USMC Improved Bivy (1 Viewer)

wildwerden

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So my old USGI MSS woodland bivy is kicking the bucket and I'm starting to do some research for a new one.
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Someone introduced me to the USMC Improved bivy and my first impression was WHY THE FUCK HAVE I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE!? I hate mosquitos, even moreso, I hate laying in the wrong fucking spot and waking up to ticks crawling all over me. A bivy that seals me in with a bug net? Perfect!

Being the research freak I am, especially when it comes to my gear, I decided to compile everything I found on it (and there's not really much out there oddly enough?). Hopefully this helps someone out.

Material: The outer and the inner shell is 100% Nylon but between these shells there is a PTFE (goretex) core, so it's just as Gore-Tex or a fabric with the same characteristics. I am still unsure about this fabric. I'd really like to get my hands on it and see if it's noisy and just how well it breathes. A few reviews say it's very warm and breaths well enough.

Zippers go down both sides and stop at the waist.

Bug net has a flap that can be sealed shut from the inside so no worries about the rain. Also there's wire that can be bent to help hold the net off yr face!

Weight difference is only about 5 oz lighter from the original USGI bivy.

Lengths have been reported to be longer but the width is much smaller in the improved bivy. This is the biggest issue so far... I love how roomy the original USGI is but I'm a skinny enough gal so I figure I can squeeze in? My dog will be pissed though.
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Photo credit: https://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=107050


Pricing is somewhere between $50-100, depending of if it's new or used (with holes/rips in the bug net). Roughly about the same for the USGI from my own research.

Sewing a bug net into the USGI bivy and calling it a day almost seems just as good.

Has ANYONE used one of these before? How does it breathe for ya? Is it too tight inside with a sleeping pad and bag? Is it noisy fabric? Do you love it or hate it?

I'm thinking about just buying it to try it out and if I don't like it I can always sell it and get the good old bomb-proof woodland camo again.

Until then, Meow.
 

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SlankyLanky

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everythign that ive read about them seems solid. alot of newer military stuff these days is obviously pretty spot on for travelling. but yer coincern about goretex not breathing is correct, that shit does not breath at all. my buddy had a pair of gortex boots and didnt take them off as often as he should of, talk about fucking trench foot and good god the smell was awful. ide assume after a few weeks of sleeping in it its going to be mighty ripe. but youll be warm and dry for sure.
 

Will Wood

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I have a very nice old Bibler Bivy. It too has a bug net over the face and flex rod to keep all of it off the face.. I am looking into a Free Soldier hammock system that is cool also.. If I had to only take one, it would be a tough call.. .. Can't find my bibler on YouTube, but I found a hammock video for poops and giggles.
 

Rob Nothing

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I will sometimes fly with a full size mosquito net in tow, and find something to suspend it from and tuck it all under my mat.. But this thing looks great. If you do buy one let me know where.. Although I'm assuming it is online order only. It's hard enough finding surplus stores that carry the old mss bivvy, whenever I have to replace an old one.
 
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Love a girl who knows her bivvies.

I have the original goretex bivy as well. I actually haven't used it, though. Last trip I took (9 months just now from Hungary to Kyrgystan) I just used the sleeping bag and tarp.... Bought a mosquito net for the warmer bug months.. But man was that an annoying little dick to set up when conditions weren't perfect. This system looks quite decent.

Additionally, you could get one of those cheapo ebay hammocks with built in bug net and built in tent poles so that you can also prop it up off the ground like a bivy... It just wouldn't be waterproof (i've never really needed the waterproof aspect of a bivy... it's more so the bug protection/wind protection that i've enjoyed.
 
E

etpyh

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I too have the original us military bivy and the missing bug net is definitly something I will have to change. The goretex breaths well enoug from my experience. You can open up the zippers and just use the buttons for more airflow too.
 
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wildwerden

wildwerden

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I actually do have a Hennessy Hammock that I scored off Craiglist for cheap a couple of years ago. It has a bug net sewed into it but I rarely use the thing, I end up sleeping on the ground with my dog. That may change when I switch from rubber tramping to bicycle touring though. I've thought about trying to use the hammock as a bug net/tent on the ground and have seen some people succeed.
cycling-astent5462-jpg.34681_USMC Improved Bivy_Portable Shelters_Squat the Planet_5:12 AM

I find my bivy is way more valuable. I use it everyday, it's a wonderful waterproof/rainproof protective sleeve for my down sleeping bag. I miss the days when my bivy was new and I could sleep in a field in pouring rain and wake up dry and warm with a middle finger pointed at the sky. The goretex breathes just fine for me in the original bivy but I'm a little concerned about the nylon-goretex-nylon fabrics in the newer one. Especially considering it's usually hot out when the bugs are out, if this newer bivy doesn't breathe well then well, that kinda totally defeats the purpose.

@anterrabae yeah, it's online only, but you may be able to order through the military surplus stores? also check out craigslist, you never know.
 
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If it's hot out, sleeping naked or in your undies just inside the bivy would be fine, no? Nylon is very breathable unless it's specifically waterproof, but I imagine it was used in these bivvies to add a layer of protection over the goretex. So it's likely pretty breathable.

Imagine all the sweaty soldiers climbing into these things. They HAVE to breath, or else you got trench foot type issues all over your body... Eep.
 
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wildwerden

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Ebay is the only place I was able to find these bivys. I was looking all over for a brand new one to no avail. I bit the bullet and just ordered one this morning and will get it on Saturday so I will let ya'all know what my first impressions are, as well as how it does on the road. I contacted my seller and asked him to pull out one with the least amount of damage possible for a few extra bucks. The one I am getting only has an inch long cut in the face mask and apparently the bivy itself is in excellent shape. Easy fix and the total came to $75. Looking forward to seeing how this bivy is in the field.
 

Renegade

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Ebay is the only place I was able to find these bivys. I was looking all over for a brand new one to no avail. I bit the bullet and just ordered one this morning and will get it on Saturday so I will let ya'all know what my first impressions are, as well as how it does on the road. I contacted my seller and asked him to pull out one with the least amount of damage possible for a few extra bucks. The one I am getting only has an inch long cut in the face mask and apparently the bivy itself is in excellent shape. Easy fix and the total came to $75. Looking forward to seeing how this bivy is in the field.
Awesome sauce.. i look forward to hearing your review and thanks for letting me know where to get one.., they look really solid.., when i get one i except they will exceed my expectations.
 

yoder

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I commented in a post a while back about my review of this system.
I paid $125 new with sleeping bag and compression sack.
3 years ago...
https://squattheplanet.com/threads/bivvy-sacks.18537/#post-137924

Ive been using this Bivy heavily for 3 years with with NO SLEEPING BAG,(the original USMC sleeping bag that came with this Bivy is to bulky, heavy and gets me too hot)

I recently started to use this
(It's brushed fleece that feels wonderful)
Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Fleece Liner
image.jpeg


Best 3 season sleep system that is so comfortable.
Light weight
Very compatible
Durable


I've woken up in a 3inch deep puddle multiple times BONE DRY!
It has yet to tear...
I Swear by this Bivy sack
The USMC hands down have made the best Bivy.
 
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wildwerden

wildwerden

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Thanks for the review @yoder! I've yet to really test mine out since I've been rubber tramping and housed up a lot. I'm hoping to get my bike tour in gear soon though and that should put my bivy to the test. I'm curious how it is in the heat of summer nights when there's swarms of blood-thirsty mosquitos... Is it hot being zipped up inside, in yr skivvies?
 

Will Wood

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I have a very nice old Bibler Bivy. It too has a bug net over the face and flex rod to keep all of it off the face.. I am looking into a Free Soldier hammock system that is cool also.. If I had to only take one, it would be a tough call.. .. Can't find my bibler on YouTube, but I found a hammock video for poops and giggles.
Update. The Freesoldier is not for large men. I'm now looking at getting a Grand Trunk double hammock and maybe a mosquito net from Purple Turtle, and keep my bivy.http://www.purpleturtle.co.uk/acatalog/LifeSystems-Mosquito-Net-Hanging-Kit-10772.html#SID=95 .. Grand trunk is pricy but I have a job now and am probably going with this. https://www.grandtrunk.com/collections/parachute-nylon-hammocks/products/parachute-nylon-hammock?variant=11701653123
 

DrewSTNY

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Update. The Freesoldier is not for large men. I'm now looking at getting a Grand Trunk double hammock and maybe a mosquito net from Purple Turtle, and keep my bivy.http://www.purpleturtle.co.uk/acatalog/LifeSystems-Mosquito-Net-Hanging-Kit-10772.html#SID=95 .. Grand trunk is pricy but I have a job now and am probably going with this. https://www.grandtrunk.com/collections/parachute-nylon-hammocks/products/parachute-nylon-hammock?variant=11701653123
Cool, Will. You might consider a Wise Owl double hammock as well. I have one and it seemes to handle 300+# very well. Plus, it's freaking HUGE. It was comparatively cheaper than most ENO copies.
 

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I am uaing the USMC camo bivy right now, i love that thing. People that have the improved one have good things to say about it.

I am coming up with the money currently, to buy an Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy. It is light, durable, roomy, breathable, has a two pole system that brings the bivy up off of you, as well as vents, a mosquito net, and stake down points. Using It with a tarp underneath. Kinda expensive, but worth it.

www.outdoorresearch.com/en/advanced-bivy.html

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or_advanced_bivy_08-jpg.36585_USMC Improved Bivy_Portable Shelters_Squat the Planet_4:41 PM
 

yoder

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Thanks for the review @yoder! I've yet to really test mine out since I've been rubber tramping and housed up a lot. I'm hoping to get my bike tour in gear soon though and that should put my bivy to the test. I'm curious how it is in the heat of summer nights when there's swarms of blood-thirsty mosquitos... Is it hot being zipped up inside, in yr skivvies?
i tend to sleep in my underwear and no shirt on,
i get uncomfortable when temps are around 75F at night (fully zipped)
its just to dam clamy... but id much rather be hot and sweaty than getting eaten alive!

sometimes ill have it zipped half way down and ill put my fleece over my torso and wear a bug net to bed so my face don't get bitten...
 
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