Rab Trailhead Bivvy Bag | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Rab Trailhead Bivvy Bag | Review

Designed for minimalist camps, the Rab Trailhead Bivvy is lightweight, packable and weatherproof

Why We Chose the Rab Trailhead Bivi: liberating, packable, lightweight

Peak District-based gear stalwarts Rab know a thing or two about wild camping. Their range of bivvy bags have evolved over several decades and today make use of the latest fabric technologies, coupled with environmentally conscious design. The Trailhead is their standard bivvy bag, designed for minimalist camps or to be carried as back up if there’s ever a risk of getting benighted in the mountains. Designed to be highly packable, lightweight and to provide shelter from the worst of the elements, it’s a solid performer from a well-established brand.

Who is the Rab Trailhead Bivi For?

The Trailhead is a fun option for anyone looking to get a little more intimate with the stars on their next warm season wild camp. As Rab’s cheapest and lightest bivvy, it’s well suited to campers looking to ditch the tent for the first time.

Photos: Mike Drummond

It can be put to work as a standalone sleeping bag cover on lightweight missions or used in conjunction with a tarp on long-distance expeditions. Regardless of how it’s utilised, it saves the weight of a one-person tent and gives the user a much more adventurous experience to boot. Those who already enjoy a spot of bivvying may find it less constricting than a bag with a zipped face.


Just as with the flysheet of a tent, a bivvy bag must combine weatherproof qualities with breathability for comfort and ventilation to stop condensation build up. The Trailhead is crafted from hardwearing 40 Denier ripstop nylon with a breathable yet waterproof polyurethane coating on both its top and base. This durable combination ensures that any rain is kept at bay, while a zipped mesh vent enables appropriate ventilation. All seams are taped, completing what is an impressively watertight product.

OM editor Will with the look of someone who's been rained on in the Highlands for 10 days.

A word on the Trailhead’s eco-credentials, it makes use of Flurocarbon-Free DWR in its water repellent coating, which helps to maintain the brand’s standing as a climate neutral company.


The Trailhead boasts an open face style with a snap opening and stiffened peak. This is in contrast to the zipped face designs commonly found on most bivvy bags and Rab champion it as being less constricting. An integrated rain gutter manages precipitation effectively.

You’d expect kit designed for minimalist adventures to pack down small and the Trailhead is no different. It compresses to 18cm by 12cm, meaning you’ll even find space for it in a standard daypack, never mind an expedition backpack. When liberated from the stuff sack, the bag stretches out to 250cm in length and is 85cm wide, which is larger than the average bivvy. This means there’s loads of space for your boots, backpack and anything else you want to keep dry.

Tester’s Verdict

“I’ve tried both hooped bivvy bags and basic no-frills sleeping bag covers in the past. The Rab Trailhead seems to sit somewhere between the two. The bivvy has a stiff peak which can be moulded to suit and press studs which you can fasten as many or as few as you like.

“Weight-wise, I need my bivvy bag to be significantly lighter than a one-person tent, or I’ll be tempted just to take the tent. At just over 400g it’s more than half the weight of my one-person tent. It is however heavier than the Alpkit Hunka bivvy which I think is the one to beat for simple minimalistic bivvying. Both have the same hydrostatic head / breathability credentials but the Rab is slightly longer and wider.

“I’d carry the Rab Trailhead an either an emergency shelter or on nights where the chance of rain is less than 10%. It keeps the sleeping bag protected but, with its lack of any poles to keep the material off your face, it’s unlikely to provide the most comfortable of shelters in a prolonged downpour.”

Rab Trailhead Bivi

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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