In Search Of High Quality Bivy Shelter

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DayTrip

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I have become absolutely hooked on bivy bag camping these past few years but have been looking for a slight upgrade to the basic bivy bag commonly used. I currently use 2 bags: a Sierra Designs bag in warm weather and an Outdoor Research Gore Tex Storm Bivy when it's colder (which is only open at the top and fairly annoying to get in and out of). Based on my searches apparently what I'm looking for is a bivy shelter.

This Spring I bought one on Amazon (this) that is exactly what I want design wise. I used it twice and really liked the added convenience it offered versus a basic bag without taking away from the bivy experience (added site options, zero set up, effortless night views, etc.) But it is some oddball, knock off company and the quality of the fabrics doesn't seem that great. The poles, zippers, sewing, etc actually are surprisingly good and seem durable. The fabric is what concerns me most. I've already discovered a few very small holes in it. It is also heavy relative to its size and I wonder about the durability and moisture resistance (which is not a huge concern because I generally only go this route in nice weather but a heavy dew on a cold morning could possibly be problematic). Of course, at $91 I can just buy a new one every few years like a pair of shoes but that seems wasteful and if it gets discontinued I'm back to square one.

I'd love to find something like this from a reputable manufacturer so its performance might be better but I seem to be in the very small minority of people who want such a thing. The features I want:
  • 100% free standing head area. Needs to function properly with zero stakes or tie downs.
  • Full zip compartment so getting in and out is fairly easy.
  • Netting and covering for venting options. The one I shared in the link has a full zip screen door as well as a full zip fabric door over it. Very useful.

Anyone ever come across something like this? If so let me know a brand, model, etc. As usual, thanks in advance. I'm guessing there isn't a huge market for this sort of thing but I always get surprised how there's always someone on here who always seems to have come across exactly what I'm looking for, no matter what it is. So I ask. It does seem to be more of a bike-packing item versus a back-packing item based on my research so maybe there is a cyclist on here with some thoughts.
 
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1. It's lighter, more roomy, and ventilates better.

Then there's this bivy, which is more like the one in your Amazon link, but I have no idea as to the quality.
I did come across that bivy in my original search. If I recall it wasn't available in US at time and the Amazon model was essentially the same.

I did also try looking at 1 person shelters but wasn't crazy about anything I came across (relative to being a bivy shelter). The low profile of the bivy shelter, while having obviously less room inside, is so damn convenient to use and fits in pretty small spots because the structure is really just the 2 poles above the head and shoulders so it works on irregular terrain. A 1 person tent needs the 4 corners sitting squarely to pitch correctly which requires more usable ground space, albeit still much less than a "normal" tent.

I'll probably have to revisit the 1 person tents on the market. This style of bivy seems to be a pretty rare animal.
 
I carried and used a Caribou bivy over the years I sectioned the AT as a backup. It didn't get used often as I hiked most of the AT outside the "bubble" and when I needed to use it in the rain, I regretted it over a tent. It was just about impossible to keep things dry getting in and that meant everything ended up getting damp overnight. A one man tent like the copper spur is far better in the rain. Most through hikers seem to come to same conclusion, not a lot of bivys on the trail.
 
I carried and used a Caribou bivy over the years I sectioned the AT as a backup. It didn't get used often as I hiked most of the AT outside the "bubble" and when I needed to use it in the rain, I regretted it over a tent. It was just about impossible to keep things dry getting in and that meant everything ended up getting damp overnight. A one man tent like the copper spur is far better in the rain. Most through hikers seem to come to same conclusion, not a lot of bivys on the trail.
Agree. This is for overnights in Summer and shoulder seasons when I expect weather to be fine and I'll be at or above tree line and possibly using more than one location to sleep. I usually set up and catch the sunset, the moonrise and some stars and sunrise, and on occasion I have to pick up shop in the middle of the night and move to another spot at the proper angle to catch sunrise depending on the angle and terrain I'm located. So a speedy set up and take down, usually in small and uneven areas, is my primary purpose to the shelter. When it's warm a basic bag is fine. I'm just using it to keep my z-fold, pad and sleeping bag together and not spilling all over the place. But if it is buggy, a possibility of a quick shower exists or it's on the chilly side the enclosure and added room in the head and shoulder area is nice. I also discovered that the 2 poles that form the shelf make a nice "tripod" to shoot on and I can sit in my bag and take photos at certain angles. The bivy I have I really like. I just don't know how it is going to hold up being a knock off import.

When the conditions call for a tent I have 10-12 models in the garage to choose from. :)
 
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