Ultralight Low Cost One Man Bivy Tent
One Man Solo Bivy Camping Tent on a Budget.
2015 Shipments are starting to arrive !
The 2014 production sold out. Product was very popular in 2013 - we ran out by Sept 2013. So we ordered even more for 2014. Those sold out by mid July 2014. We sold hundreds and even the factory ran out. We had to turn people away, but this item was so popular they just jumped off the shelves !
Want to go backpacking on a budget ? Shocked by high prices in Outdoor stores? Building some bug out kits ? Take a look at this economical single person bivy tent. One man (or woman) can sleep comfortably inside this Summer Weather bivy style tent protected from bugs, rain and wind. Roll out your sleeping bag inside, climb in and doze.
Pictured above without rainfly installed, see Additional Images for more views.
Consider this a Summer season tent that can be used without the rainfly on warm clear nights. Essentially it will work as a "bug bivy" keeping you free from bugs but still out doors. A great way to sleep outside in the backyard on Summer nights, enjoy the stars and fresh night air.
You can also install the 1/2 rainfly to cover the mesh areas overhead, and over the face area, to protect from fog, mist, dew and light rain. This tent is NOT designed to protect from major swirling rainstorms, you will have to make modifications (see below) or choose another model for such conditions.
Shelter is a basic need. This low cost tent provides secure, bug free, shelter in an economical, compact, easy to carry package.
Portable shelter is a good thing to have after a disaster . Having a stockpile of shelters - you will be able to provide people with a basic need - shelter - and you will be able to barter portable shelter for food, water or even ammo. This is one of those things that you should hoard before a disaster ! These tents are compact to store. They come in a rectangular, stackable packaging if you want to store them efficiently. They have no expiration date and handles on the case make it easy to grab and go --- should the time come to evacuate.
This Ultralight 1 man Bivy Tent with Rainfly is at an incredible price. With a few
simple, low cost modifications you can be under 2 lbs carry weight.? Who says light weight tents must come with a high price tag ? This is an easy way to enjoy the ultra light weight sport of backpacking.
What kind of one person tent can you get for under $30 ?
There are many bivy tents that look like this for well over $75 and even up to $300. So what is the difference ?
Here is the scoop - the design, fabrics and zippers are of good quality, but not equal to that of a $150 or $300 tent, they simply can't be. However, with a little homework, and a basic understanding of what you get, this bivy tent is very workable and lets face it - under $30 ! Wow.
Homework: What you can do to improve this one man solo bivy tent:
1. Set up the bivy tent in your lawn (requires stakes so you cannot do this in your living room). Inspect the stitching. Sometimes there are extra thread tails at the end of a stitch - gently knot them at the base and snip any long ones off to prevent future fraying. Once in a while there is a missed stitch. Hand stitch it to your liking to prevent future fraying. You won't find a lot, but we do see them from time to time since these are mass produced.
2. Important: Seam Seal the stitches Get a bottle (or two) of roll-on, or brush on Tent Specific, Liquid Seam Sealer compatible with Polyurethane/Polyethylene fabrics. If in doubt, test a bit on the edge of the rainfly first. Follow the bottle instructions and apply to all the stitching areas of both the tent AND rainfly stitches and let dry. It should look like a waxy seal when cured. Don't forget the area where tensioning straps intersect with the tent. Do both the inside and outside (bottom) of the tub floor. Reapply per instructions on Seam Sealer container if it looks like you need more. This soaks into the stitching holes and provides a flexible, silicone like seal which resists water droplets seeping through.
3. Understand the tent - learn how to adjust the straps, find all the velcro catches, ease the zipper slowly to avoid catching fabric and tearing. Install and take a look at the rainfly coverage, so you know how much of a storm it can take. Learn how to gently take it down, and pack it in the case. Hint: You will never be able to pack it as efficiently as the factory, but you will figure it out, and it will fit.
4. Consider Customization Since you have under $30 invested, what do you have to lose ? If you are going to be in swirling, driving, sideways rain, consider making a custom rainfly with some Tyvek or Ultralight Cuben Fiber, and grommets (kit sold in sidebar) - that covers more area. It is not hard, and could cost as little as $20 in materials. We discovered a weak area in the green flap over the zipper on the rainfly (see Additional images), it really needs more velcro patches (or a complete strip of velcro) to keep it down during wind and rain. If you can sew (even by hand) - add some velcro patches to the flap to improve it's performance. There is one already in place that you can use as a template - just add a few more. Don't forget to Seam Seal any stitching.
5. Make a ground cloth. Some tent companies call this a footprint. Basically, it shields the floor of your tent from the ground, reducing wear, providing a bit of insulation, preventing damage from insect trails (common ants secrete formic acid on the ground which eats holes in tent floors), and aids in water resistance. You can use the Tyvek sold in the sidebar and some Tyvek tape (sold at home improvement stores) and a pair of ordinary scissors to make a custom footprint. Remember our Tyvek is sold in one foot increments - be sure to order enough (about 14-15 feet) to make your footprint AND rainfly if you are choosing to customize.
More about the tent:
The fiberglass tension poles have been improved over last years model and are easy to install. The larger one is for the head area, smaller for the foot area. If you are into customization you might want to upgrade to go lighter. Many local Camping & Sporting goods shops have aluminum or carbon fiber pole kits that can be cut to length.
How do we get such good prices ? We have a relationship with a direct importer who supplies brands to a world famous sporting goods chain. We buy the excess production, so we do not always have a ready supply. If you see we have stock, take action and buy. We run out of stock every year and have to wait until the next season to get a chance for more.
While the quality of materials is not the same as a $300 - $400 bivy built for storms on Mount Everest in 100 MPH winds, these tents are reasonable, dependable, affordable and workable for the average weekend warrior. By learning with this tent, you may learn about features you want in a more expensive model - a great starter tent.
If you want to go ultralight - with a few easy modifications we were able to get the carry weight down to under 2 lbs (with the rain fly). More about the modifications can be found below.
Features & Specifications
* 93” X 38” X 24” One person bivy tent
* Packed (factory packing) size is 20" x 4" x 4"
* Double Stitched Taped Seams (Seam Sealer application is still highly recommended)
* No-See-Um grade mosquito mesh ventilation at top of head, face and
feet to keep out even the tiniest biting bugs
* Coated Polyurethane Body is waterproof to 1200mm hydrostatic head (see explanation
* Flooring is Polyethylene waterproof to 1000mm hydrostatic head ( to protect the floor you WILL want a ground cloth such as the Tyvek sold in sidebar.)
* Dual Inside outside zippers for easy entrance and to completely seal the bugs out.
* Factory Carry weight is 2.79 lbs (before modifications)
* Shipping Weight is 3 lbs. due to packing material
* Shock corded fiberglass poles for head and foot area. Shock cording prevents loss and eases setup
* Rain Fly with Clear Vinyl Windows for protection from dew, fog, mist and light rain. Rain fly also increases warmth on cold nights
* 6 Tent stakes included
Setup and Review of the Ultralight One Man Bivy Tent:
We took the tent out of the included carry bag and inspected it carefully. Most seams
were double stitched and the fabic felt of good quality. The colors are a
pleasing combination of dark and light grays and green. It would be easy to
camoflauge this tent if you desired to "stealth camp". Upon a close thorough inspection we found one area where a small bit of extra clear window material had been double sewn near the edge of a window. We were able to repair it with a snip of scissors and it will not impact performance at all. We recommend a treatment of all threaded seams with a common tent seam sealer products.
One note is that the flooring is thin. It is assumed that the user will
use a ground cloth or similar protection and clear the site of sharp rocks
or protrusions that could penetrate. Even ant trails can be sources of
formic acid that can slowly degrade fabric. One lightweight and low cost
solution is to get a length of Tyvek (sold in sidebar) - which makes a
tough,waterproof, washable ground cloth that will extend the life of your
tent floor (Tip - machine wash the Tyvek before use - it makes it softer and quieter).
Next we unpacked the shock corded fiberglass poles. Poles are 6.5mm (5/16")
overall diameter with 2mm wall thickness. Sections are joined by
preinstalled chromed steel sleeves, that overlap between 20 and 25 mm onto each
section. Chrome tips are on all ends of the poles with a 10mm tip. Shock
cording makes them easy to assemble, and hard to lose sections.
The foot area suspension pole glided easily through the sewn in pole guides. Take care not to muscle them through as this could damage fabric. Each tip inserts into brass grommets in tent straps that give the bivy shape. The head area suspension pole likewise glided in
place easily. The pole required a minor bend to install the brass grommet strap. We
found it best to turn the tent "sideways" and bend the fiberglass section like an archery bow
against the ground to get the second strap connected. Once installed the
tent started to take shape. We used the included tent stakes and loops to pull against the and front and back straps to tension the tent and give it structure. Side stakes let you spread the poles a bit - adjusting them can achieve a moderately taut form. The tent has good shape, not drum tight - some flex and walls bend lightly in the wind.
We noticed that the floor of the tent is a "tub" design". We like that because it means fewer seams are down low where water can creep in. The seams that ARE there should be heavily seam sealed in and out. The tub had roughly 3 inch vertical walls so this should resist brief standing water that can occur in downpours.
At the top of the head, face and feet are decent amounts of NoSeeUm grade mosquito netting that will provide ventilation while keeping out the critters. At the foot, there is a rain fly that extends
outward, creating a mini vestibule where you could store a bit of gear. The
vestibule walls also fuction as a "foot rainfly" to keep feet dry if it rains.
With the tent setup, We used a liquid seam seal kit and rolled sealer onto the threads, then let it dry to assure waterproof seams.
There are two zipper lines in the main tent. One that goes from a high noon position above your face when lying down to the right at the top of the tub. A second zipper goes along the tent the length of the right side to permit generous access in and out.
Next we installed the rain fly. The rain fly has a zipper that mirrors the head and face zipper location in the tent. A pair of velcro flaps also matched a velcro
location on the tent, this helps orient the positioning. Once positioned -
integrated buckles connect to the main tent at locations near the tent
stakes. The straps have tensioning buckles to get the rain fly nice and
tight. With the rain fly in place we still had excellent ventilation to prevent condensation from breathing during cold weather. The rainfly will provide good protection against light rain. With the rainfly in place we applied seam sealer to its threads to assure water proof seams.
The zipper for the fly is in the same location as the face zipper. so you have to open 2-3 zippers if the fly is installed. Zippers have a flap to deflect
rain that secures with velcro. However, one weak spot was the flap. It simply does not have enough velcro to guarantee that it will lay flat over the zipper to prevent leaks. We suggest modifiying this if you want greater rain protection - add some velcro. Zippers are a generic brand, not top quality YKK brand, but they did not fail or feel inclined bind after repeated use. Zippers function best with careful deliberate opening to prevent catching on adjacent fabric.
Since we were "backyard testing" a staffer climbed in and setup in his
sleeping bag. The size is typical of a bivy - enough for 1 person in their
sleeping bag with a minimum of gear. This one has an overall length of 7 -
3/4 feet - and should be suitable for adults up to 6'2" tall leaving some
Next came the rain test. We put on the Rain Fly and did a "backyard rain test" which involved a hose and sprayer. We sprayed a mist over the fly and tent to simulate a light rain. The new tent with coated fabric and a fresh coat of seam sealer -- beaded up and shed droplets easily. A few more vigorous squirts from slilght angles were similarly repelled.
Then we got more vigorous - hard blasts at the rainfly zipper area exposed a weakness - zipper flap could be dislodged and water would leak in. We modified with a velcro patch to keep it down and it worked better, though a full on blast would dislodge the velcro and eventually drip, however this tent is not sold or recommended for downpour conditions.
We also directed rain at a sideways angle - the stock rainfly has about a 6 inch "eave" overlapping the mesh. By directing rain sideways we could defeat the eave and get water inside. Again, we are not recommending this tent for swirling sideways torrential rains - know its limitations, or customize by creating your own full rain fly out of tyvek or Cuben Fiber material.
For the price, this tent is a compelling value. All the pieces are there, and with reasonable care and handling, and prep, it provides an inexpensive introduction to the camping experience for solo Summer campers.
Under 2 lb modifications:
1.) Leave the Kit carry case at home (6 ounces)
2.) Ditch the carrying case for the shock corded fiberglass poles (0.75
3.) Substitute Titanium stakes for the case and steel stakes included from
the factory (saved about 2.6 ounce)
Those 3 tricks permited us to achieve a carry weight of just 1 lb., 14.2
ounces. We used a few rubber bands to keep things in tidy bundles.
Other modifications performed by our staffers - substitute emergency whistle buckle on
one of the rain fly buckles (required minor sewing on strap). Net Zero
weight penalty, and provides an added measure of safety.
What do Hydrostatic Head Waterproof Numbers mean ?
Hydrostatic Head is used by the fabric industry as a comparative measure
of waterproof fabrics. To measure a fabric, a column of water(measured in
mm) is pressed against it. The column height is increased until water
penetrates the fabric (leaks). Different conditions of fabric usage
require different levels of protections. For example a windbreaker type
jacket would require less than a tent floor since the tent floor will be
subject to the pressure of the occupants upon it Weather conditions such as
high wind and very heavy rain also demand greater levels of protection.
The British Ministry of Defense definition for a water proof fabric is a
minimum hydrostatic head of 800mm (32.5 inches). Most
manufacturers use a 1000mm rating as the minimum to call a fabric waterproof. Some ultra waterproof product have ratings of 4000, the highest we have ever sold was a tent with a floor rating of 7000.
||A good tent for the low cost
|My son and I hiked the Chippewa Moraine segment of the Ice Age Trail in Western Wisconsin this summer. Just for fun we thought we would bring these low cost bivy tents along and see what they could handle. We were pleasantly surprised at the comfort and quality of these units for the low cost. They set up and take down in a jiffy. I put seam sealer and waterproofing spray on critical areas,replaced the plastic clips with key rings as the other reviewers suggested before the trip and that seemed to help. Granted these are not meant for rugged hikes in the Andes Mountains or anything like that, but for a quick, lightweight, low cost, weekend get-a-way type of adventure, Id highly recommend them. They would be great for an emergency too. I had a few questions regarding my order and the customer service dept. was fast and friendly. I also purchased the Tyvek style ground cloth and that worked equally well. Other companies should stand back and take notice of how this company operates. Its hard to find good customer service oriented companies these days. I hope to do business with them again in the future. And finally, dont pass up the FREE maps they have available. Im planning a future trip to Arizona, and those will be a great help. Thanks!|
|- Blake, WI|