Category Archives: bivysack

Two Person Bivy, DWR top and bottom for max breathablility

This is a two person size bivy made of Mil Spec 30d ripstop top and bottom. One only, this is a  custom bag for hot weather providing bug, and wind protection and with a no sweat surface to lie on when using a quilt. Weighs just 11 oz.  Length 90″, Girth 110″.
Blog price $110 including shipping, mesh sack.

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Bivysack Review, Subzero weather. by Don Watson

Don and his son tried out two of the large side zip bivysacks on subzero outings this past year.

One was made with the mil-spec 30d nylon with a Durable Water Repellent finish. Not a waterproof fabric, it has a hydrostatic head (measurement of water pressure at the point of leakage) of over 400 mm.

The other fabric was a 70d ripstop nylon with a pTFE laminate on the underside. This is considered a waterproof and breathable fabric with a hydrostatic head of 3000 mm.

Both sacks used a silicone coated nylon bottom.

I asked Don to let me know about condensation and other considerations he discovered on using the two bivys.

Here is his report.



I tested  two of the OWARE large size winter bivysacks, one with the  High Vapor Perm PTFE fabric and the other in Durable Water Repellent ripstop. fabric.

One night the temperature was a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit. My son and I used the two biviys directly on the snow after digging and firming up by snowshoe compression the base. The bivy sacks’ large size easily accommodated winter weight mummy bags and double sleeping pads. They were great for fitting in clothing and the many items such as winter mukluks or boots, clothing, etc  that are needed close at hand on a winter bivouac. I was particularly interested in comparing vapor transport between the two bivy’s.

I found that there was very little if any appreciable difference in frost build-up between the HVP bag and the DWR bag. I think that vapor transport in far below freezing temperatures ceases to take place if the fabric isn’t close to  a warm  body, in this case the sleeping bag. When the vapor left the sleeping bag outer fabric and hit the cold bivy fabric, it turned into frost,.

I found that the black , textured PTFE fabric tended to harbor frost and snow within the fuzzy nap of the fabric on the top cover and was hard to thoroughly brush off.

I decided to choose the olive ripstop , very slick bivy as my winter bivy of choice.

The insect netting at the head was not just unnecessary for winter use, but actually a nuisance, as the netting accumulated frost from my breath and rained it down on my exposed face and sleeping bag. Much less of a problem (though still present) with a head opening lacking netting. I will probably remove the netting in the future since the Oware Large Bivy will be used by me for only winter use.

Another factor to be considered in purchasing gear is the sewing. The seams were all very tight and with no wander. All high quality zippers and material and made in America!

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24 years of simple rugged value.

Instructors, Teachers, Ski Patrolers and Outdoor enthusiasts:

Since Fall1985 when I made my first10 large yellow pyramid tarps for Pacific Crest Outward Bound while working there as instructor, I have been building outdoor gear for schools and outdoor folks.

Outward Bound Schools have been my biggest customers so far, ordering tarps, tents, stuff sacks etc. which have stood up to daily year around use. I’ve 17 years experience working as an instructor for several outdoor schools including Outward Bound, so I understand the need for robust gear. Lately, through input from customers, there are many ultralight products offered too.

Famous climbers heading for Patagonia and record setting through hikers have purchased Oware gear, even though sponsered by other companies where they could get gear free.

I use simple designs to keep costs down and durability up. Thread is matched to the fabric type but is generally bonded #46 to #69 nylon which has a breaking strength respectively of aprox. 7 to 10 lbs. per stitch. Fabrics available include Cordura®, pack cloth, Polartech®, Goretex®, eVent®,Epic®, reinforced truck tarp vinyl, urethane coated taffeta, ripstop, and oxford as well as the new ultralight1.1 oz silicone coated nylon. I use lock stitch, bar tack, and over lock sewing machines as well as a shoe patch machine for tough to reach repairs.

Does your school, scout group, ski area, or retail store need something made to your specifications? I especially enjoy developing new products to meet your needs, (quantity orders for special designs keep costs reasonable).

Feel free to contact me about ideas you have.


Dave Olsen


skype too

Steam Donkey

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Filed under alphamid, backpacking tarps, bivysack, cat tarp, flattarp, Oware Backpacking Gear, oware tarps, sleeping bag liners, Tips for the Backcountry