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Thread: What is better solo tent or bivy bag

  1. #1
    Junior Member MountainManKurt's Avatar
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    Question What is better solo tent or bivy bag

    I was wondering what is better a solo one man tent or a bivy bag. I would like to know because I have been looking around at one man tents. I didn't know if I should buy a bivy bag insted of a solo tent.
    Thanks Kurt

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oldsmores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainManKurt
    I was wondering what is better a solo one man tent or a bivy bag...
    I'm not sure there's a single answer to this question. Depends on the situation, conditions, and the individual. From my perspective, the one-man tent has some definite advantages - better ventilation/moisture management being the main one. Also, generally a one-man tent has mosquito netting, which is not the norm in a bivy.

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    Senior Member bryan's Avatar
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    i have never used a bivy bag, but purchased a one person tent this fall (the mountain hardwear pct). a little heavier than i would have liked, but otherwise it's swell. the only drawback i saw to it's design, and to the design of other one person tents, is the fact that it has to be guyed out and isn't free standing. this is fine on grass or dirt, but makes setup a bit sketchy on some tent platforms (where i most often end up). it is already limited with regards to space and not having it set up properly hurts the ventilation a bit. i think i saw that msr makes a one person called the "hubba" that is freestanding and quite light. i discovered that a bit late. it seems like it would be nice for platform use, but i know nothing else about it.

    bryan

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    Senior Member charlos's Avatar
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    i was looking for bivys when i bought the hubba.
    i found that www.rei.com is good for comparing solo tents,bivys and tarp shelters.

    love the hubba(all my friends sweat it)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gris's Avatar
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    TENT. i have both. light bivy w tarp over is ideal, except when bugs bad or weather really foul - problem is can't always predict elements. Bivy = cabin fever in bad conditions. cannot speak to real winter conditions, don't have enough experience there. but for 3 season it's tent hands down. these days some solo tents weigh no more than a full scale bivy. so why not get the living SPACE for when you're stuck inside? try to get a double wall (dryer) solo tent that pitches fly first w inner tent hanging, like the Akto. i happen to LIKE the lower more storm worthy profile of non free standing tents. plus i think it's prudent to stake/guy out anyway. i don't have a problem staking. i carry stakes wrapped in sand anchors and use the anchors, under rocks, more than the stakes. the anchors are invaluable, they work everywhere stakes don't.
    Last edited by Gris; 10-31-2004 at 08:55 PM.

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    I have both an old Walrus Micro Swift and an OR Delux Bivy. I use the bivy with a tarp when solo winter hiking and use the Walrus for any other solo trips including kayak. I also have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 for times whith a partner. Hot as hell in the summer, but cann't be beat any other time. Saved my butt a few times. Just remember, a bivy is like a nylon and goretex coffin at times. Usually during an epic trip.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bobmak's Avatar
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    I don't think staking a tent versus free standing is that much of an issue. I have a Quest Seascape, a 34 sq. ft hoop tent, that I love. I have taken this both bike touring and hiking and have set it up on sand, snow and platforms with no major problems at all. Platforms are perhaps the most difficult, you have to be a little creative sometimes when tieing out the the corners, but it really only adds 5-10 minutes to the set up. ANd I have to agree with the previous post... I have a Walrus dome that I use in the winter, and I always stake this out as well, even though it is a free standing dome.

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    weight?

    If you care at all about weight, use a bivy w/ a tarp. You'll save a pound vs the lightest tent. If you don't care about going light weight, use a tent. BUt my aching back turned me into a ultralight BPer.
    If I'm not out there, I'm not happy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Remix's Avatar
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    To me, the main advantage of a bivy versus tent is weight. The main disadvantages are lack of privacy and not being able to sit up in the one that I bought. (bibler hooped bivy).

    A good waterproof bivy (bibler hooped bivy) is great for those situations where your pretty sure there will be room at a lean-to, but need something in case there isn't.

    Many bivy's, but not all, have bug screens.

    In winter, I have not had a problem with excess moisture, it just turns into frost on both sides of the bivy. I don't know what a single person 4 season costs, but I know it wont be as light as a bibler hooped bivy.

  10. #10
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Before you buy a bivy, see if you can borrow one and spend a night or two in them. Some folks (like me) find them very difficult to sleep in. As an emergency shelter they are great, as a planned night out I personally would carry a slightly heavier tent and get a better night's sleep.

    -dave-

  11. #11
    Junior Member MountainManKurt's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the tips. I will try the tent I guess. But I will keep looking.
    Thanks Again Kurt,

  12. #12
    Senior Member KenC's Avatar
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    I have both a Hilleberg Akto 1 man and a Integral Designs Salathe Bivy. The Akto is great just about any time! Plenty of room for 1, some gear and the vestibule all in one neat light package. Mine is a bit over 3# 3 season, in winter by the time i add snow flukes and etc closer to 4# but very managable. Frost in winter in the right temps and conditions occurs sometimes.

    The Bivy in bad weather requires a fly if you expect to get in dry. IN good weather it's great. I use a Siltarp 5X8 to shield the opening. I've used it this fall and it works well, but i don't have a problem with the confinement of the bivy. No moisture problems when i did use it but it was breezy which creates a chimney and vents the bivy. Not sure on a calm night zipped up! I use the bivy winter on day hikes as emergency shelter or in case of an injury which might leave someone imobile for sometime. I do plan on trying it under controled conditions this winter.
    KenC
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  13. #13
    Senior Member charlos's Avatar
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    military bivys

    seen alot of thease on e-bay
    anybody use them, they seem no different from most minimal bivys besides for the camoflage design.
    the camo print may freak me out cause i like to see if theres anything crawling on me.
    peace, charlos

  14. #14
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    I have a bivy very similar to those camo ones on e-bay. It is made by the same manufacturer but square shaped instead of mummy. THey are decent bivies but I would recommend using a tarp w/ it if there is any chance of rain because tHey don't cinch up well. Also, you may need to add a second comformable wire to keep the screen off your face, but this is VERY easy to do. Overall, I think it is a good way to get into using a bivy w/o spending a lot of $.
    If I'm not out there, I'm not happy.

  15. #15
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    I find a bivy to be somewhat claustrophobic, so I use a one-man tent. I kinda also like the bit of extra room to change in there, as well as hang stuff in loft if I need to.

    But hey, if you're not worried about these things, then maybe you can save some weight with a bivy.
    "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Cast away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    - Mark Twain

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