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.

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  1. I bought one a few months back hoping to test it out this winter, however, project load at work has prevented me from getting out so far.  I figure with the weight and size its not a bad thing to have…, one of those I think is better having and not needing than needing it and not having it …

    Just read the rest of your review, (got stuck on that last photo 🙂 ).  Looks like I really need to get out and test this for myself, although the weight isn't that bad the size is a little bulky so if its not going to work it'll become a shelf ornament.

  2. +Anthony Maske​ Same here. Hense my indoor initial tests.

    I will be using it as both bag and shelter. Knocking out 2 of the big three at 250 grams seems like a win for me.

    It would be a great day pack item, or a spare to bring for that buddy with questionable priorities.

  3. I use a military style Modular Sleep System. The bivy it comes with is great. Since I've been transitioning to hammock though, I got a BASE HEX tarp. I'm looking forward to my first run with it.

  4. I was thinking alot like +Mike Creuzer of having it as a backup or a loaner. I am a big guy though, at 6'2" and 300lbs, so I doubt I can get my big behind in it. I am waiting for SOL to come out with a realistic sized tarp, something that can span a 10' hammock in a diamond. THAT would really get me excited.

  5. +Jesse Perry I am thinking 300lbs won't fit into the bivy. I saw a video where somebody split the bottom and spliced in a foot of tyvek to good effect.

    I found that the SOL 8×5 heavy duty green blanket diagonally spans my hammock's ridge line. I can clip it in just the same as the ridgeline. I put duct tape tie outs on my SOL blanket so I can use it like a tarp.

    No coverage for the ends of the hammock, but it makes for a great inner heat reflective liner. Thinking of trying some plastic bags on each end to protect the ends. I may end up with a serviceable 3 piece tarp this way.

  6. I have one of these in my ten essentials bag. It's obvious that for someone of my size it won't work well, but given how small it is I can throw it in my daily bag and always have something. I wouldn't take it out intentionally, but I'll be glad to have it in an emergency.

  7. Love the SOL Escape. Used it as a sleeping bag replacement on a 4 day (3 nights) trip last spring. Temps being between 5-10 degrees celsius. It worked fine above 8 degrees if you wear long pants and a light down jacket. Probably will go without sleeping bag all summer long 🙂

  8. You know… I have been going to almost entirely quilts, even when camping on the ground (gasp!) I will use a good insulated inflatable and then use the sleeping bag as a quilt. I bet this would make a passable quilt if cut down to just below the knee and a cord at the neck to close it up up top. What is the width unzipped, does anyone know? I use my wife's womens down bag as a quilt just fine.

  9. +Jesse Perry​ Size: 84" x 31 so 62 inches if flattened. Not much taper to it.
    The zipper could probably be replaced and extended to a 3/4 length.

    I like using my sleeping bags in foot box quilt mode too.

    For the money, the heavy duty tarp would probably be better.

  10. Still fits in the bag, the thing slides into a slip pocket behind the elastic loops of my ten essentials bag. One slip pocket for the bivy, another for a titanium folding stove, the front pocket for a compass, and everything else slipped into the loops.

    Of course that doesn't include the woolies and rain gear, but those compress fairly well and fit in a weather bag I have next to the organizer.

  11. I have never tried a bivy bag.  For the price they're pretty darn light.  But I've heard horror stories about mosquito infested trips in the Sierras where the only shelter someone had was their bivy bag. The folks in their tents or hammocks can sit up and read, roll over, stretch out.  But the poor bivy bag guys have to just hunker down and deal with it.

  12. I think bivy means tiny tent, and bivy bag is waterproof bag.

    The SOL bag has no loft, so it is not warm by itself. Think shiny tyvek. It folds tighter than it stuffs from what I have seen. I imagine you could crease cut it if you stored it for a long time in hot weather.

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