Top Bivy Sacks Reviewed

If you’re hitting the trail this season, then one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need as an overnight camping shelter.

If you’re looking to go ultralight, or at least cutting weight from your pack than an ultralight bivy sack will be a great option.

Trying to find the best bivy sack for your trip can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never camped in a bivy sack before.

Although tiny, ultralight bivy sacks come in a number of different styles and sizes and there are a lot to choose from.

And don’t be fooled by their size.  A good waterproof bivy sack can be one of the most protective camping shelters you can sleep inside since most bivies are made with Gore-Tex.

A Gore-Tex bivy sack is really the industry standard at this point and we recommend always looking for this feature.

A good example of this is the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy 

However, a bivy sack isn’t for everyone and you may be more comfortable in a one-person backpacking tent.

Be sure to check below for ratings and reviews of the best ultralight bivy sacks available today, along with a buying guide and video to help you find the best bivy sack for your next adventure!

Top Bivy Sacks Rankings

  1. Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy

  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Best Overall Bivy

    Weight 1.4 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 15"L x 4"W
    Assembled Dimensions 84"L x 26"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price $248.95

    The Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy is one of the best Bivy sack on the market today. It’s 7 feet long and 2 feet wide so it should be able to fit even the tallest camper with at least some gear. At just under 2 pounds you get a lot of Bivy sack while keeping your pack weight low.

    Read our full review of the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy


  3. Chinook Summit Bivy Bag

  4. Editors Rating:
    (4.7 / 5)

    Best Budget Option

    Weight 2 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 22"L x 14"W
    Assembled Dimensions 80"L x 34"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price from $252.84

    The Chinook Summit Bivy Bag is comfortable, spacious bivy sack that lightweight backpackers will love. It packs down very tightly into your pack to about the size of a football and weighs about 2 pounds, which is on the heavier side for a bivy, but more than makes up for with over 7 feet of space to lay down inside of with plenty of space at the head once you install the aluminum poles.

    Read our full review of the Chinook Summit Bivy Bag


  5. Outdoor Research Helium Bivy

  6. Editors Rating:
    (4.5 / 5)

    Weight 1.1 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 15"L x 4"W
    Assembled Dimensions 84"L x 29"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price $129.95

    The Outdoor Research Helium Bivy comes with a lot of great features that we love about Bivy camping. The sack weighs in at around 18 ounces and offers enough size to easily fit someone over 6 feet inside or someone under 6 feet with gear.

    Read our full review of the Outdoor Research Helium Bivy


  7. Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Long Bag

  8. Editors Rating:
    (4.4 / 5)

    Weight 1.4 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 10"L x 5"W
    Assembled Dimensions 87"L x 29"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price from $169.95

    The Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Long Bag left us a little hot and cold. On one hand, you get the great Bivy quality that Outdoor Research is known for, on the other hand, this Bivy leaves a little more to be desired.

    Read our full review of the Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Long Bag


  9. Military Goretex Bivy Sack

  10. Editors Rating:
    (4.2 / 5)

    Weight 9 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 12"L x 3"W
    Assembled Dimensions 80"L x 30"W
    Hooped No
    Current Price $340.00

    Military Modular Sleep System 4 Piece with Goretex Bivy Cover and Carry Sack is going to simplify your gear. This is a US military inspired total sleep system, that includes 2 separate sleeping bags, a bivy cover, and a stuff sack.

    Read our full review of the Military Goretex Bivy Sack


  11. Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent

  12. Editors Rating:
    (4.1 / 5)

    Weight 1.8 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 16"L x 5"W
    Assembled Dimensions 90.6"L x 35.4"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price from $169.95

    The Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent worked great for wind and rain protection. The Bivy is good sized especially for a Bivy is about as lightweight as most at just under 2 and a half pounds.

    Read our full review of the Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent


  13. Snugpak Stratosphere One Person Bivvi Shelter 92860

  14. Editors Rating:
    (4.1 / 5)

    Weight 2.4 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 10"L x 6"W
    Assembled Dimensions 81"L x 34"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price $168.28

    The Snugpak 92860 Stratosphere is a great lightweight Bivy that works well in cold temperatures. Because it’s a little smaller it might sleep a bit warm in hotter temperatures, but the outer material is breathable and you get good protection against the rain.

    Read our full review of the Snugpak Stratosphere One Person Bivvi Shelter 92860


  15. Snugpak The Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent

  16. Editors Rating:
    (4.1 / 5)

    Weight 3.3 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 17"L x 5.25"W
    Assembled Dimensions 94"L x 39"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price $156.76

    The Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent lays at the intersection of tent and bivy. Its super lightweight at 2 and a half pounds and takes very little time to setup, consisting of just two aluminum hoops to run through the attached seams.

    Read our full review of the Snugpak The Ionosphere 1 Man Dome Tent


  17. MOC Woodland Camo Gore Tex Bivy Sack

  18. Editors Rating:
    (4 / 5)

    Weight 2 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 19"L x 5"W
    Assembled Dimensions 90.6"L x 29.5"W
    Hooped No
    Current Price $143.95

    The Military Outdoor Clothing Previously Issued U.S. G.I. Woodland Camo Gore-Tex Bivy Sleeping Bag Cover is a Genuine U.S. military-issue Bivy sack with plenty of space inside with a military quality guarantee that will keep you warm and cozy inside even in sub-freezing temps.

    Read our full review of the MOC Woodland Camo Gore Tex Bivy Sack


  19. Geertop Ultralight 1-Person Waterproof BIVY Tent

  20. Editors Rating:
    (3.9 / 5)

    Weight 2.8 lbs
    Packed Dimensions 12"L x 3"W
    Assembled Dimensions 91"L x 32"W
    Hooped Yes
    Current Price $86.90

    The Geertop Ultralight 1-Person Waterproof BIVY Tent is another hybrid Bivy/tent that offers the lightweight portability of a Bivy with the space of a tent. You get 7 feet of space inside and a 3 pole frame system made from aluminum for a durable/quick setup.

    Read our full review of the Geertop Ultralight 1-Person Waterproof BIVY Tent


Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bivy Sacks Buying Guide 2019

How to Pick

Features to keep in mind include size, weight, headspace, bug nets, coated floor, color, insulation, Gore-Tex, internal pockets, etc.

BIVY SACK SIZE:

Most Bivy sacks run from 6-7 feet long and average between 34 and 38 inches in width.

Even if you’re on the larger side, you should be able to fit inside the bivy with a sleeping bag.

Bivy sacks really earn their keep when packed down in your backpack.

Even the bigger sacks can compress down to the size of a small thermos.

BIVY SACK WEIGHT:

The point of the Bivy sack is to keep weight off your back and take less space in your bag.

Consequently, they’re made with lightweight materials including lightweight polyester, thick denier RipStop nylon, high thread count polyester, laminated polyurethane coating in addition to the aforementioned Gore-Tex.

Bivy sacks run anywhere from seven ounces to just under three pounds.

Anything over 3 pounds and you might as well upgrade to a tent.

In many cases, the line dividing tent and Bivy sack is becoming more and more blurry.

BIVY HEADSPACE

One of the biggest bivy buying decisions you’re going to have to make is whether to get a bivy sack with a hooped rod for the head or not.

In fact, this small feature actually can make a huge difference in comfort.

Without a hooped-dome headspace, you can’t actually close the bivy sack all the way without the materials rubbing against your face. while you sleep.

No matter how rugged and experienced you are, this can be a nuisance to deal with.

Nevertheless, hooped rods themselves are super lightweight and don’t add much to your pack.

BUG NETTING

The bivies with the hooped head dome rods will also come with a layer of mesh bug netting that lays over your face.

This is great for those nights where you want to keep the top open but also don’t want to spend your night with mosquitos buzzing in your ear or creepy things crawling all over your face.

On a beautiful, clear night you can star gaze yourself to sleep.

This feature really enhances the experience.

GORE-TEX

(OR ANY OTHER WATERPROOF, BREATHABLE COATING)

Gore-Tex is a breathable, waterproof membrane made from a thin layer of polytetrafluoroethylene that contains over 9 billion pores per square inch.

This helps to keep moisture out while fresh air is circulated in and out of the fabric.

In addition to bivy sacks, you’ll also find Gore-Tex on ultralight backpacking tents, hammocks, and hiking boots.

We highly recommend sticking to Gore-Tex products as their level of performance is the market standard.

Although there are other great waterproof products out there.

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Nick P

Nick spent his mostly unsupervised youth raising hell in the woods and ponds of 16 Acres in Springfield, MA (AKA Hell's Acres). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves hitting the northeast trails when his schedule allows and camping on his roof deck when it doesn't.
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