Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and…

Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and thought I'd give it a try. $50 is too rich for my blood given the mixed reviews and stories how it's a tight fit. Only been wanting one for 2 years.

The features I liked in the ads are the unobtrusive green color, heat reflective construction, and waterproof while being breathable.

I ran it through it's paces as best as I can with the temps running around 0 outside.

Initial test. I filled the stuff sack with water. The sack is made of the same material, without the nicer seams. The water poured out the seems, but no seeping on the main material. Sticking your hand in the bag, you do feel the 'space blanket' effect with nearly instantly warmer hands.

First night I climbed in it in bed, and tossed my usual quilt and wool blanket over me and the bag. I felt decidedly warmer than usual even with lots of skin contact to the bag. In the morning there was no clamminess so the breath-ability claim is substantiated in my book. If it didn't breath, I should have been swimming like a fish.

For the 2nd night, I decided to 'camp out' in my basement with my oldest 2 girls. The basement runs mid 60s during the winter. I rigged up a pair of hammocks for my girls out of bed sheets and lots of blankets. 
I slept in a hammock and the bivy wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. I froze! My trip out in 3 degree weather and strong winds in  down bags had me less chilled (although much colder in spots) than 65 degrees with this bivy. 3 am, I folded and grabbed my light down jacket and wool hat. Covering my torso and arms and I slept great the rest of the night.

This again confirms what I've known for a while. Space blankets need space in order to work. This bag is SO tight on me that I doubt I can get my summer weight down bag and myself stuffed inside. Warm thin clothes is the best I can hope for.

I think I may modify the bag by adding a heavy space blanket diamond to the bottom. Slit the bag about 3 feet and tape in a diamond shaped patch maybe 6 inches wide. I am going to try to seal the stuff sack with some Gorilla brand clear repair tape to see how well it sticks and durability before I cut the bag.

This isn't a down bag, for sure. I don't foresee any use for this in cold weather. It is also not a comfortable bag. Given the size and weight, it will be my ultralight summer setup. I will be using this bag a lot I expect simply because it's so svelte. Cowboy camping in my future in this bag for sure!

Anybody else try this bag?

In album 2015-02-22

244 grams for a waterproof bivy/sleeping bag seems like a great way to go ultralight.

Shiny on the inside. Supposed to reflect radiant heat back at you. As long as you don’t touch it.

Overnight in the hammock hung in the basement, 63-65f, and I froze wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. 3am I had to get my down jacket and a wool hat, and then I was good the rest of the night.

Some nice details such as nice finished seems on the inside, and a dart at the end of the 1/4 length zipper. Six foot four 235lbs for 2 nights really pushes out on the bag and the seems only settled a little bit.

I rigged up a pair of bedsheet hammocks for the girls, tied off the treadmill. They enjoyed it OK. Not a fan of the hammock yet. Practicing camping with them so they do better when we go for real.

There is something about being on the Ice Age Trail in single degree weather

Wife sent me packing with a buddy for my birthday. I think she started a dangerous precedent.

43 lbs missed the ultra light mark by a shade but that had food for a week, not two days. A pound of summer sausage weighs a pound. Who knew?

I was packing for -7f. Clouds rolled in last minute and it only got down to 3. But windy! Likely negative teens to twentys windchill in a hammock without one of those nice wrap around tarps. In fact, my 'tarp' was a wool blanket.

I fell in love with bits of my gear and learned to trust it better.

I got cold, but never froze. My buddy with twice the weight froze his butt off. He was cold for a full week after the trip.

Oh, the unexpected clouds? I drove home into a blizzard. #irony

In album 2/20/15

Yes, that is cast iron in the middle. Gotta hang onto that friend that is willing to pack cast iron!

Hanging out on a ridge between two lakes.

I need to practice my photo spheres.

This just looks cold.

Outside the office this morning

A bit of snow.

In album 2014-11-25

Berries and Leaves covered by snow.

I don’t know what this tree is. I know the ones behind this one are Saskatoons, or service berries and are delicious.

It’s amazing how ‘still’ leaves aren’t.

Late May Snow

Last Friday morning, we got a lot of snow. HUGE flakes. Driving across Iowa, I saw what I would guess was 2 inches of snow – on the freshly planted fields.

I wonder what this will do for food prices this year…

In album 2014-05-20

Big flakes in the front yard

Trucklet is getting covered in snow

The size of the flakes amazed me

Iowa got nearly 2 inches of snow.

I hope my tomato plant makes it…

Wet Snow

My front yard

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't…

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't do while feeling under the weather.

Lots of wood cutting, cooking, shoveling, and the like. I have ran a chainsaw more in the last week than I have all my life.

It feels good to be able to help my folks out after all they've done for me. I just wish that they where healthy enough that I didn't need to!

The weather up north has been pretty bad. I don't remember ever seeing the roads as bad as they where. I am SO glad I took the time to put my good snow tires on. Nothing like waiting until March 1st to install your snowies!

I think I got enough chores done that they can rest and get healthy for spring.

We finished the trip with a day at the Mall of America. Let the girls have some fun at the amusement park.

In album Week at the grandparents

Mmore wood, ready to go to the house. I did over half a dozen trips like this.  The wood trailer is stuck behind a hundred yards of 3 foot deep snow.

Julie was SO EXCITED when she saw Dora. “DADO DADO DADO DADO” she kept saying. However, she just wasn’t having the photo op.

I picked up my birthday present from my wife! She knows me so well. She gets me 100 year old stuff. How awesome is that?

My saint of a wife cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Freezer meals. Meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pies.

I’ve never seen roads so bad. There is over an inch of packed snow-ice on everything that isn’t a major highway. Some spots the snow banks on the side of the road have to be 15 foot tall!

I spent some time checking propane gauges. This one is good yet.

I was shoveling sidewalks. Well, where they ought to be at least. This was over knee deep for me. Other spots I was shoveling, I step off, and go waist deep – and never touched bottom.

The girls washed the windows with their faces…

Missing grandpa. He was in the ICU.

Getting artwork posted at a restaurant.

Cutting wood. My dad has the process down pretty well. No bending over, no working too hard. Haul the long pieces in, drop them into the saw horses, cut them to size, load them into the truck. There is a wood splitter  by the tailgate for the oversized pieces.

Fresh wood to be cut. This is stuff from a local saw mill. All red oak.

Fast-freeze hot food.  No shocking the freezer this way.

We went to the Mall of America to ‘finish off’ the week doing something other than taking care of ill grandparents. The backpack is full of our winter jackets.

Bella LOVED the rides. She did this one twice!