Author Topic: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.  (Read 704 times)

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1719
I bought a Snugpack Stratosphere and used it properly recently. The weather was dry and sunny and I found it easy to use, easy to get along with and it was great for the discrete camping I chose to do. I took my Alpkit 3.5 Tarp with me (very light and compact when stored) as a back up and erected that over my head area on the one night that it rained a bit. I can imagiene that the worst option of a bivi owner is waking up and its pouring with rain. In this situation, without the tarp I would just get wet or I would just stay cocooned in the bivi until the rain stopped. Carrying and opening an umbrella above me would be no good, the 'dry' area that it would offer me would be too small.

In my case to work well and to deal with rain in particular I will really need to improve on the Alpkit tarp. I learned that the second matter to solve is where to put my racksack safely. With the tarp above me that matter was easy to solve, I placed it just to the side of my head under the tarp. My boots were inside the bivi, one each side of my head, this worked well.

As I want the bivi to offer me choices of how I camp what I would really like is to have a tarp that can be instanly erected as and when I need it. The outer shell of my Zephyros one offers me the idea of the answer, one end secured behind my head and the other end can be pulled up and over the whole length of me when needed. The only problem with this solution is that the Zephyros is a bit too big and a bit too heavy, because when added to the weight of the bivi makes all of it heavier and buklkier than my present Marmot tent.

All in all I like the bivi, I can see it allows me to wild camp and discrete camp better than my Marmot tent does but like all things, to become personalised and more useful to me, I need to solve the rain problem. Ongoing!


marmottungsten

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #1 on: 19:54:26, 10/06/18 »
I bought a Snugpack Stratosphere and used it properly recently. The weather was dry and sunny and I found it easy to use, easy to get along with and it was great for the discrete camping I chose to do. I took my Alpkit 3.5 Tarp with me (very light and compact when stored) as a back up and erected that over my head area on the one night that it rained a bit. I can imagiene that the worst option of a bivi owner is waking up and its pouring with rain. In this situation, without the tarp I would just get wet or I would just stay cocooned in the bivi until the rain stopped. Carrying and opening an umbrella above me would be no good, the 'dry' area that it would offer me would be too small.

In my case to work well and to deal with rain in particular I will really need to improve on the Alpkit tarp. I learned that the second matter to solve is where to put my racksack safely. With the tarp above me that matter was easy to solve, I placed it just to the side of my head under the tarp. My boots were inside the bivi, one each side of my head, this worked well.

As I want the bivi to offer me choices of how I camp what I would really like is to have a tarp that can be instanly erected as and when I need it. The outer shell of my Zephyros one offers me the idea of the answer, one end secured behind my head and the other end can be pulled up and over the whole length of me when needed. The only problem with this solution is that the Zephyros is a bit too big and a bit too heavy, because when added to the weight of the bivi makes all of it heavier and buklkier than my present Marmot tent.

All in all I like the bivi, I can see it allows me to wild camp and discrete camp better than my Marmot tent does but like all things, to become personalised and more useful to me, I need to solve the rain problem. Ongoing!


I don't know why Snugpack called it the Stratosphere, because it certainly isn't as light as air!  I couldn't believe it when I found out that tiny bivy weighs over 1.1kg!

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1719
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #2 on: 21:35:11, 10/06/18 »
Yes just a bit lighter than my Marmot Pulsar 1p which is 1.5kg. With the Tarp added to the Stratosphere my carry weight is about the same.

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #3 on: 07:22:37, 11/06/18 »
So even though it's hooped, you still need a tarp? I thought that was the whole point in hooped bivies?

alan de enfield

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 257
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #4 on: 08:01:00, 11/06/18 »
Yes just a bit lighter than my Marmot Pulsar 1p which is 1.5kg. With the Tarp added to the Stratosphere my carry weight is about the same.



Just wondering how such a single-skin Bivi bag compares on the question of condensation.
Second thought is when does a 'bivi-bag' become a tent ?


I really am unable to see what the benefits of a 1.2kg 'nylon body bag' are when compared to a very similar priced and performance of a double-skin 1.4kg 2 person tent (such as the Nature Hike Cloud 2)


I am always looking for alternatives (tried Tarps, tried hammocks and didn't get on with them) so would appreciate some ideas on your thinking behind getting the Bivi-Bag.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1719
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #5 on: 10:56:53, 11/06/18 »
I had some condensation on a couple of nights, it was not a problem, the sun was quickly up and everthing dried quickly. On the second night I just put my towel between the bivi skin and my sleeping quilt, that worked well. I'm sure there will be nights, like when I'm in my tent, when it will be worse. I'm trying to achieve a compromise to solve what for me is a now and again problem. I hike and then go to pubs in the evenings and I prefer to only go a short distance if I have to wild camp. I will always seek out my sleeping spot before I go to the pub, but of course, at dusk or in the dark and with a few pints in me I have often had difficulty in finding my spot again.

If I'm camping in a village, behind a wall, behind a garden fence, or someones hedge I obviously want to be inconspicuous as possible, so with a low bivi height, my bland bivi colour and to be able to erect it as quickly as possible that's what I aim for. I can get the bivi organised, if I want to, as I walk from the pub to the sleeping spot, I've found it to be that easy. All I then need to do, is throw down my groundsheet, bivi thrown on top, bung in the mattress, quilt and pillow and its more or less done. My rucksack is secured in a waterproof bag, connect by a short legnth of fishing twine to an audible alarm, which I then clip to one of my bivi poles, certainly do not want it to go 'walkies' in the night. In my case I only want to sleep, be warm and dry and to see out the darkness hours. My tent takes longer to erect, what with poles, inner tent and outer skin, I'm noisier as well as I get it organised. Its more comfortable of course, more space and so on. In the morning even using my tent I just pack up and go.

I don't know when a bivi becomes a tent. My head end is held up by poles, the rest of the bivi is just flat to the ground.

I'm easy about this, if I feel its not working out as I want it to I'll just return to using my tent. I decided to have a go at improving my lot because I now know the type of hiker I am, I'm fairly confident about the sorts of problems and issues that I am most likely to face, I know the types of the weather that pleases me, or will give me grief and I know that I am not a person who likes to linger at a spot. Some people like to get up later, stay a while, soak up their surroundings, maybe wait for the shops to open, prepare breakfast and so on. I'm not like that, I wake at dawn, get up and get going as quickly as possible. After a while I'll stop at a nice location and then I'll sort myself out.

beefy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2585
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #6 on: 14:47:59, 11/06/18 »

hi gunwharfman,
as you know, a bivvy and a tent are two different things
the tent is going to be more comfortable especially in bad weather,
however, bivvy bags fast to deploy, and pack away again, are a lot of fun, and are great for stealth camping, regardless of what they weigh in comparison to a tent, who cares...
the tent hasnt got the stealth of the bivvy, like you mentioned, so for this purpose they are great, obviously using a tarp adds weight, and then takes away some of the "nobody can see me" aspect,
you could pitch the tarp very low to the ground, but have you considered a poncho?
double use as rain jacket, and tarp.
in the past when not using a poncho or tarp, ive used a black bin liner to store rucksack etc. in, placed on the ground next to my bivvy, or rest my head on it, cheap and light.
check out this video and let me know what you think,
although im using a standard bivvy here, i have owned RAB ridge raider, and a Dutch army hooped bivvy bag in the past, both are great, i sold them because i prefer a tent,
the Dutch army bag was so big i could fit all my gear inside it, although it was heavy.
So even though it's hooped, you still need a tarp? I thought that was the whole point in hooped bivies?
hooped bivvy bags give the option of using no tarp, and giving more comfort from rain, wind and bugs, compared to a standard bivvy bag  :)

Just wondering how such a single-skin Bivi bag compares on the question of condensation.
Second thought is when does a 'bivi-bag' become a tent ?


I really am unable to see what the benefits of a 1.2kg 'nylon body bag' are when compared to a very similar priced and performance of a double-skin 1.4kg 2 person tent (such as the Nature Hike Cloud 2)


I am always looking for alternatives (tried Tarps, tried hammocks and didn't get on with them) so would appreciate some ideas on your thinking behind getting the Bivi-Bag.
Stealth... 8)
regarding condensation, i didnt get any
i suppose a hooped bivvy could be regarded as a small tent
gunwharfman,
after reading your last post, i think you've already answered your own questions, using your bivvy without a tarp would seem to be your quickest, and best option that suits you, just stick your rucksack in a waterproof bag / bin liner...  :)

video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diIPSE0Jqtg





« Last Edit: 14:58:59, 11/06/18 by beefy »

FOX160

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #7 on: 18:17:01, 11/06/18 »
Thatís a lot of weight for something thatís meant to lighten your load

forgotmyoldpassword

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 175
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #8 on: 14:32:36, 13/06/18 »
It says 1.1kg including everything, so that's 5-6 stakes, stuff bags and pole, plus presumably no need to bring a groundsheet as it's more robust fabric than some of the SUL stuff.  Considering it has an 'inner', that isn't that different from some of the offerings on the market (which need trekking poles a user may not necessarily have). 


Personally I'd go for something like the Borah bivy and just rely on the tarp for protection - get a little more adept at site selection.  Sometimes you need to do some experimentation with gear to see what you really like, shame many companies don't seem to do a rental service!

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #9 on: 15:47:15, 13/06/18 »
There are quite a lot of pop-up shelters, windbreaks, toys, play-cubes, washing-baskets etc etc out there all using the pop-up tent springy-wires "technology". I wonder if you couldn't find something that would pop up to cover what is needed and re-purpose it by replacing the fabric with something waterproof. Then you could just chuck it up in the dark.




Troggy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 84
Re: Snugpack Stratosphere: I used it on my last hike.
« Reply #10 on: 17:06:34, 24/06/18 »
Well said, Gunwharfman. The thing is, no matter what other opinions are regarding whether its a tent or a bivvy, if it suits your style then Bingo! I remember reading as a kid, The Campers and Trampers Week-End Book, by Showell Styles and he liked to go in a Good Companion Minor, then he made his own, which was similar to your purchase and Snugpak are very popular with the armed forces, so must stand up to some heavy use. If you like to find a pub and spend a few hours in the evening, then get off early next morning, I think what you've picked, allows you to camp inconspicuously and fairly near habitation. Sounds good to me.