Survival Frog Tact Bivvy 2.0 Review
Cons: Durability, no zipper/cinch
Manufacturer: Survival Frog
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Survival Frog Tact Bivvy 2.0
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|Pros||Weight, packed size||Lightweight, weatherproof, roomy, ease of use, bug screen||Lightweight, versatile, stows easily, price is right||Extremely lightweight, packable||Light, durable, warm, affordable|
|Cons||Durability, no zipper/cinch||Stuff sack too large||Leaky zippers||Expensive, no zipper||Not waterproof, tight fit for taller individuals|
|Bottom Line||An ultra lightweight, reusable emergency bivy best suited for very occasional use||This very well may be the new standard in what we expect from a top-notch bivy sack||This model boasts an enticing weight, comfort, and versatility ratio||An effective and lightweight bivy that far outperforms other emergency or minimalist shelters||The Escape is an excellent lightweight choice for cold dry climates or emergency situations|
|Rating Categories||Survival Frog Tact...||Outdoor Research He...||Sierra Designs Back...||MSR Pro Bivy||SOL Escape Bivvy|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Specs||Survival Frog Tact...||Outdoor Research He...||Sierra Designs Back...||MSR Pro Bivy||SOL Escape Bivvy|
|Measured Weight (oz.)||4.6 oz||16.3 oz||13.6 oz||8.9 oz||8.4 oz|
|Packed Size (in.)||2" x 4.5"||4" x 12.5"||3" x 9.5"||8" x 3.5"||4" x 7.5"|
|Waterproof?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Water-resistant fabric with waterproof seams|
|Open Length (in.)||84"||82"||80"||88"||84"|
|Shoulder Width (in.)||36"||26"||36"||36"||31"|
|Material (top/bottom)||Polyester Film||Top: Pertex Shield 2.5L 100% nylon Bottom: 100% 40D nylon||Top: 20D Nylon Ripstop
Bottom: 30D Nylon Ripstop
|20D ripstop nylon 2 ply breathable 1000mm||Metalized Spun-bonded Olefin|
|Sleeping Bag or Pad Attachments?||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Poles?||No||Yes, one overhead shockcorded Delrin pole||No||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Frog Tact Bivvy 2.0 is essentially a more functional and protective emergency blanket. When emergency blankets are challenging to use, refold, and cover your entire body, the Frog Tact has been cut and taped into the shape of a bivy sack. There are many redeeming features of this bivy, but it shouldn't be considered equal to other emergency bivys. The Frog Tact has the potential to be destroyed from just one use, depending on the environment. The polyester film was easily stretched or punctured by twigs/rocks.
When it came to precipitation, the Frog Tact did a pretty good job of keeping us dry. The material itself, a reflective polyester film, was indeed waterproof. The only times we felt that precipitation was making it inside the bag was when we would wake to the entrance/exit opening flapping in the wind. There wasn't a way to secure it or cinch it closed except for just rolling it up.
While the Tact Bivvy didn't completely close, it was much easier to manage when the wind kicked up, and a storm was brewing. It was also much quieter than some other emergency bivies.
This was among the lightest bivy sacks that we tested. The creators of this bag seem to want a bivy that was made to be the lightest it could be with nothing added extra. It is as simple as they come at 4.6 ounces. What do you get for that minuscule weight? It comes with a durable stuff sack and a plain polyester film bivy. There is no closure system such as a zipper or drawstring, and frankly, the material isn't durable enough to necessitate any of those extras.
In all likelihood, you will tear/poke holes through this bivy within the first few nights you use it. We had durability issues the first night we used the bag as a tiny sharp twig poked a hole in the bottom. If you want this bivy to last, we would suggest using some sort of ground cloth, which would add to the weight of your entire sleeping system.
The Frog Tact has an additional little whistle on the drawstring of the stuff pouch. While it obviously doesn't add anything to the performance of the bivy (which didn't change at all) it does add a couple of grams and the ability to help rescuers find you.
The Frog Tact is for the intrepid few. It collected more condensation than any other model, it didn't have a closure system, and it was very loud and crinkly in high wind. All of these things cut into our night of sleep. There is no hiding the fact that this is an extreme minimalist bivy, but that it is better than not having anything at all. It kept the rain off our back, and while it made a fair amount of noise in the wind and rain, it was a sufficient shield from the elements.
While it must be said that the ventilation and breathability of all models we tested left something to be desired, the Frog Tact was especially uncomfortable in this aspect. While the polyester film that comprises the shell was sufficiently waterproof, it didn't allow for water vapor to pass from inside the bivy out. This left us damp from condensation and ultimately feeling very uncomfortable.
If you remember the miniature 7.5-ounce cans of Coke, you have a good idea of the size of this bivy when it's rolled and packed in its stuff sack. It is insanely small. We felt that given this item uses much more material than a standard emergency blanket, it's miraculous that it packs down into such a tiny stuff sack. We also liked that it wasn't a chore to stuff it down to size.
It folds and rolls up into the stuff pouch with minimal effort. The measured size of the packed bivy was about 2 inches wide by 4.5 inches long. It would even be reasonable to throw this thing in your ultrarunning backpack for trail emergencies and unplanned bivys. You probably won't even remember it's in your pack.
The Tact is one of the most inexpensive bivy sacks that we tested. This seems like a drop in the bucket compared to some of the expedition bivies. While the Frog is quite cheap, consider its durability when you're buying it. If you really only need something to throw in the bottom of your pack for unforeseen circumstances, it is a great value. If you're looking for a bivy to spend night after night in, this bag will fall apart necessitating you to buy several more. Because it won't stand up to the abuse of daily usage, it might be wise to have one bivy for heavy use and a backup Frog Tact for shorter adventures with the off chance of a bivy.
The Survival Frog Tact Bivvy 2.0 to be a great option for shelter and emergency weather protection in a tiny lightweight package. Durability restricts this bivy to very few uses before it starts to show the wear but if you're very careful with it, it could last. While being similar to an emergency blanket, the Tact is more durable and better designed to keep you warm and dry as it is formed into a sleeping bag shape and doesn't require you to hold it wrapped around your body.
— Brian Martin
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