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Ultra-light weatherproof shelter.
Tipping the scales at a feathery 18 ounces, the Outdoor Research Helium Bivy is ideal for moving fast through alpine terrain and wilderness expanses without excess weight slowing you down. However, don't let its minimalist design fool you into thinking it's lacking weatherproof performance or functional features. The Helium Bivy offers total waterproofing and maximum breathability with its Pertex Shield+ 2.5-layer membrane, TPU floor lamination, and fully taped construction. Ultimately, this means you'll stay pleasantly dry when you're camping out in widely variable conditions, all without soaking in a sauna of built-up perspiration during humid summer months.
The Helium features a clamshell design that promotes a restful night's sleep with a Delrin Single-Pole system acting as a stabilizing structure for the bivy itself. The hood unzips during pleasant weather for extra ventilation and impressive stargazing potential. No-See-Um mesh lining keeps biting insects from eating you alive when you're sleeping with the hood unzipped. Other key features include dedicated straps for attaching your sleeping pad, an internal mesh pocket, and stake-down points for securing this bivy in nasty weather.
- Clamshell design with Delrin Single-Pole System
- Pertex Shield+ membrane (2.5-layer)
- TPU laminated floor with anti-fungal coating
- Ventilated hood unzips with No-Se-Um mesh
- Fully seam taped
- Sleeping pad straps
- Five stake loops
- One guy line loop
- Internal mesh pocket
- Item #ODR00G2
- Q & A
Great Bivy for the Price
I purchased this bivy for a lightweight shelter option for quick one or two night adventures. I haven't encountered any rain while using it but it works well to fend off wind. I use it with a Marmot Lithium 0* bag and stay toasty warm in ~30* (the lowest temp I have used it in so far). Minimal condensation but I keep the zipper open on the non-windy side to help with that. I was glad to have the pole to keep it off my face. Overall, it's a good piece of gear for the price and it does what I want it to do.
uber compact and light
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Got a solo tent for bikepacking but in a quest for even smaller and lighter, pulled the trigger on the helium bivy. I've had the good fortune of great weather save for a light mist of rain on one evening--so little rain in fact it barely woke me up to zip it fully closed to prevent any real water intrusion. Needless to say, I woke up dry. Not sure if the very minor dampness near my face was from exhaling moist air or the moisture from the rain that accumulated on the bug mesh before I zipped up--probably both. After a 5 night trip I was pleased with the performance. Staking it helps keep the hoop in place and things out of your face if your a mover while sleeping. I can get the pole, the bivy, ground cloth, sleeping bag, pad and a few other items into the seat pack on my bike. The weight and space saving was critical to getting everything on my bike and not needing to carry any kind of backpack for even multi-day rides. I cut a scrap piece of tyvek for a ground cloth--its light, cheap (when you find a scrap in a dumpster at a construction site) and helps protect the bottom from punctures and moisture from the ground.
A Decent, Mid-Tier Option
I decided to go with the OR Helium Bivy for a number of reasons, but most importantly: the single, flexible hoop-pole that keeps the fabric away from your face. While it performed well in sub-freezing conditions not some regards--keeping out ground moisture despite being deployed directly on top of packed snow--I did have several issues. I wanted to keep the bivy fully closed to conserve heat on a 15Â°F night on the side of a mountain at 8500' but in a terrifying episode, I awoke in the middle of the night with pulse pounding, feeling as though I was suffocating. The problem was remedied by partially unzipping the bivy near my head, but with the internal heat gone, all the moisture from my breath froze to the internal walls and surfaces, leaving me and my gear soaked. I'm sure it performs great in above-freezing conditions (and it does come with a mesh closure), but in the future, I'll probably leave it zipped open and deal with my head/face being exposed to the elements so that my breath can vent properly, and I can get adequate oxygen.
Fellow bivy users will be jealous...
Got this for bushwhacking hikes where a tent would be too big. I used it last weekend and really liked the ease of getting it out and being ready- much lighter and easier than a tent. I'd read about some pros and cons with this bivy, so here goes in reference to some of them.
1. Design and roominess- I found it to be quite roomy; I get to feeling easily bound up with my feet and there was plenty of room for flipping over and the such. I kept a change of clothes in the bag with me along with my phone and bear spray/whistle. I am 5'4 and 130 lbs, but I bet that someone with average height and build would be fine.
2. Condensation- I don't know that I got to test this fairly as it was 50 degree sleeping weather. I slept with my mummy bag open and didn't sweat much. However, one other co-hiker noted that his bivy got pretty wet, so maybe there's something to that...
3. Ventilation- I never had to fully close down the hood, but slept with the bug shield and never felt smothered. I did note, however, that the hood kept falling over onto my face, so it would need to be staked open to keep it lifted. Further, I placed something at the bottom end to keep that area lifted off the feet, and it was quite airy.
4. Amenities- I hadn't noted that there was a little pocket- so that was a bonus. It's only 3 x 5", but that's enough to keep little things from floating all over your bag. Also- the sleeping pad straps really work. We were on a bit of a slope- so I slid a little, but the pad stayed in place.
This bivy is not an eye catcher- but it has great features. In fact, when my husband saw it, he quickly went and ordered one for this last trip, since it was so much nicer than his current bivy.
So far, it's a Five star for me...