The Original SOL Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy from Adventure Medical Kits was something we had to try for ourselves. We liked the weight and the cost but could it replace the emergency space blanket that people keep in their cars? The answer, Yes.
By the SurvivalCache.com Team
SOL from Adventure Medical Kits stands for “Survive Outdoors Longer” but if you are stuck in an emergency situation using one of these emergency bivvys it may as well stand for “Sh*t Out of Luck”. We did a quick review about a year ago of the Original Emergency Bivvy and the Emergency Bivvy II available from Adventure Medical Kits (see review) and now we decided to take a more in depth look at each product to see if it meets the standard of an emergency tool. This is a review of the Original Emergency Bivvy.
The first thing I noticed about the SOL Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy was the size and weight of the complete package. It truly fits into the palm of your hand. At only 3.8oz it could fit in a glove box, everyday carry bag, a bike bag, backpack, under your car seat, etc. Does this go in my bug out bag? No. With all of the other gear in my BOB, this would just be extra weight and I already have rain gear, a tent, and a real bivvy bag from Wiggy’s, throwing another bivvy in my BOB would be overkill in my mind.
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I have played around with mylar emergency blankets a few times and they are painful. People no doubt buy these mylar emergency blankets and never take them out of the package until an emergency. Only to find out that these emergency blankets are built for anything but an emergency. The ones that I have handled have been very hard to unfold and when you get them completely open, they are almost impossible to wrap up in. They are probably better used as an emergency signal device or a way to catch water. As an emergency blanket, well….I hope you wore warm clothes.
The SOL Bivvy on the other hand, comes in a little nylon carrying case with a draw string. When I opened it up, I had no problems unrolling it and getting my body completely covered in a matter of a few seconds. If you had to sit or lay on the cold wet ground. This emergency bivvy would keep you completely dry and keep the wind off of you. If you had to stay on the move during your emergency, you could cut a hole in the bottom of the bivvy and put your head through the hole and use the bivvy as a windbreaker/jacket until you reached safety (arm holes are optional). Off camera I will tell you that I did have problems getting the Bivvy back into the bag. So if you get one, I would not recommend doing a lot of practicing with this bag unless you have little hands that are very good at folding small squares. It comes out easy, goes back in hard.
The material of the SOL Original Bivvy is polyethylene and it seemed to work pretty well, much preferred over a Mylar space blanket. I liked the fact that the SOL Bivvy was orange on one side and reflective on the other. On sunny days you could turn the bivvy inside out and use the reflective side to signal for help. The size is 36″ x 84″ and I can tell you that I am close to 6’0 tall and 195 lbs and I had no problems getting completely enclosed in this bivvy with all of my clothes on and my shoes.
The marketing department at Adventure Medical Kits says it reflects 90% of your body heat. I am not sure how they are measuring that, maybe because your head sticks out of the bag and they are calling that the 10% of your body’s heat it is not reflecting. Not really sure, however I will tell you that this is not a replacement for a real sleeping bag or a real bivvy. On the other hand, for $13….if it fits your budget, it makes a great addition to an emergency car kit, EDC Bag or even a diaper bag. I am not saying that you are going to be real comfortable with this bivvy but you will stay dry and that is half the battle of survival.
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