Bivvy Bags

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Full Member
Sep 5, 2014
Hi all,
I am looking to buy at least 20 Bivvy bags for the Explorer scouts to use as they are doing more sleepouts with tarps than tents.
Please does anyone have any advice on waterproof versus water resistant, Brands like Kombat, Gortex, ex army etc.
Also any contacts that could offer discount to scouts.


Mar 8, 2009
Leeds, Yorkshire
We have done survival camps with the scouts over the last two November’s, they just bring their own, usually the bright orange ones. Saves money for the scout group.

Duggie Bravo

Jul 27, 2013
What are you looking for them to do?

If you are looking for them to sleep under the stars and use a tarp if it is raining or as a safety/extra layer of protection under a tarp I would look at surplus ex MoD ones, fairly robust and should be fairly cheap.

I would avoid the orange survival bags for regular use, you tend to get a lot of condensation inside, but if you want a ground sheet, then it would do the

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Apr 8, 2009
Ashdown Forest
We have bought the ex army ones for our Explorers, Definitely avoid the orange plastic survival bags - those are only really to be reserved for emergency use or wrapping up a rucksack that is left exposed outside a shelters etc (or as a groundsheet as per the post above).

I generally just keep an eye on ebay and buy up a few of the ex army ones when i can get them for a decent price. They are much heavier duty than the (cheapish) commercially available equivalents, and have an excellent level of breathability. Definitely avoid the highlander, Kombat etc offerings, the scouts will wake up with damp sleeping bags as their breathability is rather on the low side.

As a leader, the additional peace of mind that i get knowing that the Explorers have a decent robust bivi bag as a layer of defence from their sleeping bags getting soaked in the night is well worth the Unit's outlay.


Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
+1 for military, have you tried contacting endicotts for a discount and possible group buy for your team? I think its one of those things worth spending decent money on as it could be the difference between an enjoyable night out and a miserable cold and damp experience thats puts them off for life. Goretex or MVP can be repaired and reproofed easily and will last.

A bit out there, but I did notice on endicotts too that they were offereing goretex material in bulk.
If you bought one bivvy bag as a pattern and found a good seamstress or maker (maybe on here) you could make some size specific and to your spec.

If you did do this, try and add some "no see um" mozi net to the entrance or breathing hole.

I was going to suggest contacting snugpak for thier bivvy bags but I dont think you will get them anywhere as cheap as ex mil.

Oh and if you are on the search, try the terms "bivi" "bivy" "bivvy" "bivvie" "bivouac"
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Full Member
May 17, 2011
Teach them the old way before relying on bivi bags. Just a well set up basha over a rollmat and sleeping bag.

Even surplus issue bivi bags are going to be expensive and before the mid 1980s we all did the above and survived.
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Full Member
Sep 5, 2014
Thank you for all your recommendations, advice and shared experiences. I will share all the information with the unit for them to make the final decision.


Mar 5, 2018
The question is how old and strong the scouts are and where you want to use the bivvy bags.

Over 13 years age, use in Britain and Scandinavia:
British MoD. It costs you used round about 40 to 50 € and you get a strong and long lasting quality, 800g

Under 12, use everywhere:
Snugpack Special Forces bivvy bag. New round about 100€, not bomb proof but only 340g. Very well working.

Over 15 years and use in France and Germany during the summer too:
German Army (Carinthia Gas permeable technology ) 1000g, but equipped with a full lenght zipper. Used 100€, pretty bomb proof.

But the Snugpak SF can be used there as well. New 100€, 340g. As I wrote before: Very well working, but you have to use it carefull.