole system that allows users to configure it in different ways.

We are of the opinion that this is the strongest bivy on this list and are confident that users of this bag will remain dry, comfortable and warm throughout any weather condition you may find yourself in along the journey.

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