With a handful of days to go, I’m finally getting around to packing my bike and kit ready for the Atlas Mountain Race. There’ll be a full rundown of how my kit fared in an Atlas Mountain Race Aftermath feature later. Here’s the highlights of both new and tried n’ tested bivi-gear that I’m taking.
Bivi & Sleeping Kit
My go-to shelter is usually a Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis (Since replaced by the similar Deschutes model). At well under 800gms all-in with pegs, pole & groundsheet it’s roomy for a tarptent and yet packs small. It does however lack guys that can be tensioned and is very dependent on secure pegging. With the Atlas Mountains likely to serve up hard and rocky bivi-spots, the Wild Oasis won’t be ideal. When weight and space are at a premium I’m also a fan of the humble bivi bag. In a Bivi-bag you can set up anywhere, on just about any surface. It’s a boon knowing you haven’t got to chance upon the right spot in order to get your head down.
ALPKIT Hunka XL
I’ve used a number of different Bivi-bags but I always seem to come back to the Hunka XL. The XL sizing gives you the space to fit your mat inside, protecting it from the ground. It also gives your sleeping bag the space to loft and trap more warm air. The Hunka weighs in at under the 500gms Alpkit claim (how novel!) and while it comes with a built in stuff mesh, I prefer to put mine into a 2l dry bag as I can compress it into an even smaller pack size. The simple mummy style might not offer all the protection of other designs but it’s easy to get into, doesn’t feel claustrophobic and the drawstrings can be cinched to seal the worst out! ALPKIT: Hunka XL £64.99
ALPKIT Cloudbase Sleeping Mat
I’ve chosen to take the Cloudbase mat with me for two reasons. Firstly, while it isn’t insulated, it is a good 200g lighter than my Thermarest and packs down a great deal smaller. The other reason is that is a lot faster to inflate/deflate. By not having to worry about moisture being trapped inside, there’s no messing about with Schnozzel bags or similar to inflate it. Comfort levels are on a par with similar styles of mats and naturally better than an old foam Karrimat! ALPKIT: Cloudbase £41.99
Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark
The AMR will be the first outing for the HyperLamina so I’m hoping it will live up to its reputation! I’m a fan of down-filled quilts but as I’m opting for using a bivi-bag I’m going to try a synthetic bag as it should perform better if damp. The HyperLamina surpasses lower fill-power down bags and gets close to the performance of premium ones. The Hyperlamina moniker relates to the construction of the Spark, instead of being stitched the baffle are welded, preventing the heat usually lost through stitching. The front zip should make for easier ingress when using a bivi too. It weighs in at under 800g and has a pack size that shames other bags of a similar performance. The bright yellow colour is somewhat at odds with my stealthy green Hunka! The Hyperlamina Spark was discontinued in 2019, the equivalent current model is the Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30F.
ALPKIT Airlok Dual 13 Litre Drybag
The Airlok dual is a great design for storing sleeping kit on your bars. Made from the usual dry-bag fabric, its party trick is to have openings at both ends. This makes it easy to squeeze out trapped air and equalise the bag shape so it fits neatly between drop bars. While the dual model does come with webbing straps and hypalon tabs, you’ll get a more stable load using a dedicated harness. The 13l size is the perfect size for the aforementioned sleeping bag, mat and bivi-bag. There’s also enough room for a silk liner and inflatable pillow! Slotted into a Straight Cut Design handlebar harness, it fits comfortably between my 44cm Cowchippers with ample room to spare at the hoods and drops! Alpkit also make a 20L version, handy for winter if your bars have the space! ALPKIT Airlok Dual 13L £12.99
To see what the Atlas Mountain Race is all about, and where this gear will see action, look HERE.
Last modified: 10th February 2020