Favourite bits of kit: Equinox Mummy Bivi (188g)

28 August, 2008

I was alerted to the benefits of carrying a bivvy bag even when not intending to actually bivvy when I found myself sleeping a bit cold at night on my second TGO Challenge a couple of years ago, and a friend sent his spare Rab Survival Zone bivvy bag up to Kingussie for me to collect en route to the Lairig Ghru. It didn’t weigh much, and after I’d slipped my sleeping bag into it at night I was toasty warm for the rest of the trip. As a side benefit I found that I was also protected against the risk of accidental Titan mug and Kettley Thing slippages in the tent…

A year or so ago, though, I decided to try to find something even smaller and lighter, and after a bit of searching I came across the Equinox Mummy Bivi on the Winwood Outdoor site. I ordered one, and now I take it every time I go out. It weighs only 188g, and it packs up to almost nothing. In the morning I just pile it back into its little stuff sack (no folding necessary), and squeeze it into any convenient space at the bottom of my pack.

Winwood say:

This innovative bivi is made from super tenacious 1.1oz ripstop. The silicone impregnated bottom and water repellant breathable top provide amazingly lightweight protection for your sleeping bag.
Measures 72-1/2″ to shoulder and 83″l x 33″w overall.

* Webbing loops for stakes
* Mid-length 27″ zipper (#4.5 YKK) for easy access
* Packaged in a reusable no-see-um mesh storage bag
* New Mummy style with micro cord drawstring and mini cord lock
* Weighs only 6.6oz
* Manufactured by Equinox in the USA

I’ve only used it outdoors in the conventional bivvy bag sense once, in Corsica, and it was great. It was a dry night, though, albeit windy, and so I have no idea yet how it would perform in UK conditions.

However, the main reason I carry it is to lend a bit of extra warmth in the tent on unexpectedly cold nights. Even though I tend to sleep quite cold, it converts my very small and light PHD Minimus sleeping bag (520g) into something that will keep me warm in all but the coldest conditions. And having it there means that if I do have a bit of a brainstorm, and decide to sleep outside the tent, I can do so secure in the knowledge that I have some protection for my sleeping bag.

If I can overcome my insect/arachnid aversion I’ll give it a try outside in the Lakes before summer/autumn is out. Watch this space… *g*