Report by Helen
arrived late yesterday in perfect condition.
First thing I did was to pull
the snap lock completely off the end of the
stuff sack cord. Cord needs
to be knotted on ends to prevent this happening.
There was a very nice note
from Equinox thanking me for my participation included with the
There were no
care or maintenance instructions included.
Bivy w/stuff sack weighs
Seams are not taped and do not appear to be sealed.
seems adequate for the purpose.
Bivy restuffs easily in well sized stuff
Bottom of bivy is black so should absorb heat well and dry quickly in
Length of bivy is perfect for those 6' and under.
The bivy has a left side zipper so one needs a
sleeping bag w/a left side zipper.
Equinox has obviously invested a lot of thought
into the construction of the bivy - the top two stake out loops guarantee that
the head of the bivy doesn't slip down leaving the sleeper w/ their head and
expensive sleeping bag laying in the dirt - the bottom two loops allow the bivy
to be hung up to dry on a bush without the danger of the bivy blowing away - the
bottom two loops do not extend inside the bivy so the fact that they will be
slow to dry does not introduce moisture inside the bivy. I am quite
impressed with the construction and detail of the bivy.
First Field Test
I decided to take the bivy, a 3/4 length
Ultralite ThermaRest and my Hubby's NF winter bag and go sleep down by the
It had rained very heavily in the afternoon so I
thought, between that and the fact of being in a canyon in close proximity to
running water with the expectation of heavy mist, conditions would be ideal
for testing the breathability of the bivy.
I deliberately chose a grassy spot that was very
wet, almost to the point of standing water. I laid the bivy directly on
the ground, staked out the head loops and placed the thermarest and sleeping bag
The first problem arose when I belatedly realized
that, unlike my bags, my husband's bag has the zipper on the right side.
Given that the zipper on the bivy is only half length it is impossible to easily
get inside a sleeping bag with the zipper on the opposite side. I flipped
the bag over to line up the two zippers and once I was inside I wiggled the bag
around to get it right side up; not an easy task. All of that wiggling led
me to discover that the bottom of the bivy is not totally waterproof. At
the spots where I had dug in my elbows there was definite moisture forced up
through the bottom of the bivy.
The second problem arose when it suddenly started
to pour with rain. Heavy rain landing on my face is fortunately
guaranteed to wake me up in a hurry. I was able to observe that the top of
the bivy is water repellant only long enough to hurriedly remove one's sleeping
bag and rush to the safety of the car. The bivy was completely soaked
This was not a fair test of the bivy. The
manufacturer does not suggest that the bivy can be a stand alone but instead
recommend that it be used in conjunction with a light weight tarp. I
wanted to know the outer limits of protection offered by the bivy so that in
case of emergency I would know what to expect.
I have since taken the bivy and an ID Silshelter up
to the mountains where I experienced very cold weather. My next
report will include my findings from that trip and one or more future