The 10 Best Survival Bivy Sacks in 2019 for your Outdoor Trips

Benjamin Roussey

Table of Contents

Introduction

Also known as a bivouac, a bivy was originally designed as a compact and lightweight option for an emergency shelter. Bivy users have always sacrificed comfort for the sake of small and reduced weight packing size. In the early days, bivies were nothing but simple waterproof sleeping bag covers that were waterproof in order to keep the rain off. However, they came with a lot of condensation issues.

Nowadays, bivies are made with lightweight materials that protect against water while still remaining breathable in order to reduce condensation problems. Bivy sacks are not only popular among climbers who need an emergency shelter in case they are stranded overnight but also with backpackers, campers and even preppers who want an ultralight alternative to a tent.

At a Glance: Our Choices for The 10 Best Survival Bivies

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each bivy.

Top Survival Bivies

How to Choose a Golden Survival Bivy

So how do you choose a fabulous and profound survival bivy sack? Well, there are a couple of things you should consider before picking one, such as:

Comfort: A bivy can help in improving a sleeping bag’s temperature range by as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you comfort when sleeping in the wilderness. This capability allows you to use a lighter sleeping bag and reduce your overall pack weight by a pound or more. You can also set up a bivy sack anywhere – you can sleep in small clearings, ledges, and other places where pitching a tent may not be possible.

Appropriate Air Circulation: As mentioned earlier, condensation inside a bivy is one of the major issues faced by users. Make sure that you pick a bivy that offers a decent circulation of air so you never have to face this problem. Bivies that are made out of breathable materials are best, so always look out for those.

Waterproof: Of course, it is vital to have waterproof gear when you are out in the wilderness. You never know when rain might fall or you fall into a river, etc. Having a waterproof bivy ensures that you do not have to sleep in a drenched sleeping bag or bivy. It also helps in making sure that you stay dry in wet conditions.

Size and Weight: Many bivies come in small packs that are light and portable. These are ideal for carrying to the wilderness. They are especially handy if you are aiming to be as minimalistic as possible for your outdoor gear. Compact and lightweight bivies are especially ideal for climbers or those who expect to do a lot of walking on their outdoor adventures.

Quality Materials: You never know where you might end up in the wilderness, so having a quality bivy sack made of durable material is critical. Quality material also ensures that your bivy lasts you many years. Make sure that the survival bivy you choose is made of a high-quality material that is rain and weather resistant to protect you even in extreme conditions.

Price: Bivies come in a wide range of prices. The one you choose depends on your budget, among other things. However, it is essential to remember that an expensive bivy does not necessarily mean that it is made that well. Research different products and choose the one that meets your needs and budget at the same time.

The Finest Survival Survival Bivies

 #1

Survive Outdoors Longer Escape Bivvy

Survive Outdoors Longer Escape Bivvy
Our Rating: (5/5)
Weight: 8.5 oz
Size: 84″ x 31″
Fabric: Metalized Tyvek

Pros:
(+) High-quality fabric
(+) Prevents condensation
(+) The fabric reflects back your body heat

Cons:
(-) Not long enough for taller users
(-) Needs to be a tad wider as well

Overview

This is a high-quality emergency bivy bag that helps you stay dry and warm when you are out in the great wide open.

The Survive Outdoor Longer Escape Bivvy is made of a highly water resistant fabric that helps in keeping you dry even in the soggiest, wettest conditions. This durable fabric reflects 70% of the body heat you radiate and also resists tears and punctures that result from heavy use.

This survival bivy features water-resistant seams and a drawstring hood closure with side zip that allows you to seal out the elements. The Escape Bivvy is a fine choice for anyone looking for a durable product for their outdoor adventures.

Conclusion

Although the length and width of the SOL Escape Bivvy are not up to the mark for a few users, it is a pretty fabulous survival bivvy. It is lightweight and compact, meaning that it does not bog you down when you carry it as an additional gear in your bug out bag or when you are off on your outdoor adventures.

It works well to protect you from the weather and keeps you warm as it effectively reflects your body heat. The SOL Escape Bivvy is made of quality materials and will last you quite a long time. This is definitely a recommended product for anyone looking for a remarkable survival bivvy.

 #2

Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover

Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Weight: 6.0 oz
Size: 83” x 36”
Fabric: Gore-Tex

Pros:
(+) Tough, durable material
(+) Rainproof, windproof, and breathable
(+) Keeps you warm and dry even in extreme conditions

Cons:
(-) Slightly heavier than other bivies
(-) Slightly large for some users

Overview

The Woodland Camouflage Bivy Cover features the Waterproof GORE-TEX moisture-vapor-permeable material that keeps you warm and dry in a survival situation. It also has heat sealed seams.

Designed to cover sleeping bags, the Camouflage Bivy Cover looks amazing and is highly durable, and is made with quality fabric. It is also breathable so you never have to worry about condensation. Whether you are under pouring rain or snow, Woodland Camouflage Bivy has you covered.

Conclusion

This is the real deal when it comes to bivies. The Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover works incredibly well to protect you against rain, wind, and snow when you are out in the wilderness or in a survival situation. It is made of breathable material that prevents condensation. It is highly durable and can be used even in the roughest conditions.

The only drawback is that this bivy is quite heavy – an obvious problem when you need to carry it while walking in the wilderness. But if you do not mind the weight, the Woodland Camouflage Waterproof Bivy Cover is a poignant choice. If you want to keep yourself dry and warm on your outdoor adventures, this is definitely one of the best bivies to choose from.

 #3

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Weight: 30 oz
Size: 84″ x 26″
Fabric: Gore-Tex

Pros:
(+) Highly breathable GORE-TEX fabric body
(+) Anti-fungal floor coating
(+) Sized-to-fit thicker mats

Cons:
(-) A little small for some users
(-) Difficult to get into the storage sack

Overview

The Alpine Bivy from Outdoor Research is another top choice when it comes to survival bivies available on the market today. It features a 3-layered GORE-TEX respiration fabric, apart from a durable hydroseal-coated fully water resistant nylon flooring with fully taped seams.

It even has an anti-fungal coating on the floor. Its patented dual-pole system increases ventilation and gives more space inside as well. The base of the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy has a zippered vent that helps improve airflow on humid nights. Needless to say, this is a well-designed survival bivy bag that is sure to protect you from the elements no matter where you are.

Conclusion

While it is a tad small for some users, i.e. those over 6′ tall, the Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy is a high-quality survival bivvy bag that works great throughout the year. If you are an outdoorsman or a survivalist, this is a must-have. It is waterproof and can actually protect you if you are caught in a storm. It really helps keep you warm in extreme conditions, as it adds excellent heat retention.

You will notice that the fiberglass pole warps but this is not a major issue as it does not affect the bivy’s functionality. The Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy is highly recommended for anyone looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use and water resistant bivy sack.

 #4

Snugpak 92860 Stratosphere One Person Bivvy Shelter

Snugpak 92860 Stratosphere One Person Bivvy Shelter
Our Rating: (4.6/5)
Weight: 39 oz
Size: 91″ x 50″
Fabric: 50D Nylon Rip stop

Pros:
(+) Lightweight poles that provide canopy support
(+) Provides excellent breathability
(+) Includes roll away mosquito net

Cons:
(-) Not much head room
(-) Not 100% waterproof as advertised

Overview

This bivy feature lightweight poles that create a canopy support around your head and shoulders. The Snugpak Stratosphere bivy is a well-made product with increased protection and breathability.

This is a one-person shelter that provides excellent protection against rain, wind, snow, etc. The aluminum poles with screw-lock tips provide you with a secure shelter that keeps you safe, dry and warm in the great outdoors or in a survival situation. It even includes a roll-away mosquito net. The Snugpak Stratosphere is a quality bivvy that is available to you at an awesome price.

Conclusion

The Snugpak 92860 Stratosphere One Person Bivvy Shelter is a well-engineered, spacious shelter that is easy to pack, making it a necessity and a true asset for carrying in your bug out bag or survival kit. It comes with well-designed poles that snap right into place. It is rather easy to set it up and works effectively to keep you protected from the elements. It has great engineering – easy to set up and pack up again.

There have been some reports that the Snugpak Stratosphere bivy is not 100% waterproof. If you do not expect to be caught in the rain or a storm, this bivy is still a great one to carry. Made of durable material with an excellent design, this is a superb bivy that comes at a very affordable price.

 #5

TACT Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag

TACT Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
Weight: 4.6 oz
Size: 84″ lenght
Fabric: Mylar

Pros:
(+) Made of tear-resistant material
(+) Durable
(+) Completely taped seams

Cons:
(-) Might be a little small for some users

Overview

The TACT Bivvy by Survival Frog is a bivy sack made of quality, ultra-lightweight reflective polyester film. It is not only lightweight but also incredibly compact. You can compress it into a stuff pack that fits perfectly in your hand.

It is a handy bivy to carry as it does not weigh you down or take up much space. The material it is made of reflects 90% of your body heat, helping you stay warm in cold weather. It is also waterproof, windproof, and tear resistant, making it a golden addition to any camping gear or survival kit. With its completely taped seams, you get a weather-resistant barrier from the cold. This is definitely a remarkable choice for any outdoorsman or for backpacking.

Conclusion

The TACT Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag is probably one of the most close-to-perfect bivies on the market today. It is highly durable and easy to use. It is made of a high-quality material that protects you from the rain and wind and is also tear resistant.

While it may be slightly small for some users, the TACT Bivvy is a great buy and worth every penny. Lightweight and compact, it is the ideal companion for camping or survival. If you are looking for a quality bivy, you should definitely consider the TACT Bivvy Emergency Sleeping Bag.

 #6

Survive Outdoors Longer Two-Person Emergency Bivvy XL

Survive Outdoors Longer Two-Person Emergency Bivvy XL
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
Weight: 4.3 oz
Size: 84″ x 60″
Fabric: Mylar

Pros:
(+) Incredible quality
(+) Provides excellent heat retention
(+) Works well

Cons:
(-) Condensation issue
(-) A little small for some users

Overview

Are you in need of an extra-large bivy for your outdoor adventures? Then the SOL Longer Two-Person Emergency Bivvy XL might just be the one for you. This is a well-designed bivvy that is made from polyethylene.

It reflects 90% of your body heat and keeps you warm. Its sealed seam edges help you stay dry and give you full protection from rain, snow, and wind. If you are looking for a top-notch bivvy for an emergency or survival situation in the wilderness, this is definitely a smart choice.

Conclusion

Do you and your partner often go on hikes, treks, and other outdoor activities? Then you should definitely carry a SOL Longer Two-Person Emergency Bivvy XL with you. It works extremely well in emergency situations. It is solid and durable, and will definitely keep you warm. You never know when you might need an emergency shelter or an additional layer for your sleeping bag – this bivvy works like a charm.

You should, however, keep in mind that this bivvy might be a little smaller than you expect. There is also a condensation issue, but you can avoid this by not covering your head with the bivvy. This is a stellar buy – a must-have for any survival kit, bug out bag, or camping/hiking gear. You will not be wasting your money if this is your Bivvy of choice.

 #7

Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent

Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
Weight: 53.61 oz
Size: 94″ x 40″
Fabric: 50D Polyester No-See-Um-Mesh

Pros:
(+) Made of durable material
(+) Keeps the elements away
(+) Low profile

Cons:
(-) Needs stronger tent stakes
(-) Too small for some users

Overview

This is a single entry bivy that comes with taped seams to keep you protected from the elements. The Snugpak Ionosphere is a quality bivy that serves as a one-person tent. The flysheet is a lightweight 210t polyester ripstop up featuring a water-resistant polyurethane coating.

Tough and breathable, the Snugpak Ionosphere is easy to set up and provides excellent performance under all kinds of extreme conditions. Lightweight and compact, you will not find it difficult to carry this bivy every time you head out on one of your adventures.

Conclusion

Easy to set up and tear down, the Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent is a useful piece of survival gear. It is light and compact and is made of high-quality, durable material to keep the elements away even in harsh weather conditions. This bivy has both excellent design and construction and is terrific for all types of terrain.

Although it is a tad small for larger users and needs stronger tent stakes, the Snugpak Ionosphere is an appropriate purchase. It is definitely well worth the money you spend on it. If you are in need of a survival bivvy sack to carry on your outdoor trips or when camping, this is definitely one of the best options out there right now.

 #8

Winterial Single Person Tent, Personal Bivy Tent

Winterial Single Person Tent, Personal Bivy Tent
Our Rating: (4.1/5)
Weight: 46.4 oz
Size: 90″ x 38″
Fabric: Nylon

Pros:
(+) Easy to assemble
(+) Perfect for all outdoor trips
(+) Tough and durable

Cons:
(-) Slightly smaller than some users expected
(-) Not too comfortable

Overview

If you are looking for a single-person bivvy, the Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent is one you should consider. Featuring two hoops, this bivy is incredibly easy to set up and take down.

It comes with a ventilated roof mesh, but also has a full coverage rain fly that is useful for rainy or cold weather. Light and compact, the Winterial Single Person Bivy Tent is easy to carry on any hiking, hunting, camping, or backpacking trip. This bivy also makes an excellent addition to any survival kit or bug out bag.

Conclusion

When it comes to quality one-person bivies, the Winterial Single Person Tent is wonderful. It is incredibly easy to assemble and comes in a small package that is so easy to carry on outdoor trips. It is made of high-quality material that withstands the harsh weather and protects you in the wilderness.

Like other bivies, it is not perfect. What is? Some users may find it a tad smaller than they expected but it is still spacious enough for one person. Some may not find it tall enough as well, preventing them from sitting up. But overall, as a survival bivvy sack to carry on your adventures in the wilderness, the Winterial Single Person Tent is a neat little tent.

 #9

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy
Our Rating: (4.1/5)
Weight: 14.45 oz
Size: 88″ x 36″
Fabric: 30D Nylon Ripstop

Pros:
(+) Lightweight
(+) Works extremely well in emergency situations
(+) Highly waterproof

Cons:
(-) No frame
(-) Color too bright for some users

Overview

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy features BCB compatibility. It is one of the ideal choices for those looking for a quality survival bivvy. It is made from tough waterproof and breathable fabric, making it a superb choice for outdoor trips any time of the year.

It offers excellent ventilation and works extremely well under all types of conditions. It is a frameless bivvy, so if you are specifically looking for a bivvy with poles and support, this is not the one for you. But the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy is still an awesome ultralight, emergency bivy for outdoor enthusiasts.

Conclusion

There are not many frameless bivies that work well when you need them but the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy is an awesome one. It protects you from the bad weather with its high-quality, breathable fabric. Yes, no frames mean that there are no poles to help keep fabric off your face, but if you do not mind this, this is the bivy for you.

The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy is highly waterproof so you never have to worry about getting drenched even under heavy rainfall. If you are in search of a bivy that works perfectly in the wilderness when you need an emergency shelter, then this is the one you should definitely consider.

 #10

Black Diamond Big Wall Bivy

Black Diamond Big Wall Bivy
Our Rating: (4.0/5)
Weight: 34 oz
Size: 99″ x 35″
Fabric: ToddTex fabric

Pros:
(+) Sewn-in flexible wires that create air space
(+) Very lightweight
(+) Adds warmth and is very dry

Cons:
(-) Too small for larger users
(-) The fabric is not breathable when wet

Overview

The Black Diamond Bivy has a big-wall-specific design that incorporates a strong, waterproof tie-in point. It features flexible wires that are sewn in to create air space. It comes with a mesh-covered and dual-sided zipper opening.

The RF-welded tie-in point allows you to make sure that the bivy is securely anchored to the ground. The Black Diamond Big Wall Bivy also features ToddTex single-wall fabric and taped seams to give you unmatched protection against the snow, rain, and wind no matter where you are. It is light and compact, salient for any outdoor adventure.

Conclusion

The Black Diamond Big Wall Bivy is an awesome emergency shelter for any outdoor trip. It is incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for carrying on all kinds of adventures in the wilderness. A salient choice for preppers. The fabric it is made of is excellent – abrasion-resistant, windproof and also waterproof. If you are in need of protection against the bad weather, this bivvy will definitely do the job.

However, it does come with a few flaws. One is that it does have a bit of condensation issue and the fabric loses its breathability when it gets wet. Also, it might be a little too small for larger or taller users. But all in all, the Black Diamond Big Wall Bivy is a solid purchase that gives you value for your money.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are quite a few impressive products for anyone looking for a high-quality survival bivy for their adventures in the wilderness or survival kits. You can choose from a wide array of top-notch bivies and get the perfect emergency shelter and protection you need when you are out on your trips.

No matter what your budget or needs, you can be sure that there is a bivy out there that is made just for you. Now that you have an idea of what is available on the market, you can pick the ideal bivy and head out on your outdoor trips knowing that you have additional protection anytime you need it.

Images by: Will McElwain and Laurel F

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