Bivi Bag with Zip Recomendations

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Full Member
Mar 3, 2020
Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
Hi ya'll,

As per title really. I'm in the market for a new bivi bag, ideally I'd like it to have some sort of waterproof zipper (or have large enough entry to make access easy whilst sat underneath a tarp), be light, packs down small and spacious.

I don't want anything heavy or with hoops.

For example the British Army jobby if made with a zip i think would be perfect.

Any recommendations gratefully received.

//probably typed on mobile so please excuse typos!


Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
American issue bivi bag. Huge, with a zip. If you dont mind the camo....

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Mar 5, 2018
The zipper and correctly made zipper flaps of the similar robust made German army bivvy bag add round about another 100g to 200 g to the weight of the British MOD bivvy bag, depending on the model.

British Army bivvy bag 800g
Used around 40 €

German Army bivvy bag 900 g
In identic Goretex jacket fabric.
Used around 100 €

German Army bivvy bag 1000g
In current Gas Permeable technology fabric
Carinthia declares that you can close it and breath through the fabric.
New 400€

All German army versions have the same cut. If it's raining on the bivvy bag you turn to the right side.

Snugpak Special Forces bivvy bag 340g
New 100 €

This bivvy bag is very similar but obviously lighter and thinner and packing much more compact. If it's raining on the bivvy bag you turn to the left side.

I always put it on the German Army folding mat to protect it. In combination with the Snugpak Special Forces sleeping bags 1 and 2 or both together (with the adapter) the sleep system works very well.

SF1 sleeping bag in SF bivvy bag I store in an Ortlieb 7 litres PS10 lightweight drybag.

That is a very compact solution. My 3 seasons rucksack has only a volume of 35 litres.

The German Army bivvy bag I don't own, but the British Army MOD bivvy bag.

Functional both are relatively equal working but of course it's more comfortable to enter the Snugpak Special Forces bivvy bag, which fits over the SF1 sleeping bag as a second skin.

The German Army bivvy bag is larger than the Snugpak SF.

But the Snugpak SF bivvy bag exists like the SF sleeping bag system in an XL version for giants too.
The usual size is made just for very tall men...

Old German Army bivvy bags usually had been made by Feuchter in Germany like the Flecktarn Goretex suit.

Different to other army equipment here the Flecktarn bivvy bags had been the first produced ones, the plain olive green versions are younger!

I think now Carinthia delivers exclusively to the German Army, I think they produce somewhere in eastern Europe, if there is still an Austrian factory I don't know. I am no expert in this question. Earlier Goldeck manufactured the old army sleeping bags in Austria and Goldeck Textil and Carinthia are identic. They just choosed an international better sounding brand name, owner of it is Goldeck Textil.

The Snugpak SF sleeping bags are made in the UK with a Swiss made filling, but the bivvy bag is imported from Asia.

I used my Snugpak SF1 with its bivvy a few hundred times in all conditions.
And I highly recommend it.

I guess the Carinthia bivvy bag will last longer if bought new, because it's a new 3 layer Goretex fabric. But of course you get 4 Snugpak SF bivvy bags for the same price...
Or a used Feuchter bivvy bag (or even often an older Goretex jacket fabric Carinthia bivvy bag too) for the same price like a new Snugpak SF.

Most good German military surplus sellers offer used German Army bivvy bags currently for round about 100 €, usually they seem to be in good conditions, and if one calls them, or writes an e-mail, perhaps they can deliver for the same price the newest model with GORETEX GAS PERMEABLE TECHNOLOGIE / GAS DURCHLÄSSIGE TECHNOLIGIE what must be written on the white badge inside if it is the newest model.

Attention Beginners!
Don't get confused!

Currently NO OTHER bivvy bag offers the option to close it completely and breath through the fabric! Always let the entrance open and breath through an opening for your nose!
In every bivvy bag you will get heavy condensation problems, if you breath into your bivvy bag!

But if you don't own a current Goretex Gas Permeable fabric bivvy bag you will die if you close it completely.

This Goretex Gas Permeable new fabric is different to usual Goretex Moisture Permeable jacket fabric, which was usually used in all military bivvy bags.



I recommend to inform yourself about the differences in the Snugpak Special Forces sleep System of SF1, SF2 , Adapter and bivvy, which works perfectly but isn't really idiot proof, because the very good adapter is a bit complicated to insert in rainy weather without shelter.
But both , SF1 and SF2 on it's own are perfectly constructed.

Carinthia offers several well fitting options to combine with the bivvy bag, the German Army uses Tropen and Defence 4. But you also could combine Defence 1 and 4 for example. The summer stuff is a bit less compact and heavier but comes in far better compression bags. There is no adapter and because of this its handier and easier to combine. But even warmer Carinthia military bags usually have no warmth collar, different to the SF 2, only the Defence 6 if I remember right, and that's a solo working heavy and very bulky winter sleeping bag.

It isn't possible to get all advantages without the disadvantages of the constructive solutions.

I choosed the Snugpak SF system because for my central european civil use that fits the best.

The SF1 sleeping bag with SF bivvy bag is the lightest and most compact option with NATO Stock Number I know, and so I took that system. This 3 seasons version is what I use most of the time.

Other users may decide different because they have other needs.

I recommend to understand the both very similar offered sleeping bag systems before you decide to go with the Carinthia or Snugpak system.
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