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Pros and Cons to a Bivi Bag

What is a bivi bag?

A bivi bag was developed as a basic solo shelter to protect users from the elements. They were used predominantly by mountaineers who were willing to compromise comfort for reduced weight and pack size. To use a bivi bag, put your sleeping bag and sleeping mat inside to protect you from the elements.

Recently, the materials and fabrics have been improved to give the user a more lightweight and waterproof shelter. Bivi bags now compete with ultra-lightweight tents, which suit people more because of the space they give. If you’re still interested in bivi bags and want to find out more, then keep reading.


Why get a bivi bag?

Bivis are perfect if you’re looking to reduce your pack weight but still be protected from the elements. They are typically used by adventurers who require a low pack weight and move on quickly. The technical terrain that adventurers travel makes the bivi an essential piece of kit.

If you’re not someone that tackles technical terrain but still want protection from the elements in a lightweight pack, then look no further than a bivi. They’re used by bike packers, fast packers, thru-hikers and minimalist solo adventures, and even some regular campers. The bivy bag can be used almost anywhere in the world, in any condition.


  • Less weight: Bivi bags are extremely lightweight, weighing only a few 100 grams. The Moonlite Bivi weighs 210g and is the best in its class. They can even be used as emergency shelters on trips ranging from hikes to mountaineering adventures.
  • Smaller footprint: The small footprint of the Terra Nova bivy bag make it perfect for downsizing your pack, allowing you to cover more ground, more easily.
  • Warmth: Bivi bags allow you to take a lighter sleeping bag as they increase the temperature range of your sleeping bag, allowing you to save even more weight whilst still staying warm.
  • Efficiency: They are easy to setup after a long day’s adventure, allowing you to save your energy for the following day and save the time to get some extra time sleeping.


  • Space: A bivi bag is small and doing anything more than lying in it is difficult, especially when you have your pack inside the bivy bag too.
  • Rain: Your nights can be long if you are out in prolonged rain, with little chance of moving or sitting up in your bivi bag. If you are going out into a rainy environment, you might want to think about taking a tent.
  • Condensation: It is almost impossible to avoid condensation in your bivy bag.
  • Company: This can’t be classed as a disadvantage but is worth a mention. You can only sleep in a bivy bag on your own, so if you don’t like that sound of that then have a look at our lightweight tents.

If you want to try out bivy camping then check out our bivi bags for your first experience.