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Old 03-18-23, 11:14 AM
  #26  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Not much real detail there. They don't even list thickness. Also no reviews. So it is hard to tell much about how well it works out. It "looks like" it could be comfortable though.
The selection of items on the site didnít strike you as strange?
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Old 03-18-23, 02:05 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The selection of items on the site didnít strike you as strange?
Well yeah, not where I'd buy a pad or a cot or whatever.
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Old 03-18-23, 04:45 PM
  #28  
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I might be all wet*, but I wonder about the relevance of bivy bags in an era of ~1# (and lighter) solo tents. One would choose the bivy for...cost reasons?



*and bitten by insects
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Old 03-18-23, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
I might be all wet*, but I wonder about the relevance of bivy bags in an era of ~1# (and lighter) solo tents. One would choose the bivy for...cost reasons?



*and bitten by insects
There are reasons why someone may prefer one or the other. A few things I like about my bivy:
  • It is cheaper
  • I don't need to carry a pole
  • It is a little lighter
  • It works well for sleeping on hard surfaces like under a pavilion roof (no need for stakes)
  • I can sleep on top of it and climb in as needed (I like to cowboy camp)
  • I can pitch a tarp or not depending on the expected weather
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Old 03-19-23, 03:23 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tcs
I might be all wet*, but I wonder about the relevance of bivy bags in an era of ~1# (and lighter) solo tents. One would choose the bivy for...cost reasons?

*and bitten by insects
Only once have I actually seen someone use a bivy sack, that was last summer on a backpacking trip. She came into the campsite after sunset but it was still light enough to see. She was through hiking the trail and making a lot of distance every day. She was camped really light, when I asked her how she deals with packing up her gear on a rainy morning, she implied that if you pack up fast enough nothing gets too wet. It was late summer, bordering on early fall, about 20 miles from Canada so it was far enough north that the weather was cool. And almost no bugs, on that two week trip I only used repellant once. Next morning, I think she was on the trail an hour before I was, I think she was hiking out when I was still working on my coffee.

Decades ago I did a canoe trip with three others. One guy said he would bring his big four person tent. The first night, I decided that it was really tight with four, later nights when it was nice out I just slept outside, which unfortunately meant a heavy dew on my down bag every night. That is the only trip that I have wished I had a bivy along.

I can see a bivy for someone that really values traveling light if they also have a tarp for rain protection like Staehpj1 mentioned. I used to campout under the stars a lot more often when I was a kid, but now I value a tent more. When I was a kid, if you had a nice tent you were clearly of great wealth, back then my friends and I were more inclined to deal with less gear because there was no choice, we had what we could afford.
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Old 03-19-23, 08:47 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I can see a bivy for someone that really values traveling light if they also have a tarp for rain protection like Staehpj1 mentioned. .
No ax to grind, not promoting anything, but impressed with today's superlight equipment that seems to have come from the well-heeled quadrant of the thru-hiker world.

So, a bivy + a tarp lighter than a roughly half kilogram Zpacks Plex Solo tent?
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Old 03-19-23, 09:47 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by tcs
No ax to grind, not promoting anything, but impressed with today's superlight equipment that seems to have come from the well-heeled quadrant of the thru-hiker world.

So, a bivy + a tarp lighter than a roughly half kilogram Zpacks Plex Solo tent?
On my backpacking trip last summer, I only hiked for two weeks, not a through hike. But I met a lot of people in the campsites with a wide variety of gear. One guy I met, we shared a campground for two nights and hiked together for one day. He had through hiked the AT, so he had his system down pretty well. And his ultra light gear was quite impressive. He could pick up his backpack with one hand and hold it in the air while putting his other arm through a strap. He said it was less than 20 pounds, and we had both just resupplied. I asked how he could have such a light pack when I had just added 12 pounds of food to my pack for my second week, plus stove fuel. He responded that he was running a severe calorie deficit while hiking, and tried to catch up on calories when a restaurant appeared. But he was young and apparently his physiology can handle that. I was probably running at least a 1000 calorie a day deficit. He had some obscure brand of trekking pole tent, two person, I do not recall what he said about the weight, but it was EXTREMELY light, I think his two person tent was lighter than my one person 2.9 pound tent. I do not recall if he had any Zpacks gear, his tent was a different brand. It was raining the morning that we separated, he had a custom made rain coat that had a bulge in the back that was almost perfectly sized and shaped to his backpack, that is the most extreme gear that I have ever seen on anyone. Oh, one more thing, he did not want to carry the syringe to backflush his Sawyer filter to cut weight, he was just replacing the filter every few months. I managed to get his filter to functioning almost like new, but it took a lot of work, it was almost totally dysfunctional.

I know what you mean about the super light stuff now days. In the 1990s I bought a super light (4.6 pounds) one person tent, had two hoop style poles. Then about 20 years later, replaced that with a much lighter ultra light (3.6 pounds) one person tent. Then two years ago bought that trekking pole one person tent for backpacking, but I weighed it down with a pole so I do not have to fiddle with the height adjustment on my trekking pole, and some better tent stakes, and a ground sheet which pushed the weight up to 2.9 pounds.

My two person tent that I now use for bike touring is a Big Agnes Scout Plus (discontinued). A trekking pole type tent, but I cut poles that when folded up fit in my front pannier. Tent, with poles, a plastic ground sheet and some extra stakes tips the scale at 3.5 pounds. Big enough for all my gear in it, very happy with it. That replaced a two person tent that weighted 6.1 pounds. The weight of gear just keeps getting lighter.

I am also sold on tenting over a bivy, but I recognize that different people have different things that they enjoy and if someone prefers to use a bivy instead of a tent, I do not try to convince them otherwise. That said, this forum sometimes gets some preachy ultra light fans that disparage everyone else, there was one from my community that has not posted here for some time that could be pretty obnoxious at times.
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Old 03-19-23, 01:54 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by tcs
No ax to grind, not promoting anything, but impressed with today's superlight equipment that seems to have come from the well-heeled quadrant of the thru-hiker world.

So, a bivy + a tarp lighter than a roughly half kilogram Zpacks Plex Solo tent?
Yeah mine can be a little lighter depending on which options I take. even though not real high dollar stuff. My bivy weighs 7 ounces (Borah Side zipper ultralight bivy) and my bug bivy weighs 5.3 ounces (Ti Goat Ptramigan Bug Bivy). Which one I take depends on expected temperatures. My tarps vary from 7 ounces to 12.3 ounces. So my lightest combo is about 12.3 ounces and the heaviest is 19.3 ounces. The heavier setup is with a very generously sized tarp and much heavier than it really needs to be. I just like the luxury of the larger tarp.

Bear in mind that my bivies and tarps are not the lightest and most $$$. I don't own any super high tech fabrics so I could go a good bit lighter with the application of more $$$ for cuben fiber or whatever. Also I assume the tent you mention most likely requires a treking pole which typically isn't included in the weight.

I'd think it would be possible to stay down below a half pound if spending the kind of money the Zpacks tent costs on a tarp and bivy since that would probably get you a Dyneema tarp and bivy. That said, I haven't priced them lately as I don't find Dyneema worth the money to me.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Also I assume the tent you mention most likely requires a trekking pole which typically isn't included in the weight.
I included the weight of the optional carbon fiber pole - and the required 6 carbon fiber stakes. Manufacturer's (ZPacks) advertised total weight, 510g. Solo, single wall, small vestibule, not freestanding. I didn't include any weight for Gorilla tape to anchor the guylines on the deck of the Alaska Ferry.




There are a couple of other ultralight tents on the market with advertised weights mere ounces more. Never camped in any of 'em. Neither endorsing nor dissuading. Caveat emptor.


"The really successful lightweight camper is one whose pack shrinks every year and whose enjoyment increases in ratio with every vanished ounce." - long-time British cycletourist and journalist Brian Walker, writing for Mother Earth News about 1970

Last edited by tcs; 03-19-23 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 03-20-23, 05:53 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by tcs
I included the weight of the optional carbon fiber pole - and the required 6 carbon fiber stakes. Manufacturer's (ZPacks) advertised total weight, 510g. Solo, single wall, small vestibule, not freestanding. I didn't include any weight for Gorilla tape to anchor the guylines on the deck of the Alaska Ferry.
The specs are pretty impressive. I have shyed away from tents in that class due to price and perceived need for handling with great care and worry about wear and tear. Never having even seen one in person I may be overly concerned about that aspect of Dyneema. How robust do you find your Zpacks tent?

I do sometimes take a tent when I don't mind the extra weight and feel it is worth carrying (it has been a while), but my favorite tent from my current gear is 2 pounds 9 ounces with the stakes and stuff I carry (Eurela Spitfire1). I think I paid about $80 on sale though.
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Old 03-20-23, 06:13 AM
  #36  
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if you don't like noise like me, I've found some of the recent ultralight sleep pads can be noisy. On a recent camp trip, my two buds in their neighboring tents with their new setups woke me up multiple times when they were moving around trying to get comfortable. The material of their bags combined with the material of their pads made considerable noise. The old thermorests, Alps, or egg crate pads were quiet.
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Old 03-20-23, 07:20 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
if you don't like noise like me, I've found some of the recent ultralight sleep pads can be noisy. On a recent camp trip, my two buds in their neighboring tents with their new setups woke me up multiple times when they were moving around trying to get comfortable. The material of their bags combined with the material of their pads made considerable noise. The old thermorests, Alps, or egg crate pads were quiet.
My Neoair Xlite was really noisy when I slept on it with bare skin in hot weather (too hot to be in the sleeping bag). If I rolled or otherwise peel myself off of it it was quite loud. Wearing a tech tee resolved it enough that my tent mates said it was pretty quiet and no problem. You may be fussier about the sound than them though. I think if you slept on top of your sleeping bag it would also resolve the issue, but when it is really hot I didn't want to sweat on the bag.

Since I started using a bivy I just slept on the bag (and pad) in the bivy to protect the bag when it was really hot.

It is also bad for the pads to get all that sweat, sunscreen, and bug dope on them any way.
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Old 03-20-23, 08:17 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
My Neoair Xlite was really noisy when I slept on it with bare skin in hot weather (too hot to be in the sleeping bag). If I rolled or otherwise peel myself off of it it was quite loud. Wearing a tech tee resolved it enough that my tent mates said it was pretty quiet and no problem. You may be fussier about the sound than them though. I think if you slept on top of your sleeping bag it would also resolve the issue, but when it is really hot I didn't want to sweat on the bag.

Since I started using a bivy I just slept on the bag (and pad) in the bivy to protect the bag when it was really hot.

It is also bad for the pads to get all that sweat, sunscreen, and bug dope on them any way.
A gal that I used to work with always used a sleeping bag liner in her bag, she said she did it to keep her bag cleaner. That made a lot of sense to me, so I started doing that over a decade ago. I have a silk one and a microfleece one, I pick which to bring based on anticipated cool or warm weather. I find that a sleeping bag liner works great in hot weather by itself, and as it cools off during the night I start using more and more of my sleeping bag.

I also always sleep in a tee shirt. Camping trips, I bring synthetic fabrics for clothing that dry faster after a wash.

I got used to my Neo Air noise quickly, it drove me nutty until I fell asleep only for the first few nights I used it, but after those few nights I did not notice it.
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Old 03-20-23, 09:08 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
A gal that I used to work with always used a sleeping bag liner in her bag, she said she did it to keep her bag cleaner. That made a lot of sense to me, so I started doing that over a decade ago. I have a silk one and a microfleece one, I pick which to bring based on anticipated cool or warm weather. I find that a sleeping bag liner works great in hot weather by itself, and as it cools off during the night I start using more and more of my sleeping bag.
They also add a bit or warmth in cooler weather and can be used without the bag on warm nights. I haven't used mine in a long time though. I decided for me it wasn't worth the extra few ounces since my sleeping bag seems to stay pretty clean.
I do try real hard to avoid sweating in my sleeping bag so that minimizes the need. I do that for two reasons. First sweat isn't that good for the bag or it's cleanliness and second it means you will likely get colder when the temperature drops later and you are damp with sweat. I tend to go in stages as it cools down. Maybe starting out out of the bag, or using it like a quilt, hanging a leg out, and so on, only getting in and zipping up tight as it actually gets cold. I think I stay warmer for the bag's rating by not getting all sweaty early in the night.
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Old 03-20-23, 09:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The selection of items on the site didnít strike you as strange?
There aren't many kitchen + sport + outdoor companies out there. However, my guess is most of these products get sold via other channels, e.g. Amazon or found first by Google Search and not by people going to this web site to browse what they want to buy... Their "About Us" page still describes them as started as a kitchen products company, so I'm sure their is a story of how compression socks and sleeping pads got added.
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Old 03-21-23, 08:04 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
The specs are pretty impressive. I have shyed away from tents in that class due to price and perceived need for handling with great care and worry about wear and tear. Never having even seen one in person I may be overly concerned about that aspect of Dyneema. How robust do you find your Zpacks tent?

I do sometimes take a tent when I don't mind the extra weight and feel it is worth carrying (it has been a while), but my favorite tent from my current gear is 2 pounds 9 ounces with the stakes and stuff I carry (Eurela Spitfire1). I think I paid about $80 on sale though.
By the way I have been more than a little tempted with the REI Flash Air 1 Tent. It seems like a reasonable compromise for a cheapskate like me who doesn't want to spend $600 for a tent and worries about Dyneema maybe being fragile. It is comfortably under 2 pounds and with a 20% off sale the price is pretty decent. I have liked a few of the other Flash line of items from REI. With the 20% off deal going on I may pull the trigger on one. I will most likely still use a bivy for some types of trips even if I buy this tent.
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Old 03-21-23, 10:17 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
By the way I have been more than a little tempted with the REI Flash Air 1 Tent. It seems like a reasonable compromise for a cheapskate like me who doesn't want to spend $600 for a tent and worries about Dyneema maybe being fragile. It is comfortably under 2 pounds and with a 20% off sale the price is pretty decent. I have liked a few of the other Flash line of items from REI. With the 20% off deal going on I may pull the trigger on one. I will most likely still use a bivy for some types of trips even if I buy this tent.
That looks a lot like the Six Moons Lunar Solo and the REI one includes a pole. Also, Six Moons ones, you have to seam seal them yourself.

For light weight backpacking, I am quite happy with my single pole tent, I think you have seen photos of mine on this forum, if not I can post a photo. But not doing so now as I do not want to hijack this thread. I made a pole for mine so I do not have to mess with the length adjustment on my trekking pole, the REI one includes the pole. And it looks like the REI pole could be folded up short enough that you could velcro that to your top tube.

Mine is heavier but mine has a separate netting tent, REI one has a single wall ceiling that will get coated with condensation.
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Old 03-27-23, 02:01 PM
  #43  
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I used a bivvy sack on a tour long ago. The things that bothered me most were mosquitoes around my face, The bivvy had a mesh so I wasn't bitten, but just the noise was enough to keep me from sleeping. And then there is the problem of getting up in the rain. I bought a lightweight tarp in the middle of the tour.

Next year I went with a tent.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
How robust do you find your Zpacks tent?
We have 2 Zpacks Duplex. Probably 200 nights each. Still going strong (a couple of patches here and there. One tent will need dyneema patches to reinforce corners). IIRC, Zpacks claims that they'll last an entire thru.
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Old 03-29-23, 09:46 PM
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Now iím just getting crazy.How about this,i set the cot up IN the tent and it fits perfect(i should say exactly fits).Then the pad and bag on that and itís like cloud fricking nine.Thereís also the space underneath the cot for shoes and things.Eleven and a half lbs total,and I can lose a half lb if I forego the tent footprint thing.So hereís the thing,iím a senior rider,retired,copd too and i go kinda slow,and I live in somewhat hilly country but only plan on riding 30-40 miles a day.So basically Iím just ending up adding an extra 4.5 lbs for a cot for sleep comfort.Maybe another month and I Ďll be able to try it out.

All buttoned up. The tent is freestanding.

Tiny little thing.

The bag is in the bivy sack here. Shouldnít be needed for this setup.

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Old 03-31-23, 07:17 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by tcs
I might be all wet*, but I wonder about the relevance of bivy bags in an era of ~1# (and lighter) solo tents. One would choose the bivy for...cost reasons?



*and bitten by insects
Bivy (Borah) and tarp (Zpacks) not only save weight save space. When I bikepack this is an important feature. I have a Nemo ultralight tent that I often use as well. The bigger tent goes canoe camping and bike touring when I carry panniers. The tarp/bivy goes with me when I gp backpacking and bikepacking.

There is a time and place for bivy or tent. I don't have issue with bugs very often at night when I sleep.
Another benefit of bivy, Southwest night skies when you wake up in the middle of the night. The SW I don't even use the tarp. Tent or bug bivy, mandatory in the Daks when paddling
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Old 03-31-23, 07:18 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Imaginos
for sleep comfort.Maybe another month and I Ďll be able to try it out.

.
Homebrewer here as well!! Cheers
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Old 04-01-23, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
The things that bothered me most were mosquitoes around my face.
Your post reminded me of something. I also have a bivy but use a 2 man tent all the time. The time it takes to get into and out of a bivy or solo tent is much longer than for a 2 man tent. The ďdoorĒ is so small I cannot zip it open and dive inside. So the time the netting is open, letting bugs into the tent is much longer. With the 2 man tent, I rarely get bugs in. That would be a deciding factor. I hate having mosquitoes buzzzing around inside all night.
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Old 04-07-23, 06:19 PM
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All I have ever used is a small tarp to serve as a ground cloth. With rain I can run a line and use a couple ground stakes to have shelter that works fine unless it is windy.
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Old 04-08-23, 04:24 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
if you don't like noise like me, I've found some of the recent ultralight sleep pads can be noisy. On a recent camp trip, my two buds in their neighboring tents with their new setups woke me up multiple times when they were moving around trying to get comfortable. The material of their bags combined with the material of their pads made considerable noise. The old thermorests, Alps, or egg crate pads were quiet.
Replying again to add that I saw an ad for the neoair the other day saying that the new model was much quieter. I think they said it was 70% quieter. I have not actually seen, handled, or slept on the new one though so I can't say from personal experience.
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