Bikepacking is an exciting way to explore the outdoors while getting a workout. It’s a combination of mountain biking and camping, where you pack all your gear on your bike and head out into the wilderness.
One of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need for bikepacking is a tent. However, traditional tents can be bulky and heavy, making them difficult to transport on a bike. This is where bivy tents come in.
Bivy tents, also known as bivy sacks, are lightweight shelters that are designed to be used in the great outdoors. They’re typically smaller than traditional tents and are designed to be used by one or two people.
Bivy tents are perfect for bikepacking because they’re lightweight and compact. Making them easy to transport on a bike.
After researching and testing several bivy tents on the market, I’ve identified the top options for bikepacking tents.
I’ll be sharing my top picks for the best bivy tent for bikepacking, so you can find the perfect bikepacking tent for your next adventure.
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Best Bivy Tents for Bikepacking
As an avid bikepacker, I know that packing light is crucial for a successful trip. One of the most important pieces of gear is a reliable bivy tent. Not only does it provide shelter, but it also takes up minimal space in your pack.
After testing and researching various bivy tents on the market, I’ve compiled a list of the best bivy sacks for bikepacking.
These tents are lightweight, durable, and designed to withstand the elements. So, without further ado, here are my top picks.
1. GEERTOP Ultralight Bivy Tent
I highly recommend the GEERTOP Ultralight Bivy Tent for anyone looking for a lightweight and durable single-person tent for their bikepacking adventures.
I recently took the GEERTOP Ultralight Bivy Tent on a solo bikepacking trip, and I was impressed with its performance. The tent is incredibly lightweight, which made it easy to carry on my bike.
It was also easy to set up and take down, which was a huge plus since I was traveling alone.
The tent kept me dry and protected from the elements during a rainy night, and the reflective materials made me feel safe at night.
The two ventilation windows and doors also helped to keep the tent breathable and comfortable, which made for a great night’s sleep.
Overall, the GEERTOP Ultralight Bivy Tent is a great option for solo bikepacking adventures.
- Incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry on long bike rides.
- Waterproof and durable. Ensuring that you stay dry and protected from the elements during your trip.
- Easy to set up and take down, making it perfect for solo bikepacking trips.
- A bit on the small side, which may not be ideal for taller individuals or those who need extra space.
- The camo pattern may not be to everyone’s taste.
- Doesn’t come with a footprint, which may be necessary for some camping conditions.
2. Outdoor Research Helium Bivy
The Outdoor Research Helium Bivy is a lightweight bivy tent that’s easy to set up and break down.
Its ultralight material makes it easy to carry on a bike, and its breathable fabric keeps you cool during warmer nights.
However, during heavy rainfall, the OR Helium bivy tent doesn’t provide adequate protection.
I also found the limited headroom to be a bit uncomfortable at times, but this is to be expected with a bivy sack.
Overall, the Outdoor Research Helium Bivy is lightweight and easy-to-use. Making it a great option for bikepacking trips.
- Ultralight comfort
- Quick to set up and break down
- Breathable material
- Not suitable for heavy rainfall
- Limited headroom
- No tie-down points on the ends
3. MSR Pro Bivy
If you’re looking for a lightweight and compact bivy tent for bikepacking, the MSR Pro Bivy is a great option.
I recently had the opportunity to test the MSR Pro Bivy. I was impressed with its lightweight and compact design.
It was easy to pack and carry on my bike. Its ultralight, compact design makes it a versatile option for camping and hiking.
The breathable fabric with waterproof coating kept me dry and comfortable throughout the night.
But, one drawback you should be aware of is that there is no way to close the bivy. So, it’s not completely waterproof.
The bivy sack is only suitable for one person, so it’s not ideal for group camping. Additionally, the limited space may not be comfortable for taller individuals.
- Ultralight and compact design makes it easy to pack and carry on a bike
- Weatherproof and breathable tent fabric with Xtreme Shield waterproof coating. Lasts up to 3 times longer than standard coatings
- Fits in small spaces too small for a tent, making it a versatile option for camping and hiking
- No way to close it, so it’s not completely waterproof
- Only suitable for one person, so it’s not ideal for group camping
- Limited space may not be comfortable for taller individuals
4. Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent
The Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent comes with everything a good bikepacking tent should have. With features including a rainfly, tent poles, stakes, and guylines.
Measuring in at only 18″ x 4.5″ x 4″ it packs small enough to fit in your backpack.
The bivy sack isn’t very spacious, but it’s perfect for one person and their camping gear. The internal pocket is a nice touch, allowing you to keep your phone, keys, and other small items within reach.
The double-layered door provides easy access and good ventilation. Plus, the rainfly is removable, which allows for even better airflow during warmer weather.
- Lightweight and packs small, making it easy to carry in your bikepacking luggage.
- Easy to set up. It takes only five minutes to install the two aluminum poles and stake down the corners of the tent.
- Built to last and withstand the elements. Featuring a waterproof rainfly and stitching, a durable waterproof tent floor, and all-metal poles and stakes.
- A bit cramped, especially if you’re taller than 5’9″.
- Not very waterproof, so you may need to take extra precautions during rainy weather.
- Not very spacious, so you may need to leave some of your gear outside.
5. AquaQuest Hideaway Bivy
The AquaQuest Hideaway Bivy is easy to set up, comfortable, and provides excellent protection from the elements.
Setup takes around 2 minutes to complete. I unzipped the front panel and it left only a ‘No-see-um’ mesh between me and the beautiful night sky.
The clear TPU window allowed me to catch a glimpse of the moon without getting out of the bivy sack.
The AquaQuest Bivy has more space than most bivys. With extra wide shoulder and foot areas. This enabled me to move around, read a book, have a snack, and even change my clothes.
The air-vent in the head section and ‘Batwing’ stiffeners elevate the footbed, increasing airflow and comfort.
Overall, the AquaQuest Hideaway Bivy is a great option for a solo bikepacking tent.
- Very breathable, thanks to the re-engineered waterproofing system. Designed with an industry-leading 10,000 mm waterproof rating.
- Ultralight and compact, weighing in at only 2.4 lbs for the entire kit. With a packed size of 15 x 5 inches and a compressed size of 15 x 3 inches.
- Comfortable, with extra space, and extra wide shoulder and foot areas. Long enough to comfortably accommodate anybody up to 6’6”.
- Some users have reported missing pieces.
- Doesn’t come with tent stakes.
- The bivy sack is missing paperwork including a written guarantee instruction manual.
6. Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag
I recently used the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag on a backpacking trip and, I was quite pleased with its performance.
One of the standout features is its compact size – it packs down to roughly the size of a foam football. Which is great for anyone looking to save space in their backpack or stuff sack.
The bivy bag is also water-tight, which kept me dry during a rainy night. But, I did notice some minor condensation inside the bivvy bag itself, likely due to the lack of venting at the feet.
This is a small issue that could easily be addressed with some extra venting.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag was quite comfortable to sleep in. The U-shaped opening made it easy to get in and out and the breathable fabric helped to regulate temperature.
One downside of the bivy bag is that the bottom is not as robust as other bivy bags I’ve used in the past.
Additionally, some users have complained that the “long size” isn’t much different from the “regular size”, which could be an issue for taller individuals.
- Compact and lightweight.
- The U-shaped opening and guy out point make it easy to get in and out of the bivy bag and maximize space.
- The waterproof/breathable top fabric helps to regulate temperature and prevent moisture buildup.
- Some users have reported that both the “regular” and “long” sizes are similar, which could be an issue for taller individuals.
- The lack of venting at the feet can lead to minor condensation buildup inside the bag.
- The bottom of the bivy bag is not as robust as other bivy bags on the market. Which could be a concern for those sleeping on rough terrain.
When it comes to buying the best bivy tent for bikepacking, there are a few key features to consider.
As someone who has gone on numerous bikepacking trips, I understand the importance of having a reliable and practical bivy tent.
Here are some things to keep in mind when making your purchase:
The size of your bivy tent is crucial to consider. You want to make sure it is spacious enough to fit you and your gear comfortably, but not so large that it becomes a burden to carry on your bike.
Look for a tent that is compact and lightweight, yet still provides enough room for you to move around and store your belongings.
The material of your bivy tent is also important. You want to choose a tent that is durable and can withstand the elements.
Look for a tent made of high-quality materials, such as ripstop nylon or polyester, that is both lightweight and strong.
Ventilation is another important factor to consider when choosing a bivy tent. You want to make sure that there is enough airflow to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. Look for a bikepacking tent with mesh panels or vents that allow for proper ventilation.
Weather resistance is also a crucial feature to consider. You want to make sure that your bivy tent can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain or strong winds.
Look for a tent with a waterproof coating and a rainfly to protect you from the elements.
Ease of Setup
Finally, you want to choose a bivy tent that is easy to set up and take down. Look for a tent with a simple and straightforward design that can be assembled quickly and easily, without the need for any special tools or equipment.
FAQs Related to Bivy Bags
What is the disadvantage of a bivy tent?
One disadvantage of a bivy tent is its small size and lack of space. Bivy tents are typically designed for single-person use and are meant to be lightweight and compact. This means they do not offer much room for gear storage or extra space for stretching out.
This can be a problem for some people, especially taller individuals who may feel cramped inside the tent. Additionally, bivy tents usually have a low profile. They do not provide as much headroom or interior space as traditional dome or cabin tents.
Why use a bivvy and not a tent?
There are several reasons why someone might choose to use a bivy (bivouac) instead of a tent.
Firstly, bivy sacks or tents are much more compact and lightweight than traditional tents. A bivy can be easily compressed and packed into a small space, taking up less room in a backpack.
Secondly, bivy tents are usually quicker and easier to set up than traditional tents. Which can be beneficial when camping in areas with limited space or during bad weather conditions.
They also offer increased flexibility, as they can be pitched in small or unusual spaces, such as rocky outcrops or narrow ledges.
Lastly, a bivy provides a more immersive outdoor experience. As they allow campers to be closer to nature and experience the night sky and sounds of nature without any barriers.
They also offer increased ventilation and breathability. Which is important in humid or rainy conditions.
How many degrees does a bivy add to a sleeping bag?
A bivy sack or tent can add anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 8.3 degrees Celsius) of warmth to a sleeping bag. Depending on the specific design and materials used.
The extra warmth comes from the bivy’s ability to trap warm air around the sleeping bag and shield it from wind and moisture.
Additionally, bivy tents made with breathable and insulating materials help to reduce heat loss and condensation inside sleeping bags. This can further improve warmth and comfort.
Bivy tents are a great choice for bikepacking adventures. They offer a light weight, compact, and versatile shelter option.
In this blog post, I’ve covered some of the best bivy tents for bikepacking in 2023. Ranging from budget-friendly options to high-end models with advanced features.
When choosing the best bivy tent for bikepacking, it’s important to consider factors such as weight, size, durability, ventilation, and weather resistance.
Ultimately, the best bivy tent for you will depend on your personal preferences. By investing in a quality bivy tent that suits your needs, you can enjoy a comfortable and immersive camping experience.
I hope this guide has helped you find the perfect bivy tent for your next bikepacking adventure!