From backup shelter to alternate tent, bivy bags are useful. If you are thinking about cutting weight excluding a tent in the gear list, a bivvy bag will be a most welcoming addition. They are of extra value for solo campers as a perfect lightweight tent alternative. To go insight, read on.
We bring you the 9 best bivy sacks for camping to make camping easier.
- Outdoor Research Helium Bivy
- REI Co-op Superlight Bivy
- Alpkit Hunka
- Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
- Black Diamond Twilight Bivy
- Rab Alpine Bivi
- Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy
- Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Solo Bivy
- MSR E-Bivy
Bivvy bags are packed with a lot of features and each and everyone matters making a super perfect choice. Make sure you check the following aspects when investing in quality bivy sacks for camping.
Lightweight: Bivy sacks are alternatives for tents and should weigh lesser to be fully functional
Portable: A bivy pack should be with a small pack size to be highly functional for light and fast trips
Fitting size: Look for bivy sacks sufficiently wider at the shoulder and taller
Bivy sack is a good sleep system that gives the highest protection for one person from bugs, climatic changes when going for a fast-and-light trip. Perhaps, this could be the best backup shelter in any backcountry plan. If you think this needs to be added to your gear pack when planning a trip ahead, go through the best bivy sacks for camping review with the top 9 picks.
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy
- Dimensions: 82 x 26 inches
- Weight: 1 lb. 0.8 oz.
- Price: $179.00
Outdoor Research Helium Bivy is a poled bivy sack impressively lightweight and durable. For fast-and-light solo adventures, this is a perfect gear that is water and weather-resistant. Built for true minimalists yet tough and made to last including no-see-um mesh, stake hoops, and a guy line loop.
With the dimensions of 82 x 26 inches, this is not very suitable for taller campers. And even at the shoulders, it is not too broad and not spacious. And also, this Outdoor Research Helium Bivy is of average breathability and found a downside of this model. However, this is overall a solid option as a bivvy bag lightweight and functional for multiple days outdoors.
- Extremely lightweight and simple build
- High weather protection with fully taped seams
- Durable and functional for long time use
- Anti-fungal floor fabric
- Comes with 2 stake loops and a guy line loop
- Features a removable no-see-um mesh
- Slightly priced and low breathability
- Not too tall and wide in size
REI Co-op Superlight Bivy
- Dimensions: 87 x 27 inches
- Weight: 24 oz.
- Price: $110.00
REI Co-op Superlight Bivy is one of the best for money with full features. It brings complete protection from weather, insects and brings the best personal shelter you need under the stars. This waterproof bivy works well for 3-season and is best for backpacking being super lightweight. The Pertex nylon top shell makes it waterproof and abrasion-resistant making it a perfect budget-friendly addition to your gear. It is tightly seam tapered for extreme protection from all elements.
This superlight bivvy from REI Co-op has a mesh bug net to protect from you insects around but not limit you from the views. Without exposing yourself to bugs, you can enjoy your views for quality evenings. And this has a single hoop-pole design for plenty of headspaces and high comfort. With the supported storm flap, it blocks wind and rain when you get in and out confirming a very comfortable and warm place to sleep in.
- Seam taped Pertex nylon shell for complete waterproofing
- High bug protection with mesh bug net
- Single hoop-style pole design for adequate space
- Super lightweight and breathable
- Block wind and rain with storm flap
- Fully-featured value purchase for its price
- More spacious with corner guyouts
- 3-season bivvy bag lightweight and best for backpacking
- Dimensions: 85 x 31 inches
- Weight: 11.6 oz.
- Price: $69.04
Alpkit Hunka is a perfect minimalist bivvy bag for a very affordable price that is unbeatable on account of a great night under the stars. And if you are truly on a tight budget, this is a very good option for a very cheap price but with a lot of features packed. This Hunka bivvy bag can be your shelter for the night being compact and perfectly lightweight. If you are a minimalist camper, adventurous alpinist, or climber, this could be a most welcoming piece of gear at even under 400 g.
This is a fully waterproof bivvy bag that works great to keep you totally dry inside. And it is adequately breathable featuring a simple and nice tapered shape. Also, it comes with a shaped hood including double drawcords and taped seams. But this is in wanting of a side zipper that makes entry and exit comfortable. And at the same time, it is slightly restricted in width and length making it not the perfect for tallest.
- Lightweight and packs small for highest portability
- Highly breathable ripstop nylon fabric
- Waterproof to keep you dry inside
- Limited in width and length than some other models
- Extremely low in price
- No side zipper
- Well tapered shape with a sculpted hood
- Highly functional and best for minimalist campers
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
- Dimensions: 82 x 26 inches
- Weight: 20 oz.
- Price: $250.00
If you are more concerned about the full protection from the elements, Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy is the most welcoming addition to your gear. With no single extra weight, it offers the complete protection that you need for your outdoor adventures. Working best for 3-4 seasons it supports GORE-TEX Respiration Positive material in the shell verifying sufficient rain protection. And with the mesh netting, it provides the highest ventilation making it perfect for warmer nights.
We find this a versatile design that can use with the hoop-style pole or even without. So if you are thinking about cutting weight on longer solo adventures, you here have options without negotiating performance. All the seams of this solo shelter are fully tapered to maintain the highest waterproofing and its overlapping zipper makes it better overall letting no weather in. But with smaller interior space, this is not the most comfortable for some who are in need of more length or width.
- Completely waterproof bivy sack
- Pole system is versatile to reduce weight
- High breathability and unlimited views with the mesh netting
- One of the best bivy sacks for camping with a high price
- Highest weather protection with tapered seams
- Best for 3-4 seasons with 3-layer of GORE-TEX Respiration Positive material
- Lightweight and compact
- Slightly limited interior space makes it less comfortable for some
Black Diamond Twilight Bivy
- Dimensions: 82 x 33 inches
- Weight: 11 oz.
- Price: $169.95
Black Diamond Twilight Bivy is made for minimalist campers for those who consider weighting a priority. If you are planning a trip to the mountains, a long way backpacking, or a light trip, this lightweight bivy sack is a perfect addition that packs really small for high portability. The use of high-end NanoShield single-wall fabric here comes saving its weight at the same time making it water-resistant and highly breathable. But as it is not totally waterproof, use it with a tarp in bad weather.
With the simple design and compact size, the Twilight bivy sack by Black Diamond is popular as an emergency item and also good as a cover for your sleeping bag. With the frameless design, it cuts weight and high firm 30D poly fabric makes it stronger for year-round use. It supports a mesh panel at the entrance, and fully tapered seams and a perfect lightweight design bring high value to its price.
- Extremely lightweight and compact design
- Best for emergency use and as a cover for your sleeping bag
- Ideal for year-round use
- Wide layout with plenty of shoulder room but features minimal headroom
- Frameless design to reduce weight
- Highly breathable with NanoShield fabric
- Water-resistant but use a tarp in bad weather conditions
- Does not stretch when it gets wet and is highly durable
Rab Alpine Bivi
- Dimensions: 92.5 x 31.5 inches
- Weight: 1 lb. 0.5 oz.
- Price: $250.00
If you are planning to go camping in the harshest weather but does not want to add a tent to the list, Rab Alpine Bivi is the perfect fit for your solo adventure. This one-person shelter is made for high-performance being compact and highly durable. Just weighing over a pound like some other ultralight tarp-tents, this packs into the size of a water bottle. So you can bring it along with everything you need without compromising anything.
With guaranteed protection from alpine elements, it can fit anywhere. And with eVent film, it provides extreme waterproofing and breathability when 3-layer DVStorm fabric can prevent the chance of condensation inside by keeping water out. Thanks to its durable nylon floor you can take it almost anywhere including rough and rocky surfaces with no fears of tears or punctures.
- Best bivy sack for harsh weather
- Waterproof and highly breathable
- Working best in mountaineering, ultralight backpacking and winter camping
- Packs small for high portability
- Fitting well with technical sleeping bags with mummy shape design
- Storm flap in the zip entrance
- Highly durable and works on rough surfaces with nylon floor
- No tears and punctures
- Expensive price tag
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy
- Dimensions: 80 x 36 inches
- Weight: 14 oz.
- Price: $139.95 – $159.95
Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy is the best for comfort and spacious yet being minimalist. This nicely colored bivy bag is intended to fit Sierra’s Backcountry Bed and sleeping pad with the right blend of quilt and sleeping bag. You can easily fit in and out with its large top opening and comes with a mesh bug window to prevent bug attacks and provide unlimited views.
In pleasant weather, the mesh window panel provides high airflow but is found less breathable compared with some other best bivy sacks for camping. The chance to feel moist in the mornings is high if you are going to high dew points. And not being fully waterproof will need a tarp as an additional gear if you going for wet environments. However, if the weather is nice, this Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy will be a nice addition that is lightweight and spacious for a comfortable fit for shoulders and foot space.
- Easy entry and exit with a full opening at the top
- Lightweight and compact
- Available in long and regular size options
- Best fit for Backcountry bed and sleeping pad
- Spacious and comfortable
- Nice design with bright colors
- Good ventilation with mesh window panel
- Fair pricing for good features
- Not fully waterproof and will need a tarp in wet conditions
- Aimed high comfort with guy line loop to escalate peak height
Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Solo Bivy
- Dimensions: For people up to 6-foot-2
- Weight: 8 oz. (X-large)
- Price: $175.00
This minimalist style Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Solo Bivy is a perfect ultralight bivy bag best for your backpacking trips. For those who need complete protection but not a tent, this is the best solo shelter you need. It is not fully waterproof but works well with a tarp when in wet conditions. This is a superlight backpacking bivvy with a DWR top entry, net face window, and all the space you need making it a favorite for many for a long time.
The most interesting part of choosing this superlight solo bivvy bag is its customization options. In fact, you change with size, floor, zipper side, net window, and also zip care for an upgraded sleep experience. For its price, this lightest bivy does a great job of being super light and spacious.
- Superlight solo bivy sack for backpacking
- DWR top style bivy for backpackers
- Features mesh face opening
- Spacious and provides extra headroom
- Easy entry and exit support with the deep side zipper
- Made for high-performance for a fair price
- Mummy shaped for extra head and foot area to sleep comfortably
- Overhead hang loop placed
- Allowed customization options
- Not fully waterproof and use with a tarp in wet weather
- Dimensions: 88 x 36 inches
- Weight: 7 oz.
- Price: $99.95
MSR E-Bivy is a super lightweight bivvy bag for minimalists. This is the lightest bivy sack so far in the list that is highly compact. Even though it is not fully waterproof like some other best bivy sacks for camping it works well in moderate conditions. MSR E-Bivy is popular as an emergency shelter and great for backpackers and mountaineers who prioritize extreme ultralight.
Even without mesh netting, or zipper, this is a perfect emergency shelter with a silicone-covered fabric top to block wind, and the durable Xtreme Shield flooring to add warmth and weather resistance.
This is truly a minimalist bivy to take anywhere as it packs down really small and extremely light. But as it is not fully waterproof and is not working in harsh conditions.
- Super lightweight bivvy
- Best for backpacking, mountaineering, and for emergency shelter use
- Not fully waterproof and only good for moderate conditions
- Silicone-coated fabric top to block wind, heavy dew, and light rain
- Durable and waterproof Xtreme Shield flooring
- No mesh netting and zipper
- Made for minimalists
- Affordable pricing
Best Bivy Sacks for Camping Buying Guide
Choosing the right one from the best bivy sacks for camping is not easy as it involves various considerations. Here we brief down the things you should know as you shop your favorite bivy sack.
The types of best bivy sacks for camping
For your different camping trips, you will find three main types of bivvy bags.
Traditional bivy sacks: These are simple and durable and will cover you and your sleeping bag completely. They are inspired by minimalist designs and will come light and compact. They are lacking added features and frills and could leave you to shut in especially when it rains
Face lifter models: These came to the market as the solution for claustrophobic feel from the traditional bivies by using face lifters. These are comfortable types of bivy sacks for camping over the traditional ones by having a single hooped pole. That comes around your head and keeps the fabric off the face. This pole is adding a little more weight and bulk to your pack but will turn your bivy sack into a small solo tent
Bug net models: There are some bivy sacks designed to protect you from bugs. These include face lifter poles and are made with mesh bug nets. These are great for rich views with no bug matters. But to use in rain and wet weather, you will need a tarp as an additional gear
Sleeping in a bivvy sack is not all the way similar to sleeping in a tent. It is designed with minimal space to cut down weight. Below are some of the space-related facts to remember when you are going to invest in a bivy sack for camping.
Length and size: Bivy bags are of different sizes and most of them are large enough to fit a human adult and the sleeping bag. But there are quite smaller models with limited shoulder space and legroom while there are some models too spacious. Make sure you check for yourself to see what is working the best for you. Add at least 6 inches to your height to ensure you have enough room for comfortable nights
Headspace and height: Different bivy sacks are having different headroom and typically they aren’t known for plenty of headroom. If you want more headroom, facelift and bug net styles will work for you instead of traditional ones with less space. Even if extra headroom weights some extra, they can make you sleep more comfortable
Bivy sack materials
When it comes to bivy sacks’ materials, you will find a wide range of options. Here we bring some of the most common fabrics you will find when looking for the best bivy sacks for camping.
Inner layer fabric: Most of the bivy sacks are made of a single fabric piece and which makes the biggest change between a tent and bivvy. But there are some models with an inner layer of no-see-um mesh in the opening for good airflow and unrestricted views without exposure to bug attacks
Outer layers: We find three fabric types in main when it comes to the outer shell
- Mesh: Only used on the outer layer of bug net bivvy bags but provide no protection from wind or rain. These are lightweight and highly breathable
- Softshell fabric: These softshell materials are moderately water-resistant and breathable. They are fairly lightweight too
- Hardshells: For hard shells, Gore-Tex, Pertex, and eVent are included and they can keep you fully dry at the same time being breathable. But compared to softshells and mesh, these are less breathable
Additional facts: DWR is not a material; it is a chemical coating used to fabrics to prevent water from soaking through and beading off instead. This should be replaced to work effectively on regular use
Size and weight of the bivy sack
Bivy sacks are alternatives to tents being lightweight and portable. And with different sizes of available best bivy sacks for camping, they will weigh differently.
If you are using a bivy bag as an emergency shelter or taking a long trip to the mountains, compactness is the priority, and think about the packed size of 8”x10” or less. And from the weight concern, go for an option below 16 oz. or lesser for longer mountain trips.
Zipper location of the Bivy sack
If you are thinking about how easily you can get in and out of your bivy sack, it is important to consider the zipper location. In general, side zippers are more convenient even they come with some extra weight to the pack.
Chest zippers are the lightest option in bivy sacks but are the trickiest to use especially in stormy days. And rainbow zippers are slightly trickier compared with side zippers that are set at the top of the bag.
Are you planning to cut weight but sleep comfortably in your next solo adventure; shop the best bivy sacks for camping here.