The Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack

 The Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack

Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack

What is a bivy sack ?

The term ‘ bivy ‘ is an abbreviation of the word bivouac . Bivouac is a French word that means , to camp in the open air . In modern English language the term ‘ bivy sack ‘ refers to any , extremely small , waterproof shelter , usually made of breathable material that covers your sleeping bag .

The smallest and most utilitarian shelters are simply a bag larger than your sleeping bag .

The Integral Design Model however , has kicked- it- up a notch ! The hoop at the front part of the bivy , keeps the shelter above your face area . It also includes a nylon-screened , no-see-um mesh section , that serves well to transport the moisture from your body to the outside and this is a very important feature especially in wet weather , not to mention – keeping out the bugs !

Any small tarp to cover the front screened area would be very beneficial in extremely wet conditions , however this would not be required in dryer conditions . This wet condition ‘ fix ‘ will help to alleviate the dampness , that will occur if you sleep in a very insulated bag , in a very wet environment .

I usually carry this bag in a 3-season function , and will only bring a thermarest pad to insulate me from the ground . In most 3-season applications , under 2000 meters , without a sleeping bag , I have been able to sleep quite well . This can be classified as semi-hardcore , but for me , I like to border on – travel light , freeze at night !

Rest assured (pun intended) , that I sleep very comfortably and at 1.14 kg , it really feels good in the backpack . It has a 5 to 10 degree C insulating factor but its real quality shines when keeping those ‘no see-um’ bugs out of your life , so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep .

The Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack is the smallest shelter that I own . It is called a bivy sack because it is not a tent .

This one person shelter is classified as a 4-season shelter . It is free standing and the canopy is made of waterproof-breathable , flame resistant fabric . The canopy mesh is nylon no-see-um mesh .

Floor and fly waterproofness are at 3500mm . It has 1 pole , 8.6mm in diameter for the front hoop , made of shock-corded aluminum . All exposed seams are taped for waterproofness . At 2.4 m long and 0.8m wide , it is none-the-less very comfortable to sleep in and is definitely one of my favorite companions when I want to travel light .

To all of you that own one or would like to own one , I would be very interested in hearing from you . I purchased my Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack from many years ago , and have spent many ‘bag nights’ in it sleeping very comfortably . These restful sleeps made it a pleasure the next day carrying a shelter that weighed only 1.14 kg .

To all of you that like to travel light , and who doesn’t , this one’s for you . This bivy has served me well over the years and if your adventures are as rewarding as mine have been , I am certain that this type of outdoor tech will be a welcome addition to your gear pile .

2 thoughts on “The Integral Designs Unishelter Bivy Sack”

  1. I agree. I have used my Unishelter for about 15 years, and other than renewing the DWR, it has been bombproof. Not for claustrophobics, but otherwise, it’s all you really need. Good advice about a tarp over the head. I use a 6×8 siltarp supported by my hiking poles, and can keep shoes, etc. dry, as well as cooking if needed.

    • Thanks, David, for your comments.
      People that do our type of adventuring are quite happy with sacrificing many of the bells and whistles for weight.
      This Unishelter weighs 1.14 kg. In dry climates, it also helps to keep the “persistent” insects from ruining a good nights sleep.

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