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Sierra Designs A.S.A.P Bivy and Tarp

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The Sierra Designs A.S.A.P Bivy and Tarp combo is the ultra-light backpacker’s solution to staying dry, keeping the bugs at bay, and having room to stretch out, cook, and sort gear without sacrificing weight penalties or taking up too much room in your pack. While there are many great things about this ultra-light shelter setup, there is one important thing to be aware of.

First, lets go over the pros:

  • Tipping the scales at one-pound nine-ounces (according to my scale), Sierra Designs A.S.A.P. Bivy and Tarp is not only light but it also packs down to 10x6x5 inches.

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  • The tarp is quick and easy to set up once you have figured out how to do it. Do not let the first time you set this up be in the dark and cold – practice setting it up once or twice in your backyard. I found that moving the staked corners was necessary to properly tension each “wing” of the tent. Also, I set my trekking poles at 140mm to get a good pitch. Of course, you could go shorter, but then the tent will require a bigger footprint and less head room.

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  • The bivy sack has bug netting! No longer will you have to worry about bugs crawling into your bag with you to keep warm while sleeping. It also features a stretchy cord loop so that you can string the net up away from your face, which will keep the mosquitos off, too!

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  • There is plenty of head room, which means you can cook inside if the weather is bad. There was also enough room to keep a pack inside as well.

Now, what about that one thing I mentioned that you should be aware of?

  • While testing during a rainstorm, I noticed that water began pooling on the bivy sack that was extending outside of the rainfly. In one hour, the storm rained about 1/4 inch. This left a sizable puddle of water on top of the bivy sack that eventually overflowed, soaking my sleeping bag. Sierra Designs built a rain gutter into the bivy sack but it laid down flat, which allowed the water in. If you are going to be camping in inclement weather and are a fidgety sleeper, then your movement may keep the water from pooling too much and therefore overflowing and soaking your sleeping bag.

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Tech Specs

Manufacturer: Sierra Designs

Date available: Currently Available

MSRP: $189.95

Listed Weight: 1lb 1oz

Actual Weight: 1lb 9oz

Materials: 20D Nylon, 1500 mm

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Isaac Tait is the Gear Manager for Seattle Backpackers Magazine. Since he was a child he has been an avid outdoorsman and enjoys backpacking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, Tenkara fly fishing, canoeing, and canyoneering. He is also a US Marine with two tours overseas under his belt. He is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), Access Fund, and Trout Unlimited. In his spare time he can be found exploring the wild-lands and guiding Tenkara, skiing, and Mount Fuji trips in Japan.

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