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Terra Nova Bivi Bag Review

If you are a solo backpacker, then sleeping outdoors is something you probably already enjoy a lot. It is also an activity that is enjoyed by – not just nature lovers – but also people who are just looking for a way to unwind.

Terra Nova bivi bag is a classic example of a bivi bag that is perfect for camping

Camping is thought to have some health benefits ranging from reduced stress to an increase in the quality of sleep you would get. Bivvying is a form of camping using bivvy bags instead of tents. It has some advantages over camping with tents in that bivvy bags are easy to use, they are lightweight, they pack small, not to mention the fact that they are much cheaper than tents.

The Terra Nova bivi bag is a classic example of a bivi bag that is perfect for camping. Made from Moonlite fabric, a fabric that is very breathable and waterproof, the Terra Nova bivi bag is an excellent bivi bag for sleeping outdoors and a favourite among backpackers and hikers.

There are two models of the bivi bag, which are the Terra Nova Survival and the Terra Nova Moonlight bivi bag. With the latter being the more upmarket, sturdier of the two.

Key features and benefits

  • The Terra Nova bivi bags are lightweight with the Survival bag weighing 340g and the Moonlight bag weighing 198g.
  • The Survival bivi bag has a pack dimension of 21cm x 11cm and an unpacked dimension of 215cm x 74cm while the Moonlite bivi has a pack dimension of 21cm x 6cm and an unpacked dimension of 200cm x 76cm.
  • Both models of the bag are produced from Terra Nova Dusk ripstop nylon, a fabric that is waterproof and breathable.
  • They both have a hydrostatic head rating (HHH) of 10,000mm.
  • The Moonlite bivi bag comes equipped with zips for closing and opening up the bag while the survival bivi bag comes with drawstrings attached to it for closing and opening it up.
  • The Moonlite bivi bag also features an integrated mesh net for keeping bugs out of the bag, a feature that is not found in the survival model.
  • Both models of the bivi bag have taped seams that prevent water from seeping into the bag through the seams.

Pros

  • The lightweight nature of the bivi bags, particularly the Moonlite bag, makes them ideal bags for minimalist backpackers and hikers as it lessens the weight of the load they would have to carry. They are also terrific bags to have along for emergency camping trips or one night outings.
  • The waterproof property of the bags ensures that even if you find yourself camping in rainy weather, you would be kept dry and warm in the bags.
  • The bags’ breathability level, especially that of the Moonlite model, which is about 50% more breathable than the Survival model, ensures that excess moisture produced by your breath and body heat is expelled through the bag instead of accumulating in it. This breathability level also results in a reduction of condensation in the bag.
  • The mesh panel covering the head of the Moonlite bivi bag offers extra protection against insects as it bars them from entering into the bag in case you want to keep the bag partially open while sleeping.

Cons

  • The Terra Nova Moonlite bivi bag is a bit small, and so, depending on your body size, you may find it to be a little cramped.
  • The survival bivi bag lacks a mesh panel, which could result in bugs entering into the bag if you leave it open.

Although both Terra Nova bivi bags have their advantages, when these advantages are weighed, the Terra Nova Moonlite bivi bag seems to have more advantages over the Survival bivi bag. It offers a higher level of breathability, and it has a mesh panel which the survival model does not have.

However, the Survival bivi bag has more space when unpacked than the Moonlite model, and so if space is your primary concern, you should opt for it.

Terra Nova Moonlite Bivi

The Terra Nova Moonlite bivi bag has zips incorporated into the hoods, with which you can zip yourself entirely into the bag, effectively protecting yourself from the elements. The zip has a mesh panel that allows you to open up the waterproof part covering the bag while prohibiting the entry of insects.

The mesh panel is also useful if you want extra breeze on warmer days as you can open up the waterproof cover to let air in and regulate the temperature within the bag. A third advantage of the Moonlite’s mesh panel is that it enables you to lay under the stars at night and appreciate their beauty as you gaze up at them.

The Moonlite model also offers far more breathability levels than the survival model (about 50% more), which translates to the fact that condensation in the bag, if any, would not be as much as that which the Survival model would have. The Moonlite bivi bag is, however, not as big or spacious as the survival bivi bag.

Terra Nova Survival Bivi

The Terra Nova Survival bivi bag, on the other hand, is quite cheap when compared to the Moonlite bivi bag. It is, therefore, more favourable to those who are on tight budgets. It is also heavier than the Moonlite model, has drawcords instead of zips, and does not have a mesh panel like the Moonlite model does.

It is, however, a little large compared to the Moonlite bivi bag. To get the most value out of the Survival bivi bag, it would be better if you used it together with a tarp, especially when weather conditions are not that favourable. The tarp would offer extra protection from rain and wind.

Final Thoughts

Both bags are lightweight and pack small, enabling you to take them along with you in your backpack easily for when the need to use them arises. The Moonlite model is made from lighter laminated fabric that has a breathability of 15,000g/sqm/24hrs. The Survival model, on the other hand, uses heavier fabric and has less breathability than the Moonlite model.

The Terra Nova bivi bags are great bags to add to your collection. If you are looking for a bag that packs down smaller and weighs less, then the Terra Nova Moonlite bivi bag would suit your needs.

However, if you are after the amount of space the bag could offer and how much it weighs is an issue, then it would be better you go for the Survival bivvy bag.

Alternative Bivvy Bags

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