The Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy Tent is s portable and mobile shelter that comes in very handy on hiking and camping trips. You can set up camp any time and at any place – instead of having to find alternative accommodation facilities. While tents remain the most comfortable and versatile, you might find carrying a tent to be too heavy especially if you’re hiking alone.
On trips like these, a bivy sack is a legitimate alternative as it is lighter and provides similar weather protection. A high-quality bivy sack – on average – is two times as light and 30% smaller (when packed) than a two-person tent of high quality. Apart from taking up a small amount of space in your backpack, a bivy can also be set up quickly especially if the weather swiftly changes.
However, bivy sacks aren’t suitable for long hiking trips due to the fact that they provide limited space and comfort to their users. Also, they require users to leave their backpacks outside of the sack.
Getting a Bivy Sack – What is important?
With lightweight equipment, you can be able to reach your goals easier and faster. Due to the fact that shelters are usually the heaviest items of hiking or backpacking gear, taking a lightweight shelter can really make a difference as regards weight. For example, one-person tents can weigh up to 6 pounds, while a high-quality bivy sack weighs a maximum of 2 pounds.
Bivy sacks normally can house only one person. However, some of these sacks create an avenue where you can suspend your material above your head which will reduce the claustrophobic effect that the small shelter might cause. There are two systems you can use to suspend the material close to the head area; the flexible wire system and the pole system.
Mountaineers and hikers always prefer to have equipments that can be quite little after they’ve been packed because this helps them pack their backpacks more efficiently.
When choosing a bivy, ensure that you get one that has a waterproof/breathable fabric, such as eVent, Todd-Tex, Pertex and Gore-Tex. It should be noted that breathable and waterproof fabrics differ in breathability, weather resistance and durability.
Condensation and Weather Resistance
The condensation and weather resistance of a shelter mostly depends on the fabric. Unfortunately, these two qualities, to some extent, are mutually exclusive. The condensation resistance of a bivy is improved by the breathability of the fabric as it lets warm air and moisture escape. There’s no such thing as a waterproof fabric that is also highly breathable. Meaning, manufacturers have to look for the best ratio between weather and condensation resistance in order to get the best functionality.
The Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy: Description
This product differs from a lot of the others in terms of design. The design of this bivy sack is very minimalistic. It features a head height that is significantly lower than most other products due to the fact that it doesn’t use a pole system for suspending the material. Instead, it makes use of a sewn-in flexible wire that automatically suspends the material when the shelter is unpacked.
One big advantage of this flexible wire is that it makes the Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy faster and easier to set up. It is made using the Todd-Tex breathable/waterproof material. The Todd-Tex material is a lot similar to that of the Gore-Tex; it makes use of a PTFE membrane that is bonded to the internal fabric and face fabric (a 3-layer design).
This material provides breathability and good weather protection. What this means is that condensation isn’t much of an issue with this bivy. It also comes with taped seams, no-see-um mesh and a dual zipper. This mesh opening will allow air to flow inside the bivy.
The design of this big-wall-specific bivy is different from the standard Hooped Bivy. This was ensured by the manufacturers’ incorporation of a strong waterproof tie-in point. That way, you can securely sleep throughout the entire night. Like we’ve mentioned, this bivy’s waterproof/breathable Todd-Tex fabric will separate the elements from the user’s sleeping bag. The sewn-in wire hoop also creates air space so that your face isn’t covered by the fabric all through the night.
This particular bivy is suitable for users who prefer a minimalistic, but an equally reliable shelter for trips no matter the weather condition.
- The sewn-in flexible wire creates air space.
- Dual-sided zipper and mesh-covered opening.
- RF welded tie-in point for secure anchoring.
- ToddTex single-wall fabric.
- Taped seams.
- Average Packed Weight: [Long] 870 g, (1 lb 14 oz).
- Minimum Weight: [Long] 740 g (1 lb 10 oz).
- Dimensions: [Long] 251 x 89 cm (99 x 35 in).
- Area: [Long] 2.2 m² (24 sq ft).
- Packed Size: [Long] 15 x 33 cm (6 x 13 in).
- Condensation resistance is pretty decent with this bivvy.
- You are also well protected from the weather.
- It is durable enough to withstand the worst kind of climates.
- This bivy is relatively easy to set up.
- Not the biggest internal space for large-bodied outdoor enthusiasts.
Final Thoughts on Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy Tent
The Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivy is a very spacious, comfortable and durable high-quality bivy. This bivy makes use of the Todd-Tex fabric which is very tough and protects users from the elements. One key feature of this bivy is its size. It is one of the largest you’ll come across on the market. It can accommodate its user and even large sleeping bags.
The hoops are not completely rigid and the sewn-in wire gives this bivy some structure, which will, in turn, keep its fabric off the face of its users. There are two small struts for internal support which also help the structure, but they can become fiddly during cold weather. Inside of the bag is made of mesh which will help in keeping the bugs out and will be helpful when you don’t want to zip up the outer area.
A truly unique feature this bivy has is its integrated tie in point which users can use to secure this bag to their belay when they are high up a mountain or a large wall.