After many requests from followers this is my review of the Terra Nova Discovery Bivi, I have done a video review that you can find above but I thought I would accompany it with a quick text review too…. so here goes.
I’ve been using a bivvy for around about 9-10 years now while out doing Bushcraft, I’ve also begun using it while backpacking over the last few years too. I’ve got a trusty old Army Issue Gore-tex bag which has seen some serious action and is still going strong, my main qualm with it though is the fact it is too bulky and isn’t as light as I would like. I’ve been on a mission over the last year to try and lighten the load which I carry, I’ve been loaned some kit by friends and i’ve also made various purchases to help me achieve that magic base weight.
After doing some research and testing others that my friends have been using The Terra Nova Discovery Bivi/Bivy/Bivvy was my first choice. I found some bags to be too thick, some to be too thin but I was very happy when the Discovery landed on my doorstep. It has a very small pack size of 32x10cm, the pack weight is 640grams so it is barely noticeable in comparison to my Army bag. The first thing I did was take it out in the garden and lay it out underneath my Terra Nova Competition 1 tarp. That was afterall the plan, I would use the Bivy in conjunction with a small tarp if the weather was due to be fowl while out backpacking. I’ve used a bivy in heavy rain before and it’s no fun packing away if you have no cover at all 🙂
My first impression when I unpacked it was how smooth the fabric is, It feels thin but reassuringly strong so I knew it would give me no problems when out in heavy rain. I subsequently used it up on Kinder Scout while Wild Camping at Mermaid’s Pool and it kept the rain out perfectly. I had pitched the tarp in the same configuration as in the picture above so I had my feet hanging out of the end. It rained hard for a good few hours and I can honestly say I had no problems with leaking. The unpacked size is 225x88cm, I’m 180cm tall and for me the length is just right. I also feel that there is plenty of room for movement so I don’t feel claustrophobic.
Over the last 5-6 months I have used it on various different occasions. I have used it while out on bushcraft nights with my friends in the forest, We slept on the floor of a pine forest and it got a dusting of ash from the campfire. I have used it on nights out in the Peak District and also while Wild Camping in the Lake District.
One of my favourite things about the bag is the zip system. In my Army bag all you has is a draw string that tightens above your head, It can feel rather claustrophobic at times so I was very pleased with the Discovery. I can keep all my kit behind my head, use it as a pillow, then close the zip which is perfectly situated at eye level. I have slept with the zip slightly open, I have also slept with it fully closed (to avoid the midges), with the bag behind my head it raises the fabric up and away from my face just nicely. Terra Nova do however recommend that you leave the zip slightly open but that wouldn’t cause a problem as the bag also has a storm flap. The Gore-tex Flo2 fabric certainly does it’s job as a barrier from the elements and it also lets the air in too so it feels fresh inside.
To summarise…. I have been very happy indeed with the Terra Nova Discovery Bivy. It’s a great product, a great size, a low weight and it comes in at a very reasonable price for the quality you are getting. Another nice thing about the bag is that it’s made right here in the UK and more specifically in Derbyshire. It feels very well constructed with all the hallmarks of quality that we come to expect from Terra Nova products. The seams are nicely sealed on the inside and you can tell it has been made with care and not just thrown together quickly like some outdoor kit I have used from other manufacturers. I would highly recommend this bag to anyone who is in the market for a Bivi/Bivy/Bivvy (I never know which is the correct spelling :-)). In my eyes it is ideal for Backpacking, Wild Camping, Bushcraft Nights and #MicroAdventures. Whatever your reason for getting out there I don’t think you could do any better than the Discovery Bivy.
If you would like more technical info on the Discovery Bivy then why not head on over to Terra Nova’s website – http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/tarps-bivis-bothies/all-bivis-bivi-bags/discovery-bivi/. To have a look at other products I have reviewed over the years then head to the “Gear Reviews” section of DeanRead.net