Bivvi bags - advice please

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Sweep
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby Sweep » 16 Feb 2020, 9:42am

mattsccm wrote:Give your choice of bivvi bag some thought. Some are little more than glorified sleeping bag covers. Great under shelter but not much cop in bad weather. The Alpkit Hunka springs to mind here. t.

Can you say more about the alpkit hunka? I always had the idea that it was very highly regarded.
I currently use an old arm bivi. Quite like it though it's not very light and it does suffer from slight condensation.
Sweep

Oldjohnw
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 Feb 2020, 10:36am

Sweep wrote:
mattsccm wrote:Give your choice of bivvi bag some thought. Some are little more than glorified sleeping bag covers. Great under shelter but not much cop in bad weather. The Alpkit Hunka springs to mind here. t.

Can you say more about the alpkit hunka? I always had the idea that it was very highly regarded.
I currently use an old arm bivi. Quite like it though it's not very light and it does suffer from slight condensation.


I use the Hunka: superb IMV. In bad weather I use it with a tarp.
John

mattheus
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mattheus » 16 Feb 2020, 10:37am

Sweep wrote:
mattsccm wrote:Give your choice of bivvi bag some thought. Some are little more than glorified sleeping bag covers. Great under shelter but not much cop in bad weather. The Alpkit Hunka springs to mind here. t.

Can you say more about the alpkit hunka? I always had the idea that it was very highly regarded.


It is. I've only done a few nights out in mine - in a range of weathers, with a range of warm stuff on the inside, according to temps - but they certainly back this up.

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mattsccm » 19 Feb 2020, 6:59pm

My experience is that they (Hunka) are not over robust and have no form of sealing at the top. Same shape as a sleeping bag. Yeah you can add a sheet to it all, but then you end up with tent weight. To my mind a bivvi bag is something that allows you to sleep outside in all weathers. Many will nearly do this. Depends on your needs. A Hunka won't keep spin drift out.

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mattheus » 20 Feb 2020, 8:58am

Could you clarify that matt? I would say that very few tents allow you to sleep outside in ALL weathers.

(but I do agree that there are bags with more protection than the Hunka! I just don't think that makes it "bad" equipment.)

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mattsccm » 20 Feb 2020, 11:04am

Ah but if you sleep inside the tent they usually do. :D
Most tents keep the rain out an stay up in most weather. I think that to consider a non waterproof tent is pointless unless going to the Antarctic. Equally I am not considering whopping great frame tents and only those likely to be used as an alternative to a bivvi bag. Therefore I suggest that all weathers can mean all that is liable to happen.
Taking things to the extremes a bivvi bag is less liable to be damaged by strong winds hence my comment all weathers.
We all have our own tolerances. I wouldn't enjoy using my bivvi bag without some shelter as well in torrential rain. However I know from experience I could.
Damage excepted a full Goretex bag won't let the water in if its designed with an over lapping flap that sheds water in the same way that a tiled roof does.

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby pjclinch » 23 Feb 2020, 8:57am

mattheus wrote:Could you clarify that matt? I would say that very few tents allow you to sleep outside in ALL weathers.

(but I do agree that there are bags with more protection than the Hunka! I just don't think that makes it "bad" equipment.)


"Bad" is often about context. Many years ago I was part of a group about to have a bash at the Cuillin ridge. We walked in the night before and bivvied so we'd have maximum time available, but we got started earlier than planned. When we bedded down I zipped myself in to my fully-enclosable WinterGear bag and went to sleep, to be woken up by the sounds of Midges Attacking At Dawn as other people complained quite loudly at how they were being breakfast. I was fine, nobody else was. So in that case everyone else's simpler bags were "bad equipment": they didn't allow a decent night's kip.
Last time we used bivvi bags was actually in a bothy (but not an MBA maintained one) with a mud floor. The point of the bags was purely to keep our sleeping bags clean. In that case mine was considerably bigger and heavier than the simple cover my wife used, so in that case simpler was better.

As mattsccm said, it depends what you want from it. Spindrift or midges that have no respect for open shelters I'd prefer something more than a Hunka, but otherwise in terms of "doing what it says on the tin" at a very keen price it looks like the one (at the very least a one) to beat.

Pete.
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby Oldjohnw » 23 Feb 2020, 9:04am

As always, it's horses for courses. I wouldn't count on a Hunka on top of Ben Nevis in February. Almost anywhere else between April and October it provides a great under-the-stars experience, especially if accompanied by a tarp in the event of heavy rain.

Adding weight with a tarp isn't necessarily bad: if weight is your only concern, yes, probably. But you might just like sleeping outside.
John

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Feb 2020, 11:02am

Hi,
So sleeping outside will necessitate a waterproof cover like a bivvy bag, That will also have to be breathable.
You will then need a better insulating heavier sleeping bag to compensate for the cold air being in close proximity is to it.
Then we will add a failsafe top tarp which might or might not keep the rain off your face depending on which way the wind is blowing?
I think this is what it's meant when they say that when you start using all that equipment you be better off with a tent?

I can see the in unpracticality of using or not using a tent by using other equipment.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Feb 2020, 11:11am

Hi,
Oh yes I forgot about the midges :(
My old tent could be put up in just Three minutes, but once in a bad spot took me 45.
bitten all over it except my underpants.
So a bivvy bag might well have been a lot quicker in This instance.
But you would still need a net and your brolly to put over your head et cetera.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mercalia » 23 Feb 2020, 1:03pm

I have only used my Hunka bag twice. Once in march last year up the lee and stort some where over night. What I learnt was my feet and lower legs got cold but not my upper body. The cold hunka got thru the otherwise warm trousers I was wearing. I didnt use a sleeping bag at the time as I was trying out just thick clothes and layers, ie minimal. As thats surly the point? So aslong as you have a warm top jacket like my ex army thermal jacket just need extra something like an elephants foot for the lower body and maybe some slipper socks to stop the cold getting thru, and the maybe some kind of thermal base layer I now swear by

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Feb 2020, 1:42pm

Hi,
It's false economy.
Sleeping bags today are very technically well made and they are incredibly light and very very good at insulation.
Your clothing is more expensive and certainly probably more than twice the weight.
If you wanna be comfortable in a sleeping bag you need any base matt Even one as thin as I use 5 mm, and remember minimum clothing none if possible.
The other alternative is that your legs go cold etc.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby Oldjohnw » 23 Feb 2020, 5:06pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
So sleeping outside will necessitate a waterproof cover like a bivvy bag, That will also have to be breathable.
You will then need a better insulating heavier sleeping bag to compensate for the cold air being in close proximity is to it.
Then we will add a failsafe top tarp which might or might not keep the rain off your face depending on which way the wind is blowing?
I think this is what it's meant when they say that when you start using all that equipment you be better off with a tent?

I can see the in unpracticality of using or not using a tent by using other equipment.


But for some, sleeping outside is what they want to do. A tent and a bivvy do different jobs.
John

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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby pjclinch » 23 Feb 2020, 9:02pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:So sleeping outside will necessitate a waterproof cover like a bivvy bag, That will also have to be breathable.


Only if it's going to be wet. I've seen lots of folk sleeping on the beach over the years, not all appeared to find a waterproof cover "necessary".

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:You will then need a better insulating heavier sleeping bag to compensate for the cold air being in close proximity is to it.


Perhaps you have a huge supply of pits where you select the precise one according to the forecast temperatures, but most people have one or two that will do everything they need, even though that often means carrying a bit of extra insulation on a lot of trips. My main bag has done a night in a snow cave where a bottle of squash froze solid, but I also use it above-zero conditions spring and autumn. My summer bag is good down to about freezing, so I could get away with less a lot of the time.
So in practice you'll take your same bag if you were in a tent, or if you were in a bivvi, because most people have a bag for as cold as they'll be going and it's usually warmer.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Then we will add a failsafe top tarp which might or might not keep the rain off your face depending on which way the wind is blowing?


Though if you've looked at the forecast and seen there's a blocking high which means no rain for a week (which might be why you decided to bivvi rather than use a tent) that would be a non-issue... It's pretty clear you prefer a tent (I usually do too), but the sort of reasoning you're doing above is trying to make a bivvi in to a tent, which rather misses the point.

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:I think this is what it's meant when they say that when you start using all that equipment you be better off with a tent?


Perhaps if you are trying to simulate a tent with not-tent things, but as others have noted, that's not the point of a bivvi.

Pete.
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Re: Bivvi bags - advice please

Postby mercalia » 23 Feb 2020, 11:50pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
It's false economy.
Sleeping bags today are very technically well made and they are incredibly light and very very good at insulation.
Your clothing is more expensive and certainly probably more than twice the weight.
If you wanna be comfortable in a sleeping bag you need any base matt Even one as thin as I use 5 mm, and remember minimum clothing none if possible.
The other alternative is that your legs go cold etc.


well i never wear good clothes when out cycling and the jacket costs just £30 and I would have it with me any way. as for the clothing being twice the weight - you going to leave them at home? they also are with you any way. As for sleeping bags, nice if you are a small person, and dont move around much inside them but I am a bit robust and would be too constricting. Next time I will try the accompanying ex army thermal trousers I also have which were even cheaper.l That leaves the feet. maybe the elephants foot I got from Alpkit. I dont think zero clothes in a bivvy bag is practical for obvious reasons as getting out of one is a bit public.