Has anyone played with the Thermal Bivvy? http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11180863
Haven't tried that one...LOOKS from the vid like a regular space blanket on a durable skin with the possibility of venting one side. Suppose it would keep you alive but even if you stayed awake all night monitoring and adjusting venting, seems like the closed side would still be too warm & moist.
Still, given the strong features of their Escape product - which actually has perforations in it ( you can see little pinholes from the inside looking at a light source) - it might be worth a tryout.
I have read many and viewed many YouTube vids on the matter and all of the ones that were legit say it worked and was breathable. There are those dummies that tested it without a pad under them bailing out of the test or saying it wasn't warm enough. Well duh! Convection still gets you if half your body is touching the icy ground! I am interested in metalized cuben fiber but haven't found an online supplier of it yet. Seems like the next bivy material to me.
I used my escape bivy without an underpad or quilt in early august, HUGE mistake. I didnt expect it to get cold enough for any under protection. I havent tried it since but i do carry it with me (dont know why), along with my warbonnet gear, every time i go out. I like it a lot so im interested to see what people come up with for them.
I did use this over the past winter (temp down to about 33*)
I was also testing out some other bags and also combining them to see what they could get down to.
I was in a Blackbird, with a 40* underquilt, t-shirt, shorts, heavy wool socks.
At the low of 32* I was in the Escape with my Jungle bag on top (unziped like a top quilt) and was comfortable. FYI I started with only the jungle bag (in top quilt mode) and at about 2 AM and 36* decided to slip into the Escape.
I did kick of the jungle bag to see how the Escape would do (for about 20 minutes). I did get "cool" but not too uncomfortable. I think it would be fine in my setup down to about 40*.
I am 5'10" and 210 lbs, I had plenty of room in the escape. I even tucked my head in and closed the top and went to sleep, and had NO condensation.
The Escape has found a spot in my kit for sure.
I always thought this material would make a really great hammock sock. Unfortunately the bivy is too small to do this alone, and too expensive to be worth buying multiple to tear apart. And the material seems to be proprietary as well.
I just went for a 2 nighter kayak camping trip last weekend. I took only the SOL escape bivvy, a Sea to Summit Reactor extreme liner and a polar fleece sleeping bag/liner. It wasn't particularly cold, probably in the low 50's and I slept on a pad on the ground. It was quite warm at that temp, but I did struggle a bit with the size. It isn't really an alternative to a SB, although it does definitely breathe and isn't clammy, and does offer enough insulation for a survival situation. I'll definitely take it with me as an emergency day-hike bivvy, which is what it is designed for anyway.
It could be used as a SB cover or liner for additional insulation with a mummy SB, or use with an additional light SB liner, under a top quilt but it does get a bit difficult with all those layers to have a trouble free comfortable sleep.