Updated May 2017
This Spring, we updated this review with charts and tables and added pros and cons of our award winners in order to help you compare products faster and easier. We also checked in on these models to assure their availability. The only updates to any of these products since we reviewed them are purely aesthetic, as our Editors' Choice winner switched from yellow to baby blue.
Best Overall Bivy Sack & Best Bang for the Buck
MSR AC Bivy
Small packed size
Solid weather resistance
No zipper closure
Lays against face
Our Editors' Choice and Best Buy Award Winner is the MSR AC Bivy
. It is the ideal combination of low weight and small pack size, not to mention strong rankings in other metrics. The AC offers robust protection from the weather in the smallest pack size possible so you can adventure with confidence. Although bivies like the OR Alpine Bivy
are preferred in sustained wet conditions such as ongoing rain or winter outings, the AC is no foul weather slouch and is capable of handling stormy conditions. Based on essential features- weight and size when packed- the MSR AC is an ideal choice. This product received an upgrade in color options as of 2016; It is now available in blue. Other than color changes, the AC bivy remains the same product we reviewed.
Read Full Review: MSR AC Bivy
Top Pick for Weather Resistance
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
Lots of head room
The Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy
came out on top when you factor in weather resistance and comfort despite the higher weight. When making the move from a tent to this bivy, expect storm-proof comfort and 4-season capability from this heavily featured workhorse. While it should be noted that if you will primarily be camping in warm or dry environments, the MSR AC Bivy
or an ultra-light tents or tarps such as the Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum
might be strong alternatives, but if you need versatility or the best lightweight 4-season protection, great ventilation and comfort, then the OR Alpine
is worth every ounce. There may be some taller or broader folks who will find the 26" shoulder width too narrow, but the floor-to-ceiling height, which allows for easy tossing and turning without feeling pinned below fabric, makes up for it.
Read Full Review: Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy