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Anyone own or used a Cabela's "Bivy" tent? Very small...

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by DJ Niner, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    15,076
    843
    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    and long, low to the ground; shaped like a 9-foot long, 3.5-foot diameter cylinder cut in half lengthwise and laid on the ground. Made for one person only. The "roof" is entirely made of fine-mess screening, so you can see the sky (and the skeeters, too). A rain fly is included (good idea).

    I like the design and general concept, but I like to have a little space to stretch, too. I'm not sure about a shelter you can't even sit upright in.

    Anyone have any experiences with this or another similar model you'd like to share? TIA...
     
  2. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    15,076
    843
    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA

  3. ButchC

    ButchC 2 B 1 ASK 1

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    Sep 13, 2001
    Dallas
    I've used Bivy tents for the last 15 or so years. They are great if you aren't claustrophobic and you don't want to carry a lot of weight. Just be aware that you can't keep much stuff inside with you while you sleep. I take them on motorcycle trips and keep my belongings in my tank/tail bags, which I then chain to my bike.
     
  4. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    i have a bivy tent like that one and a bivy sack for when i pack really light. the tent is much more open than the sack. my bivy tent has enough room to store my day pack in, but if you have an external frame pack you might have some trouble getting it in there.

    the main thing you have to take into consideration is rain. if you plan on staying in your shelter if it rains then a bivy could be the wrong choice. the tent is better since you can move more. lay back and read a book. the bivy sack would be hell since it's basically a cacoon. you can ride out a storm in both designs, but the bigger the better in that situation.

    like you said, it's a good design but you don't have all of the space as with a dome tent. for trips where weight isn't as much of an issue i pack a marmot AT. i think it cost me around $175, so it's pretty inexpensive. it's a 2 person tent (2 people could fit and sleep... barely), but packs small and without the rainfly and footprint gets down under 4 lbs. with the rainfly and footprint it's still under 5 lbs which is my limit for a tent on any backpacking trip.
     
  5. JohnDog

    JohnDog Millennium Member

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    Sep 14, 1999
    Falcon, Co
    Here is a different approach...

    http://www.bdel.com/rockclimbing/shelter_megamid.html

    I carry a poncho while backpacking, which does double duty as a ground cloth. The Megamid weighs 3 1/2 pounds and is plenty roomy for two people. I've even used it on bicycle camping trips where my girlfriend and I brought our bikes inside during a hailstorm - still was roomy. Give it a look if you are a bit claustrophobic, and don't like a tent roof 6 inches from your nose.

    JohnDog
     
  6. PlasticGuy

    PlasticGuy

    5,165
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    Jul 10, 2000
    I'm a big fan of the bivy tent. The bivy sacks are great when extremely light weight is essential and one extra pound is just not worth it to you. However, the bivy tents make for a much better night's sleep for me.

    As for the Cabela's version, I wouldn't get it. Cabela's is a good company and their clothing and boots are pretty good, but there are a lot of companies that make better tents that will be more durable and more waterproof. Check out REIOutlet.com or Campmor.com for some good (and usually heavily discounted) examples. I have had great luck with Walrus and North Face brands, but there are a few others that are probably as good. Eureka makes very good tents at very competitive prices.
     
  7. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    15,076
    843
    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    Thanks for all the input/ideas/links, folks. Lottsa stuff out there I didn't know about.

    Anyone else has any info, I'm still listening...
     
  8. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

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    Sep 18, 2000
    Grumpyville
    I agree with Mpol777

    Unless pack weight is of paramount importance, a small tent is much more useful and enjoyable than one of those sausage casing bivy tents.

    Especially when it rains.

    Campmor.com sells a whole bunch of different tents which are very heavily discounted. At least consider the Eureka! Apex, which weighs in at around 5 lbs. Great tent for $79.
     
  9. gogburn

    gogburn Old Fart

    40
    17
    Jul 9, 2000
    TX
    Try before you buy... Just try rolling out a sleeping bag and climbing in one before you get one so you "know what you are getting into", so to speak. Oh, and then imagine doing it on muddy ground.
     
  10. Mwinter

    Mwinter I'm MilkMan Dan

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    Oct 26, 2001
    I honestly use a jungle hammock and tarp/sunshade as often as a tent, since most of my camping is done in TX warm/hot/hellish weather and I find them a lot more comfy. I have a good tent but bought a bivy last week on a whim....

    natchezss.com and Cheaper Than Dirt are selling a pretty good Texsport 2(1.5)-man bivy for about $30 and $20, respectively.
    I have yet to use it (only set up and tried it once in the yard), but for $20 it is very serviceable. Used in conjunction with a ground cloth I think I'll get at LEAST my money's worth, if only for those sites with no suitable 'hammock flora'.
    If it works out in the weeds, I think another one will find it's way into my SHTF-kit.
     
  11. PlasticGuy

    PlasticGuy

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    Jul 10, 2000
    I am familiar with Texport tents. They are relatively rugged and servicable. What I have seen though is limited durability in some of them (particularly the zippers), heavy weight, and poor waterproofing. If your particular tent seems durable and the weight isn't bad, you're doing all right. If I were you, I would seriously consider getting a seam sealing kit and a can or two of waterproofing spray and apply them before taking the tent out into the wilderness. I think you'll thank me later if you get caught in a storm while on the trail.
     
  12. Mwinter

    Mwinter I'm MilkMan Dan

    1,208
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    Oct 26, 2001
    I'm with ya Plastic...it's already wearing a can of silicone spray and will get another coat plus some Permethrin (bugs the size of sanitation trucks down my way) before I try it out. I also normally use a separate sunshade/basha whenever I camp for xtra rain protection.
    The weight on this bivy, inside the carrying case including poles/stakes, is about 3.5lbs...the bivy itself compresses down smaller than the case belies. I'll let y'all know how it works if I get a chance to use it anytime soon.
     
  13. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    15,076
    843
    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    You folks are a veritable fountain of knowledge! Thanks again!
     
  14. 3MartiniLunch

    3MartiniLunch Vegan Slayer

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    Jan 21, 2001
    Baltimore
    allright, I guess I'm the only dissenter.
    I have a North Face "Arches" 1-man tent..similar to the above, but a little roomier. note the arches...they're not attached to anything, and there is no ridge pole.
    I will never buy a non-free standing tent again.
    p.i.t.a. to set up in the dark, wind, and rain.
    very well ventilated for fair weather use, however.
     
  15. The Pontificator

    The Pontificator Angry Samoan

    4,497
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    Sep 18, 2000
    Grumpyville
    Every tent I've ever purchased gets all seams sealed...TWICE...before using it in the wild. No fun dealing with a leaky tent.

    I remember camping in a primitive campground in OH as a pre-adolescent. We used a tarp and made a lean-to. One night, we had a terrific downpour. EVERYTHING got soaked.

    I'd care not to re-live the experience, thank you.
     
  16. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    15,076
    843
    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    3MartiniLunch,
    I also noticed the lack of roof support in the design; I assume the end stakes just pull the fabric tight from each end to keep everything taut. Probably not the best method from a reliability standpoint, but functional under MOST conditions.

    Thanks again for all the input from everyone!
     
  17. 3MartiniLunch

    3MartiniLunch Vegan Slayer

    99
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    Jan 21, 2001
    Baltimore
    you're right, it is ok under most conditions. I'm a fairweather camper for the most part, but #@%R always seems to happen very far from the car. the one I have isn't significantly lighter than a 2 man dome. That's mostly why I regret the purchase a little, but hey it was only around $100 from Campmor.com
    not so great for loose soil/sand, really rocky ground, or snow. add wind, precipitation, and darkness, and I'm cursing bigtime.
    mine requires IIRC 6 or 8 stakes for the floor and footprint. if going solo (and why else to have a bivy tent), it's a pain to get everthing tightened and aligned properly since the tent won't stay upright until both ends are staked. Takes several more stakes for the fly. YMMV.