The name ‘super bivy’ is a spot-on description of this. Big Sky have come up with a shelter that you could arguably say comes with all of the benefits of a bivy bag without the claustrophobic downsides.
Like a good bivy bag, it’s extremely light and also very packable – good for bedding down in during ultralight adventures. But unlike a bivvy bag, it has a large compartment that you can sit up in comfortably and a decent sized porch to keep your pack and boots in.
It pitches like a tarp tent, requiring a trekking pole to prop it up which should be either 120cm or less in length. There’s then a 15-inch aluminium pole that props up the other end. This is embedded but can be removed if necessary.
The pitching time is really quick. The first time we used it, we approached it blindly, not knowing what we should really be doing with it, but in the end it took us less than five minutes to have a well propped shelter for the night.
It’s by and large a single skin tent, albeit with a double wall on one side where the mesh door separates the sleeping compartment from the porch. Single skin in the moisture-heavy air of the UK that we’re so fortunate to have means that you are vulnerable to a heavy soaking from condensation if you don’t ventilate this well enough, and while there is an adjustable air vent at the top of the Wisp Bivy, for heavy summer evenings you’re certainly going to need to sleep with the door open.
“The name ‘super bivy’ is a spot-on description of this.”
The Wisp Bivy’s incredibly light weight is mainly down to the technical materials that have been used, more specifically, the clever SuperSil fabric, a ripstop nylon that’s coated on both sides with silicon to add both waterproofness and durability.
Big Sky Wisp Super-Bivy
Price: £210 (excluding pegs and guylines)
Weight: 567g (excluding pegs and guylines)
More info: ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk
What about its sturdiness then? Well, we’re sorry to say we haven’t tested this in any super strong winds just yet, but with its multiple pegging and guy line points we think it could be pretty dependable. All the pegs and the guylines need to be purchased separately however.
At its base weight, this tent weighs just 567g, but that measurement doesn’t include the pegs and guylines. Add them in and you can expect to be carrying around 100g extra.
When it’s all packed up into its stuff sack (with pegs and poles), it’s about the size of a small loaf of bread – the official measurement on the site given as 39cm long x 11.5cm diameter.
Long story short, the Big SKy Wisp Bivy is one for those who take a minimalist approach to their hiking, long-distance running or bikepacking but want a little more luxury than a simple bivy bag or open sided tarp.
Will Renwick - Outdoors Magic Editor
I hiked the 300-mile Cambrian Way last year, and while I liked the tent I used for it, I think I definitely would have appreciated the Wisp Super-Bivy if I had it back then. It’s incredibly lightweight but still sturdy and protective. It’s also fairly luxurious, with a decent sized porch and sitting-up space. This is one for the minimalists who still want some comfort.