I had a long endurance bike packing race coming up soon (Cross Florida Individual Time Trial 300) and needed a better bivvy shelter as the temps would be dropping.
Last year at the same event – I used a triangle tent and it worked out good as the temps dipped into the 40’s.
I also wanted to see for myself if this shelter would really keep me somewhat warm (and make it through the night) with minimal weight and size.
I purchased the Sol Escape Bivvy at Bass Pro Shops in Tallahassee, Florida for about $60 and put it to work two days later at the event.
I have used an emergency blanket before most recently in the Trans North Georgia (TNGA) bike packing race across Georgia with temps in the 60’s at night.
Yes; i did get some condensation on the inside of the emergency blanket which was slightly annoying but I slept ok.
But when the temps drop more (30’s) I needed something that would not have as much condensation and still be lightweight.
I am a medium sized guy at 5 ft 8 inches and about 170 lbs. I fit in the shelter just fine and had plenty of room. I used a Sea to Summit reactor bag as my liner.
We had set up a 2 person Nemos tent (no floor) over the top of us to keep out the wind and any possible rain.
We put palm fronds underneath us to give some insulation.
As the temps dropped as we went into the night I tried to close up the top of the bag which was pretty easy with the draw string.
The temperature ended up getting about 31 degrees that night.
I can say that I was not worried about getting cold and did not shake at all.
The second night it got down to about 29 degrees and I can say that I got cold but mostly it was my fault. I should have put on a pair of thick wool socks as my feet got really cold.
I just purchased an REI Flash insulation mat and will be using that in the next race in February in middle Florida (expect temps in low 40’s at night).
What We Like:
The Sol Escape Bivvy is super light weight, compacts small and has a good price point of about $60.00 (US). Yes; you can find a better lightweight bivvy bag but you will pay more.
What we don’t like:
I think the material is light weight (no duh) so that means it may not last as long.
But I will keep using it for several more events and time will tell. Stay tuned for the 90 day update.
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