Endicott's Modified Dutch Bivi Bag Review

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littlebiglane

New Member
May 30, 2007
1,651
1
50
Nr Dartmoor, Devon
Endicott's have bought in a batch of centre and side opening Dutch issue 'Goretex' Bivy Bags in excellent condition. They are modifying these (to order) at the moment with heavy duty YKK zips.

The bags weigh 1300 grammes. This is due to the heavy duty construction, quality of the materials and also because of the rather useful kip-mat holders (more of which later). However the whole package feels robust and reliable. The few extra grams I'll just have to shave off somewhere else. However - for those ultra-light freaks out there this modest weight will probably have you shaking your heads.

The modified bag costs £49 and the link is 'ere

http://www.endicotts.co.uk/product_...d=720&osCsid=c22a23de7433312ae2d1312bd087712a

The side opening one is 'ere http://www.endicotts.co.uk/product_...d=721&osCsid=c22a23de7433312ae2d1312bd087712a

Here is the bag being tested and modelled by my VERY understanding wife (!).

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You will see that it has a large protection flap over the zip area.

It is a roomy bag (my wife is 5' 8" and I am 6ft) and there is plenty of spare foot room for longer framed people. I am 16 stone and find the space more than ample.

The sleeping bag was a down one and the loft was not affected much by the weight of the fabric. The round bulls-eye foot area helped this lofting.

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The fabric is PTFE backed with a brushed face to it. Inside has the usual micro-mesh-facing over the membrane and the sealed seams to help movement in the bag (membranes are notorious for clinging to your sleeping bag material) and create a more comfortable environment.

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The face-hood area has a draw-cord

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This is the inside view of the modified Zip (YKK):

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This is an outside view of the zip which is under the sizeable storm flap:

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The underside of the bag has a pair of kip-mat holders. I have found these very useful as I tend to 'migrate' off my matt in the night. It has also been useful in a hammock as it has secured my matt (for extra warmth) underneath me - otherwise the matt tends to shift during the night. The kip matt holders are quite narrow so I would look to use either the narrower models of self-inflating matts or a cut down closed cell one. If you do not want this feature or want to strip a few grammes off the package then you could cut these holders off. But I quite like the option and the few extra grammes.

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Now to the testing:

I filled the test area with a hosepipe (well my 2-year old did) to a depth of 1 - 1.5 inches.

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Covering the bag directly with water and spraying it

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The water beaded off well

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Of course this amount of water under pressure did 'wet out' the surface of the bag eventually!

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The weight of the water did affect the loft of the bag. But this would affect all bags and it would be unusual for such a puddle to remain on a bag in such a way (unless you lay very still all night!)

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I had my 'model' roll from one side to the other to ensure the sides of the bag got wet and also to simulate natural rolling in the night. Of course if you rolled right over on your front then the zip and the storm flap (and your face opening) would be in the water!

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The end result: a very wet test area and wet outer to the bag - all over.

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Underneath the storm flap the zip was dry:

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With no sign of water ingress due to spray or direct application of water to the flap area at the mid-point of the zip.

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This was the same for the bottom of the zip but managed to flick some water under the flap as I opened it to take the photo. Even if this was not the case - this was the area that had the most water poured onto it. It remained dry.

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However the zip itself is not water-resistant (I would argue that it does not need to be under this highly effective storm flap and under normal usuage). But as you can see when I poured some water directly onto the zip it went through:

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In conclusion I would give this bag my thumbs up with a 3.5 - 4 out of 5

Pros:
Quality of construction and materials
A good quality YKK Zip modification
Massive Storm Flap
Kip Mat holders
Centre opening - great for hammock use - a doddle to get in and out of (even with a side opening sleeping bag)
Good price for condition of bag and modification.
Endy's Customer Service

Cons:
A slightly more weighty package than many - by around 300gms.
Kip mat holders could be a cm or two wider (very minor niggle) but do the job well
If you sleep in rivers then any opening (zip, flap or otherwise) on the bag will not do!
 

Simon H

Nomad
Feb 20, 2008
476
0
52
The Ashdown Forest
Very good review. I have wondered about those.

I've got an old British army one and I always have my mat in the bivi bag in an effort to stay on the thing (still doesn't work), having those mat holders would probably save a fair bit of wear and tear on the bottom of the bag too.
 

Jedadiah

Native
Jan 29, 2007
1,349
1
Northern Doghouse
Rep deserved for such a comprehensive trail and review. Bordering on extreme testing, you (and the family) went that little bit further than any before. Well done LBL, no flannel, just facts (and a great deal of plastic and water)! :)
 

littlebiglane

New Member
May 30, 2007
1,651
1
50
Nr Dartmoor, Devon
Thanks Jedadiah, Simon H and SimonM for the appreciation. Always good to get feedback after a review :D:headbang:

My wife scowled furiously when she saw that I was posting a picture of her on the Internet (even if she was in a bag). I said it could have been ALOT worse and could root around for some less clad ones :D ;)

At that point she :nutkick: :buttkick: :twak: :sulkoff:

And I said :sad6:
 

andy_e

Native
Aug 22, 2007
1,742
0
Scotland
I've already got one of these and I mod'ed it myself a while back. Many thanks for the review, it's good to see it fares well under your comprehensive testing, usually I'll be using it under a tarp so I'm glad to know it'll hold up to much worse than I've subjected it to :D

p.s. Kudos to Mrs. Littlebiglane :D
 

verloc

Settler
Jun 2, 2008
676
1
East Lothian, Scotland
These caught my eye the other day when I was browsing Endi's website. They look really good. I actually called Kevin at Endicotts and unfortunately he isn't taking any more orders for this at the moment as his seamstress who does the mod is off sick with a poorly back at the moment and he needs to fulfil the orders he already has.

Hopefully this will change soon cos they look awesome!

Cheers for the review - that's some serious hardcore testing.
 

malente

Life member
Jan 14, 2007
894
1
Germany
Thanks for this great review!

Now it's time to buy your SWMBO some flowers for an excellent modelling job!

Mine would probably :argue: :censored: :sulkoff: :eek: :swordfigh :tapedshut :rant: :rant: :rant:

Regarding the weight of the whole bivy bag, I've got a tent that comes to 1450g including poles & pegs.. I think I stick with that for the moment. But if I had the money I'd go for one!

:D

Mike
 
LBL

Great review, it's firmed up my decision to get one, as I've been interested in them for ages - just got to sort out the finances.

One quick question, I may have missed it but if not, you mention the water repellency in your review, I take it that there were not wet patches inside the bag after the test (apart from what went through the zip)?

Well done to you and the family for a top job :You_Rock_
 

littlebiglane

New Member
May 30, 2007
1,651
1
50
Nr Dartmoor, Devon
LBL

Great review, it's firmed up my decision to get one, as I've been interested in them for ages - just got to sort out the finances.

One quick question, I may have missed it but if not, you mention the water repellency in your review, I take it that there were not wet patches inside the bag after the test (apart from what went through the zip)?

Well done to you and the family for a top job :You_Rock_

The 'wetting' out was just on the outside of the surface of the bivy bag - none inside :) The fabric remained totally waterproof.
 

Nelis

Forager
Mar 9, 2007
112
0
46
Oudenbosch
Hi folks,

Like the review as I have an dutch army bivy bag myself (actually the complete set with the sleeping bag and sheets).

Might be usefull to put a zip in though.

Just one question, how do you close the storm flap properly when you are alone, after the zipper has been closed (The flap should be very tight shouldn't it) ?
 

addo

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 8, 2006
2,485
8
Derbyshire
I put a zip in my dutch bivi and took it to the arctic. Fantasic bit of kit.
 

Mastino

Settler
Mar 8, 2006
651
1
58
Netherlands
Here as well, great bag & did the mod myself. Just to save some weight I removed all the stud fasteners using pliers. I also have the huge sleeping bag that goes with it (-300 rating a think;) ) but thats a bit of kit I will probably never use because you'll need a truck just to take it with you...
 

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