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Thread: Snugpak Stratosphere Bivy

  1. #1
    Mini Goon
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    I have been in the market for a lightweight shelter for a little while. I want something around the 1 kg mark with a small pack size. I also don't want to spend too much, I don't mind spending on quality kit but lately I have found that most expensive is not always best. Plus I love a bargain!

    Anyway that brings me to the Snugpak Stratosphere, which is a hooper bivy. It looks a decent idea and has quite a few decent reviews and some not so good.

    I have seen it shown as both 1.1 kgs and 1.3 kgs, I think this is down to there being a older and newer version, the newer basically just using lighter pegs. But I have not been able to confirm this.

    So I am wondering if anyone has any experience with one of these? Or any insights or views.

    I have wondered wether a short pole at the foot would do any good, but I doubt it.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch Shewie's Avatar
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    I had one for a while and didn't really get on with it. Space wise it was okay but the big downside for me was the rubbery coating on the inside of the fabric, I found it really clingy every time I moved.
    I ended up getting rid and buying a TN Saturn, a whole different class to the Snugpak but with a price tag to match unfortunately.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    Like Shewie I threw some money at the problem and went for Integral Designs (longer than TN equivalents) rather than snugpak options. They are quite niche and, as per other recent thread on subject, bivi bagging is something I enjoy even when other options could be better overall. If only to have one and you are starting off I would suggest a normal bag (no hoop etc) and perhaps improvise a tarp. That would be smallest and lightest option I expect.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
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    Gneiss... which Integral Designs Bivy?

  5. #5
    Mini Goon
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Shewie did you have any major issues around waterproofness and condensation?
    I realise the TN bags are excellent, just don't want to splash that much on a bivy. Have to keep some cash for a tent. I really do like to have the choice.

    Also if I use my POE elite ac mat which is 6.5 cms thick do you think I will fit alright? I am relatively slim.

    I used to bivy most weekends when I was a kid just using a orange survival bag and biviing now brings back fond memories!


    Thanks.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Shewie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bs Dowling View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Shewie did you have any major issues around waterproofness and condensation? I realise the TN bags are excellent, just don't want to splash that much on a bivy. Have to keep some cash for a tent. I really do like to have the choice. Also if I use my POE elite ac mat which is 6.5 cms thick do you think I will fit alright? I am relatively slim. I used to bivy most weekends when I was a kid just using a orange survival bag and biviing now brings back fond memories! Thanks.

    The trick to venting the Stratosphere is to leave the zip open at the head end, I only used mine a couple of times in Spring and it was fairly mild, I'm not sure how much of an issue it woudl be in colder months. As for wetherproofness, can't say i had any problems with leaks and the first trip out was horrendous weather.

    From what*I can remember the Strat is quite narrow at the foot end, I think thickness wise you'll be okay although the hood will be quite close, but you might struggle to get a full length Elite AC in.

    *There's quite a lot of pics on BushcraftUK if you do a search, you might get a good idea of the space if you look.

  7. #7
    Mini Goon
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    Cheers for that.

    Looking around and also saw these:

    http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN90089


    http://www.theoutdoorshop.com/showPart.asp?part=PN70515


    Opinions?

    The marmot one looks particularly interesting.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Gneiss Boots's Avatar
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    The Marmot does look better to me. Less fussy and, if materials are same, more weatherproof from the pics on that site. I use a Unishelter as TN ones were not long enough so have hood to wind whereas that Marmot and the TN ones seem easier to do foot to wind and still be able to reach out and cook perhaps (if your stove will light!).

  9. #9
    Mini Goon
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    Just found some really mixed reviews on the marmot. About 7 really positive ones followed up by a majorly negative one. I guess thats the nature of user reviews.

    Same usual condensation issues raised. Also the door area doesn't have any overhang so in rain you really need to zip up the whole door. I guess even the tiniest tarp could solve that though.

    One thing I like the look of on the stratosphere is the side entrance zip as compared to others where you have to slide in backwards.

    Shewie would you recommend against getting the stratosphere? With the large mesh end window I would imagine it being fairly ventilated?

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Shewie's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't buy another but that's not to say they're no good.

    The side door is a clever idea but not so great when it's lashing it down, same goes for the large mesh venting option too. They're both good ideas when it's nice and dry.

    Nothing beats lying in a bivvy bag watching shooting stars whizz across the sky.


  11. #11
    Mini Goon
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    Think I am going to get one. I can't seem to find a better option at this price point and I have look a lot.

    Any one else used one?

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch
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    Have you considered buying one second hand? Only I have an OR double hooped bivvy that I bought many years ago and have hardly ever used. At the time it cost £200 and was the only one with two hoops. It doesn't have any way to peg it down and comes with internalvelcro straps to hold the sleep mat in place, and mesh netting at the opening.I've used it about 5 - 6 times. Of the two hoops one shapesthe fabric beneath your head and one lifts the upper layer off your face. I'd be looking for about £100 including P&P.

  13. #13
    Mini Goon
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    Hi Major,

    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the offer it looks a good deal but I decided to go for the stratosphere in the end.

    I will be using it on a 4 day dartmoor trip at the beginning of July.

  14. #14
    Mini Goon
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    Hi Major,

    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the offer it looks a good deal but I decided to go for the stratosphere in the end.

    I will be using it on a 4 day dartmoor trip at the beginning of July.
    Hopefully it works well.

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