I would be interested in hearing from folks who have tried using a bivy rather than a tent. I know that Rowan has mentioned it.
I am thinking of a hoop-less bivy since most of the ones with hoops weigh almost as much as my tent (2 lb 9 oz). I am also not interested in one if I have to add a tarp that makes the weight as much or nearly as much as my tent. I like the idea of lighter weight and the ability to roll the whole sleeping system up allowing it to just be rolled out to set up camp. I also like the ability to see the stars at night.
I am curious about the following:
- Can you manage to dress and undress in your bivy?
- Do you have condensation problems?
- If you have condensation how much and how do you manage it?
- What conditions do you use your bivy in?
I am considering the REI Minimalist Bivy Sack. I figure that in light rain I can lay on my side and shelter the mesh. In harder rain I think maybe my rain jacket can be rigged to cover the mesh. I would probably use it in conditions where rain was fairly infrequent and might have the tent mailed from home if the long term outlook was for a long wet period.
I am toying with going with a bivy for my upcoming southern tier tour, but would be set to abandon it in favor of a tent if it didn't work out for me. I could see using it until the Gulf coast and then maybe switching to a tent if the weather was wetter.