For the 1.5 pounds or so of your first two you could do quite better with an actual tent, say a zpacks, admittedly very expensive but the quality of life difference is vast. My own bodybag phase lasted more than a year, on and off, and I wouldn't go back easily.
Your third mentioned is interesting at 1.0 pounds. Still, with a cuben fiber shaped tarp and some bug netting you could get there.
Condensation in a bag is unavoidable in many circumstances and it's right there. Breathing is nice. (the claustrophobic inability to breathe in a battened-down closed bag is psychological and does not affect everybody, but be sure)
I can get a small zpacks rig into any ground space where I would formerly have squeezed. The only time I miss one is when I'm doing a late-night flop and have no headroom at all; that was my big plus for the bodybag- you could slide it right under the low hanging brush.
Well the wired hood is supposed to cut down on humidity and clautrophobia. I went off bivvy bags for the very reasons listed. Plus you cant do anything when in them and iff its raining you can either lie in them or get out. But like you say, they are easy to deploy.
I tried a Moonstone Nada several years ago. I don't think it is made anymore. It was hard to get into and out of. If you wanted to move around during the night it was hard to keep it in the top up/bottom down position. Hard to zip up and unzip a sleeping bag with your arms pasted to your side. Had a lot of condensation. If you sleep on your side instead of on your back it does not work well.
One trip convinced me that it was not for me. It was only a few ounces lighter than my tent where I had room to at least move around.
In the Sierra I have done trips of up to 14 days with only a bivy- just a basic MSR bivy, no hoop or anything else. I have done shorter 2-3 day trips in the Rockies IF I have a good weather forecast. I am small, so a bivy fits me fine- I do not feel tight or claustrophobic at all. In fact, I put my backpack inside as a pillow. Shoes go at the very top of the head part. I sometimes take a small 5x8 tarp and set it up on my trekking poles just for head coverage. That way I do not have to zip up inside during rain. Also, you can tie up the top of the head part on trekking poles.
I can see where bigger people do not like them. It does take some getting used to them.
Some advantages 1) weight (basic bivy is only 1 lb 4 oz) 2) you can cook and eat in your sleeping bag! Just prop up against a rock. 3) no set-up 4) fits in very tiny spaces- great when terrain is very steep and you can only find very small ledges 5) you can sleep on the top of a flat rock 6) you can immediately jump inside during a brief storm 7) low profile wind-proof --- excels on mountains - in fact that is what bivys are intended for- spending the night on a multi-day climb or on a small ledge
I have a few photos of set-ups of a basic bivy. I have not inserted a photo for some time in any post, so I need to figure out how to do this. If I can, I will add the photos.
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Grumpy: I still have my Moonstone. I put a zipper part way down one side to make it easy to get in and out. I used it this year a couple of times, but the times a bivvy is an advantage over an ULtent are small.
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Petro; I agree with others here. and ultralite tent can be almost as light and it gives you several advantages. If it rains you still need a tarp of some kind to cook under, change clothing, sort through your pack for stuff and generally have a place to sit. You don't want to be in that bivvy more than you have to. It is nice to sleep in sometimes, but you need to get out sometimes too. I use a bivy when it is cold but with zero chance of rain, like high in the mountains above the treeline last summer. A couple of times it was very windy and the bivvy worked better than a tent. But in rain you would be better off in a UL tent or under a good tarp. IMHO
Often called hooped or tripod bivvy. If not used as a sort of emergency or high altitude temporary shelter, you might be better off looking at a light weight tent. As mentioned, particularly if rain is likely to happen.
Let me just thay thank you for the replies and merry christmas to all. Its certanly livened upp around here.
Daisy i think it was?!? I spent 6 straight wnderful week wqndering with a frameless pack and bivvy bag and loved almost every minute. I will say it is not something you do in winter though in my opinion, but then trav3lling never was i used a rab alpine eventlite that i had glued diy stiff fencing wires in across the face and chest.
They are not hooped with poles, but just wired peaks allowing for the sit up as daisy suggested.
The rain senario is the problem qnd the only time i was regretful, along with the damp and the suffocation, thats why the wired hood. The event fabric on the rab worked ok until the proofing wore of , which rolling around on the floor is quickly done. Then the capilliary action started and damp feet occoured
Tents are great but its the pitching space, time, and weight and bulk for a tent you can sit up in. If i wanted a coveres spac3 where i couldn't sit up i would take a tarp.
Tents are great but its the pitching space, time, and weight and bulk for a tent you can sit up in.[i][/i] For space (footprint) bivvies are best but as for time ,weight and bulk something like the Tarptent Moment is not all that different and does offer a lot more space inside as well as ventilation and views still out of bugs and rain. Just over 2 lbs, 18"x4" packed, takes 2 minutes to set up (2 pegs only) or another minute to add another two pegs and the guylines in exposed areas. (I am with Tarptent but have used the Moment a lot and it is what it was designed to be :quick and easy to set up)
As an owner and user of a Tarptent Moment, for more than 5 years, I disagree that it can be set up in 2 minutes. Yes, in your back yard, but not in most real locations that I have been in, particularly in a wind. Most the time it takes me about 10-20 minutes, because it never is placed right the first time. Unlike an stand alone tent, which you can set up and then move around to adjust, you instead have to re-stake the Moment many times. That is not to say I do not like my Moment. I also have a BA Copper Spur 1, which is a bit heavier but for me, a lot easier to set up, and has less condensation. I use both. I also use a bivy. There is no free lunch- as you go minimal in weight you loose some nice features. Every trip I have to balance my comfort with weight. Sometimes I want to go UL, most of the times not.
As for footprint, ALL Tarp tents have very large (long) footprints, compared to some other tents. Neither the Copper Spur 1 or the Tarptent Moment have small footprints. In some mountaineering situations, the best tent is a floorless tent that you set up and then simply sleep in the corner that has the level spot (such as the Black Diamond Mega-mid).
Any tent design, made with cuben fiber will weigh less. But the cost gets prohibitive for many.
I prefer to use a bomb-proof tent, with minimal weight BASED ON MY NEEDS, preferably double wall, and just eliminate weight somewhere else. For me that is usually food- take 2-3 oz. less per day and over 10 days I have made up the weight of an UL tent vs one that better meets my needs.
Note that my comments are based on mostly camping above timber at 10,000 - 12,000 feet elevations.
Additionally, I never set up my Moment with only the two end stakes. I stake it down with a minimum of 6 stakes and often 8, with big rock backups at each end. When you are above timber in mountaineering locations, you have to do this.
If you insert the pole first, then stake one end and then when you get to the other end you pick the end triangle up , spread it and pull the tent taut lifting the pole off the ground so that the other half is also taut and then stake it out you will find that it can be done the first time without re-staking. Adding the two extra lines (I do that all the time) does take another minute of course if not on challenging ground where stakes can be pushed in. But that is the same with all tents. As for setting it up in the wind, apart from real life experience, I once saw a clip of 3 guys up on the Swiss alps taking half an hour, because of strong winds blowing, to set up their 4 pole 3 person semi-geodesic shelter. (The Moment is no different there). They were training for an Antarctic expedition. In better conditions they could have done the job in 6 or 7 minutes. Still, there was no way they would have used a bivvy in Antactica to save time.
Franco, that IS the way I set up the Moment! I stake down one end and pull it up and guess what?- it is not where I thought it would be. So I have to move the front stake again- and perhaps again. Then I get it up and realize it would be better turned 90 degrees. And so on! Realize that my campsites only have a minimal area that will really work- I am not talking about a large flat area. It just takes a lot of trial and error.
Perhaps I lack "eyeballing" aptitude. I am also terrible at telling which way is downhill. Seem to get side-hilled a lot. And I am the original Princess and the Pea! It has to be just right.
All I am saying is that if you are tent-setting-up challenged, like me, there is no such thing as a 2-minute set-up and a free-standing tent is easier, for me.