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Choosing Bivy Sacks

A bivy sack is a low-profile, waterproof barrier for your sleeping bag that offers an ultra-lightweight alternative to traditional tents. Originally used by climbers who needed lightweight, compact shelters for multi-day ascents, they are also popular among backcountry minimalists who want to shave weight. They don't offer room to move, but they're easy to pack.

Structured Bivy Sacks
Structured bivy sacks, called bivy shelters, have small suspension systems that expand the head area to provide some room to sit up in. This makes the confined space more comfortable fit.
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Bivy Openings
The most basic bivy sacks have an opening at the head to let you breathe and allow moisture to escape. More advanced models use mesh panels to keep bugs out.
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Bivy Fabrics
Most bivy sacks use two different fabrics to balance protection and weight. The bottom fabric is heavier for durability. The upper fabric is usually lighter and features a waterproof/breathable laminate.
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How to Choose an Alpine Ski Boot

The Main Line of Communication Between You and Your Skis

 

In contrast to an alpine touring or telemark boot, an alpine boot is designed almost entirely around resort-based and inbounds skiing. Honestly assess your ability level and your interests before you start shopping for a boot. Ability level and interests dictate where and what you ski, and ultimately, the type of boot you’ll need. When choosing a ski boot, pay attention to fit, flex, and last width. These factors will help you maximize the likelihood of finding a well-fitting boot without stepping foot in a store. Secondary considerations, such as liner, buckle configuration strap, footbed, and boot sole features will come later in the buying process.

Fit:

A boot that fits well will hold your foot firmly and encourage ample control, circulation, and reduce the chance of blister-causing heel slippage. Ski boots come in a variety of lengths, measured in Mondo sizing (insole length in centimeters), forefoot widths (measured in millimeters), and cuff height and width (based on gender or manufacturer).

Flex:

Flex refers to how hard it is to flex the boot forward. Aggressive or heavier skiers will want a stiff boot (120-130+) to handle high speeds and arduous terrain. Beginners or smaller skiers best to start with a softer boot (80-100) and intermediate skiers may prefer a boot with a flex around (100-110).

Interest:

Alpine boots come in three flavors: park and pipe, alpine touring, and alpine. Park boots tend to be a little softer and more forgiving, alpine touring boots are made with lighter materials and offer a walk mode, and alpine boots balance performance and comfort for skiing inbounds at the resort.