If the thought of summer nights spent out high on the summits is something you’re looking forward to then why not kip near a trig with a bivvy? Here are five of the best bivvy bags for under a ton.
1 – Alpkit Hunka – £30 and 420g. Available only online, this has to be the cheapest serious bivvy out there. While you may find some ex-army bivvies on eBay cheaper, they certainly won’t be as light as this. You can go for drab olive (wasn’t she in On the Buses?), a discreet black or a funky Alkit Chilli if you want to stand out. If you’re of the larger persuasion, then there’s even an XL version for £50 that only weighs an extra 105g that’s also suitable if you’ve got a bulky bag as if it’s compressed it tends to be less effective. Like many cheaper and lighter bags, you only get a draw string to close the hood.
2 – Rab Survival Zone – £69.99 and 320g. This is one of the classic bags, and for a while seemed to be about the only sensible option for those with both a low budget and high expectations with weight. Again, you only get a drawstring to close the hood. Previously available in black, it seems now only available as saffron or yet another olive colour. No longer the cheapest option, and with the Rab Storm bivvy being a zipped bivvy at under 500g, at the same price, probably no longer the clear cut beginner’s bivvy it once was. There’s a Lite version available that weighs in at an incredible 200g but costs £100.
3 – Terra Nova Moonlite Bag Cover – £100 and 190g. The lightest and most expensive option here isn’t even marketed explicitly as a bivvy bag but as a sleeping bag cover even though it is fully waterproof with taped seams.
4 – Mountain Equipment Ion Bivi – £80 and 280g. Neither the lightest or cheapest, but the only one with a proper hood. It’s not water proof but water resistant. This isn’t as much of a problem as it seems considering that you’ll probably get wet in a non-zipped bivvy in the rain anyway. There’s a window in the hood so you can see what’s going on outside without exposing yourself to the elements.
5 – MSR E-Bivy £89.99 and 250g. Another water-resistant bivvy bag, but with a zip and a respectable minimum weight of 250g (290g with the stuff sac). Available only in mustard, at least it offers an alternative to all the olive bags out there.
Remember that you can couple your bivvy bag with a small tarp if you think that conditions may not be favourable!