A Simple Guide to Buying a Bivvy Bag

Close-up of bivvy bag

Hunting is thrilling! Especially if you’re hunting somewhere you’ve never been before. There is so much to see and experience that you could never get enough of it, no matter the weather. Those that are enthusiastic about this activity will tell you that nothing is best than a multi-day hunt, where you get to set up a tent and chill out with your hunting buddies after you’ve made a successful catch. However, some terrains can be unfavourable for setting up a tent. No matter how much you try, nothing will help except having a bivvy bag. 

Bivvy bags are considered the best options for alpinists hikers who want to spend a night in a terrain where a tent would be difficult or impossible to set up. That is true for backpack hunters as well. A bivvy will give you more opportunities and chances to have successful hunting trips. So, without further ado, let’s see what things you need to consider before getting a bivvy bag

What Is a Bivvy Bag?

This bag, also known as a bivouac, was designed to provide a lightweight solo shelter for climbers and mountaineers. In those circumstances and on that difficult terrain, a tent was out of the question. That is why a bivvy was the ideal solution. The first bivies were nothing more than waterproof sleeping covers that could be used as emergency shelters temporarily or to protect the climbers and mountaineers from the weather elements. However, bivies have evolved since then, and now they feature some additional necessities in regards to the structure and material.

Close-up of bivvy bag
Source: rei.com

Types of Bivy Bags


As the name suggests, these bivy bags are used for emergencies. Anything can happen, especially in remote terrains, and one of the best things to have packed with you is an emergency bivy bag. Some of them are semi-reusable, which is fine for such situations but won’t be the best option for using them every day. 

However, there are also high-quality emergency bags that feature ripstop polyester and PVC materials that are much more durable. This is important since hunting in remote locations and getting an injury may cause hypothermia. However, a higher-quality bivvy will keep you warm and protected from the elements. 


These are a perfect solution for hunters looking for something lightweight. They can be perfect during spring, summer and autumn, however, they won’t be the best option for winter. Keep in mind that since there are no poles inside of them, the material will be close to your body and face.


These bags have poles inside that make the bags more structured. This addition makes them a little bit heavier than their unstructured counterparts. However, this is also important since it will keep the bag’s material off your face. Usually, they are more durable since they are made of stronger materials. This durability pays off since you will be able to hunt all year round, no matter if the weather outside is harsher. 

Materials Used for Bivvy Bags

Close-up of bivvy bag
Source: outdooraesthetics.org

Some emergency bivy bags are ultra-light due to the key component, metallised foil. However, they are easily damaged and only meant to be used once.

The basic models are made of nylon or polyester fabric with a polyurethane coating to make them waterproof. Along with the PU (polyurethane) coating, silicon is added for more elasticity and durability. They also make the fabric UV-resistant. 

Different Designs

Every bivy bag is different. Some feature a zip on the side, and you can easily unzip it and get inside while with others you will have to squeeze from the top. Some bags can close completely while others can’t. An important thing to note is that some bivvies can have mosquito nets, which can be helpful against bugs trying to get inside. Also, they have more room in the head area.

Advantages of Having a Bivvy 

Close-up of setting up bivvy bag
Source: outdooraesthetics.org

Saves Space 

Bivy bags are one of the best ways to save space in your backpack. This can mean a lot for backpack hunters who go to remote locations for multiple days. Having extra space will allow them to take other essentials, such as an LED flashlight, that can be crucial deep in the wilderness. 


Another significant advantage of the bivvy over other shelter options, such as tents, is its lightweight. Depending on the brand, it can weigh from 340 g and upwards. However, a tent is going to weigh maybe 3 to 4 times more. You will definitely feel this difference when you need to run or walk to a safe location to spend the night. 

Easy to Set Up Anywhere

One of the primary reasons it was designed was to allow users to set it up anywhere they wanted. High in the mountains or near a river or lake, you name it, the bivy bag will definitely fit anywhere you ever wanted. The only thing you need to do is take it out of the backpack and simply lay it in front of you. That’s all it takes. You have shelter in a matter of seconds.

Provides Warmth 

Bivy bags are intended to retain your body heat and add 8 degrees of warmth to your sleeping system, making them ideal for colder weather. 

There Are Also Some Cons

Close-up of bivvy bag
Source: outdooraesthetics.org

Not Suitable for Rainy Weather

Bivy bags are waterproof and they will keep you dry. However, the problem is when you try to get out of the bivvy bag, everything will get wet, even the inside. So, the best way to stay dry is to take a tarp with you if the weather forecast predicts heavy rains. Lay it out, and you’ll have no problem.


No matter how breathable the materials are, they cannot be 100% breathable. As a result, you will be damp every time you wake up. Because of the condensation, the inside of the bivy bag will be damp as well. This might slow you down, especially if you plan to stay for a few more days since you will need to wait for everything to dry. However, if you hunt for a day or two it shouldn’t be a problem.

Too Warm in the Summer

Since the bivy bag adds warmth, you have to consider whether that is a good option, especially if you plan on hunting into very warm areas.