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  1. #1
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    Bivy/Tent? What's the deal?

    I don't know, maybe I'm a camping weenie but I just can't get my head around a bivy set up. What do you guys do about insects and critters and stuff? I could think of nothing worse than a night trying to sleep with the buzzing of mosquitos and gnats all around.



    How do you do it?

  2. #2
    What day are we riding?
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    Bivy with netting either integrated or separate. I usually try to tie it up to something to keep it off my face.

    Also I like to use a Wenzel Starlite that I modded new poles for out of carbon arrows and lighter stakes. It is about one pound of penalty.

  3. #3
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    This internet thingie is pretty cool when looking for stuff.....found this, which seems to answer all of my questions.

    Bivy/Tent? What's the deal?-marmot-meshbivy.jpg

    Mesh Bivy | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

    Guess I'll be picking this up this weekend.

  4. #4
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    Bivy when I'm by myself and I bring a tent with the girlfriend comes along. I normally bike till late get off the bike quick eat and crash. But with the girlfriend its more camping and less biking

  5. #5
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Bivies are lighter, which equates to a more enjoyable day of riding. At night, they are cozy and warm--and I feel more "connected" to the land around me.

  6. #6
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    So which bivies would you guys recommend? As of now I have been using an rei chrysalis tent for my car camping trips but I would like to get a bivy before my first bike packing trip . Any suggestions are appreciated.
    surly karate monkey
    surly ogre

  7. #7
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    The bivy is what keeps the critters out, otherwise it's just sleeping under a tarp or cowboy camping.

    For real lightweight stuff theres a lot of great bivys from a lot of great cottage companies.

    I've got a Katabatic Bivys Katabatic Gear ? Ultralight Sleeping Bags and Accessories

    A few more off the top of my head..
    Mountain Laurel Designs
    Borah Gear: Custom Ultralight Backpacking Gear
    TiGoat Ptarmigan Bivy

  8. #8
    I'm your density
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    I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I have a Integral Designs Bugabivy which weighs 16.5 oz, complete (468 g). I have thought about replacing the burly aluminum half-hoop pole (~4 oz) with something like a Delrin rod to save weight. The pole is really only used to keep the netting off your face. I got this used from geartrade.com for a pretty good price.

    If you're going to have wet weather, you'll need a tarp system for a bivy like this.
    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
    Ty Webb

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GtownViking View Post
    This internet thingie is pretty cool when looking for stuff.....found this, which seems to answer all of my questions.

    Mesh Bivy | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

    Guess I'll be picking this up this weekend.
    That almost looks like more of a minimalist tent to me.

    I have used a Eureka Solitaire for motorcycle camping trips. It packs slightly smaller. It is waterproof (when you tape the seams). I spent the night in a thunderstorm in NM with no leakage. It weighs about 1 pound more. It has a very slightly larger floor. It costs slightly less.

    Eureka Eureka Solitaire Tent - Camping Tents

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GtownViking View Post
    This internet thingie is pretty cool when looking for stuff.....found this, which seems to answer all of my questions.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	marmot-meshbivy.jpg 
Views:	1621 
Size:	25.7 KB 
ID:	811300

    Mesh Bivy | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

    Guess I'll be picking this up this weekend.
    What do you do when it rains?

    It's 1lb 4 oz. For less than a pound more and for the same cost, you're in Tarptent territory and that's an actual, legit tent that can be rained or snowed on.

  11. #11
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    I prefer a tent during the summer. We have three months with lots of mosquitoes, and my Tarptent Double Rainbow isn't too heavy (1.2 kg) and still provides open bug free views.

    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  12. #12
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Pretty neat!

    Quote Originally Posted by GtownViking View Post
    This internet thingie is pretty cool when looking for stuff.....found this, which seems to answer all of my questions.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	marmot-meshbivy.jpg 
Views:	1621 
Size:	25.7 KB 
ID:	811300

    Mesh Bivy | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

    Guess I'll be picking this up this weekend.
    This one is good for the crickets and ants and all the other creepy crawlies. But rain may get you in the face.

    Still I am planning to have one of these. If it's not too heavy.

  13. #13
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    Check out a Contrail tarptent. It only weighs 26 oz (including the pole), so it is around the same weight as a lot of bivies (though heavier some bivies as well), and packs small on the bike. It has the benefits of a tent (keeps you dry while no worry about the bivy flap/mesh in your face since their is plenty of room). It only takes 1- 2 minutes to setup, w/o need for trees (unlike tarps). Anyway, it comes down to personal preference and balancing your needs for a particular type of trip.

  14. #14
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    i've looked at and used:
    tent, hammock (hennessy), tarp + bivy, and tarptent.

    currently my setup is a tarptent contrail. it fits multiple uses for me - hiking i can use my trekking poles, riding it fits nicely between drop bars (additional pole strapped to TT), and its stout enough in rain / wind to be useful. i can sit up inside to get dressed, and i'm protected from (this year) the persistent mosquitos. this is lighter than most readily available bivies and bivy tarp combos. lighter than my hennessy, way lighter than my old backpacking tent. and packs small and is ~24-26 oz. for me, the right blend of features. if i were on a drop bar bike i'd have the moment, as i'd pack it long ways up front. the contrail can pack it up front (drop bars), in my frame bag, or in my seat bag.


    my tarp tent contrail by mbeganyi, on Flickr


    IMAG4272 by mbeganyi, on Flickr

  15. #15
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Sierra Designs P.A.W. 15 ounces, with bug netting. Sierra Designs P.A.W. 4-Season Technical Ultralight Alpine Bivy
    Marmot Alpinist Bivy: 14 ounces, without bug netting. Alpinist Bivy | Marmot Clothing and Equipment

  16. #16
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    Those waterproof bivies are more aimed at alpinists. The full waterproofing would only do you any good if you intended to forgo a tarp in inclement weather, which is not a pleasant way to spend a night in a bivy. Also the waterproof materials are going to be far less breathable than a DWR coated nylon, quite unpleasant on a warm night.

    You can get a tarp and a bivy for around the same weight as the above bivys and have a much more versatile shelter system.

  17. #17
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jstews View Post
    Those waterproof bivies are more aimed at alpinists. The full waterproofing would only do you any good if you intended to forgo a tarp in inclement weather, which is not a pleasant way to spend a night in a bivy. Also the waterproof materials are going to be far less breathable than a DWR coated nylon, quite unpleasant on a warm night.

    You can get a tarp and a bivy for around the same weight as the above bivys and have a much more versatile shelter system.
    Whatever, they work great for me. I own both, and they breathe pretty well. And, yes, I've slept through both fair and foul weather. There's no tarp & bivy setup that's as light.

  18. #18
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    Where are you planning on doing most of your camping? Here in the NW the bug pressure in the mountains can get pretty ugly and crazy weather (snow even!) can show up any day of the year if you get high enough, hence most end up using a lightweight tent like bmike or hammock w/ built in bug net.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  19. #19
    Big B's Trails
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    I have used this bug bivy(Outdoor Research Bug Bivy - Free Shipping at REI.com) with success especially when it's been on the warmer side . I also have a real bivy(4 season) that is for trips that I might encounter fun weather. I've also tried eno hammocks, I'm kinda on the fence with my sleep system....lately it's been, lots trees on route then hammock, if desert terrain or high alpine then the bivys.
    I dig dirt!

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Eazy_E;10495103]

    What do you do when it rains?

    QUOTE]

    Hmmm, rain....yes, I see your point. That would be a 13 on the Suckage meter.

    I guess I need to educate myself a little more on this tarptent thingie. I've only seen tarps spread over the sleeping bag and that does not keep the insects out.

    Obviously the point is to to be as light as possible. I have a solo tent by Kelty, the Acadia 1 (now discontinued). It's the same as the current Acadia 2 which means it has 2 doors on it whereas mine has 1.
    Kelty Acadia 2-Person 3-Season Tent | Family Camping Gear

    Packed weight for mine is the same as the 2 which is 7.5 pounds and packed dimensions are 7"x24"...not exactly bikepack 'freindly' in both regards.

    I guess I could use the Marmot bivy above and carry some Tyvek moisture barrier (for houses). Seen that done.

  21. #21
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    Oh good Grief.....well isn't this the shizzle.

    Meta? 1P Tent | NEMO

    ONly question is, other than trekking poles, what can be used that collapses to a decent bikepacking dimension?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GtownViking View Post
    Oh good Grief.....well isn't this the shizzle.

    Meta? 1P Tent | NEMO

    ONly question is, other than trekking poles, what can be used that collapses to a decent bikepacking dimension?

    Make your own. Light. Pretty cheap. I bought the one that came with the Contrail but decided I wanted something stiffer, so I made one that was a little thicker gauge material. All parts came from Quest outfitters.

  23. #23
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    If you're going to go the bug shelter + tarp route, consider the Yama Mountain Gear Bug Shelter 1 and the Stratiform 1P tarp. $225 for the pair, new (hard to find used). I have this for backpacking and use trekking poles, but if you're creative and camping in the right places you can use trees & sticks to set it up. With tent, tarp, stakes and guylines, mine is around 20 oz.

    If you're a big person there is a Bug Shelter 1.25 and Stratiform 1P+ tarp.

    edit: You should be able to make a sectioned pole out of short lengths of thinwall tubular aluminum, so that the individual pieces are short enough to fit into your frame, seat or handlebar bag. Saw a "+" vertically through one end of each piece so it fits into the uncut end of another when you squeeze the 4 quarters of the cut end together.
    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
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  24. #24
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    Out of curiosity if you're going to be spending $225 or so on a bivy / tarp system, why not just buy an ultra light tent for the same price and maybe .5lb weight penalty? I've seen big agnes fly creek UL1's going for $220 ish here and there on clearance online, why not get that, what advantage does a bivy + tarp have over the ultra light tent? The bivy alone I see, but once you start adding a tarp and poles, seems easier to just get a ultra light tent and call it a day. I understand the ultimate ultralight concept, but for not racing why not just use a UL tent?

  25. #25
    I'm your density
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    ^^^Of course that's another alternative. I was just speaking on the products I own/use.

    Although I can say my hiking buddy has that BA Fly Creek UL1 and loves it.
    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
    Ty Webb

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