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  1. #1
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    need advice on tents vs bivies

    I started out bikepacking with a cheap two man pup tent. For a cheap tent it only weighed 3.5 pounds which hastened my selection. any of the dome tents that were under $100 seemed like they weighed almost five pounds. A year-and-a-half after getting started I decided I wanted to be a little more minimalistic. So I bought a rolling Fox tarp off Amazon and learned different tarp setups. I really enjoy packing a tarp because it weighs next to nothing and you can compress it quite well. But in my case in order to use a tarp a bivy sack was almost necessary due to insects and other creepy-crawlies. So I bought a Borah side zip bivy with a mesh head cover. It is very nice construction and very lightweight. I have since used it twice and for all a bivy offers I have decided it is not for me. I toss and turn too much when I sleep and trying to get in the bivy in my down sleeping bag ends up getting things twisted around my body and I can't seem to get everything straightened out. Plain and simple I'm considering going back to a tent. Has anyone else been in my shoes or am I just not doing something right? For pack ability a bivy and tarp can't be beat! But for maneuverability and comfort I'm beginning to think a tent wins hands down. Do tarps and bives have decent resale value if they are barely used? I'm wondering if I can't knock 10 or 15 bucks off the price if I decide to sell them and not be considered too high priced?

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    Bivy bags arenít for everyone. Iím really tall and prefer a 25Ē pad, so I can only tolerate them if it pretty cold. I prefer sleeping in the open or in a tent if the conditions warrant it. I just upgraded to one of these for when my tarp is not practical: https://www.bigagnes.com/Copper-Spur-HV-UL2-Bikepack

    You can still do a tarp alone. If bugs are a problem, use a bug net house, lots of tarp manufactures make these to hang from below a tarp.

    In terms of selling lighting used gear, figure 50% of MSRP to start unless itís something Uber rare and in high demand. Iíve had good luck using facebook marketplace to get rid of stuff locally or via the big backpacking gear group.

  3. #3
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    I saw the title of this and was logging in to suggest a tarp- but now see youíve done that.

    Bivys can have a huge Achilles heel in the wrong conditions.
    As you sleep, and sweat, as the damp clothes you are wearing begin to dry out during the night- this moisture moves away from your body. Cooling as it goes.
    By the time itís passing thru the insulation of your bag and reached the fabric of your ďbreatheableĒ bivy- itís likely condensed enough that it has a pretty tough time passing through the bivy. So in the morning youíre clammy and the inside of the bivy is wet.
    Same as any Gore or otherwise jacket. All of those concepts breath best when close to your skin.
    In a super dry place? That built up moisture isnít a huge problem. Or, leave the bag and bivy out in the sun during your snack break (a pain since itís slower to re-pack on a bike packing trip than a pannier trip). Rainy rough routes? You wonít be able to regularly count on those moments to dry your stuff.
    Multiple damp days/nights and your bag will begin to get more and more damp. Keeping you cooler. Making you work harder to stay warm. Depleting the benefit of your sleep.

    Then thereís the hassle of stuffing yourself in a bivy. Not a simple thing and sometimes might be an issue while you sleep. Getting tangled as youíve seen.

    As for selling- it seems like every third bearded guy wearin plaid has a deal that allows him to get low cost gear. I havenít found a great resale on gear.

    For my bike packing I like to use a tarp (Z-Packs, https://zpacks.com/collections/shelters) and have spent lots of time in a friends Hyperlight Mountain Gear pyramid.
    Both are made of unicorn farts or whatever other magical fabric (Cuban or Dyneema) is used.
    The tarp wouldnít help anymore than what youíve used for bugs (except being crazy light and packable- plus your wallet would be very light) but the Pyramid does a pretty good job of keeping the bugs out. If you set it up well.

    As Verboten said- there are some silly light tents out there now.
    The Big Agnes Tiger that we use might be the best tent ever when itís packed up. Teeny. Light.
    But as far as tents go? It might be too light. Too many corners might have been cut to make it so small and light.
    The flyís fabric is always getting caught in itís own zippers. The doorís zippers are probably lighter than Iíd use on a sick kittenís wind breaker.
    Get it damp from any dew or rain? Lord- itíll flap it all night. Iíve never known a tent that gets so saggy from moisture. For the first few weeks I thought I was setting it up wrong. Now I just blame the fabric.

    Iíve already been repairing minor tears/holes in the floor. We hammered it on a bike pack in Spain (and Iíd swear that entire route was built with plants Made of only needles/quills/thorns) so I canít complain too much about that.

    Short answer- if youíre out for a warmer night or two, go w/ the tarp, maybe a bivy if the Wx looks bad.
    Long trips? Maybe check out the newer smaller tents folks are making.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verboten
    You can still do a tarp alone. If bugs are a problem, use a bug net house, lots of tarp manufactures make these to hang from below a tarp.
    I like this idea but not having a floor is still gonna let creepies and chiggers get to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Chicken Bones
    Then thereís the hassle of stuffing yourself in a bivy. Not a simple thing and sometimes might be an issue while you sleep. Getting tangled as youíve seen.
    EXACTLY!! What a pain in the ass. Then you spend half the night every time you wake up doing the inchworm trying to get shit realigned and you never are successful.

    Some of the tents you mentioned are in the hundreds. For what I do a simple 125 or less tent should suffice. In the past I was trying to find a gold nugget in a turd. I know to get the ultimate you are going to pay and since I am not a world traveler and my life will most likely never depend on my tent I cannot see paying over $150 (preferably less than $100 on clearance would be ideal). The tarp is so cool though. I am the only guy in any group I have been in that whips out a tarp for the night. Kinda cool but each morning the tent guys seem a little more refreshed lol. I've seen some cool tents like those linked to below and thought they might be something to look into later down the road as money allows. I ordered a goose down bag from Hyke and Byke and still love it. Can't recall what their company stands for but they seem to have great stuff at highly discounted prices.

    https://www.hykeandbyke.com/collecti...kpacking-tents

    Then there is these options I seen from REI.

    https://www.rei.com/product/110835/r...passage-1-tent

    And there are an abundance of others in this article.

    https://www.cleverhiker.com/best-bud...kpacking-tents

    2019 has been a BAD year for me for biking in general. I really slacked off and got burnt out at the end of last year and have really not been out much. So I cannot justify running right out and spending money after my first overnighter. I was frustrated though to say the least and am seriously considering getting something for future trips as I plan on redeeming myself somewhat in 2020.

    So of the various links i listed are any of those better than the others? When you get in the sub $150 range are you always comparing apples to apples or is there one that just shines above the rest?

    I appreciate the responses fellas!

  5. #5
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    +1 on the tarp & bug net combination. I add a slightly oversized groundcloth (a bit wider & longer than my sleeping pad) and have never had issues with bugs or mosquitos (which are plentiful here in the midwest) coming/getting in. Another benefit to the tarp/bug net approach is that they don't heat up as much as a tent, since there aren't any walls to contain the air and heat it up. This has helped extend our camping season deeper into the hot & muggy summer months, when a tent would be miserable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Central Scrutinizer View Post
    +1 on the tarp & bug net combination. I add a slightly oversized groundcloth (a bit wider & longer than my sleeping pad) and have never had issues with bugs or mosquitos (which are plentiful here in the midwest) coming/getting in. Another benefit to the tarp/bug net approach is that they don't heat up as much as a tent, since there aren't any walls to contain the air and heat it up. This has helped extend our camping season deeper into the hot & muggy summer months, when a tent would be miserable.
    Could you give me some links to the products you're describing? also for a ground cloth do you mean inside your tarp you just throw something down under your pad or do you throw something that covers the whole entire area?

  7. #7
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    Got a big agnes copper spur HV bikepacking tent. Its awesome. Light, compact. Can run just the mesh part if needed. Tried just the tarp and a bugnet? I saw this set up where a rider used the tarp and his bike wheels. Laid the tarp down for a sleep surface, took off the front wheel for one end of the tarp, used the back wheel with the frame/ fork to free stand on the other end. Need to secure the front wheel with some stakes/ropes. So you get a bottom and top, with the the wheels at each end for structure/support. Seemed pretty cool.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    I'm considering going back to a tent.


    If you can afford a light tent you are not giving anything up on a bivy or a tarp + bugnet and you are getting an easier to setup more weatherproof shelter. The downside is cost if you buy new.

    I've been through all the permutations of bivy sack, tarp/bugnet, hammocks and tents. In most cases I would prefer to grab the tent. It weighs ~1kg and it's the best compromise of weight/bulk, weather/bug-proof living space.

    If you can't afford a light tent than a tarp + bugnet is the best choice as you can make that happen at low cost and it's much lighter and far less bulky than a cheap tent. With some skill you have a lot of setup options and can make it quite weatherproof.

    If a new UL tent is out of the budget look for one that is a year or two old. There always seem to be folks who camp twice a year with bling gear and then have to upgrade to the latest shiny kit the next year. Buy their nearly new stuff at a solid discount.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    Could you give me some links to the products you're describing? also for a ground cloth do you mean inside your tarp you just throw something down under your pad or do you throw something that covers the whole entire area?
    This is the bugnet I have - https://seatosummitusa.com/products/...-insect-shield

    For a groundcloth, yes - just something under my sleeping pad. doesn't fill the whole under-tarp area, extends maybe a foot or 18" in all directions...so roughly 3.5' x 8'? enough to have a little room to fiddle about without being directly on the dirt/leaves/grass/etc. In my experience it doesn't need to be waterproof - plain ripstop with a hem, a piece of tyvek, a cut down piece of blue hardware tarp all work.

    If you want to go really light, then a piece of polycro (the heat-shrink window insulation stuff) works great. Super light, waterproof, pretty tough: https://www.amazon.com/3M-Indoor-Win...dp/B00002NCJI/

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    For backpacking purposes I have done the bivy bag routine for a handful of outings. I inevitably go back to a tent. A bivy works well if you expect dry moderate temps and are not fighting bugs too badly. Otherwise you get the clammy bivy, deal with critters, or worse.

    On one trip I pushed it and had to get out of the bivy (no tarp) in a mild rain, and it royally sucked. There is no good way to change clothes and get your rain gear in those things.

    My current tent is a Big Agnes Scout UL2 which weighs just 32 oz with stakes (25 oz without). Add another 6 oz for aluminum poles (Six Moon) if I am bikepacking where I don't have trekking poles. You'd need poles of some sort for a tarp unless as well. Compared to a bivy plus tarp it is modestly heavier while providing much better wind protection. I also have the "plus" version with a vestibule which adds several ounces (37 oz with stakes) if I expect to want to cook in the vestibule.

    Shelter is always a trade-off of comfort, cost, weight, weather proofness, and personal preference. YMMV.

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    Not trying to sway you back to bivy since Im far from expert but there are different bivys out there that might be roomier and more breathable than yours. I also had a very very miserable experience using a loaned Black Diamond Twilight mountaineering bivy which was like wrapping a plastic bag around myself. I would think a bivy which you can hang from both ends would make a difference. So Im looking to buy a bivy from As Tucas (im in EU). He makes many sizes you can order wide xl if you want.

    https://www.astucas.com/en/products/millaris-bivy-sack/

    Theres also this one https://enlightenedequipment.com/recon-custom/

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  12. #12
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    I have 2 setups depending on what I anticipate for my trip.

    I sleep best in a hammock, so I have a hammock + bug net + tarp in case the weather calls for rain protection or wind protection. It's completely modular, so I can use only the components that I need.

    I also have a tarptent when I don't have the option to hang from the trees. I don't like ground sleeping because it's so hard for me to get comfortable, though. Tarptents are great if you need an enclosed shelter, though. Several different models and pole arrangements depending on your needs. Mine is fully enclosed, but not freestanding. It's an old, I think discontinued, model, the Cloudburst 2. Limits me in some respects (gotta be able to anchor it to something), but not TOO much. They're all some sort of variation on the tarp + bug net concept, all-in-one, with different sorts of pole arrangements.

    For me, a bivy is completely out of the question. Nonnegotiable. I move WAY too much when I'm trying to fall asleep (especially on the ground). Even mummy bags can be too much, which is why I use a quilt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Central Scrutinizer View Post
    This is the bugnet I have - https://seatosummitusa.com/products/...-insect-shield

    For a groundcloth, yes - just something under my sleeping pad. doesn't fill the whole under-tarp area, extends maybe a foot or 18" in all directions...so roughly 3.5' x 8'? enough to have a little room to fiddle about without being directly on the dirt/leaves/grass/etc. In my experience it doesn't need to be waterproof - plain ripstop with a hem, a piece of tyvek, a cut down piece of blue hardware tarp all work.

    If you want to go really light, then a piece of polycro (the heat-shrink window insulation stuff) works great. Super light, waterproof, pretty tough: https://www.amazon.com/3M-Indoor-Win...dp/B00002NCJI/
    will the window heat film stuff actually shrink on you in the extreme heat of Arizona?
    do you pre-shrink before heading out on the trail?

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    Speaking of ground clothes- I used US Postal priority tyvek envelopes. Iíd grab 1-2 every few days. Then when I had oh... maybe 5? 6?
    I used a roll of tyvek tape to make one sheet. Packs small. Cheap. Does great.
    But if youíre near a house job site- they have sheets you donít need to quilt them together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccm View Post
    will the window heat film stuff actually shrink on you in the extreme heat of Arizona?
    do you pre-shrink before heading out on the trail?
    probably not, and no. I suppose you could pre-shrink it, but it's surprisingly tough without shrinking. I'd suggest comparing packages, and getting the thickest variety you can find. Typically, that'll be stuff intended for outdoor rather than indoor application. The stuff I have is 0.75 mil thick, made to fit sliding glass doors, etc.

  16. #16
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    Check out the Hyperlite Dirigo 2. I don't think it gets any better than this tent, that is if you can stomach the price.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I have 2 setups depending on what I anticipate for my trip.

    I sleep best in a hammock, so I have a hammock + bug net + tarp in case the weather calls for rain protection or wind protection. It's completely modular, so I can use only the components that I need.

    I also have a tarptent when I don't have the option to hang from the trees. I don't like ground sleeping because it's so hard for me to get comfortable, though. Tarptents are great if you need an enclosed shelter, though. Several different models and pole arrangements depending on your needs. Mine is fully enclosed, but not freestanding. It's an old, I think discontinued, model, the Cloudburst 2. Limits me in some respects (gotta be able to anchor it to something), but not TOO much. They're all some sort of variation on the tarp + bug net concept, all-in-one, with different sorts of pole arrangements.

    For me, a bivy is completely out of the question. Nonnegotiable. I move WAY too much when I'm trying to fall asleep (especially on the ground). Even mummy bags can be too much, which is why I use a quilt.
    just got a Tarptent Stratospire 2 this summer and love it.



    Seam sealed in the back yard...I got the solid interior (over the mesh) b/c I plan on using it in the fall/winter.

    Used it up in Michigan and it worked well. Love the bathtub floor. It set up in a few minutes. Total weight is 44oz/1.3kg. In the summer, I use the tent, a Klymit air mattress, and an old bed sheet. Like Harold, I can't stand being "enclosed" while sleeping, and am going to try the quilt thing here in the future...the quilt replacing the sheet for cooler temps.

    I have also been curious to try the hammock thing, but still like the security of the tent...
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  18. #18
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    Eureka! has always had good basic tents for an excellent price. They won't be ultra light, but will get the job done. Also, you can pay a few extra bucks for lighter poles; fiberglass poles are porkers.

    Midori Solo for $129

    Solitaire AL for $90

    And don't use the "Tent Finder" option on the Eureka! web site. You'll spend valuable hours of your life you'll never get back. Just choose the "Backpack" category and go from there.
    Last edited by June Bug; 1 Week Ago at 02:26 PM.
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  19. #19
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    both have there time and place, I do prefer bivy and tarp.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=June Bug;14405977]Eureka! has always had good basic tents for an excellent price. They won't be ultra light, but will get the job done.

    Eureka knows how to make a tent, not a light weight tent though

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I have 2 setups depending on what I anticipate for my trip.

    I sleep best in a hammock, so I have a hammock + bug net + tarp in case the weather calls for rain protection or wind protection. It's completely modular, so I can use only the components that I need.

    I also have a tarptent when I don't have the option to hang from the trees. I don't like ground sleeping because it's so hard for me to get comfortable, though. Tarptents are great if you need an enclosed shelter, though. Several different models and pole arrangements depending on your needs. Mine is fully enclosed, but not freestanding. It's an old, I think discontinued, model, the Cloudburst 2. Limits me in some respects (gotta be able to anchor it to something), but not TOO much. They're all some sort of variation on the tarp + bug net concept, all-in-one, with different sorts of pole arrangements.

    For me, a bivy is completely out of the question. Nonnegotiable. I move WAY too much when I'm trying to fall asleep (especially on the ground). Even mummy bags can be too much, which is why I use a quilt.
    Absolutely no doubt about it, sleeping off the ground in a hammock is my first choice.
    Also a hammock greatly widens stealth camping options you never thought of before.
    Hammock set up is generaly quicker than a tent. (Though in wet/windy/dark conditions setting the tarp can be a challenge.)
    The best kit is from Warbonnet Hammocks, well worth the slightly higher price for tiptop quality kit.
    The big plus is living in a hammock for a few weeks your back will say thank you!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake January View Post
    Absolutely no doubt about it, sleeping off the ground in a hammock is my first choice.
    Also a hammock greatly widens stealth camping options you never thought of before.
    Hammock set up is generaly quicker than a tent. (Though in wet/windy/dark conditions setting the tarp can be a challenge.)
    The best kit is from Warbonnet Hammocks, well worth the slightly higher price for tiptop quality kit.
    The big plus is living in a hammock for a few weeks your back will say thank you!
    Sleeping in a saggy banana bed kills my back. Wouldnít a hammock do the same?

  23. #23
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    I started getting some things to gear up for bike camping last year and my experiment was more basic and low budget. It was all kind of a test and I wasn't ready to shell out for the great names and ultra light stuff. I'd read a lot along the themes of "make what you have work" although I didn't have much. I also realize there are various levels of how serious one gets into activities and my bike-packing will be in my backyard sort of. Gear that needs to be counted on for long extended trips or many years and not just a few days at a time is an understandable distinction and as in most things, I'd say get the best you can afford.
    I'm not a patient or extremely resourceful make-shift guy so tarps, hammocks and sleeping under the stars weren't my vision.

    Camping and 'roughing it were all new to me and as much as I could have an may still do so, I didn't drop the money on the big name stuff. Bike bags would have rolled over $300 from what I see for the weatherproof good stuff. Tents of good rep are $180 to $400 etc... I nabbed some off brand stuff getting a bivy style tent and a rear seat bag for $90. The frame bag was $60 and I spend another $70 for seatosummit dry bags, $35 on a 3-season mummy sleeping bag, $10 on a footprint tarp and $20 on a sleeping pad. I tried to get the stuff base on 3-season camping but trails and plans here will always be + 6800 feet and I know sleep layers can account for some help.

    Carrying some others goods; food, water, water filter, cooking stove, tools, snacks and extra cloths took my steel h/t bike from a naked 31.4 to 62 - 65# range. Again, nothing I bought was expensive or ultra lightweight but I was pretty impressed; Thirty two pounds of gear or so.
    I hope to get a number of uses out of even the cheap stuff and the bivy tent proved itself with two nights of rain and hail below the summit of Pikes Peak. With sub 40 degree nights, we were set up just above 10,000 feet. This tent or similar is advertised on the Bushnell site at $99 but still shows up for $45 or so at WM - It's 3.44 #

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bushnell-...eps-1/42120627
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
    Eureka knows how to make a tent, not a light weight tent though
    Well exactly. Eureka is a well-made "cost conscious" brand, for those who don't want to (or can't) drop $300 for an ultralight tent.

    It's price point/vs weight. Eureka hits an easy price point for a solo tent that will keep you dry and comfortable.

    I'm in the "tent only" category. I just like to set up my tent, crawl in, and be cozy and happy in my home away from home. Also, no ants, mosquitoes, scorpions, frogs, snakes visiting my sleeping bag, or skunks or raccoons foraging at night.
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post

    I'm in the "tent only" category. I just like to set up my tent, crawl in, and be cozy and happy in my home away from home. Also, no ants, mosquitoes, scorpions, frogs, snakes visiting my sleeping bag, or skunks or raccoons foraging at night.
    I am with you on this for sure!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Sleeping in a saggy banana bed kills my back. Wouldnít a hammock do the same?
    Some more rather excellent reviews on the Warbonnet hammock..
    Definitely my first choice for any camping scenario, and it also happens to be in the ultra-light category, a perfect choice for bike-packing adventure.

    https://ccorbridge.wordpress.com/200...ammock-review/

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/22277/

    Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird Hammock Test Report by Hollis Easter - Backpackgeartest.org

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    I tried hammock, but found that by the time I added top and bottom quilts, it was almost as heavy as my tent, and there aren't always trees where I camp.
    I've been using a DIY catenary cut tarp, or just laying out my stuff in a tree well (in winter). It works well, but I've had a few encounters with porcupines and mice that a tent might have avoided. Rodents will chew through a tent though. My tarp is under a pound with pegs, so that's hard to beat.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldbike View Post
    My tarp is under a pound with pegs, so that's hard to beat.
    Do you have pictures of your cat cut tarp?
    The yellow one on your website looks rectangular (or is the curve very minimal)
    I tried https://dutchwaregear.com/2017/07/21...e-to-cat-cuts/ or https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwE...Q2ZXBMWXc/edit

  29. #29
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    This is probably the best photo I have. It is set up with paddles since we were bikerafting. The ridgeline has about 10" of drop, and the beak has a 4" I think.
    need advice on tents vs bivies-img_7271.jpg

  30. #30
    ccm
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    Looks like the ridge line is cat cut, but not the perimeter. Is that right?

    This one is only one piece of fabric, so only cat cut on the edges need advice on tents vs bivies-20-south-canoe-bivy.jpg

  31. #31
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    https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tents

    I have the original lunar solo from years ago and itís still in perfect shape after a lot of use. The skyscape Scout looks like a similar design just slightly heavier for a good price. Compare to others. If they are still as quality as my old one then I highly recommend these!

    Iíve used my lunar solo on parts of the Appalachian trail as well as pacific crest trail and several other small trips and bikepacking trips. Love it!


    need advice on tents vs bivies-fb9c09ae-4adc-419f-b710-b33b9dd2a77d.jpg

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    Looks like my previous reply got eaten,
    The ridge and beak seams are cat cut, the long edges have only an inch or so of cut. The ends are straight cut. The curvess are mostly for wind and rain shedding.
    Mine fits 2-3 people, so the 2 widths of fabric were really the only choice.
    Mine is intended to work with 2 bikes, a bike and a tree, paddles, hiking or ski poles, and just with trees, but I should try a bike and a wheel.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFrahm View Post
    I have the original lunar solo from years ago and itís still in perfect shape after a lot of use. The skyscape Scout looks like a similar design just slightly heavier for a good price. Compare to others. If they are still as quality as my old one then I highly recommend these!

    Iíve used my lunar solo on parts of the Appalachian trail as well as pacific crest trail and several other small trips and bikepacking trips. Love it!
    Recently picked up the latest model. Settled on it due to the open/large side area and pack size/weight. A snug fit on the seat tube, held by a two modded Loony Bin cages.

  34. #34
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    I see no reason not to have both a tent and a bivy. I have both, and use them both depending on expected conditions. I have the same tent Vikb posted above, and an OR Helium bivy. The bivy weighs a pound, the tent 2 lbs. I also have a SOL escape bivy or sometimes I just cowboy camp. I bring the tent if there is rain in the forecast, or if I'm somewhere like CO where it will likely rain even if it isn't in the forecast. The tent is better in case of rain because you can hang out in it for awhile comfortably. The bivy is ok to sleep in but not to hang out in. Often in the south-west I take the bivy for a few days trip. It provides better protection against bugs, wind, and a bit more warmth. I've never had problems with it not being roomy enough, and as long as you leave the zipper open 6-8+ inches I rarely have any condensation. I'll bring the SOL or nothing for a 1-2 night trip where conditions look warm and dry.

    I actually use the bivy most often for car camping, especially when moving spots daily. It takes just seconds to put away - let some air out of the pad, fold the bivy/pad/bag twice and throw it in the back seat. Takes just a few puffs of air longer to set it back up. I might use a tent if setting up a base camp for a few days, mostly so I can change inside and leave my clothing bag in it. Or again - if the forecast shows some rain. But generally I like using the bivy most of the time, and without it zipped up. Its like cowboy camping with a bit more protection. If bugs come out I can just pull the top over and zip it up, or zip up the bug net.

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