The first review is on Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi Bag. The weather conditions when it was tested for the first time were kind of unpleasant.
- Altitude ~4050m Between Piton des Italiens and Dome du Gouter
- Complete white-out (gusty hail/snow storm), visibility max 5m
- Temperature about -6C daytime to -12C at night.
- The 30km/h wind ,so temperatures with wind chill -14C and -20C, respectively.
Snow storm started at around 14:30, About that time I set up my bivi and stayed inside it until the storm have finished, it lasted until 2:00 – almost 12hours.
Due to strong wind and hail hitting my bivi I could barely sleep – video below shows how windy and loud it had been all that time.
Next night was in a valley and it was dry and warm, so I did not need the bivi.
So, how bivi did its’ job?..
- Windproof material did not let me get cold during snow/hail storm.
- 2-way zipper helped to prevent from getting snow inside the bivi to the bare minimum.
- Some people are negative about how spacious the bivi, since extra fabric = extra weight.
In my case, more room to curl up and reach items by my feet was a advantage.
Less pleasant points:
- Condensation. Bivi got slightly wet and then it instantly froze, but that occurred after 8 hours.
I could not unzip it to ventilate, because of the snow storm.
- The snow got under the velcro flaps which are to prevent precipitation of getting onto zippers and provide easier ventilation.
- According to outdoor equipment shops, the bivi bag could be lighter, but 550g are less then any other one man tent.
The lightest tent in the world Terra Nova Laser Ultra 1 holds Guinness World Record,
and weights mere 581g according to GWR. The price for the lightest tent is almost £1 per 1g, since it costs £600.
The ME bivi price is less than 1/3 of Terra Nova’s, £190, but it can be found cheaper on sales. I bought mine for £159.
I have not tested my bivi in heavy rain, but in near future I will, and post the short review about bivi in the rain.