Explore our range of bivvy bags for warmth, comfort, shelter and protection on your outdoor adventure from a range of trusted brands including Sierra Designs, Outdoor Research and SOL

A bivvy bag is essentially a waterproof sleeping bag that transforms into a shelter so that you can enjoy the perfect slumber on any trip or expedition. The make-up of a bivvy bag is a waterproof bottom layer and a breathable, lighter upper layer, making for a restful and comfortable experience. 

Going on an expedition or thru-hike where you’ll be on the move? Opt for a lightweight bivvy bag for easy store and transportation, without compromising on comfort or durability.

Need some more advice? Check out our blogs to find out more information before embarking on your next adventure:

>Comparing the Best Sleeping Mats 

>Synthetic vs Down Sleep Systems

>Top 10 Long Distance UK Walks Ranked 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bivvy bag?

A bivvy bag or a bivouac sack is an outdoor shelter for a single person. It is waterproof and has a breathable cover on your sleeping bag to protect you from outdoor elements.

Bivvy bags are commonly made out of Gore-Tex or other light, breathable, and waterproof fabrics. You can see many backpackers using it since it has a compact design and is easy to carry around whenever they go on an adventure.

Bivvy bags are ideally used when tents are impractical, like when going on high-altitude climbs or ultralight backpacking trips. In addition, they also make excellent emergency shelters if a traveller has to spend the night outdoors unexpectedly or when they get trapped due to bad weather.

Despite its remarkable feature to protect you from the harsh elements outside, using bivvy bags for a long period is not recommended, especially since it does not give you sufficient space to move comfortably. However, Bivvy bags are perfect for use during emergencies or when you embark on a short and quick trip.

Can you sleep in just a bivvy bag?

Although sleeping in a bivvy bag alone is possible, it won't be as comfortable for certain individuals. Hence, bivvy bags are commonly used in special situations during the absence of any shelter or when bringing a tent is considered impractical since they only provide minimal protection from the elements.

Without a doubt, a bivvy bag can protect you during heavy rain or strong wind, but it won't provide you insulation, which means you are at risk of feeling extreme cold, especially in freezing temperatures. Furthermore, it will not allow you to store your gear or move around it as much since it is a very compact shelter.

Remember that you can use a bivvy bag as your main shelter, but you need to find ways to properly insulate yourself to prevent shivering from the cold and find the right location to stay at during your outdoor adventure. For insulation, you can opt to bring a sleeping pad or any other insulation that can bring warmth and comfort whenever it is time for you to sleep. Also, using a bivvy bag as your primary shelter during extreme weather conditions or on an extended trip is not advisable, as it is not enough to keep you safe and comfortable during these difficult situations.

What is the difference between a sleeping bag and a bivvy?

Aside from both sleeping and bivvy bags making your trips much easier and more enjoyable, a sleeping bag and a bivvy bag are different because they offer distinct purposes.

Sleeping bags are portable beds made from lightweight and insulated materials to bring warmth and comfort to the user. It is also portable and easy to use because it has a zipper to allow you to get in and out effortlessly. In addition, it comes in loads of designs, sizes, colours, and temperature ratings that you can choose to fit on whatever travelling adventure you have in mind.

In contrast, bivvy bags will give you the freedom to sleep out in the open while still being protected from the outdoor elements. Its cover is breathable and waterproof, protecting you from wind, rain, and other weather conditions, making it essential to mountaineers and backpackers since it is also lightweight. Additionally, it can fit a sleeping bag inside it to keep you insulated and ensure you get a sound sleep during nighttime.

In a nutshell, sleeping bags are made to bring warmth and comfort to your body, while a bivvy bag will provide minimal protection from outdoor elements. So yes, both items are necessary to pack during your backpacking trips but don't forget to remember that they are used differently depending on your personal needs or what your outdoor trip requires.

Do bivvy bags keep you warm?

Yes, bivvy bags protects you from the elements and can even warm you. However, unlike a sleeping bag or other insulated shelters, it cannot provide much more warmth than you expect.

Bivvy bags are usually made from lightweight and water-resistant materials like Gore-Tex and other light and breathable fabrics. Most mountaineers and backpackers use bivvy bags since they are compact and are not heavy to carry during long hikes or climbs. In addition, bivvy bags also protect them from the elements and provide some level of warmth.

Bringing a sleeping pad or other insulation items is the best choice to meet the sufficient insulation you need. Also, it is critical to choose a suitable location to place your bivvy bag when you decide to use it as your primary shelter. Lastly, it would be best if you purchase a bivvy bag that can handle the weather conditions where you will be travelling. For example, a bivvy bag with a lower temperature rating is needed when the weather condition of the place is colder. Alternatively, you may bring additional insulation gear or a warmer sleeping bag to keep you warm and cosy.