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Thread: Hooped Bivi for Tall Men?

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    Hi Guys,

    I am walking half the Appalachian Trial next yearand lookingat kit.

    There are two of us, and we are taking a ME Dragonflyfor one to sleep in (and store kit, taking that issue away), but to cut down on weight I am thinking of taking a hooped bivi as the other sleeping option.

    The problem is we are both quite tall (6"5) andlooking around it seems the main brands (Terra Nova, Rab) might not be long enough, or at least head/feet to the wall.

    Any experience or advice on what the best option is for the tall man?

    Thanks for your help.

    Tim

  2. #2
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum there, Tim.

    First off, great to see you wanting to do that most excellent long trail there in the USA. It is one that I too hope to do one day in the future, as well. Please can you tell us a little more of why it is though first off, that you've chosen to take along this type of a shelter over a tarp, or a more traditional lightweight backpacking tent though? As I just think that although your choice here is a good lightweight satisfier maybe, it offers you very little shelter flexibility, room or comfort for a long trail hike, I believe. If weight is indeed the major issue for you, then you might well be happier under a tarp, unless you are planning to do this route in wintertime or early spring maybe, where there could be snow on the ground.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    Not commenting further on your choice of shelter as I assume you know what you like, but in response to your question the Integral Designs ones are worth a look. I am just over 6'3" and Terra Nova etc. are definately too short. Integral Designs do them in Event or Goretext single hoop bivvy and have very different designs to other manufacturers out there. They had plenty of room for big sleeping bag and feet too.

    There is only 1 Uk seller that I could find, Hike Lite who advertise on here. Plenty of other options exist if you have friends in US or Canada where ID is much more common. Even with new exchange rate it may be worth it.

    When are you off, and where are you now? If you want to have a look then let me know. I am in Lakes frequently pre and post Xmas and will be off to Scotland a bit in New Year (perhaps to one of the trailled OM meets on here).

  4. #4
    Widdler Mountain Intelligence's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Apologies for the blatant plug of something we range but please have a look at the OR bivi - link below

    You'll probably be fimiliar with the great design and attention to detail associated with the accessories (hats, gloves, gaiters etc) and the bivi is the same - no see 'um mesh, storm flaps, stake points, guy lines etc.

    Dimensions are also pretty generous too!

    http://www.mountain-intelligence.co....Bivy_Blue.aspx

    Kind Regards,

    Cj

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    Sorry some duff memories in my first post. It is sold by ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk in the UK along with some other Integral Designs tarp and shelter stuff. Fits up to 6' 7" apparently which I would second as it is not often I get a bit of kit and think things are long!I was interested in this ID one as it has a different means of getting in and out (side zip) and more venting options.

    I have no experience of the OR one to compare but did try the Terra Nova ones and found them too short for practical use.

  6. #6
    Ultra King
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    I think Winwoods do Integral design's stuff too.

    Trevor - No such thing as a lightweight tent for tall people, trust me you need about 10-20cm greater length than most UL tents. I'm 6'5" too so I know.

    Not exactly what you are looking at, but have you looked at the Jack Wolfskin Gossamer tent. It is halfway between a hooped bivvy and a tent at only 1.5kg and £80 is a good deal. It is a single pitch, but has an inner mesh layer. It also has a hoop ove the head and one at the tail. I used it this year as a loaner and had a good nights sleep in it, as a fellow 6'5" er It was ok for me. Plus with your tent bivvy option you can always take turns with the roomy tent.

    I have a force10 Vitesse single skin tent and have found it quite good and light for its size ( a 2man at about 1.5kg). Of course I would also ask why not use a tarp or a tarp and sleeping bag cover type of arrangement. Of course you should be able to get a very lightweight and cheapish (taking into account $-£ rate being unfavourable) one out there. A bit of a risk for a planned holiday to rely on finding a good outdoor retailer with the right stock. Consider a tarp as you can always take turns in the tent and they are good, lightshelters.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Crikey, I feel like I've landed in that old tv sci fi show, 'Land of the Giants'.

    I wasn't saying I thought the choice of the shelter mentioned was at all a bad one, but rather was merely attempting to be asking, out of interest, how the OP arrived at the conclusion that this type of hooped bivi would be a good one for him, is all. We have had a lot of souls posting here that liked being tucked up at night in a tiny envelope of a thing, especially motorcycle expeditioners etc. Too, on the other side of the coin, we've had a fair few posting too, over the last couple of years here that I've seen, that wished for a long trail hike they had not chosen such a simple shelter type; that offers little overall flexibility and comfort, compared to say a tarp. Bivi tunnels not so good for laying down in and cooking on one's front, many have found. Whatever is finally chosen, I was going to suggest the pair consider taking a lightweight tarp along too as well maybe, for cooking under if the need arises, or shade instant off the trail if walking in heat.

  8. #8
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Thanks for that link abovethere, Cj. S'alright, should be ok, as I've linked into your site on here before for bits, I'm sure. You've just reminded me that I'd fogotten till now to sign up to your email newsletter though, so that is done now! Cheers.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    As Paul says there. Here, Gossamer from JW.

  10. #10
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    http://www.bchcamping.co.uk/product/...IN_GOSSAMER_Y7 £79.00 plus 20% discount on first web order from here.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    http://www.leisurequest.net/product....cat=239&page=1 Better price here for Gossamer. £66.55. Set to come back into stock there 15th Dec 2008.

  13. #13
    Ultra King
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    All I can say about the gossamer is since it opens from the side of the open end it can allow cooking from the opening although why you would I don't know since cooking propped up on one elbow with one free hand doesn't sound easy.

    The fly can peel back from each end towards the large hoop that is just below your head line. This means you are in a mesh covered space with open acces to the skies on a dry, clearnight. I find that an interesting option. Can't do that ina hooped bivvy costing over twice the Gossamer. I really don't know how JW does it because you can hardly say they have skimped on the fly or groundsheet. I mean 5000mm and 8000mm HH respectively is quite a waterproof shelter. I never encountered condensation myself but it was quite good conditions. I got a cold spot at my waist where the wind whipped through for some reason. Must have been the way it pitched on the terrain allowing a gap under the fly at that point.

    It is still a tight fit for big 6 footers, but I got all my dry gear in the tent with me and my bag went in the porch of a mate's tent (just my bag and not much else). I also got a stove and cooking stuff in the space between inner and outer. All in all the Gossamer will fit someone 6'5" at least and without the feet holding the roof up too.

    But get a tarp instead, surely better.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Or both! One to sleep in, one to cook under or shelter under out of the sun and rain/snow; great as an additional shelter, whilst doing camp chores like cooking, washing, food prep, cleaning kit...fighting off marauding Black bears........

  15. #15
    Initiate
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    paulb------"can t do that in a hooped bivi"-----yes you can----in tn saturn or jupiter ---your body will under the main part of bivi----your head will bein open or under mesh or zipped in----i mainly sleep with head under mesh----in summer it keeps insects out ------in winter it cuts some of the wind out-----cold snow will bounce off mesh couple of inches above your face

  16. #16
    Widdler
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    Hello again,

    Thanks for the fantastic advice, there are two or three really great suggestions I hadn't seen or properly looked at yet.

    In answer to a few of the questions I am looking for something under 1 kg, which rules out most of the lightweight tents I have seen.Our current weight calculations putour packsnear to 20kg!!! However, this includes for 2 ME Dragonflys, so by reducing thatto 1 and then opting for something under 1kg that cuts around0.7 kg each. Given I am aiming for around18.5 kg, itsseems a no-brainer.

    As we will already have one tent for cooking etc, andcan alternate who sleeps in it, weight trumpscomfort in this instance.

    I have to admit to being a bivi novice anduse a tent when hiking alone. I liked the idea of a hooped bivi because it seemsless reliant ontrees or solid ground than a tarp would be (I fearI havebeena bit naivehere).

    Secondly, aswe start from Harpers Ferryin mid April so I am a little mindful of catching a late cold snap -I am concerned a tarp may not be warm enough.

    That said, I amdefinitely going to look at thetarp option more seriously now.

    Thanks again.

  17. #17
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Well now, there's an infinite number of ways a tarp can be 'slung up'outdoors, y'know!

  18. #18
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    You can use a tarp in most weathers, except arctic/alpine high up above the snowline maybe. People originally used these things before there were proper popular dedicated modern type lightweight backpacking tents, after all.

  19. #19
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Tarping out in the cold, simply double it up with a bivi bag cover over your sleeping bag. Wear a balaclava on your face to help ward off the cold a little, sleeping head partly out of the bag, to cut down on experienced condensation in your bag there - from your breathing.

  20. #20
    Initiate
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    tim-- i do not know whatconditions you will have-------have you thought about using atko fly only-----saves almost 1/2 kg-----other people might have other suggestions for fly only setups

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