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Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy

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23 Reviews


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.
  • Item #ODR0243

Tech Specs

Manufacturer Warranty
Recommended Use
Trail Weight
2 lb 5.2 oz
Packed Size
15.25 x 4 in
mesh panel
Floor Space
87 x 19 - 26 in
Interior Height
20 in
Pole Attachment
yes, aluminum
[body] Gore-Tex 3L Respiration Positive, [floor] nylon, Hydroseal coating

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Great all-weather choice

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This bivvy is a great option for those trying to save some weight and space while staying fully protected from the elements. A couple notes after using in the Sierra during late summer and fall:

-Clearance overhead is very minimal when closed. Folks that easily feel claustrophobic should probably consider other options.

-It's difficult and uncomfortable to fit a pack inside the bivvy with you (yes, I understand this very different than a normal tent). Make sure you have something else to protect your bag and gear.

-Spend 20 minutes when it first arrives to figure out how to assemble the bivvy, how to open the mesh screen, storm screen, etc. It's easy once you've' done it a couple times, but it would be very annoying to figure out in the pouring rain!

keeps you warm even in down pours

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

If your claustrophobic, this will not work but if not, it's awesome! I spent a few nights in hard, non stop rain, cold winds and kept warm and dry with a 20 degree north face cats meow. It packs tight, weights a little more than u/l tents but it is a 4 season, not 3, shelter. My girl friend used it in Germany and in snow that rose to the mid way up line over night. if setting up in rain, youll need a small tarp or youll get water inside. I slept good in it myself. I have used it a year now. In hot summer days, I leave it open and foot vents open, with just a 50 degree bag and start out on top of the bag. come 3 am, slip in the bag. I use a pee bottle to pee and unzip the top 8" or so and set the bottle out side till I wake to deal with it.

keeps you warm even in down pours

Worst product ever.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

One of the poles doesn't fit any configuration. Its too long. If you move around inside the bivy the ends of the poles keep coming out. You can never keep it open and you just can't breath when it's closed. Zippers get caught in the fabric and on and on . No side zipper make it impossible to adjust your sleeping bag zipper once inside the bivy.

Great on cool nights!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I used this bivy on a couple different bicycle trips. The first trip it was hot at night and thus was warm in the bivy. No fault in my opinion as a tent would be warm as well. On cooler nights this bivy really shines. It's roomy, easy to set up, and keeps you warm on cool nights. Overall I love it, especially for these cool fall nights ahead and can't wait to try it winter camping.

Great on cool nights!

Perfect Winter Bivy

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

have used this bivy many times and have had zero issues with the product. The construction is top notch and I'm not worried about damaging the bivy in the field and I'm extremely hard on gear. This bag might be overkill for summer or even the fall, where one could get by with a lighter, smaller sized bivy, such as the OR Alpine, but for winter camping, overnights, or multi-climbing, this bivy is hard to beat. A couple features that make this bivy ideal for sub-zero winter camping are the following:

* A very generous overall cut, which accommodates high loft sleeping bags. I use mine with a WM Puma -25 bag and still have plenty of room inside. I also use two pads, a Thermarest Prolite Plus size large, situated on top of a small Z-Lite pad for extra warmth on my torso. The two pad setup lifts you off the ground several inches, pushing your head and face closer to the top of the bivy. But with the Advanced Bivy, I still feel like there is ample headroom.

* The integrated foot box vent allows for even greater air circulation, which helps cut down on condensation. I never close this vent and have never had a problem with the elements getting into the bag, or wetting my sleeping bag.

* The guy points on the top of the bag allow for various stakeout positions depending on conditions. With heavy to moderate snowfall I will stake these out in order to prevent sagging. If you experiment with this you will see that some configurations will give you even more headroom inside, as the tension on the main pole can be controlled given the direction of the guy lines etc. I have guyed this out with one piece of cord from the middle hood loop straight up to a tree branch and that seemed to really provide a lot of strength to the hood area. When doing this it's good to stake out at least 2 of the underside loops on the head side of the bag. I don't usually stake out the loops at the foot of the bag.

Many people find the zippers in this bag difficult to manipulate, but you need to practice using the bag to easily and quickly manipulate opening and closing it, especially in cold weather. I have seen some reviewers erroneously claim you have to unsnap the pole in order to close it tight--this is not true, as the zipper pulls must be passed around the pole fro inside the bag, a relatively simple thing to do. This is the only aspect of the opening and closing of the bag, that can be cumbersome if you haven't practiced doing it.

Condensation has not been too much of an issue. The times when I had frost form inside the bag in sub zero temps, I was either drying a lot of gear inside the bivy and/or, had the bag fully zipped, which is really not good to do with any bivy.

One thing I have noticed is that in very cold weather, the shock cord on the poles, becomes limp and looses it's elasticity, which can make putting the pole together a pain.

For packing purposes I leave the stuff sack the bivy comes with at home, as it is too tight to use in the field in freezing conditions. Instead, I use a 9.0L, medium size ultra-sil stuff sack, which allows me to roll the bivy and poles up and easily get it into the bag. The last thing you want to do when breaking down camp or setting up, is to struggle with stuff sacks. Inside my pack it compresses down anyways, plus the ultra sil is lighter.

For sizing, I'm 6'2

Perfect Winter Bivy

No condensation, incredibly well made

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had been on the hunt for a lightweight one-man shelter to take backpacking and motorcycle camping. It has to be fast and easy to setup, no condensation, lightweight, waterproof and durable. I initially bought a Marmont Starlight 1P, but it was a soggy nightmare to sleep in temperate weather due to the condensation. So my hopes where high for the OR Advanced Bivy.

From the moment you pull this out of the bag, the quality construction and materials are apparent. GoreTex fabric, taped seams, strong zips, coated lining. This is a serious adventure bag.

Now I'm 6'2", 180lbs. I've got a long Nemo Cosmo Air sleeping pad. It's a big pad and I was worried it wouldn't fit in the Advanced Bivy with my Marmot Plasma 15 sleeping bag even though it's meant for larger pads. I was wrong, it fits fine, not a problem. The internal elastic straps that hold the pad in place are a little tight, but maybe that's a good thing.

Setting this up is easy with the two lightweight poles and button-pole ends. I think the end clips could lock into the poles to prevent them slipping out during restless nights (you'll see what I mean), but some tape fixed that. The tape also helped me remember which pole goes where as they aren't color coded or anything.

I've heard some people ask how to hold this open. It has a thick wire that runs around the flap edge, you can fold that back on itself and it holds it open. Another technique I use is to jam my Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp into the poles in the interior. Keeps the light close and holds the poles open.

The stow bag is a little on the small side, and whilst it is made of the same durable fabric as the base of the bivy, the closure on the tie-rope is weak and doesn't hold the bag closed. With the 4 small pole ends (plus one spare, nice touch) and poles not having a separate bag, some DIY modifications are needed to confidently attach the stowed bag to the outside of my backpack.

When I contacted OR about this relatively minor feedback, they were fantastic and helped me with some pole ends to modify.

I get the feeling I'll be in one of these bags for the rest of my life to be honest. Just a superb quality product from a reputable brand (I remember snowboarding in their mittens years ago when they were the 'cool' gloves!).

My 3 riding buddies have all bought these.

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.

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).

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.

15 yrs and counting!

  • 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.

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.

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.

I've had good luck...

  • 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.

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.

    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!!

      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!)


          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.

          Side Sleeping? I am a side sleeper, 5'11", 195 lbs, 44 chest...Between my pad and/or inflatable(s), it is about 3 inches. Will I be touching the upper portion of the bivy with my shoulder?

          anyone used this in a storm, specifically...

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

          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?

          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!

          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

          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

          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.

          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

          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.

          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.

          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.

          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).


          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!

          Hey guys i was looking for my first bivy...

          Hey guys i was looking for my first bivy i was looking at the Outdoor Research; Aurora, highland, alpine or advanced
          im not too sure what the differences are apart from the price (im not too concerned about price) i dont mind the weight i just want to be able to get in and out easily and i need to be able to fit a downmat, id also prefer a larger bivy (more like a bivy tent, cheers in advance!

          Best Answer

          Hey Matt,

          The Aurora, Alpine and the Advanced bivys use Gore fabric for the most waterproof, breathable fabric you can get. Proven technology, 100% backed by Gore AND by OR. The Aurora does not have a pole, the Alpine has one pole, and the Advanced has two poles with a foot vent. The Highland Bivy is also good, made of Pertex which is WP/B too, but Gore is more proven technology. Check out the OR website to see a video about the Bivys:


          Has anyone used this in heavy rain with a...

          Has anyone used this in heavy rain with a down sleeping bag? I'm worried about opening the mesh footbox to let condensation out in a driving rainstorm

          Is the Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric...

          Is the Gore-Tex Respiration Positive fabric just eVent technology being licensed to Gore-Tex?? I can't find any technical information about this fabric.

          Best Answer

          Hey. Your answer is NO!!! :)

          It is the only waterproof breathable Gore system that doesn't have a polyurethane lining on it. Because most Gore is used against the skin, the polyurethane lining makes the Gore layer wearable--prevents the lining from sticking to you as you perspire, but also cuts down on the breathability a tad. Since this system is never meant to be used next-to-skin, Gore foregoes that lining, increasing breathability and can only be found in shelter materials.

          Hope this helps!

          do any of the other OR bivy's compare to...

          do any of the other OR bivy's compare to this? or do they have condensation problems like most other bivys.

          The Advanced, the Alpine and the Aurora Bivy all use Gore Respiration Positive membrane. They actually did tests when the zipped a person inside and monitored them with machines in a lab. VERY breathable. Probably the most breathable waterproof membrane that Gore makes.

          With no guy-out points near the foot box,...

          With no guy-out points near the foot box, does the bivy have bad condensation on the inside near the feet?

          I just got a Big Agnes Lost Ranger semi...

          I just got a Big Agnes Lost Ranger semi rectangular sleeping bag with 72" X 20" air mattress. Will this combo fit into this bivy sac without compressing the down too much?

          Don't think I could speak directly to that particular bag, but I have a Big Agnes Dual insulation bag with a full length rectangular pad (72" length, or close) and I have plenty of room. The bivy is quite spacious, especially at the head and shoulders, I would say your probably good to go.

          Hello,Regarding, (Advanced Bivy by Outdoor...

          Hello,Regarding, (Advanced Bivy by Outdoor Research) does it come equip with internal sleeping bag? Or is it just simply a sleeping tent?Regard,Jay

          Specs say that the interior height is 50cm...

          Specs say that the interior height is 50cm .., so how comfy is the fit with an (air or down) mattress and sleeping bag for an average sized person .. Has anyone tried this with that combo ?? ..

          Best Answer

          I'm large (6'3", 214#) and used this with a MtnHdwr Switch in the mountains; very comfortable on the ground or with a mattress. I found it comfortable, didn't need the mosquito mesh that time, but I got this bivy to meet any situation. It has a loop on the top to tie it up to something if you want it "pitched" off your bag (tie it loosely). I was surprised with the room I had, more than I expected.

          I'm not familiar with bivy shelters. Do...

          I'm not familiar with bivy shelters. Do you still need to carry a sleeping bag, or is this a kind of tent and sleeping bag all in one?

          You can keep your sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and bivy all rolled up together. You'll just need to buy a bigger stuff sack to hold everything. Makes for a quick deployment especially if caught by a quick and unexpected downpour.