There are many different ways you can wild camp. One method that is often underutilized is the bivy bag. The best bivy bags are essentially extra warm and waterproof sleeping bags that can be used without the need for a tent.
Bivy bags are typically made from waterproof, breathable fabric. This allows you to use them as an outdoor sleeping bag, but fully enclose your head to protect you from the cold without suffocating. Bivy bags are also useful for emergencies if you get lost and can also be used inside a tent for extra warmth and protection. In this guide, we have hand-picked eight of the best bivy bags currently available in 2022.
1. Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag
One of the best bivy bags is the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy Bag. This is a great all-around product and one of the best options if you want to use it outside without a tent.
It has a waterproof top layer that is also breathable. During good weather, you can also open a mesh flap at the head section for a viewing window. We like that this bivy bag also maximises comfort inside. This is because it has a guy line loop so you can increase the height of the bag when you are in it.
It is also made from 30D nylon ripstop material on the bottom, and 20D nylon ripstop on the top.
- Has a large U-shaped opening so you can easily get in and out
- There is also a mesh window panel to provide improved ventilation
- The top layer is made from waterproof, breathable fabric
- Also has a guy line so you can increase the height of the bivy interior
- Can comfortably fit an inflatable bed inside
- Not the most conspicuous colour combination
2. Aqua Quest Pharaoh Bivy Bag
The Aqua Quest Pharaoh Bivy Bag is a great option and it is one of the best premium bivy bags available. It is fully waterproof and is made from 70D ripstop fabric and laminated PU. This gives it a waterproof rating of up to 10,000mm.
If you want to travel light, we also like how lightweight this bivy bag is. It weighs only 1.1lbs. Also, it includes a carry bag and the material can be packed down quickly. This is great if you don’t have much spare room in your backpack.
The bivy bag is also easy to set up. Simply remove it from the bag, unroll it, flatten it on the ground and you are good to go! It also has zippers on both sides so you can quickly access the bivy or exit it. In terms of size, the manufacturer states this bivy bag should comfortably house anyone up to 6ft6 inches tall.
- Excellent camouflaged colours to blend in with the surroundings
- Has a brilliant waterproof rating of 10,000mm
- Made from 70D ripstop nylon fabric and laminated PU
- Weighs just 1.1lbs for easy carrying
- Extra-wide room inside for brilliant comfort
- Not available in different colours
3. 3F UL GEAR Tyvek Bivy Bag
If you simply want a bivy bag to use inside your tent in conjunction with your sleeping bag, the 3F UL GEAR Tyvek Bivy Bag is a brilliant choice. This is not strictly meant to be used outside of a tent, but it is moisture-proof.
There are two sizes of bag available – 180x80cm / 130g or 230x90cm / 200g. Regardless of the size, as you can see, these are some of the best bivy bags available due to their lightweight construction. They also come with a stuff bag for easy portability.
The material is lightweight and will prevent condensation inside your tent. They can also comfortably fit a sleeping bag inside so you can snuggle up inside your tent during those rainy nights.
- Incredibly lightweight at just 130g
- Made from dust-proof, dirt-proof and waterproof material
- Can easily fit a sleeping bag inside
- Available in two different sizes
- Great ventilation
- It may not be suitable for outdoor use without a tent
4. Slumberjack Contour Bivy
One of the best bivy bags for larger people is the Slumberjack Contour Bivy. This large bivy bag measures 91×21 inches and weighs 0.42kg. As a result, it provides excellent space for taller people and can also fit a sleeping bag inside.
The material is waterproof but also breathable. This should provide a comfortable experience when you are sleeping inside. It also has a pair of zips on each side so you can use it “arms out”. We also like that it has a breathable visor on the head section so you can look out at your surroundings.
Lastly, the hooded design of this bivy bag provides extra comfort and ventilation.
- Stylish camouflage design
- Has dual zippers with hook and loop tabs
- The visor can be adjusted to create a mesh window
- The seams are fully waterproof and tapered
- Made from 40D waterproof breathable fabric
- It may be a little larger than other bivys on this list
5. Tennier US Army Military Woodland Bivy
If you want a high-quality bivy bag that has been used in a military capacity, the Tennier US Army Military Woodland Bivy is a brilliant choice. This is a military-grade bivy bag made from premium Gore-Tex material.
It also has an excellent woodland camouflage design and looks fantastic. For protection, this bag is completely waterproof and also has a snap storm flap and large zipper for quick access.
We also like how spacious it is. It measures 84×35 inches and can easily fit a large sleeping bag inside. The only downside with this bivy bag is that it is quite expensive.
- Genuine US Military issue Gore-Tex bivy
- Has a stylish woodland camouflage design
- Made from both waterproof and windproof material
- Ample space at 84×35 inches
- Much more expensive than other bivys
6. Mil-Tec by Sturm Bivy Bag
The Mil-Tec by Sturm Bivy Bag looks fantastic but it also has excellent performance and features. If you want a bivy bag to blend in with your surroundings this is one of the best bivy bags available. This is due to the woodland camouflaged exterior.
Aside from looking the part, this bivy bag is also highly functional. It is a 3-layer bivy that is water-resistant and fully breathable. You can comfortably sleep inside it and close the opening without the fear of suffocation.
The material also has excellent vapour permeability and brilliant water resistance. Due to the size, it should also comfortably fit most sizes of sleeping bags inside. The head section also has a simple hook-and-loop closure system for easy access.
- Has three tactical layers to improve waterproofing and breathability
- Great vapour permeability and water resistance
- Can be attached to sleeping bags via the fasteners
- Has a two-way zipper for easy access
- Relatively expensive
7. Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag
The Snugpak Special Forces Bivvi Bag is a great product and we like that it is available in three different colours. This means you can pick one to suit the typical surroundings you camp in. The colours are black, olive, and coyote.
For outdoor use, this buy bag is made from Paratex Dry Fabric. This is completely waterproof and provides a durable, but lightweight shell for the bivy. We also like that the bivy I windproof and will effectively keep cold air out.
To easily carry the bivy bag, it includes a simple drawstring stuff bag. We also like that it provides plenty of room. The bag measures 90×33 inches. For entry and exit, the bag has a half-length zipper on the centre of the top side of the bag.
- Available in three different colours to suit different climates
- Made from Paratex dry fabric which is completely waterproof
- Is also windproof and can trap warm air inside
- Includes a stuff pack so you can easily carry the bivy
- Relatively expensive
8. Tact Bivvy 2.0 Emergency Sleeping Bag
If you want a bivy bag only for emergencies, the Tact Bivvy 2.0 Emergency Sleeping Bag is a brilliant choice. This piece of kit is meant for emergencies and is a great item to have when hiking or exploring outdoors. If you get lost or need shelter, you can simply unravel the bivy and jump in it until help arrives.
This bivy bag is made from 100% waterproof, ultra-lightweight material. It weighs only 4.8oz and is incredibly easy to carry due to the included stuff bag.
The material the bag is made from also features HeatEcho technology. This means that it effectively reflects 90% of your body heat and will keep you incredibly warm. There is also a 120-DB whistle and carabiner on the end of the drawstring too.
- Made from an ultra-lightweight material
- Highly reflective and bright colours for improved visibility
- The HeatEcho material reflects 90% of body heat
- 100% waterproof and incredibly durable
- Only really meant for emergency use
Take Your Camping to the Next Level With The Best Bivy Bags
We hope you have found this guide on the best bivy bags useful. Bivy bags have multiple uses depending on the time of year, weather, and level of experience.
For example, you may simply want a bivy bag for emergencies in case you get lost or stuck when exploring outdoors. Alternatively, a bivy bag can make for an extra-warm sleeping bag inside a tent on particularly cold trips. Lastly, the best bivy bags can also provide a lightweight, portable alternative to a tent if you want that true outdoor camping experience.