A no-frills option for ultra-lightweight backpacking, the Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy provides a snug, secure, weather-protected sleeping space.
Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy Video
We are going to take a look at the Aurora bivy from Outdoor Research. A bivy is a small, compact ultra light shelter that a lot of folks will carry into the back country with them if they are concerned about getting caught in bad weather, especially above a tree line. And it is also a very ultra light packable emergency shelter for folks that like to spend a lot of times during Alpine climbing or up in the winter mountains.
The Aurora bivy by Outdoor Research weighs in at 22 ounces. As you can see, packs into a nice small shelter.
So the Aurora bivy is made out of a gortex fabric. This blue color you sees across the top is the gore material. It is light weight. It is breathable. It is quite durable. The bottom of this bivy which is the grey you see here, is OR’s hydro seal fabric. It is fairly durable. All the seams are taped and everything is going to be waterproof here. So it is basically an ultra light weight shell in a water proof sleeping bag.
There are some features on the outside here that can add a little bit of additional comfort to this style of a shelter. For example, you have a tab here on the top and you can tie off to a tree or something to give yourself a little bit more room inside there. You do have two other tabs here that would allow you to tie the hood open, stake it down to the ground and you do have two tabs at the bottom that can work as stake points.
So the top of the bivy here you have a full zipper that runs around from this point to this point. And it opens up. So this kind of folds back with the top of blanket. You do not have zippers running down the side of this. This is designed to be a very minimal, very light weight, waterproof shelter. So you have got your U-shape zipper here just at the top.
It does include a mesh netting that has a separate zipper. That is the green coloration you see here. So you can zip that shut and your head would be in here. You wear a sleeping bag in there and you would have this mesh which is kind of lay over your face and keep bugs, that sort of thing out if the weather is buggy. If it is not buggy or you are maybe sleeping under a tarp or some other situation where you are just worried about damp and wet weather, you can open it up, roll it up in here, kind of fold it back and you just kind of have an over bag for your sleeping bag. This is kind of a nice set up. If you are camping under a tarp and you are doing any sort of ultra light back packing in that sense, it gives you a little bit of extra security on the bag staying dry, especially if you are using a down bag. And Outdoor Research does include a tiny little zippered storage pocket in here so you can tuck your cell phone or a head lamp or something that you wanted to keep right there with you.
This outer gore piece does zip all the way around. If for some reason you were in an emergency situation and you really needed to just zip that whole thing up and close yourself up in there, you could, although I think most folks would find it fairly claustrophobic.
So that is the Aurora bivy. It is really just kind of a basic completely water tight shelter. It does afford breathability once your body is in there. This gore fabric is going to breathe a bit. You can definitely vent this hood section. And it makes a great ultra light shelter or a bag cover. It is the Aurora bivy from outdoor research.