LAST UPDATED: November 13, 2019
Best Bivy Sacks: Stay Protected While in the Wild
Travel light but stay protected while you sleep with a bivy sack
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON November 13, 2019
Whether you’re roughing it overnight or for several days, a bivy sack is a must-have item that can help protect you from the elements and keep your gear in one place. This impromptu shelter for one is a great way to stay light while on the trail. But how do you know which bivy sack is right and what key features are essential when buying one? We’ve done the research and created this roundup of the best bivy sacks, so you’re in the know when you hit the outdoor gear store.
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- Opt for a mesh opening if you’re concerned about bugs. Some bivy sacks are designed with built-in openings, while others close completely to protect you from the elements. If mosquitoes or other biting bugs are an issue, consider a completely enclosed bivy sack model.
- Always keep ventilation in mind. Typically, the more weatherproof a bivy sack is, the less breathable it will be. This can be an issue if you’re camping on a warm night with a fully enclosed bivy sack.
- Bivy sacks are ideal if you’re camping or traveling through areas with uneven terrain. Areas such as rock ledges, rocky ground, or impossible tight spaces are typically not ideal for tents. However, a bivy sack is perfect as all you need is a sleeping bag to get comfortable.
Q: Should I opt for a structured or unstructured bivy sack?
A: This is a personal preference. An unstructured bivy sack is ideal for higher elevations or if you plan to go camping in colder weather where you need to huddle to preserve the warmth. An unstructured bivy sack is usually easier to fold down and stow without occupying too much space in your pack. A structured bivy sack is ideal if you don’t like having fabric on your face, and want a bit of breathing room.
Q: I go camping often, so what kind of bivy sack should I buy?
A: If you’re a frequent year-round camper, an all-season bivy sack is a smart investment. While it is heavier, its solid construction and denser materials will ensure that you’re comfortable year-round.
Q: Why should I pick a bivy sack over a tent?
A: Bivy sacks are ideal for people who want to travel light. While tents can provide a comfortable amount of space, the necessary arches and poles can add to the overall weight of your pack or require additional gear for setup. If the thought of fighting to set up a tent is unappealing, then a bivy sack is going to be your go-to option.
Avid campers who want to travel light, but still be protected while they sleep, should look for our best overall choice, the Snugpak Stratosphere 1 Person Bivvi Tent.
Occasional campers, or those new to bivy sacks, can make a solid purchase with our best value option, the S.O.L 70% Reflective Escape Bivvy.