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parenting for gnarness
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Ahhh the pain....
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I had one of those REI minimalist bivy's....it worked well although did not breath at all. Never got caught in the rain with it so not sure as to it's waterproofness although I think Maad has with success.
I use this one (Mountain Laurel Designs) but at $175, it ain't cheap but is lighter than crap. I use a tyvek sheet (the lightweight tyvek) that I've created a leg pouch that functions as a moisture barrier and keeps the bivy clean. It's not a rain-friendly solution so I'd have to carry a lightweight tarp in bad weather.
 

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hexamid.JPG

I choose the Hexamid Tarp Tent. It is basically a rain fly with a screened bottom to keep mozi's and bugs out. It comes with a ground sheet and weighs in at 15.9 total with collapsible pole.

I tried a bivy and it got me a bit claustrophobic, when closed up. Downside is setup time and hard ground.
 

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You're spot on about the REI. I picked it up about this time last year with the coupon too. It gets the job done and is worthwhile, especially when you figure you're more likely to blow off a trip due to inclement weather than someone who's bikepacking a lot more.
 

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I've been using the OR Alpine Bivy for a few years now. The few times I have had rain come through in the night it has kept me dry aside from some extra condensation. Condensation is normally minimal as long as I keep the zipper undone a ways. My only complaint is when you sleep with the bivy open, the cover often falls over your face, there is nothing to tie it back with. The weight is ok at 2 lbs and it is compact enough to fit in a seat bag or strap to your bars. It looks to be a similar design to the Helium, so that one should work well too and with lower weight and cheaper price it should be a better option.

The Alpine is Gore-tex which probably explains the extra weight and price. I don't need gore-tex as I seldom have to deal with rain. If rain is in the forecast I have a one-person tent that is more roomy which I bring instead. I actually use the bivy mostly for car camping because of how easy it is to set up/pack up - let a bit of air out of the sleeping pad, roll the whole deal up it and throw it on the back seat. Very convenient if you aren't staying in the same place every night.

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy - Free Shipping at REI.com
 

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Reviving an old Thread.

I had been looking for awhile reading a lot of reviews and was set on the Alpine Bivy, but ended up getting the Outdoor Research Instead Helium Instead. I was able to "test" both in the store and you can physically feel it is lighter and it was much more compact and setup and repacked much easier, that made my decision but the fact it was cheaper was also a factor. The Alpine did feel extremely durable and every gore tex product I have used over the years has been great and worth the money I am sure that one is as well.

Main question is this for those using a bivy when you are heading out in so-so weather how many are also taking a small tarp to at least have a place mostly out of rain to cook/eat?
 
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