TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy Review: Which is Best? Hands-on Comparison

Emergency blankets have become quite a popular item among survival minded individuals. And it is for that reason that in this article I will be pitting two brands against each other. For this review, I will be seeing how the TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy hold up against one another.

TACT Bivvy vs SOL Emergency Bivvy

Will one keep you warmer over the other? Is one more durable? Or are they the same? These are just some of the questions I will be answering in the following text. But before jumping into the head to head comparison, some readers might not be familiar with what an emergency bivvy is. So, I think answering that is a good place to start.

What is an Emergency Blanket?

Modern emergency blankets or space blankets are made from a lightweight, compact material such as mylar or mylar like material. This material looks like tin foil and does an excellent job of retaining body heat that would otherwise be lost to convection. When you are in a survival situation and cold, having something like this could prove to be a lifesaver. 

What is an Emergency Bivvy?

Now, an emergency bivvy, like the ones in this article, is almost identical to emergency blankets except they have sealed seams with only one opening on the end. This allows a person to crawl into them much like a sleeping bag. Since there is only one opening that has to be held shut, bivvies should be able to retain a lot of body heat. 

Why Carry One?

I will explain this further in the article but to quickly answer this, emergency bivvies are extremely lightweight, compact, keep you warm, and are affordable. 


TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy: Individual Roundup Review

Now that I have a few of the housekeeping questions out of the way lets first take a look at the TACT Bivvy by Frog and Co. followed by the SOL Emergency Bivvy.

TACT Bivvy Review

This bivvy comes in a ripstop nylon pouch. This pouch comes with three additional features. First, when the drawstring is broken apart it will reveal a piece of fire tinder cord that can be used to aid in making a fire.

Secondly, at the end of the drawstring is a 120-decibel emergency whistle that can be used to keep in contact with group members or to signal for help. 

Lastly, hanging on the side of the pouch is a black, lightweight carabiner that can be used to securely attach the pouch to a pack, belt loop, or any other place you feel like hanging it. 

The bivvy itself has an orange exterior, silver interior, and has sealed seams. The dimensions of the TACT are 84” x 36” and weighs in at 4.7 oz.

Pros 

  • Lightweight, compact, and durable
  • Wind and waterproof 
  • Easy to get into 
  • Emergency whistle included 
  • Fire tinder cord included 
  • Light-duty carabiner included 

Cons 

  • Have to be extremely careful with the material so as not to poke a hole in it
TACT Bivvy Review
  • Our Favorite Sack
  • Weighs only 6.2 ounces. Very durable.
  • Use in all survival situations to stay warm
View Latest Price

SOL Bivvy Review

The SOL is very similar to the TACT. It has an orange exterior, silver interior, and sealed seams. Its dimensions are 84” x 36” and weighs in at 3.5 oz.

Pros 

  • Lightweight, compact, durable 
  • Wind and waterproof 
  • Easy to get into 
  • Large carrying pouch for storing the bivvy 

Cons 

  • Have to be extremely careful with the material so as not to poke a hole in it
BIVVY DETAILS
  • Weighs approximately 3.8 ounces
  • The entire knife is cold forged out of one a single piece of Sk-5 high carbon steel
  • Secure-Ex sheath with a ferrocerium fire steel
Check Price on
Amazon.com

For a more detailed individual review, check out the article on the Sol Bivvy.


TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy: Head to Head Comparison

Dimensions 

I took the bivvies out of their pouches and started working my way through testing them out.

The first thing I did was to lay them out side by side on the ground. You may notice that they look almost identical. In fact, by all appearances, they are.

They are both orange on the outside with the seams sealed in black “tape.” It may be difficult to tell in the photo but for what it is worth, the SOL Bivvy is a slightly darker orange over the TACT. 

dimensions of the tact bivvy vs sol bivvy

In terms of size, these two bivvies are identical. Both measure in at 84” x 36.” It does not matter which one you choose as both will offer ample interior space for almost anyone.

Verdict: Both are the same size. Both offer ample space. No clear winner.

The Elements

The TACT and the SOL are both advertised as being windproof as well as waterproof. While both bivvies were laid out on the ground I poured roughly one half of a gallon of water onto the outside of each of them.

I allowed the water to pool up and sit for about ten minutes, periodically spreading the water around with my hands. 

After ten minutes, I carefully guided the water to the side taking care not to get any near the opening. I then reached in and felt throughout the interior of both products. Both were bone draw on the inside. 

Verdict: Both keep dry. No clear winner.

Warmth

To test out how well these keep a person warm I decided to wait until nightfall when the outside temperature was expected to drop to just above fifty degrees.

While this is not bitterly cold, it is cold enough for exposure to be a problem. To test these out I opted to wear inappropriate clothing. I wore shorts, a t-shirt with a zip-up hoodie, socks, and tennis shoes. (I would like to note that I conducted this test in a safe and controlled environment)

I first crawled into the TACT and wouldn’t you know it, it started to rain. I pulled the bivvy over my head like a hood and tightened the excess material under my chin. I sat in the rain like this for about thirty minutes. Every few minutes a slight breeze kicked up and the only place I felt the chilly air was on my exposed face.

At a few points during the test, I did reach around the inside with my hand and could feel the material becoming slightly damp. Since these bags are supposed to be waterproof that also means moisture won’t leave the bag. This can lead to condensation building up inside, as the packaging indicates. 

While I was not hot inside of the sleeping bag I was comfortable. More importantly, I was not chilled or shivering.   

I got out of the TACT Bivvy and allowed myself to cool off. This didn’t take long as I was not in ideal clothing.

After cooling off I then crawled into the SOL Emergency Bivvy for the same amount of time. The results were the same as they were for the TACT Bivvy.

Verdict: Both kept me dry. No clear winner.

Durability 

My biggest problem with older emergency blankets is that once the material was punctured, it was notorious for ripping as though it were made from tissue paper. 

While I understand that these emergency blankets or bivvies are meant to be extremely lightweight and compact they do have to be somewhat durable. The reality of the situation is that when someone is going to be using one of these they will be wearing outdoor clothing, shoes or boots, sitting on the ground, moving around, etc. So while I do not expect them to be ultra-tough, I do expect them to not shred to pieces when there is a hole or tear in the material. 

I ran two very quick tests to see how the material would hold up. Actually, three tests if you include when I was testing them out in the rain. 

The first thing I did was to see how the material would react to me pressing a finger through it. On both of the bivvies, the material did stretch out much as a heavy-duty trash bag would. Eventually, my finger did go through the material.

I then used my pocketknife and cut a small tear near the edge of the bivvies. Again, I used my finger to press through the hole. Surprisingly, the SOL held up slightly better. As I pushed my finger through the hole it continued to get bigger, but the material stretched more than ripped. The TACT started to rip more than stretch. 

I think that both bivvies did well in the durability test, but the SOL did not seem to rip as much. One take away from this is that since both of these products do stretch when they are punctured, they should hold up decently to being repaired. What does this mean? Be sure to always carry duct tape in your survival kits.

Verdict: SOL help up better to my durability tests.

Pouches Water Test

I do like to test out all of the pieces of gear and in this case, that means the pouches. The last thing I was curious about was if the pouches would hold water for any amount of time. In a survival situation everything needs to be used to its fullest ability and knowing if the pouches could be used as a water container may prove useful. 

I hung both of the bags from a tree and filled each one with water. Sadly neither of the pouches held the water as it ran right out of the bottom although the SOL pouch did drain slower.

It is probably a good thing that the pouches do not retain water. This way a wet bivvy would have a better chance of drying out. This test has no bearing on the product itself, it was done merely out of my curiosity. 

Features at Glance 

Below is a table to quickly view the features of both the TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy

FeaturesTACT BivvySOL Bivvy
Dimensions84” x 36”  84” x 36”  
Weight4.7 oz3.5 oz
Exterior ColorOrangeOrange
Interior ColorSilverSilver
WindproofYesYes
WaterproofYesYes
Heat Reflection90%90%
Emergency WhistleIncludedNot Included
Fire Tinder CordIncludedNot Included

Open Questions about Emergency Bivvys

Are emergency bivvies reusable?

As long as the bivvy material has not been compromised then they are reusable. However, keep in mind that they are meant to be used for emergencies only. By recreationally using them they most likely will not last long. 

Are emergency bivvies better than emergency blankets?

In my opinion, they are. Primarily because the seams are sealed which leaves only one end open. This makes wrapping yourself up in it and retaining body heat much easier and more efficient.


TACT Bivvy vs SOL Bivvy: Customer Sentiments 

Overall, both bivvies appear to have high customer satisfaction. However, some common complaints are that they are not truly waterproof and that they are not durable. From my experience with these two bivvies, I believe that there are two answers to the negative reviews.

One, the customers received a faulty product, or two they were not using the product correctly. 

To be fair the bivvies are not 100% waterproof as there is an opening on one end. But after my water test and sitting in the rain for thirty minutes I would conclude that as long as the opening is kept closed, they are very water-resistant. 

I believe these bivvies to be durable when considering how lightweight and thin they are. The material does have some give and stretch to it, not much but some. They are certainly more durable than other emergency blankets I have used that I swear would tear if you looked at them.

TACT Bivvy Review
  • Our Favorite Sack
  • Weighs only 6.2 ounces. Very durable.
  • Use in all survival situations to stay warm
View Latest Price
BIVVY DETAILS
  • Weighs approximately 3.8 ounces
  • The entire knife is cold forged out of one a single piece of Sk-5 high carbon steel
  • Secure-Ex sheath with a ferrocerium fire steel
Check Price on
Amazon.com

Verdict 

Often in these types of comparisons, there is a product that stands above the others. This wasn’t one of those times as through my testing I believe the SOL and the TACT were truly head to head. 

In terms of affordability, both products cost about the same with the TACT Bivvy being the more expensive one, so price really isn’t an issue.

The TACT Bivvy does come with a decent emergency whistle and the fire tinder cord drawstring which is nice. 

But when looking at just the bivvy, both are windproof, waterproof, warmed up in the same time frame, and offered the same amount of space.

The only difference I experienced was in the durability test. It was here that I believed the SOL performed a little better because its material had more stretch to it before breaking and it did not “rip” as much. 

I do not think you can go wrong with either of these products but if I have to choose one based on just the bivvy I would go with the SOL. It costs a little bit less, is a little more durable and the carrying pouch is larger which makes packing the bivvy away easier. 

I hoped you enjoyed my review of these two popular emergency bivvies. If you have any experience with either of them please sound off in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and stay warm!

TACT Bivvy Review
  • Our Favorite Sack
  • Weighs only 6.2 ounces. Very durable.
  • Use in all survival situations to stay warm
View Latest Price
BIVVY DETAILS
  • Weighs approximately 3.8 ounces
  • The entire knife is cold forged out of one a single piece of Sk-5 high carbon steel
  • Secure-Ex sheath with a ferrocerium fire steel
Check Price on
Amazon.com


Bryan Lynch
Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. Recently, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. Read more of Bryan's articles.

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