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Backpacker Magazine – June 2010

Gear Review: The North Face Backpack Bivy

This "Bivy" is actually a bomber two-pole solo tent.

by: Steve Howe

The North Face Backpack Bivy (Courtesy Photo)
The North Face Backpack Bivy (Courtesy Photo)

> $199
> 1 lb. 13 oz.
Verdict
True story: During an adventure race in the Canadian Rockies, amidst freak June snowstorms and howling winds, this single-wall shelter pretty much saved my life. I was soaked and freezing when I made it to camp, but within minutes, this two-pole solo tent (despite the name, it’s not a bivy sack) was up and nailed down. It’s cozy, not cramped, and has enough space (18.5 square feet), headroom (25 inches), and length (92 inches) that I could prop up on an elbow and fully stretch out my six-foot frame. Nitpick: The zippered vent improves ventilation (and blocks rain), but it didn’t prevent condensation from accumulating. thenorthface.com

Best For
Adventure racers or solo ultralighters who don’t want to sacrifice weather protection for weight savings

Tester Data
> Jeff Kirby
> Duration June
> Locales/conditions MT, Canadian Rockies; snow, rain, freezing temps
> “I was amazed that something that packs down to Nerf football size could provide such solid shelter in absolutely hideous weather.”

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