Vaude Bivi 1p -part 2

The Vaude arrived yesterday and today I got time to play with it. Sadly, it’s been tipping it down here all day so I pitched it inside the house. So, not a review of it used in anger but more one about first impressions. Trying it for real will have to wait for now.

My first thought on opening the package was how small the packed size is. It’s tiny! It weighs 852 grams (30 ounces) including pegs, poles and three stuffsacks; two for the pegs and poles and one for the whole system. I can fit the bivy plus a summer quilt, NeoAir pad, cooker, food, waterproofs, insulating jacket and some spare socks in an OMM 32 litre pack with ease. It’s ideal for an overnighter (maybe two) or cyclepacking.

Once set up the bivi is, as estate agents might say, deceptively spacious. It’s easily long enough for me to lie down in comfort, plenty of room sideways and enough room above my head to fit in an empty, 30 litre rucksack. I’m 5ft 10ins and weigh 11.5 stones or 76 kg. Entry and exit is a breeze thanks to the long side entrance. What is particularly good is the headroom. There is no feeling of claustrophobia like I get when using the normal Bivvy bags that can be sealed up. I think if I used a self inflating mat instead of a NeoAir there would be even more headroom.

There are three vents to allow air to circulate but, oddly, only two of them have bug netting so the other one would have to remain closed in bug country. I might add a bug net to the third vent. The two with the bug netting are above the head area and at the foot.

I wouldn’t like to use this bivi in winter because long nights of 16 hours mean that I prefer more room in a shelter to move around, or cook, than the bivi offers. I’m pretty sure it could handle serious weather though – I can’t imagine it moving in a gale! But the space issue is the reason that I won’t be testing it for real for a few months yet when there are shorter nights. However, it looks ideal for what I wanted- a quickly erected, low profile shelter for three season use.

I think that I will also carry a micro tarp to make an area for cooking, sitting around and storing gear that has got wet rather than bringing it inside.

Watch this space!


About ReidIvinsMedia

After working for many years in Higher Education I've decided to drop out and join the real world. Here I blog about my interests which include education, politics, backpacking, poker, photography and real ale.
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3 Responses to Vaude Bivi 1p -part 2

  1. Bobby says:

    So Jon, Sounds like a keeper and the ideal solution for my own attempts to lighten up. I saw one for sale, the other day. New As I recall, forty quid more than yours, but worth a punt for the warmer months in addition to making my cross over to tarping a bit more bearable.
    I. e., Protection from the wee beasties.
    Like you, I feel this time of year is a deplorable time to be camping/backpacking. So its restoration and weight reduction time. So much so that today I moved on an Osprey 58 so I don’t have to attempt to fill it up. My goal is Eight pounds max to fit into my thirty five litre pack. This bivi has been on my radar for a while, but I have not been ready for the leap of faith. So I might have to ask you to permit me from stepping out of my offer to reimburse your out lay, so I can pursue the other one?

    With the tarp addition for cooking and sitting we could be twins on the next Torgate Farm meets 😉


    • Yes Bobby, I think it’s worth a punt. I reckon I can hit the 3-3.5kg for overnighters/two dayers in warmer weather. About 5-6kg for a week.

      Like you, I’ve gone for a larger pack to carry stuff in more easily. I’ve just got a six moons design pack that is nominally 70 litres for colder weather backpacking. I lost patient with trying to pack stuff tightly, don’t think it helps with loft on jackets or sleeping bags, etc. Plus it’s easier, and faster, to pack up and get away. Oddly the pack is lighter than my Golite Pinnacle so it’s my pack of choice for long hauls or in cold & damp weather.

      Twins: sounds a good plan to me!

      I don’t enjoy winter backpacking that much either so, like you, it’s experiment/ repair time unless it’s bright and cold. I find the damp cold seeps into everything slowly but surely.

    • Btw: if you one, go for it.

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