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Are you advanced enough to handle the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy?

Take a break from the storm in the Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy, a lightweight option for solo backpackers and peak baggers. The innovative two-pole design creates an adjustable awning. This adjustability allows you to modify the angle of the overhead roof, and thus the size of the zipper opening, to match your environmental conditions. Rain or snow runs down the roof off this waterproof, windproof bivy's wide storm flap and onto the ground. When wind kicks up, reduce the zipper opening to prevent moisture from blowing in. When skies are clear, open to stargazing mode with the removable no-see-um netting in place to keep bugs out. Extra room under the awning creates a great place to store your boots. Straps secure your sleeping pad to the bivy interior so you don't have to deal with your pad sliding around. A small internal mesh pocket stores objects like headlamp or lip balm. This Outdoor Research bivy also has six guy-line loops so you can tie it down in extreme wind.

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Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy

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Here's what others have to say...

What is the easiest way to stuff that bivy back into that small stuff bag? ��

Responded on

Rolling it. I start with the bottom, make 2-4 rolls, put the poles inside. When getting closer to the top fold the sides in to keep the roll the same length.

3 5

Not breathable

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had high hopes for this bivy, but it ended up being clammy with lots of condensation inside. Granted, it was very cold that night, and we were camping in the snow, but the entire inside of the bivy was covered in ice.

I like the idea of a bivvy, but there are quite a few tents out there that are lighter than this, and store just as small.

Responded on

What are some tents out there that are lighter and store just as small? I'm trying to figure out what tent/bivy to buy for light solo camping and I need my solution to handle bugs, snow and rain (not at the same time).

Responded on

lots of options. If you hike with trekking poles, I'd look for a tent that uses them instead of traditional aluminum poles. Check out tarptent, zpacks, hyperlite mountain gear, six moon designs, yama mountain geaqr, mountain laurel deisngs, big agnes scout (though those don't breathe super well either), and 'mids. Pyramid tents can be insanely light, though you'll usually need an inner mesh if you're worried about bugs. I use a lightweight bug bivy from titanium goat inside a hyperlite moutnmain gear ulta mid. not cheap, but hands down my favorite shelter.

5 5

15 yrs and counting!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have had this bivy (older version but seems identical) since 1998. I have used it it in almost every possible weather that you would need a bivy. I have stuffed a -20 deg down bag in it with my 70lb dog on long winter trips. Never much issue with condensation, (except with wet dog!) or not having room for my gear. I am in the mountains a lot less now but use the bivy when car camping when i dont want to deal with a tent, read always. I have no complaints and it still sheds water, with occasional treatments. I use it without the poles mostly and have no problems sleeping in this bag whatsoever. I just wished they still made the doublewide version for the dogs.

5 5

OR advanced bivy

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the most spacious , durable , quality bivy out there. You might find one lighter but you won't find one with more quality and comfort with the two pole design. It's still lighter than most tents and packs smaller.

Responded on

How well does it breathe? In the cold when you can't use just the mesh?

Responded on

It breaths quite well. I think what helps the most is the 2 pole design that gives you a lot of head room / breathing space.

5 5

Incredible. Lifetime investment!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I sleep outside 365 days a year, and half the year in some pretty rugged conditions. Let me tell you this bivvy was the greatest investment in gear I have ever made. I have slept in it 600-700 nights since buying it in every situation from Florida to Alaska. After going through many bivvys, this one has the least problems with condensation. The quality put into outdoor research products is astounding. The zippers have worked flawlessly the entire time, and the floor has never developed holes. However, after abusing it for almost 3 years, the fabric has begun to absorb and leak water.

I called outdoor research asking to buy fabric to repair mine, and they SENT ME A BRAND NEW advanced bivy free of charge! That's right: anything you buy from them is guaranteed for LIFE. No joke. This is a company that really cares about brand loyalty. From now on when given the option I will only be buying outdoor research stuff.

4 5

I've had good luck...

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had good luck with this sack. Actually, I have the old version that is more of a royal blue color. Pretty much the same setup though. Throughout its career, my sack has been through many drizzle type conditions and a couple all out deluges (one was an AZ monsoonal storm). I've stayed dry with them all.

A couple of times I have had the condensation issue it seems all bivys are plagued with. I found I only use the bivy when I absolutely need it and keep the venting as open as possible to eliminate the condensation. If it's a clear night but I'm expecting dew in the morning, I'll sleep under a tree and leave the bivy packed.

Fours stars due to the poles. Yes, they work ok, but they're a bit slow during setup. I'm not super stoked with the snaps, but again, they do work. I do find having the sack off your face is a benefit however.

I haven't bought a newer version because mine has held up just fine over the years and still running strong.

anyone used this in a storm, specifically...

anyone used this in a storm, specifically mountaineering? does it stake out and hold well?

Best Answer Responded on

This video shows how this bivy set's up and might give you a better idea

Responded on

I've had it in a number of storms. When you're in it there's really no reason to tie it down. When I'm not there I usually fold it in half and place rocks on the ground sheet to hold it in place.

4 5

It's a Bivy.

Why does buying a bivy seem like such a hassle? So I bought this one and I tried it one night. I woke up hot, stuffy and panting. Let's call it 'freak out mode'. This thing may be bomber and all, but it really isn't for me. I wanted a bivy for sea kayaking when there isn't a good place to put up a hammock. The only way I could see using this thing and not freaking out in the middle of the night is if the wind was blowing and you could get consistent fresh air. I think I will just use it under my MSR Zing wing, having that extra level of protection from the elements and using the bug screen to keep the mosquitos at bay. The only negative I found with the actual bivy was the fact it isn't high enough when I sleep on my side. the top pole was against my shoulder the whole night making rolling over a hassle.

5 5

Sweet Minimal Option

I purchased this for overnight kayaking trips. Most of my buddies use tarps. This ha sbeen a life saver for rain and more importantly bugs. I'm the only one sho usually wakes up having enjoyed my night of sleep when caught in rain or a bug infested hell. What really sets it apart is the pole that keeps the bag off of your face. I have had other bivys that just lay on your face and it drives me crazy. The pole also makes it real easy to open up the material and just let the netting open. This is greta when it's a little warm but still want ot keep the bugs at bay. This is the ideal set up for light weight minimalist shelter...that actually shelters you!!

Responded on

I intend to use this while kayaking. Condensation is a big factor. It appears this one has decent ventilation.

I'm 205 lbs w/ wide shoulders....will this...

I'm 205 lbs w/ wide shoulders....will this bivy be comfortable from a width perspective? CAn anyone make another suggestion?

Responded on

In my experience, the OR bivies tend to run wide to accommodate wider bags... The shoulder width is about 26" with an additional 15" -20" in height at the shoulders. Google search images for a drawing of the bivy showing the dimensions... Hope this helps!

Responded on

Rich, I am 6' 2" & 205lbs, I have this bivvy sac and it is great. Fits well and is bombproof in all sorts of weather.


Ok...once again, this bivy looks like it's...

Ok...once again, this bivy looks like it's in my future. The questions I have are: is there a considerable difference (besides price) between the ADVANCED and the HIGHLANDER? If so what are they? And 2: Where exactly do the two poles go? I can see that one appears to hold the opening in place creating a bit of space, but the other? Does the other create a "foot box?" Thank you in advance...j

Best Answer Responded on

The Highland Bivy has no poles and uses Pertex as its waterproof/breathable layer. The Advanced Bivy has two poles to create space around your head, a removable mosquito netting layer at the opening, a footbox opening for added ventilation, and uses Gore-Tex Respiration as its waterproof/breathable layer.

The two poles both go in the head region--on over your face and the other around the opening/top of head so to create rigidity at the opening, which aids in both keeping the opening open for ventilation and preventing the top of the bivy from curling around your head--giving you more head room.

how many poles are there and how long are...

how many poles are there and how long are they? or how long is the longest? surprised you don't list this in your specs, thx

Responded on

Actually, on the right-hand sidebar, does list that there are 2 poles and that broken down, the poles are 15.4" long. However, not having a bivy to measure the pole length put together I can't answer that. Though I have no idea why you'd want to know that.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Stephen, There are 2 poles, one is 50" and the other is 59". Hope that helps!

Hi. I'm very likely to purchase this bivy....

Hi. I'm very likely to purchase this bivy. I was only able to find one negative review, so that's good. My question though, is does the bivy come with a foot print? Is a foot print necessary?

Best Answer Responded on

No it does not come with a foot print and one is really not nessecary. If you are sleeping on rock a lot it might be worth carrying a tarp. Grabber and SOL make some great tarps that are heat reflective and super durable. Plus this will add some warmth.

5 5

Roads and Rails.....

Rocked this bivy across the U.S. and Canada 3 times on Transcontinental Freight-train/hiking/urban camping trips. From 3 days in the freight yards waiting for a ride in incliment weather to Being snowed on and 65 mile an hour icy winds thru the Mid-west and Rocky Mnts., this bad boy took it all and kept me warm, dry, and happy. The design was especially important with its sharks mouth, bug screen, and light poles to keep the top off of your back. This bivy is the best for all around ease and protection, and simple, useful design. LOVE IT!!!! (Now if i can just afford another!)

Bivy Sack Overview - Outdoor Research

Nathan walks through the different bivy sacks from Outdoor Research.

Unanswered Question

Write your question here...Does anyone...

Write your question here...Does anyone know the year this latest model of the Advanced came out? Also if anyone has any insight into the major differences between the 2006 model and this one it would be much appreciated. Im mostly interested in performance differences. Thanks a lot.

5 5


This is one awesome bivy! After bringing the Advanced Bivy along for multiple week-long excursions in Blue Ridge, I have come to rely on this guy. When the temps are warm, the bivy breathes nicely and keeps the bugs at bay. In cold weather it's a cozy non-restrictive safe haven from biting winds. It is absolutely waterproof, ridiculously lightweight, and packs down to nothing. If you're considering purchasing a bivy, give the OR Advanced the attention it deserves.

5 5

The one to go for...

Ultra waterproof, ultra breathable. Even in <-10° weather I don't wake up with any condensation.
Fits my 0° bag great and once upon a time both my girlfriend and I slept in my 25° inside this bivy. Yes it was a squeeze but we fit!
How else can I say awesome... Has the right amount of stakedown points to keep it held down in any weather, one pole is plenty to keep the sack out of your face, and you'll never wake up wet. Is that okay?

And don't forget... never zip it shut all the way!

The picture included is mine next to my girlfriend's minimalist bivy... With 2 other OR bivys on the snow shelf below us. She has the OR Advanced now and loves it! A big happy OR family... And the warranty will work for my kids, because it's technically an "infinity warranty"... more than lifetime.

The one to go for...

How well would a Western Mountaineering...

How well would a Western Mountaineering GWS BIson sleeping bag fit in this bivy? What about the OR Alpine Bivy? I'm a bit concerned given the girth of the sleeping bag.

Responded on

I would not be too worried about fitting into either unless you are much taller than 6'6". the alpine bivy is 3" shorter than the advanced, other than that, the dimensions are the same. the advanced has a 2pole setup where the alpine has one (which is partially why the advanced weighs 5oz more).

Responded on


I'm about 90% sure the specs listed for the Advanced bivy are a little off--the Advanced is a slightly bigger bivy than the Alpine (and the specs listed are the same). That said, the width is still not big enough to fit the Bison perfectly. The shoulder width is probably 2-4" short for the Bison.

However, since you do have the pole system, the usable interior space is greater than a standard bivy and so the excess width of the bag should still fit in the bivy just fine so long as you are comfortable with a little less shoulder room than you are used too.

I hope this helps!