One of the best things about camping with a bivy rather than a tent is the speed with which you can just lay one down, get in, go to sleep, wake up and move on. With its lightweight minimalist design, the Helium Bivy from Outdoor Research fits this idea like a glove.

Weighing in at just 510g, the equivalent of just over half a standard bag of sugar, the Helium Bivy is the ideal companion for campers who desire freedom and maneuverability above all else. This scores over a conventional bivy bag in the roominess stakes too thanks to that distinctive loop.

“This scores over a conventional bivy bag in the roominess stakes too thanks to that distinctive loop."

Made from tough Selrin plastic, it suspends the fabric about 50cm above your face. If you’re really keen to save on weight you can leave the pole at home and use this without, saving you about 50 grams. But climbing into this, our testers really appreciated the bit of extra breathing room that pole gave.

Unlike some lightweight products on the market, this bit of kit is also extremely durable. The brilliantly breathable waterproof Pertex Shield+ fabric used in its construction, its 70D floor with TPU lamination, and fully taped seams can take credit for much of that.


Other features of the Helium include its internal mesh pocket for storing valuables, five stake loops, and sleeping pad straps. It packs up really small, so there’ll always be room for it in your bag, and the pole offers great stability to the shelter even when the wind is really kicking things up a notch.

Perfect for those solo summer expeditions where you want to cover ground as quickly as possible, after using this thing on an adventure you’ll never look at your cumbersome tent in quite the same way ever again. The Helium’s no-mess, no-fuss, clamshell design will mean you’ll be well protected from the elements when you’re out and about.

Outdoor Research Helium Bivy