Thursday, 11 February 2010

Big Agnes 3 Wire Bivy, first wee look.

I'd just sat down with a cocoa the other morning after nightshift and there was a ring at the door. I was excited as I knew who it would be and what he would have with him.

I'd uhmmed and ahhhd about getting one of these for a while, I like the idea and simplicity of a bivy but have had some concerns about losing the usefulness of my Laser Comp's porch for cooking.

I have many plans for using a bivy on those trips where it really is about packing fast with no faff. The kind of trip where you literally lie down and go to sleep when you are tired and get up and go when you are awake. When it's just about being out and about in the hills and traversing a ridgeline instead of lazing about camp on a summit. The theory behind a Bivy makes sense here. There's also those nights where the weather is wild, and despite this I still feel inexplicably drawn to the hills to be buffeted about like discarded crisp poke in the wind. Again the low profile of a bivi and lack of poles to bend alarmingly make sense too. The more I thought about it the more I felt there was room in my arsenel for a bivy.

Why the Big Agnes 3 Wire Bivy? Well after much searching it's the only one I could find that ticks all my boxes. Simple design, stable hooped section to keep fabric off my face, bug netting to keep out the dreaded midge and made from eVent.

Those who know me will know of my love/hate affair with that particular fabric. While most people think it's the best stuff since sliced bread I have worn out 2 eVent jackets in around a year. Yes I agree it does seem to have the edge in the breathability stakes but I have concerns over it's durability...although I'm told by a reliable source that that has changed. My thinking is that as a bivy the breathability is more important and it wont be between me and a pack all day long, so wont suffer the same sort of abrasion and abuse a jacket gets.

Why last years model? Well when I realised they were going to change it to red and black this year I knew I had to get one quick. I mean lets be honest orange is the only true proper mountain colour anyway ;o)


  1. "simplicity of a bivy" You have a point there. Uncomplicated and simple is a bivy. Summer time high on a ridge - camp late and away in the morning with no hassle to pack away. I like the new red version as well as yours. It does seem to be the best bivy going. Like you say it ticks all the boxes.

  2. Christ, I never realised bivvies could be so expensive. Looks like a nice bit of kit though.

  3. Martin that's exactly what I'm after with this. Faff free accomodation for some overnighters where I can really rack up the miles. Summer time high on a ridge indeed.

    Not that I'm wishing away this fantastic winter you understand. It's welcome to stay for a good bit yet.

    Mcallisterium, I'm trying not to think about the price. If it performs as well as I hope then it'll be worth it to me though.

  4. I guess when you think about it, the price is maybe not that high, given you could easily pay £200+ for an eVent jacket, and this uses more material than a jacket does.

    The price is getting into tent territory though and it's more than I would want to pay. But I suppose it's all about what criteria you want your shelter to meet. If it meets/exceeds your expectations, then it'll be money well spent.

    I use an Akto ATM, so I definitely have scope to get a lighter shelter for certain applications, I think I'd go the tarp route though, that does pose it's own challenges in dealing with the midge issue. I guess by the time I'd bought the tarp, groundsheet and optional midge barrier, I'd probably be getting close to the £250 mark also...

  5. I've gone down the tarp route as well. It's ligter but certainly not less faff. It's enjoyable being closer to nature and all that but you need to keep a beady eye on the weather and I found myself footering a lot with the guys and the tarp etc. In fact my first outing using the tarp was a disaster.

    I've had better nights with it since.

    I'm using an MLD bivy with a tarp from Wayne at Team IO.

  6. Ah, the joy of the Three Wire.

    It's just a brilliant bit of kit, fits on the smallest of summits but isn't claustrophobic with that hood.
    I have to my groundsheet section is full of holes from keeping Icebugs inside, but you don't pitch it in a ditch so all is well.

    Haven't used mine since the Lurg Mhor trip last summer. Need to get it in the snow...

  7. Great bit of kit... looking forward to using mine again in the Lakes this weekend.

  8. Where abouts in the Lakes did you get Northern Walker? Hope you had fun.

    I'm just back yesterday from Arran with a couple of OM'ers. Wasn't using the bivy though, took the SL3 and was glad of it when the rain came on as the party just moved inside.


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