Sometime ago, Sean over at Oookworks sent me a prototype bivvy that he has been working on and wanted me to have a look at. Apparently since I like messing about with tarps and bivvies and the like I was the perfect
fool tester to have an opinion about it. Well I have had a chance to play with it and so I have a few thoughts I wanted to put on (virtual) paper.
What’s in the bag? Umm well a bivvy in all honesty. The total weight of the bivvy is a very modest 261g (273g with stuff sack). Of course this is without pegs. With 4 pegs its still only 300g and if you dont want to, you dont have to use any although I thoroughly recommend doing so. First reason is that you wont find yourself in the bivvy sliding down the hillside in some sort of luge run in the middle of the night. The second reason is that when pegs are used, the fabulous Oookworks corner strut doobries come into their own.
Once pegged out and tensioned on the corners you suddenly find you have a fully erected waterproof bath tub with a zipped bivvy cover over the top. The bivvy bathtub bottom is silnylon though I am sure that Sean would produce it to customer spec as per his other bottoms (ooer). The bivvy cover is impregnated, breathable ripstop nylon though again I am sure Sean will provide options. After all this is a prototype
The cover has a half zip with double sided zip pulls which allows for ease of ingress and egress. The cover also has a shockcord closure on its top edge to allow the material to be pulled tight and gathered around the top of the torso. This is a useful feature as it will help prevent drafts into the body of the bivvy as well as creetchee crawlies.
I tried the bivvy with a thermarest regular sleep mat (51cm wide) and had ample room inside the bivvy bathtub as the photo shows. It will easily accomodate a full size Exped mat if you like a bit more comfort (ahem).
The amount of room “upwards” allows for the most lofted sleeping bag imaginable and has obviously been taken into account by Sean during his design phase.
All in all, I found I rather liked this bivvy bag (and I’ve had a few in my time). It is more than just a bivvy bag as it gives you a genuine bathtub floor as well. The corner struts really work well here and apart from the bathtub shape give extra rigidity and structure to the whole thing. As always the stitching is first class
and the attention to detail very evident. Its a product I would use and I can see that this bivvy bag could prove to be a great seller. Of course this prototype is designed for a dry nights without a tarp or for use under a tarp in less clement weather. As with all Sean’s products, a plethora of options could make this the “go to” bivvy bag for use with or without a tarp. I am not sure if Sean is planning to mass produce these as yet but if you are interested then drop him a line and go from there. I already have some thoughts for a bespoke bivvy based on this prototype I might ask him to make for me 🙂