Made of heavy-duty nylon and in the arresting colour of emergencies, the Rab Storm Bivi is designed to offer the compact protection of, say, the £190 Mountain Equipment Borealis but at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from proprietary fabric Hyperlite, which is waterproof, breathable and pretty robust with it. It won’t hit the same performance levels as the Borealis in terms of breathability, but the ace up its sleeve is a mesh vent with a Velcro stormflap around the head, which offers some condensation relief. This is a curious design, but it’s one that offers a lot of protection from direct elemental onslaughts. There’s no shoulder-level flap entry of the type that many pole-free bivvies have; instead it opens clam-shell-like around the edge. This gives the aforementioned protection; but it does make this bivvy much more enclosed, which not everyone will like, and those vents reduce its potential for use on waterlogged ground (though if you’ve been forced to bivvy on this kind of terrain you’ve probably got bigger problems). It does have the advantage of allowing you to unzip the lid and fold it over to leave your head exposed, thus allowing you to gaze at the stars; you can approximate this with the Mountain Equipment bivvy, but it’s a bit more of a fiddle.
Top fabric Hyperlite
Base fabric nylon ripstop
Packed size 26x12cm
The Rab Storm Bivi was the best choice in our test for budget extremists.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine September 2013