Don’t think of the Sol Escape Pro Bivvy as a glorified emergency blanket. Seeing the silver-lining might make you think it’s nothing more than that. With features like being waterproof, breathable, zippered, and having legitimate temperature ratings will quickly show you otherwise.
Sol Escape pro Bivvy Details:
- Temperature rating: 50°F solo, adds 15°F of warmth to your existing bag
- Best Use: Backpacking
- Material(s): Sympatex Reflexion nylon
- Dimensions: 14.9 x 11.5 x 10.5 inches
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Made in the USA
- Price: $125.00
I’ll admit it, when I first saw the Sol Escape Pro Bivvy I thought it was a glorified emergency blanket. Diving into it a bit I quickly found that I was wrong. The Escape Pro Bivvy brings a full set of features as a legitimate bivvy.
Yes it does take a cue from emergency blankets and yes it would be a great addition to your emergency kit, but it also includes some great features to make it a legitimate addition to your gear closet.
The most obvious feature is the silver reflective material. This is the core of the Escape Pro. It acts as a reflective barrier that reflects up to 90% of your body heat back to you, keeping you warm. It also acts as a waterproof barrier, keeping you dry from the elements.
The Bivvy alone is rated to keep you warm in temps above 50°F. I’ve been waiting to test this out but so far CO nights haven’t been that warm. The Escape Pro is cut large enough to act like a traditional bivvy and fit on the outside of your sleeping bag. When paired with your sleeping bag it’ll add up to 15°F of warmth to your bags ratings. This is one of the best features in my opinion. This is a great relatively-low cost way to extend the season of your bag without dropping a lot of cash on a another bag. At only 8 oz it’s a relatively low-weight method for extending your season as well.
Important note: the Escape Pro is “regular” length, meaning it will fit someone up to 6′ tall. As a result, you can only fit in “regular” sized sleeping bags. I thought there might be restriction with bulkier bags. I’ve put in a Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 and it fit nicely. I’ve also put in a Sierra Designs Zissou 6°F bag. I thought it might restrict some of the loft on the warmer bag but it puffed up nicely and I didn’t notice any significant restrictions.
For left-zipper enthusiasts, you might be a little let down, it only comes with a right-zip. It’s still manageable but it’s a bit of a pain managing opposite zippers. There is also a drawstring hood. It’s not as well defined as a sleeping bag but it still works. When only using the bivvy it was difficult to get a good fit around my head. When cinching it down with a sleeping bag it works a lot better.
When packed it’s just about the size of a regular Nalgene bottle. With compression you could probably get it a little smaller but I didn’t go to those lengths.
My biggest outstanding question is about durability. How well is it going to hold up? How many nights can I get in it before it wears a hole? I haven’t had enough nights to figure this out. I would say be careful and a little gentle with it to prolong life. It doesn’t feel like it’ll handle too many snags or abrasions before the fabric gives. Of course in a true emergency this is the least of your concerns. But as bivvy used to extend your season, it’s something to keep in mind.
- Great way to extend your season
- More comfort and security than just a survival blanket
- Small stuff size
- Durability is an open question for me
- Right-side zipper only
- When using with a left-zip bag it’s kind of a pain to get everything zipped
The Bottom Line: Sol Escape Pro Bivvy
If you are looking for something a little more than just a survival blanket and want more utility, this is a great way to go. It’s still small enough to not take up too much room in your daypack and you can have a little more peace of mind. Also a good way to extend the season of your existing sleeping bag.
Buy Now: Available at REI