Sunday, 7 December 2014

Borah Gear Bivy - Two year update

In December 2012 I posted a first look at a custom Borah Gear bivy I'd just received. It's proved to be a popular post and it's one item of gear I've been asked about a few times so I thought I'd do a bit of an update on how I've got on with the bivy over the last two years. 

The good - No rips/tears/loose stitching. Breathability - seems good, I haven't noticed any significant problems with condensation. DWR treatment still appears to be going strong. Good customer service when ordering. Custom size/options available. Price.

The not so good - The only real negative I can say about the bivy is that some fraying has occured where the material hasn't been hemmed/finished properly.  It's mainly the Black M90 that has frayed but some of the Silnylon has also done the same. If I was really searching for other bad things to say the supplied stuff sack is pretty naff (no cord lock, cord ends not finished) and the silnylon base is very slippery, but that's it, however neither of these last two are really a fault with the bivy and I knew silnylon was slippery before I ordered so I've only myself to blame for that.

Inside seam/material edges when delivered

Inside seam/edges now

The negatives are easily solved, trimming the frayed edges and then running a lighter around the unfinished material would prevent any further fraying but this isn't really something you should have to do yourself, although I guess to be fair after two years use the fraying has been pretty minimal. I've also replaced the supplied stuff sack (if you really need one at all) with a MYOG version and I've added a number of dots of silicone to the base to try and help (unsuccessfully) with the slippery floor issue.

Bivy in use during a recent trip to the Northern Fells

All in all I've been happy with the Borah Gear bivy, especially given the price compared to most of the others available at the time. The materials have proved durable, including the mesh and zipper and other than finding it annoyingly slippery at times (site selection helps here) and some of the material edges fraying, I've had no problems with the it. The custom size has worked out well as I can (just) get away with using an air mattress and winter bag inside the bivy without any problems.

Bivy in use in the Far Eastern Fells

I've enjoyed using the bivy and will continue to do so when not taking an inner for my shelter. For me if I was buying again I'd save a little more and buy a bivy with a cuben floor which would help solve the slippery floor issue, this is the only reason I can see for upgrading to a new one in the future.



Silnylon floor
M90 top
Side zip
Standard length
Standard girth +
Stake/hanging loops (Never been used)
Smaller Nano-see-um section

As delivered:

In use:


  1. I have used many years for now a MLD Superlite bivy. I don't always take a bivy, and there is a issue with them. If you are using them as the inner the waterproof base makes sense. But if using a ground sheet then the bag is for protecting the sleeping bag and adding warmth on really damp nights. We need bivy bags without a PU waterproof base and able to breath more. Than we can sleep on top of mats with them and roll on our sides with breathability 360 around us.

      That's neither light nor cheap, though...

  2. Having seen yours on the TGO this year I bought one. A good piece of kit, like you I find the silnylon slippy, might try some bands of silicone on it...see if that works!

  3. What is your shelter? It looks cool