Hello all, it seems to me that for a bivy...
Hello all, it seems to me that for a bivy that weighs in under 2 pounds this has a fairly large advertised packed size. 6x13" isn't that much smaller than my kelty 2 person tent. Can anyone attest to this tent being more compressible, or is that size limited by the length of the wire in the hood? Also if anyone could comment on how easy this is to get in and out of, and what sort of sleep systems you set it up with, i.e. do you bring a sil tarp to cover the head area or pitch to put gear under or change under. My backpacking in the north cascades of Washington usually involves obscene amounts of rain, I'm just trying to stay dry.
It would be difficult to get this more compressable. The hoop in the hood is not a factor. I've had two of these. I will buy a third if I have to although I doubt it as it's pretty durable. (My brother took my first one.) To answer your first question it's not the easiest to get in and out of - it's not the hardest either. With a little practice the middle of the night wiz isn't any worse than getting out of a warm tent. The hoop keeps the fabric off your face and I like that. And it creates a vent - which I really like. I've never used any tarp to cover the head area as it's un-necessary - to me. I've actually sat in this and ate dinner. (The hoop helped that) I got the long to store my shizzle in when it rains or starts blow'n. I've logged WAAAAAY more time in this than my tent in the past ten years which is a testiment to the ease and weight of this bag. I've used this for winter alpine ascents, back-packing, climbing and even quite a few car camps. I love this thing. Oh, and I've not had a drop of moisture from the inside or out.
That amazes me that people claim to not get any moisture...I get quite a bit! And I keep the zipper open. This is blowing my mind. From my point of view you'd definitely want a tarp or something if it's going to be raining or whatever (unless you have some other kind of shelter). Otherwise water will get in since you have to keep the zipper open (I can't imagine how much moisture would be inside if the zipper was closed). I personally take along a small tarp when I expect bad weather. But in my case it's usually just to aid in fast snow trenches in bad weather. So no rain so far, just snow (and not slushy snow). As far as the packed size goes, I hear you about your issue with the size. There are ways to compress it more, but the limiting factor is definitely the wire hoop. If it wasn't there, this thing would pack super small. But once again, it depends how you pack it as far as how compact it will be. And for the small opening, I think it's easy to get in and out.
In further response to your question about packability, I have recently begun to remove the delrin rod (hoop)and it does pack down quite a bit smaller. I just put the rod in my wand pocket on the side of my pack and carry it that way. This has two benifits. As I said, it allows you to pack it smaller but also helps keep the Delrin from retaining too much of a undesirable shape. It has been my experience that by packing the bag in the same fashion my rods arch flattens and is more difficult to bend back into a desirable shape when you're cold and tired and just don't want to mess with it. Delrin is a plastic that has memory so you can bend it, hold in that position and it stays. You can also straighten it which is how I like my rod so when I put it back in I get the desired arch and the fabric is kept off my face even with an improvised pillow.
Also, I just experienced my first bit of condensation on a recent Sierra trip but I had closed the zipper about 3/4 shut to keep out a cold blowing wind at around 13,000 feet. But, to me, the level of moisture was negligable (not appreciably wetting my down bag) Hope this helps.