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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Gear Review: MSR E-Bivy

thanks to a durable, polyurethane-coated nylon ground layer and more, this balanced bivy has all the right elements.

by: Kelly Bastone

MSR E-Bivy (Courtesy photo)
MSR E-Bivy (Courtesy photo)

9 oz.
Some bivy sacks are heavier than solo tents; others don't offer enough protection. This one hits the sweet spot, thanks to a durable, polyurethane-coated nylon ground layer and an ultralight silnylon top.

A half-length zipper provides venting and easy exits. I used it as a ground cloth while sleeping under the stars in Colorado National Monument; when a shower passed around 3 a.m., I just slid inside and stayed dry.

Pros: Compact as many emergency blankets, but way more durable and weatherproof.

Cons: It comes packed as small as a Coke can, but you'll never compress it that tiny again (use the 9-by-4-inch stuffsack).

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Reader Rating: -


Jul 26, 2012

I just bought an E-Bivy today at an Alaskan mountain shop, pulled it out of the stuff sack, tested it out in the shop, and rolled it back down and into the stuff sack again quickly and easily. Either they've started using a slightly larger sack or I'm uncannily good at stuffing it back in.

I haven't incorporated it into my sleep system yet but from my initial test I'm expecting positive results.

Nov 04, 2010

Question: Is this bivy made for repeated, tough, extended use? It's described as an emergency bivy so I wasn't sure how it stands as a primary bivy.

Jeff Walden
Oct 15, 2010

Believe it or not, it *is* possible to compress this back into its original stuff sack without overflow; I've done it multiple times. (The last time I managed to rip the nylon around the drawstring, however.) Still, doing so requires a take-no-prisoners attitude and ten to fifteen minutes of effort. I haven't practiced enough to say what the minimum time is, but nevertheless I'm certain it'll never be a thirty-second task: you just can't pack this puppy up quickly and completely.

Jerry Boyd
Sep 07, 2009

I used with bivy bag last night under a large silnylon tarp and over a summerweight down sleeping bag. The weather was rain showers, very humid (90% humidity), breezy and 54 degrees F.

Although the top looks thin and very breathable, I awoke to a disturbing amount of insensible perspiration moisture on the inside of the E-bivy's top. I suppose the air was so humid, my body's moisture was condensing on the inside of the sack and could not pass out. The outside of the down bag was wet in large spots. But, I had this problem on and off with another bivy bag.

I'll use the E-bivy again. Hopefully, condensation will not be a problem in drier weather.

Carol Day
Jul 11, 2009

I have one -- no, it doesn't have bug netting.

Mike the Traveler
Jun 19, 2009

Friday 06/19/2009

In answer to your questions:

1. Length 83"

2. Width 33"

3. Girth 64"

4. Interior Height 10" {Whew!! - you better be

5. Weight 9 OZ

6. Yeah, it has a little bit of netting.


Mike the Traveler

keith selbo
Jun 19, 2009

"Looking at this review and on the MSR website, I was not able to see if this bivy has bug netting?"

Me neither. Couldn't even find the dimensions. I downloaded the manual which turned out to be a generic tent manual. Nothing about the bivy. Useless!

Rob Davidson
Jun 17, 2009

Looking at this review and on the MSR website, I was not able to see if this bivy has bug netting?


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