View Full Version : Field Test tonite... SG solo bivy tent, etc.
March 03, 2006, 20:11
Here we go...
UPS delivered my $23 solo bivy tent (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=128343) and another DPM camouflage waterproof bivy cover (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=78559), which will be going on the modular sleep system (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=163144) that I had received earlier.
Tonight, I'll be "field" testing all of the above. Unfortunately, it only rains when you do not want it to rain. Looks like it is going to be a dry evening. Temps are expected to dip into the 40's around here, a mere few hundred yards from the Gulf of Mexico.
Here is a pic of the solo bivy tent:
View from inside the tent, looking down towards my feet:
Initial impressions of the solo bivy tent are that I'm glad I didn't pay more than $23 for the thing. It shows the usual Chinese quality in the stitching. It is very lightweight, though. It goes into a small stuff sack which would easily fit in practically any backpack.
I suspect that I know why SG decided to sell them so cheap. It looks like the manufacturer forgot to to include any means of attaching guylines to the thing, particularly to the sides of the tent. Because of this, the tent sags A LOT in the middle. You can see that in the picture above. The tent included about three times as many tent pegs as there are places to put them. They also included a single five foot section of guy line. There is no obvious place to put it.
March 04, 2006, 05:57
can't tell from your image, if they haven't done it I'd buy a bottle of seam sealer and cover over all the stitching to make the tent more waterproof.
if you're not familiar check campmor, the source of much camping goodness.
I highly recommend them
always wondered about the bivy, but I've got our two Eureka timberline tents. and I've used just the rainfly of the timberline before as a tarp tent.
(see previous posting in this forum with pictures)
March 04, 2006, 08:28
Okay, I survived.
Getting into and out of my sleeping bag was quite awkward, especially with the SG bivy cover on it. The bivy cover only zips down the side a very short distance, making you pretty much have to enter from the top instead of the side like nature intended.
Condensation was definately an issue, especially since everything is only a few inches above your head. Since my sleeping bag was contacting such a large amount of the tent, bottom, sides, and much of the top, my bag got wet from the condensation. It would have been interesting to see just how bad it would have gotten if it had rained.
The bivy cover worked fine, with the exception of the short zipper issue. Water was plainly beading up all over on top of me, but inside the bag was dry.
There is very little room for gear, obviously. There is a small vestibule on the outside of the tent near the foot, which is accessible with a fastex-type buckle. Big enough to put a pair of boots (hopefully wrapped up in a plastic bag to keep critters out).
I used a ground sheet, as recommended in the instructions. Normally I do not bother, but the fabric is so thin that just about anything would punch a hole through the bottom if you did not.
The modular sleep system (something that the Ancients referred to as a sleeping bag), worked fine. Especially for only $35. It got into the 40's, so I'm told. I did not get even remotely cold. In fact, I never closed the zipper to the bags.
My conclusions: for $23, it is hardly a rip-off. However, I can purchase a much larger pup-style tent (in cammo, even) at Academy for about the same amount of money. It would be considerably more practical to use.
The bivy cover worked fine, and I would recommend it for anybody who doesn't have the $$$ for a genuine GI issue one. Wish that I had it during the Fl SF campout..
I'd lose the bivy sack if i was you. The tent will give you all the water protection you'll need. I bought a tent SG was selling a few years back for about $20. I used it for a year and threw it out after one of the poles broke after someone stepped on it. I certainly got my money out of it, though.
March 05, 2006, 17:53
Well you found one of the problems with single layer coated nylon. They trap your exhaled vapor and drip it all over the inside. Not a big problem if you have sunny weather to daily dry your stuff out.
Decent tents have the uncoated interior layer then a 2 to 3 inch space between it and the tent fly which is coated. So the vapor passes thru the uncoated condenses on the coated, drips down if the fly is sloped right and away from you.
Goretex bivys are much better but cost abot $200 plus. If the weather is freezing outside the vapor tends to freeze at the exterior of the goretex. That ice creates a waterproof coating and you are back to raining water vapor on the inside.
Personally I prefer a uncoated tent and a coated fly. Yeah it weights a little more, but having backpacked in daily miserable weather it is worth it.
March 09, 2006, 18:57
I have a little Bivy tent like that , but this is the Cat's Meow:http://www.hennessyhammock.com/setup.htm
March 10, 2006, 15:02
I had one just like that that I took on a week long hike last year. Got quite a bit of rain and the tent stayed mostly dry except where gear or bag touched the wall of the tent (tent's too damn small to easily avoid this), at these points I did get some leakage.
Overall it was way better than sleeping under the stars, but compared to better made tents it was a bit of a let down. Bloody chipmunk tunelled under and chewed a hole in the floor to get at some snacks I had inside with me and that allowed more water to get inside when it was raining real heavy. I chucked it after the trip, figured it made an ok disposable tent for the price.
March 14, 2006, 20:41
I repeat myself, read what soldiers say about this type of gear:http://www.hennessyhammock.com/sp-soldiers.htm
March 16, 2006, 17:32
Yeah, I've thought long and hard about a jungle hammock. I like hammocks anyway, but the only drawback to one of these is gear storage. I kinda like having most if not all my gear in the tent with me, makes it nice for a rainy day to be able to get at my stuff without going outside. That and changing clothes in a hammock doesn't sound like a good time. But as far as comfortable, lightweight shelter the Henessey Hammock is the tits.
March 20, 2006, 16:04
Thanks for the link Treborer, I've been looking for a light and easy-to-set up tent - looks like I just found it. I just ordered one of the Explorer models.
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