Thursday, May 19, 2016

Outdoor Research Bug Bivy: Test Drive

My Outdoor Research Buy Bivy sure came in handy!
So this past weekend saw me fishing on the banks of the Potomac River with the Boy Scouts. As I mentioned I had the pleasure of staying at Lions Camp Merrick. The camp was not the traditional “summer camp” experience I was used to. The camp actually has cabins with bathrooms, electricity, bunk beds and air-conditioning. I wouldn’t need any of my camping gear at all!
One of the many cabins at Camp Merrick.
About five minutes after I unpacked the minimal equipment I would be using, sleeping bag and pillow, I came to the realization that I was WRONG. Although the camp had cabins with all the amenities I could wish for (like an electrical outlet to charge my phone) I forgot I was camping with a bunch of kids. Before I had even arrived someone must have left the door and windows wide open in my cabin because the interior was infested with mosquitoes!

Honestly mosquitoes hadn’t really crossed my mind as something I would need to worry about while at Lions Camp Merrick. I hadn’t even realized, because of all the rain and cold temperatures we had been having, that mosquitoes were even out. Luckily for me I had planning our upcoming trip for summer camp and ordered Ryley and me some pretty awesome bug nets. I ended up putting mine to the test a little earlier than expected!
A picture of the bivy laid out on the ground.
Now to be fair my review of this product is limited to just one night’s use, in a cabin. I plan on doing a more in depth review once I get back from summer camp. A good 7 days being abused by scouts should give me enough time to form an educated opinion.
A close up on the pole as well as the bathtub floor.
Specifications: Features No-see-um mesh and Hydroseal bathtub floor. It weighs in at 16 ounces and comes with Outdoor Research's "Infinite Guarantee."

Hits: To say the bivy is light weight is an understatement. Since the top part is made up of mesh it’s understandable as to why this is so light. The mesh also makes it airy and lets all the light in. Another positive is the bathtub floor. Not only does it keep the water and wetness out, as a sealed system, it also keeps the bugs out! That was always my one complaint about regular bug nets at summer camp. The insects would inevitably find their way up under the net and into my sleeping area. With this bivy that issue is completely eliminated.

Misses: Unless you are able to use guy-lines it has a tendency to not stay off of your skin. This poses a problem because the insects can then bite through the netting. However with two pieces of rope, tied to the existing loops on the bivy, this issue is eliminated. The only other thing that was an issue for me was getting in and out of the bivy. The zipper it located at the top, or head, of the bivy. You literally have to slide your way into it. To be fair I was not using it how it was designed. I was using it on top of a mattress in a bunk bed. So getting into the bivy was very difficult. I can see this also being an issue once we get to summer camp because we sleep on Army cots.

Ideal for: Minimalist hikers/campers as well as scouts. Works well in dry hot conditions but I can see how this would also work very well while using a tarp.

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