Ditch the inner use a Bivy instead! (Well at least for part of the year)
This article mainly talks about the Valley and Peak Ultra Bivy but if the dimensions of other bivy’s are right they could work with what I discuss in this article.
Here I discuss the idea of using the Ultra Bivy instead of the inner provided with your tent or with a single skin shelter where you may use just a groundsheet. In doing so you can save weight, increase space inside the tent and with the enclosed nature of a Bivy it’s generally warmer than using the tent's inner, especially in winter.
How you can put the Ultra Bivy to good use, take it with you outside of the summer.
It may sound counter intuitive to use a Bivy outside of summer during wild camps. However in my experience of camping in the summer particularly in Scotland (but also you will find this in Nordic countries for example), lying in a Bivy all evening protecting yourself from plagues of midges or other such annoying insects is not much fun.
If you do however, want to use a Bivy in the height of summer, we have an option of quick access side zips, a unique feature to our Ultra Bivy which allows access to gear and I’ve also cooked without leaving the confines of the Ultra Bivy.
Above photo: Quick Access zips, can make life easier inside the Ultra Bivy
Winter/Spring and Autumn
Replace the tent inner with the Ultra Bivy which lightens your load during a period when you will have maximum weight in your pack. It also allow for increased space inside your tent for those long nights and added warmth due to the enclosed nature of the Bivy compared to the inner. I suspect that an additional 5C of warmth can be gained. The Optional Hood for the Ultra Bivy will give additional protection from draughts.
Summer - during bug season
This is the time when your inner tent will give most benefit because of midges and other flying and crawling beasties. The increased weight is offset by the fact that you will have a lighter sleeping bag or quilt and less insulated clothing to carry.
Some examples of weight savings compared to using inner tent
Here are some of the tents tested with the Ultra Bivy.
|Tent||Total weight of tent||Weight of inner only||Weight of Ultra Bivy||Saving|
|FT Xenon 2 UL||1900g||716g||210g||506g|
Other benefits to weight savings, include having more room to move around in your tent or shelter.
We have not tested the fit in all shelters, but the Ultra Bivy should fit in most and it is not essential to hook up the foot end which may make the fit better in some tents.
The following are real life photos of the Ultra Bivy in use, not the studio photos that you see with many Bivy’s showing them pulled tight and not a crease in sight!
Above. Ultra Bivy in Hilleberg Soulo.
Above. Ultra Bivy in Tarptent Stratospire
Above. Ultra Bivy in Wikiup 3
Above. Ultra Bivy in MLD Trailstar will fit at back as in photo or running front to back.
The Ultra Bivy is available in Orange, Dark Olive and Titanium Grey. Details can be found here