Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy Reviews
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Comments about Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy:
*Looking for an all-purpose bivy sack that can pretty much replace your tent when you are camping on your own? The **Alpine Bivy** from Outdoor Research is practically a mini-tent in its own right and should satisfy just about any user.*
The Alpine Bivy incorporates tent-like features into its design, which give you a bit of additional room and comfort. Compared to other bivy sacks, the Alpine Bivy is fairly hefty, even though it only weighs 32 ounces. It’s made from Gore-Tex fabric, which allows it to breath, while remaining waterproof. The underside of the bag is made from a tougher, waterproof synthetic fabric, which protects it from nicks and scratches when you’re using it directly on the ground.
Tent like features include the fact that the sack can be staked down. This gives it more support for the sack and allows you to pull it fairly tight, so there’s no loose fabric. I’ve sometimes staked it, other times I haven’t. Usually I find myself staking it when I know it’s going to rain, so that there aren’t places for water to accumulate. Also like a tent, you can run the included pole through the upper portion of the sack, which gives you an uplifted, open area inside the sack for your head. The pole gives you about 20 inches of space over your head, which is more than enough to move around a bit, to hold a book, to sleep comfortably, or at least not feel very claustrophobic.
There are a few options with the head area of the sack. You can put that pole in and use the sack as a tent with the waterproof fabric over your head. If it is warmer or not raining, you can set it up so that just the mesh fabric is over your head, allowing more air to come in or you can sleep without any waterproof covering or mesh at all. One thing though, you have the bivy sealed up, the zippers are overlapped with fabric, so you can (and should) have the zippers open, so you get some airflow in and out of the bivy. Otherwise it can get very stuffy and the air inside will get stale since it's sealed fairly tight. The floor of the Alpine Bivy has Velcro straps to hold down your sleeping mattress. I thought this was a handy feature, especially when the sack is staked down and there’s a bit of extra room. The straps prevent the pad from moving around.
This bivy did take a bit of time to get to used to since it's more like a tent than the other bivy sack that I have. When I first climbed into the Alpine, I was a bit taken back, especially since I had the waterproof fabric over my head and the pole in. It felt like I was in a very small tent. It didn't take long to get used to it though and now I don’t really mind the small space.
Besides thinking the bivy was a bit small at first, I've found that I really liked it. When you get to your campsite, it takes maybe 5 minutes to open it up, stake it down, get the pole installed and get my mattress and bag into it.
The Outdoor Research brand first caught my eye with this bivy sack, since it is a well known, quality company. The Alpine Bivy hasn't failed to impress either. I think it's been a good investment since it works like it is supposed to, is easy to set up and take down, and is rugged enough for regular use.