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  1. #1
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    Default Titanium Goat Ptarmigan bivy sack

    I acquired a Titanium Goat 'Ptarmigan' bivy sack in early 2009 and have since carried it for perhaps 1,200 miles, slept in it @60 times, and have used it in a variety of conditions ranging from desert, to temperate forest to alpine. This review is based on these experiences.

    Overview
    Available from: Titanium Goat (www.titaniumgoat.com)
    Weight: 5.8 ounces for bivy, stuff sack adds 0.2 oz (confirmed accurate on my scale)
    Cost: $90 US

    Uses

    The Ptarmigan is not waterproof and is not intended as a stand-alone backpacking shelter. This type of bivy is intended to compliment the sleeping/shelter system of the ultralight tarp camper. The top of the bivy is made of a lightweight, highyl breathable DWR nylon and the bottom is waterproof siliconized nylon. The two-layer hood of the bivy contains a full bug-mesh hood, over which the DWR nylon hood may be optionally zipped for additional warmth/protection.

    The bivy replaces a groundsheet, provides insect protection, adds additional weather protection from rain over-spray when under a tarp, and from condensation. It also adds a measure of warmth to a sleeping bag's temperature rating- In my experience, probably in the order of 6-8 degrees. When used in dry weather "cowboy" camping or within an 'AT' style shelter, the bivy makes a superb stand-alone shelter: Providing additonal warmth and insect protection while still allowing a view of the night sky, or without taking up the space of a tent inside a shelter.

    The bivy features small loops on the hood so it can be raised off the face when sleeping. The loops can be attached to a tarp, an overhead branch, even a trekking pole stuck into the ground if neither is these is being used or available.

    Performance

    Thus far, the Ptarmigan bivy has performed exceptionally well. The DWR top does indeed protect against slight overspray and condensation, yet is highly breathable and has not yet condensed moisture within the bivy, even in humid, cool conditions. The silnlyon floor and raised 'bath-tub' style seam on the floor adequately protects against wet ground. The full mesh hood is excellent and the insect protection it offers for such a low weight is wonderful.

    The cut of the bivy is generous. It is big enough to read inside, and to fit lofty winter bags. When used with my quilt, I also like how the bivy helps keep the quilt wrapped around me.

    The construction of the bivy is excellent. All components are accurately cut and sewed, and seams are well finished. All materials are high quality.

    Summary

    The Titanium Goat Ptarmigan bivy is a highly functional and useful piece of gear, is well designed, and performs its intended functions very well.

    When compared to similar products, the Ptarmigan also stands out for its low price, costing significantly (sometimes half as much) less than functionally equivalent products with equivalent weights.

    I would very highly reccomend the Ptarmigan to anyone in the market for this type of bivy, particularly tarp campers and quilt users, and those in high bug areas.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    08-28-2007
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    Default

    Bleach thanks for the review. One question. Did you test the full head net or net window version? I had a hard time visioning the two different versions from the website. I think having a white background with the black type would also help clarify the options and specs on the website. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    08-28-2007
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    Default

    Oops. After reading your review a second time I see you mention the full mesh hood. Can you briefly explain how it works.

  4. #4
    Hike smarter, not harder.
    Join Date
    10-01-2008
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    Midland, TX
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    2,262

    Default

    Nice review. Haven't used mine as much, but it's been great.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I have the full net hood.

    So basically, the silnylon bottom is cut to the length of the bivy. In the head area, the top of the bivy consists of a full net hood, (which extends from the very top of the bivy down to chest height or so) and an identically cut piece of DWR nylon. Each of these pieces has it's own zipper.

    If you want just the nice breezy bug option, you get into the bivy, tuck the DWR nylon hood sort of under your head and just zip the zipper on the bug mesh hood.

    Should you want additional warmth or protection from the DWR nylon hood, you can either unzip the bug mesh and tuck THIS under your head and then zip up the zipper on the DWR nylon piece, or zip the zipper on the DWR nylon over the bug mesh so you have two layers over your face.

    Both the DWR and mesh hoods have a little tab so they can be held off your face.

    Hope that made sense. Kinda hard to explain. In any case, given the option, I think the full mesh hood is better than the mesh 'window'.

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