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Sleeping Gear The Sleeping Gear forum is for the discussion of sleeping gear (bags, mats, quilts...).


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  #1  
Old 08-15-2012, 11:11 AM
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Betsybanger Betsybanger is offline
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SOL Escape Bivvy

I recently purchased a Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) Escape Bivvy to lower my backpack weight. It's 8oz and 36" x 84", windproof, water resistant, breathable with hood. It comes with its own matching orange sack with draw cord. I tested this product during the Zion Narrows top-down 2 day backpacking trip last month. Night temps were close to 50 degrees with steady rain. I did not use the sack, but instead loaded it in a dry sack with other items.

With my BA Fly Creek UL1, Thermarest trekker pad, fleece pullover and Smartwool leggings, I was ready to hit the sack (pun intended). The bivvy is bright orange on the outside, has reflective foil on the inside, quarter-length zipper on right side, large foot box and drawstring hood closure. I never had any condensation inside the bivvy, plenty of shoulder room, but did have to zip up and tighten the drawstring to retain my bodyheat during the night. The bivvy material was quiet during my restless tossing and turning. The material and zipper are very sturdy.

I was extremely pleased with this bivvy enough to use it as my go-to 3 season backpacking bag and for emergencies in my day pack . Below 40 degrees, I would add fleece hat, hiking socks, fleece leggings and wool shirt under the fleece jacket/down vest. The clothes are not additional items as they would be worn during the day/at camp. This bivvy would also work for tarp or cowboy camping as it's windproof and water resistant. No need to worry if your bag gets wet from rain wipping up under the tarp. Use with a mosquito head net for bugs.

The price makes it an amazing bargain. I'm surprised this item has not yet caught on in the backpacking community
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2012, 06:38 PM
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GWyble GWyble is offline
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Backpack: Mariposa Plus / REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: Eureka Silver City / Lafuma WnL 600
Shelter: Tarptent Squall 2 / Appy Trails Mark V
 
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Location: St Charles, MO
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Betsybanger,

How far does the bag unzip? Can you open it up and use it as a blanket or would it be more like a quilt with a foot box?

Thanks,
Glenn
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2012, 08:09 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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The SOL Escape Bivvy is about a "quarter zip."

Reality
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:58 PM
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EagleRiverDee EagleRiverDee is offline
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Backpack: Granite Gear Vapor Trail
Sleeping Gear: BA Q-Core SL, WM Versalite
Shelter: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
 
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Thanks for the review, that is helpful.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2012, 02:24 AM
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Debkirk Debkirk is offline
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Backpack: Camelback HAWG
Sleeping Gear: Big Agnes Lost Ranger
Shelter: REI Hoodoo 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southeast Texas
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Can you tell me if the width of the bivvy will accommodate large people, defying 'large' as about 6'1", 240 lbs. Would you think this would work in combination with a sleeping bag liner to keep you warm in 40-50 degrees ?
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2012, 08:53 AM
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Kylemeister Kylemeister is offline
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I've read reviews of other survival bivy sacks where the reviewer mentions condensation inside the bivy as a problem. Did you encounter any issues with condensation? I've held off on buying one thus far because of that issue, and this might be the product I've been waiting for.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:34 PM
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Debkirk Debkirk is offline
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Backpack: Camelback HAWG
Sleeping Gear: Big Agnes Lost Ranger
Shelter: REI Hoodoo 3
 
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Location: Southeast Texas
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We live in Southeast Texas, so usually, we back nearby where the area, while wooded and some distance from the gulf, it is humid and usually is no worse than about 30 degrees. Everything I have ever learned or read says sleeping in your clothing ( as the writer suggests) is a big no-no. Can anyone give me an idea about this. Yes, it is true that if you wake up in the cold to soggy clothes, it is going to be a bad day. This rescue bivvy sounds really great; a Coolmax liner inside this bivvy sounds like a great idea.
So, what is the informed opinion ? Can you get away with sleeping in stuff you are wearing ? Also, how do you air the bivvy out ? If the condensation is wicked out to the exterior of the bag, it seems that is where the drying shouldo take place. Thanks for any help.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:48 PM
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GWyble GWyble is offline
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Backpack: Mariposa Plus / REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: Eureka Silver City / Lafuma WnL 600
Shelter: Tarptent Squall 2 / Appy Trails Mark V
 
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As long as your clothes are dry I see no problem wearing them to bed for additional warmth. I generally put on fresh underclothes and socks before going to bed. If I expect it to be cold and I have long underwear I will put it on first. My outer layer hiking clothes are my last line of defense.

I just bought an Escape Bivvy and plan to try it out in a few weeks with a thermolite reactor liner. The bivvy material is like a frog togg suit with a ripstop pattern. It seems fairly durable. It also repacks easily and is relatively quiet. I wish it had a longer zipper but it is relatively easy to slip into.

Here in Missouri a mild night can turn much colder than expected and the humidity levels can make cool feel colder. My expectation is that the Escape Bivvy can make it easier to get by with a summer weight bag with a lightweight insurance policy.

The bivvy is thin and easily turned inside out. If it gets damp it should dry out very quickly. Just lay it out during your first trail break and should dry out in a few minutes.

Glenn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debkirk
Can you tell me if the width of the bivvy will accommodate large people, defying 'large' as about 6'1", 240 lbs. Would you think this would work in combination with a sleeping bag liner to keep you warm in 40-50 degrees ?

I am 5'-10" and 210 lbs. There is plenty of extra length. The girth is not tight but if you are in it with a mummy sleeping bag the bivvy will need to roll when you roll. It would be difficult to stuff a rectangular bag inside the bivvy. A fleece bag liner (mummy or rectangular) inside the bivvy would probably be a good option.

Also the 1/4 zip is on the right side. If your sleeping bag has the zipper on the left (like mine) it makes zipping all the way up a bit of a challenge.

Glenn

Last edited by GWyble : 08-31-2012 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2012, 11:56 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debkirk
We live in Southeast Texas, so usually, we back nearby where the area, while wooded and some distance from the gulf, it is humid and usually is no worse than about 30 degrees.
In such conditions, I've preferred something more versatile. In this context, an emergency blanket that opens up completely flat may provide the widest range of ventilation and coverage in many circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debkirk
Everything I have ever learned or read says sleeping in your clothing ( as the writer suggests) is a big no-no. Can anyone give me an idea about this. Yes, it is true that if you wake up in the cold to soggy clothes, it is going to be a bad day. This rescue bivvy sounds really great; a Coolmax liner inside this bivvy sounds like a great idea.
So, what is the informed opinion ? Can you get away with sleeping in stuff you are wearing ?
It's not the best idea to sleep in wet and/or dirty clothing. However, there's nothing wrong with using clothing to help insulate against the elements in an emergency situation (which I'm sure you agree).

This bivvy is primarily designed as an emergency item. Unless one's clothing is wet, or overheating (or otherwise compromising) her/him, it could serve as further protection.

Consider a situation in which a hiker is out for a day trip and s/he encounters trouble that requires an (unexpected) overnight stay. The hiker could use clothing and the emergency bivvy to help retain body heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debkirk
Also, how do you air the bivvy out ? If the condensation is wicked out to the exterior of the bag, it seems that is where the drying shouldo take place. Thanks for any help.
Yes, the (design) intent is that the moisture dries outside of the bivvy.

This bivvy is substantially more breathable than other (previous) options from AMK. It allows condensation to "escape."

As with any gear, there are likely to be situations when it doesn't completely perform as expected. In the event that moisture is retained on the inside of the bivvy, I would turn it inside out to allow it to air/sun/fire dry if and when possible. This same would be true of a sleeping bag/quilt.

Reality
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2012, 06:23 PM
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tonto tonto is offline
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In The Bag

Hey,

Debkirk,
Only because I'm a lazy cuss and don't want to repeat myself, check out the thread " Need advice for minimalist Kit."
In post #6 I explain my use of the older version of the Medical Emergency "Emergency Bivi" as a 3 season sleeping bag substitute.
In post #22 I explain my previous experience using a space blanket.
I find condensation is not much of a problem if your wearing synthetic clothing inside the sack.
Synthetic fabrics, being hydrophobic, do not absorb condensation.
My experience is that there may be a slight dampness on the outside of my synthetic clothing in the morning.
Once out of the sack this moisture quickly dries.
I turn the bivy inside out to allow it to dry before packing.
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