VR: SOL Escape Bivvy long term (2 year) Review | RevHiker

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50 thoughts on “VR: SOL Escape Bivvy long term (2 year) Review | RevHiker”

  1. it's only good to about 50F,, in cammies if you can get up on a drum liner full of dry debris, or a sleeping pad. I bought two of them, cut one in half, used 100 mph tape to add the half to the whole , cause you can't let it touch you, or you'll lose heat there, fast. I put the Escape inside of the 2 person "non breathable" bivvy, and tented them both over a ridgeline. It let me sleep ok at 40F, and exercise my way thru a night at 30F.

    You MUST tent the bivvies, so that you get the layer of trapped air, which is what insulates you. If I wrap the 1 lb net hammock around my torso and butt and the two 1/4 lb each bugnets around my legs, under my cammies, and then wrap up in the 2 oz each drum liners, I can sleep ok at 20F, in the seated reclining position. I brace my neck with the shemaugh, empty the day pack and the buttpack, stuff them with debris, sit on the buttpack, with my feet up on a pile of brush, and lean back on the day pack, which is leaning on a tree, or the guyed out trekking poles. No need of a fire if I have the balaclava, glove liners, the sock liners and, made out of the left over "breathable" mylar, a set of booties and a drawstring hood.

    However, in case it does get colder, I added a 1.5 ft wide strip of clear PEVA shower curtain to each mylar bag. It causes condensation, so I dont use it unless I"m going to also use the one way projected heat of a Siberian fire lay, or the "greenhouse effect" of the sun, PEVA and mylar, This combo adds 30F degrees by noon. and lets me sleep most of the day. None of this gear is effected by its getting wet. I added full zippers to all 4 bags, so I can either lay them flat, or wear them as ponchos. 3.5 lbs. I fold and roll all the stuff and tie it between the packs, where it serves as a pack frame. The "extra" clothing totals 1.5 lbs. All very compact.

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  2. This thing is awesome in australia works great as an UL sleep system, in the colder months chuck on a thermal top and im warm enough, im a teen so this thing is awesome for me i can put all my bikepacking bags inside to stop animals getting to my gear.

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  3. S.O.L. makes a lot of bright orange escape bivvy bags, and I've only found one that is in the green color. I like the green, but it only seems to come in one style option. I don't like the orange, and that is why I haven't purchased a new one… even though I would like to try some of the other styles that S.O.L. offers. I would like to get one that is OD green and zips further down than the green one that I have (like one that zips at least to the shin or knee, rather than stopping at my belly button). Also… the hood and face closure don't stay in place, so I wear a bug net to bed when I use it "cowboy" style. I like it other than those issues, and I've slept right on the ground with it.

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  4. you'll be MUCH better off with the SOL $20, 4 oz 2 person Emergency bivvy, lined with a 1/2 lb 3×8 ft bag made from Wally's absorbent painters drop cloth and blue masking tape. This dropcloth bag BEAUTIFULLY gets rid of the condensation problem that regular mylar causes. I added zippers to both bags, using duct tape to make the stitches hold. I also added an 18" wide strip of clear PEVA shower curtain down the zipper of the dropcloth bag, so that I can open the mylar bag like a 'u", so as to let in the radiant heat of a fire or the sun. However, you have to use the seated reclining position for this "supershelter' trick. I have used the blue masking tape to mount a couple of strips of aluminum foil on the outside of the mylar bag. Now it can handle 20 mph winds, and sleeps OK 40F with just office clothing.

    Another trick is to use the $20, 1/4 lb UCO candle lantern and 9 hour beeswax candle. That's worth 10F degrees, but also requires the seated position. If need be, you can add another 10F degrees by exercising, over the UCO, as in knee rockbacks and ab-crunchs. 10 of each, every 10 minutes, seems to be worth about 10 F degrees. :-). You can also employ a discrete Dakota fire pit and your canteen cups to heat water for your canteens, bring them inside your sleep gear, put one behind your neck and one between your thighs. That's worth about 10F degrees for 2 hours or so. I add a couple of 1/4 lb each, 3×8 ft bugnet bags, which can be wrapped around your legs, under your pants, and are as effective as longjohns.

    A 6×100 ft monofilament gillnet, no weights or floats, 2" mesh, makes a fine hammock, weighs just a lb. I folded it 3x, making it 2.5 ft long and gathered the ends with muletape. With it around my chest and the bugnets around my legs, I'm good for sleeping at another 10F degrees colder, given a sedative. All 4 of my bags can be worn like ponchos, or laid out flat, I reserve the longjohns and wool socks for sleeping.

    During the day, I use nylon socks inside of russian foot wraps. They make it much easier to keep clean, dry material around your feet, as vs socks. I add gloves, glove liners, longjohns, neck gaiter, beanie, 2.5 lbs, to add yet another 10F degrees to the sleep gear.

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  5. in the mountains, it can snow in mid july. Dont kid yourself about how cold it might get spring and summer up there! Especially above treeline, where you can get snow, high winds and have no trees for a fire or to break the wind. You can have hail that will slash such a bivvy in mid-summer, too. Best consider it to be just a bag-cover, It excells at that job, but it's way too small for a big man, wearing a down jacket, I can tell you that. I sewed two of them together and it was just barely big enough to fully enclose me.

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  6. The Escape is ok, but it's only worth about 15F degrees, at most, but it's SMALL, and $40 each. I bought 2 of them, sewed them together and it was still a tight fit around my 6ft, 220 lbs and my jacket. I"m a little broad across the shoulders, but not THAT broad. I am much happier with the $20, 1/4 lb SOL 2 person emergency bivvy, and $5, 1/2 lb, 3×8 ft bag that you can make out of wally's absorbent painter's drop cloth.and blue masking tape. I used duct tape to let me solidly sew in a full zipper in both the drop cloth bag and the mylar bag. Both can be worn as a poncho, or laid out flat. I also carry 1 lb, $100 worth of custom made monofilament netting-hammock, with muletape tree straps, and 1/4 each, 3×8 ft bags made of bugnetting, also fully zippered. This is good for 40F degrees, in the hammock or on a pad, with office clothing. if I add the longjohns, wool socks, beanie, neck gaiter, gloves and liners, I can sleep ok at 30F, again, up on the hammock.

    Wrapped around my legs, with a bit of debris holding apart the layers of bugnetting, inside of my pants, they are just as warm as longjohns, ie, 10F degrees colder, . and they are not effected by getting wet. The hammock similarly gets wrapped around my chest. I added 18" of PEVA shower curtain along the zipper of the dropcloth bag, so that I can open the mylar like a "u", and let in the radiant heat of a fire or the sun. I also used blue masking tape to mount a couple of strips of aluminum foil on the outside of the mylar bag. This stops 20mph winds. A further trick is to have the $20, 1/4 lb UCO candle lantern, with a couple of 9 hour beeswax candlers. This is good for 10F more degrees of cold, but you wont sleep, cause you have to be in the seated-reclining position. If you need to sleep and need that much more warmth, youll have to either harvest (and probably dry out) a lot of debris, or use a Discrete Dakota fire pit, to heat water or rocks and bring them inside of your sleeping gear. This is good for about 10F degrees, but only for 2-3 hours and you'll probably need a sedative.

    the "greenhouse effect" of the mylar and the PEVA mean that you can be 40F warmer at noon than you were at dawn, IF the sun is shining brightly. You can add 10F degrees by exercising a bit inside of the bag, every few minutes. so you CAN get thru the night at 0F with this gear, but you wont sleep! 🙂 Still, you can sleep from 11 am to 5 pm, using this supershelter trick, a sedative, sleep mask, ear plugs. If you get caught in the mountains by a fall or spring blizzard, you'll be ok with such gear. Of course, given the one way projected heat of a Siberian fire lay lets you handle extreme cold via the supershelter set up, but you have to be fit enough to get the wood. and have skis or snowshoes if the snow gets deep.

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  7. Bull I have carried one of these along with a wool blanket and poncho liner in my day pack while elk hunting for just in case slept in mine and it ripped apart

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  8. i"m 6ft and 220 and all the issue bag would do is come up to my armpits. My shoulders were not going into it with any room at all, it would have torn. So I used a full length zipper to join two of the Escapes together and now it's pretty darnded servicable. I have known it to have condensation, and what works perfectly inside of it is a Wally's 96 sq ft, $10 painter's drop cloth, absorbent on one side, waterproof on the other. I made a bag out of it and stuff it inside of the 2 Escapes. works like a CHARM. Good to 40F if the Mylar is tented off of the drop cloth bag, with just office clothes. If you stuff dry debris between the two bags ( I used 6 entire rolls of paper towels for the test, it was ok at 30F, with just office clothes. Normally, tho, I wear long johns, cammies, a sweatshirt and a set of down pants. Then just the 2 bags are good to 20F, no problem, as long as I tent the mylar bag off of the dropcloth bag, and 10F if I do the debris stuffing. If it's windy, I use the SOL (VERY condensating, avoid being inside of it) 90% reflective, 2 person emergency bivvy, as a wind-break. I tie one end to my butt pack and the other end to my day pack. It works great. I put a zipper in it, too (as well as in my two 3×8 ft bugnet bags) so that I can open it flat and use it as a tarp/tent. Same with the 2 Escape bivvies/bag. I can join the 2 bug net bags and completely encompass myself and the gillnet-hammock.

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  9. It's now 2019 and just seeing this… but anyway, check out Titans line of e gear… they have sizes and even a camo color… I'd be interested in ur opinion on their bivvy bag or whatever kind of bag you choose.

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  10. I agree.
    I have 2 and it works awesome but a little on the small side.
    Especially in the knees and shoulder areas.
    Toss a hot water bottle or 2 in there for a personal oven.
    Been using them as my only sleeping gear for 2 months every day.
    I have one inside the other and it's around zero right now.
    It's comfortable inside without hot water bottles.

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  11. for hiking, I DETEST regular sleeping bags. The zippers jam, break, tear the bag, the bag gets wet, smelly, soaks up body oils. They are WAY too bulky, heavy and expensive (if they're worth a hoot). The cheap ones, (inside two of them, on top of one, on top of some sewn-together couch cushions, another cheap bag on top of me, sufficed down to 0F degrees when I lived in a minivan for 3 years, as long as I had the longjohns, gloves, booties, balaclava, hot meal and some exercise before I retired. When I hike, I use a hammock wherever possible. If there's just one tree, you can create a tripod which, when guyed-out, will hold the foot end of your hammock. Or you can convert the hammock into a sling-chair, bow-knot your torso and head to a tree, recline back on your pack, with the bag(s) around you, your feet up on some brush, and if need be, a UCO candle-lantern between your feet (beeswax candles ONLY, for safety). Then you can handle down to 10F if you sleep warm. Me, it's about 20F. unless I use the debrish stuffing trick.

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  12. I use a bug net bag inside of the Escape bivvy, to help with the condensation, clamminess, cold feeling, and heat loss that goes with coming into contact with the bag. I also carry a 6 oz, 2 person emergency bivvy, worn around the Escape if it's colder, with debris stuffed between them, This gives you another 10F degrees or so. I sleep cold and have not found the Escape, by itself, to be worth much below 45 F, unless you use hot stones, hot water bottles, or the chemical heatpacks inside of it with you, Even then, you really should have a couple of layers of longjohns on your body, a couple of pairs of socks, gloves, balaclava and shemaugh, You dont want to have to heat your outer clothing, so remove it and put it under you, for more padding and insulation from the ground. Have a plastic bottle to pee into, to, so that you dont have to get up and lose all of your body heat.

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  13. This is NOT a sleeping bag, it was never intended to be. It is for EMERGENCIES. Like if you are duck hunting and fall into the freezing water, or ice fishing or snowmobiling and break through the ice and into freezing water. Or if you break down out in the wilderness and need an overnight shelter.or get injured hiking and end up stuck out on a mountain overnight. You MAY have dry clothes on or you may have to strip down and get out of you wet clothes to avoid hypothermia. EMERGENCIES are UNPLANNED. That's what this is designed for, to keep you ALIVE. not as your sleeping bag. Part of your EMERGENCY survival gear. As such it is more then durable enough for two or three nights. If your clothes are dry it will keep you alive even at 32 degrees. You may not be comfortable but that IS NOT what it is designed for. It is small enough and light weight enough to carry in any ones pack, FOR EMERGENCIES. I would like to see how well they work in near freezing temperatures if all you have is this and you are wearing nothing but a swimsuit. In winter you may have to add a blanket or light weight insulation pad to your emergency kit under those conditions and activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, winter hunting and winter hiking.

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  14. If all you have is summer clothing, leave your shoes on, (unlaced and if you're up on debris or a hammock, it's ok for sleeping down to about 50F. That's it. If you add a couple of layers of longjohns, a heavy shemaugh, another pair of socks, it might get you down to 35F, if you've exercised and had a hot meal before you turn in. If you've got a heavy, hooded parka, and all the above, you might get down to 30F.

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  15. condensation can be handled by having a "no-see-um" bugnet bag (both layers above you) and by not having your head inside of it. It will be warmer with your head inside of it, and you can handle the condensation of your breath by wrapping a shemaugh around your face and head.

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  16. it needs to be a mummy shape, a foot wider at the shoulders, and a foot longer. I added a hood to mine, with a drawstring at the neck, of the bag, with another drawstring in the hood.

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  17. I used one of the OD green SOL bivvy sack this past weekend in Shenandoah NP and I honestly believe it kept me from hypothermia. I awoke at 0430 hours shivering under my wool blanket, woobie and military poncho. After adding the SOL bivvy to my sleep system I stayed very warm the remainder of the night. I ordered a second one from Amazon.

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  18. Just got one of these and I'm really impressed. Can't believe how compact it is. I'm lucky enough that I'm comfortable without the mod and can even fit a lightweight sleeping bag inside. Not fully field tested it as yet but from your video I look forward to having it for many years to come.

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  19. My experience with the SOL Escape Bivy was not good. I spent two nights in this thing recently, it was cold but above freezing approx 45F I sweat like a stuck pig and wasn’t cold sleeping with just my clothes and the bivy. It was wet inside in the morning, to the point I had to hang it in the sun to dry out. Had the temps been colder, sweating like that I would have froze. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Thx.

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  20. this is the best review I've seen on the SOL escape bivy. I tested the system this week with the following results. I was unable to use it in a hammock. For those who can I commend you. Wearing merino wool socks, mid weight running tights and a short and long sleeve UA charged cotton tee's I was comfortable at 55 degrees in the bivy using the MMS green patrol bag as a ground cover. Temps in the 40's had me adding a cheap puffy jacket. When the temps hit the 30's I had to get into the green MMS patrol bag. With that my feet eventually got cold as did my legs. Torso was warm as toast. A recommendation when using the bivy is always where cloths including gloves if you hate the clammy feel as much as I do. The SOL is worth the $$ especially if your're trying to cut weight.

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  21. There is an xl 2 person on sol's website. Have you tried it. Is it the same as yours but 60" wide. Not sure if it is the same material. A review would be great on that one. Thanks for the great videos thus far.

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  22. what rateing of a down sleeping bag would you suggest to pair up with this bivy on a 20 degree night? granted I'll be wearing warm clothes in the bivy as well?

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  23. Very good video!!! Just wondering if you have a video on the modification you did? I'm very wide across the chest and can't zip my bag but only a few inches. Really love your videos and you've shown me you don't have to spend a fortune to go light. I've cut my weight by 15# in the last year down from 50#. Thanks Brother!!!

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  24. Thanks for your great review! I'm prepping for a thru hike of the AT with a hammock. Unfortunately, I'm in Florida which is making it really hard to prep for the cold weather. I was planning on using the escape bivy lite (I'm only 5'4") + a silk liner + a snugpack jungle blanket + a reflectix underquilt (homemade). I tend to sleep pretty warm and don't sweat very much.

    I was wondering if you think the extra layers can get this down to an occasional night in the teens. Also, do you know if the compression layers need to go on the inside of the bag? I was thinking of putting the silk liner on the inside of the bivy and the blanket on the outside, resting on top of me (I find the blanket is plenty large for me fold in half and still place on top of me).

    Anywhos, lots of questions, but thanks for the video! I would have thought 30's would be too optimistic for this bag even with warm base layers. Ideally I can bribe the local costco or something to let me try this out in one of their walk-in freezers.

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  25. "The Mora knife of sleeping bags" Lol Yeah I'd have to agree with you on that. I have the OD green version of this and love it. I would also like to see SOL make an XL version. I found that if I have a 20 degree quilt (Hammock Gear) in this it just doesn't work, as the small size compresses the loft of the bag. A 40 degree quilt works better. (For temps below freezing)I like your mod you did, very good idea.  I'm thinking Tyvek might also be a good for increasing the room inside.

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  26. The dimensions on it state that its 31" across. Just to visualize it, I took a tape measure, held it up and pulled it out across to 31" and that seems good enough. Would you say the 31" across without the addition of your diy mod is appropriate?

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