Any recommendations for a cheap bivy bag to start with to fit Neoair MAX 25" pad

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by Gavin Summers, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    I last week stealth camped just outside Birmingham (see pics below). Weather was fine so I just cowboy camped. I would like to buy a bivy bag but cannot find any that I can fit my Neoair Xtherm regular MAX pad inside (width 25"). I know that Borah Gear and MLD make bivy bags big enough to fit a MAX pad, but the wait times are long (12-16 weeks for MLD atm), and I want to keep getting out there over the summer, and if I'm into it maybe beyond. Does anyone have any recommendations for a cheap bivy bag to start with...this spot was near Birmingham airport...for those interested.
    upload_2021-6-6_20-22-38.jpeg upload_2021-6-6_20-22-38.jpeg upload_2021-6-6_20-22-38.jpeg
  2. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    I was kindly given a gortex army bivi which easily swallows my exped downmat 5 + roll mat. Might be an idea.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  3. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

    Alpkit Hunka XL should do the job, haven't yet tried my Alpkit Kloke but from things I've read it might be up to the job.
    rootsman likes this.
  4. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    A couple of friends have Kloke's and say they work really well. I always woke up slightly damp in the Hunka. Army Goretex or MVP would be my go to for now. Heavier than other options but you can grab them in great/new condition for under £50 most of the time. Looked after well, they will last for years.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  5. ADz

    ADz Thru Hiker

    Gavin have you had a look out for a used Borah or MLD bivy or you only wanting a new one? If not maybe put a wanted post up?

    Unfortunately these won't be suitable for Gavin as he's using a TR Max version which is square, not Mummy shape. The Army bags could be cheap way to go though until get a lighter solution.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  6. Daniel

    Daniel Ultralighter

    I forgot my groundsheet the other week and I managed ok in my kloke with a big agnes axl mummy and taiga 250. I'm 6ft slim build
  7. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    My old Army bag was 8ft long so there should be plenty or room inside. Depending on the weather I used to either have my pack at the foot or head of the bivy with tons of room left.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  8. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Smaller pack size than the army bivvy but about the same size is the OEX from Gooutdoors etc
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  9. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Thnaks fluffkitten but the Alpkit Hunka XL is too small to fit a MAX regular pad.
    fluffkitten likes this.
  10. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Hi ADz...the MLD Soul Event bivy looks perfect, but I would prefer to try a season of bivying out and about before splashing the cash on that one. $280! Does look ideal though...12-16 week wait atm. I just need one to get started...planning on getting out locally this Friday, and maybe every Friday throughout the summer. It seems as though EVent is the perfect bivy material...just not many are made for whatever reason ADz.
  11. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Just looking at this Bopdude...might be a winner.
  12. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    I've just been and tried an OEX bivy at Go Outdoors...too small! Next up is an Army one. Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. Might end up making my own at this rate!
    Bopdude likes this.
  13. Shewie

    Shewie Chief Slackpacker Staff Member

    I think you’ll struggle with anything off the shelf with that pad, even my MLD and Borah oversized bivvies wouldn’t handle the 25” foot end and allow for bag loft.

    I can get some pics if it’ll help, I think you’re looking at DIY
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  14. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Cheers Shewie. I think so too. If you can send pics that'd be great. I only need a simple bag to start with. Anyone else on here Shewie who might be able to help/advise?
  15. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    Endicotts in Exeter used to “nip & tuck” some of their Army bivi bags to suit general folk.
    Considering the most wear should be on the base.. 3yds of silpoly and someone with a sewing machine could give you what we all want but on the cheap
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  16. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

  17. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

  18. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

    If it's mild weather, can you not keep the pad on the outside? Bit of polycro under it to give some protection. Just don't roll off in windy conditions.
    Gavin Summers and Daniel like this.
  19. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Yes of course Davy... that's what I have been doing. I just want a more year round solution. Cheers
  20. Tartanferret

    Tartanferret Thru Hiker

    unfortunately the price is for grade 2 condition in which case eBay might be cheaper.
    I was suggesting getting someone to replace the base of the bag with something lighter than goretex like silpoly. It might get a bit messy trying to seam seal it though.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  21. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

    I may have misunderstood your pics but I meant with a smaller bivvy bag and quilt/sleeping bag inside and the mat separately outside underneath.

    I've done this many times, only recently getting a larger Hunka xl which accommodates me, quilt, inflatable pillow and mat all inside. I discovered the downside in this set up last week in that I can't easily roll over and keep the rain out by moving the cinched down opening to face away from the prevailing weather.

    Rest of the family kipped happily in their bivvies atop their inflatable mats and could wriggle around independently. Mats can get wet, only issue is protecting them from muck/pointy things on the ground and dealing with windy conditions.

    If I/we did it more I'd look at more weathersealed opinions, or take the tent. :D

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021 at 6:45 PM
    WilliamC and Gavin Summers like this.
  22. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    I wonder if quilt straps type of system would work with bivy and mat underneath. However this way the quilt inserts the bivy would not be fixed into anything risking drafts.
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  23. Gavin Summers

    Gavin Summers Summit Camper

    Hi Davy...very good point. I'd never have thought of that. As a newbie to bivying it's all very helpful. I am planning on getting out this Friday night (night 2!), and guess I will learn as I go along. I already have some polycro and a 1/8mm Evazote mat cut to fit, although it's obviously a very easy game in warm dry weather! I'll learn more come the autumn, or on my first wet night! Although a small tarp setup would sort that out. As your post indicates, the key to it is just to get out there and learn from experience. I'll probably buy an old cheap Army bag as Tartanferret suggested. Once I know what I'm doing I might then upgrade. Thanks for all your advice Davy.
    Davy likes this.
  24. Davy

    Davy Thru Hiker

    Happy to help, although I'm far from an expert and there are many folk on here with many many more outdoor miles under their belt.

    If you search the forum, there was a long bivvy thread last year which had lots of photos.

    I'd add that I'm a largely fair weather camper when it comes to bivvying, the point for me is more the direct connection to the sky rather than the stealthy nature of it, the family love it down here in the mild and largely midge and tick free SE. If the forecast is grim, I'll look at alternatives or more likely not bother :D

    No substitute for getting out there and doing it :)
    Gavin Summers likes this.
  25. flyfifer

    flyfifer Trail Blazer

    When I read the opening saying ---
    You had been in a bivvy near a Main Airport -- my first thought was the man has a death wish.
    Or fancies a holiday in Guantanamo !
    I have a Phoenix Phoxhole I might part with. No idea if it is wide enough for you but it served me as "night time" shelter for a few nights of off grid mountain biking --- 30? years go.
    Gavin Summers likes this.

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