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I purchased a Hilleberg Bivanorak to use as a temporary shelter in bad weather as I’m often walking on Dartmoor and Exmoor in the south west of England observing wildlife. I have used a traditional bivvy bag in the past, but I found unzipping it, climbing inside with my muddy boots and the relative constriction it offers, a bit limiting. The Bivanorak is, in my opinion, a great piece of kit and is perfect for my needs. It packs down into its own stuff sack and is small enough to store in the outside pocket of my rucksack. When I need it, I pull it out, making sure all the drawcords are slackened off and partially unzip it and then, while standing, I simply pull it over my head like a large jacket, sliding my arms through the sleeves and allowing the main hem to drop to the ground. I can then adjust the drawcords and zip as required. You can adjust the hood too. It fits comfortably over my jacket hood and it allows me to turn my head with complete freedom with no restriction in visibility. It’s perfect to use when sitting up to eat a picnic lunch or watching or photographing wildlife using binoculars or a camera with my arms through the sleeves. You can also choose not to use the sleeves, having your hands inside the main compartment of the Bivanorak, more like a traditional bivvy, keeping your sandwiches dry! By adjusting the front zip and drawcords you can eat, take photos and place your camera inside the Bivanorak to keep it protected from the elements. If you choose to have your feet sticking out of the end it means you can also stand up and move around (something you can’t do in a normal bivvy bag). Even if you are wearing a full set of waterproofs, the Bivanorak gives you an extra layer of protection from the elements and on a few occasions, I’ve laid down and grabbed 40 winks, such is the comfort it provides! The Bivanorak has already become one of my favourite items of kit and, because it is made by Hilleberg, I expect it to provide many years of use.
Philip Williams9th November, 2018