There are two schools of thought when choosing shelter – go light or go big. A heavy shelter provides ample room for sleeping and storing gear. A light shelter makes for a pleasant hiking experience at the expense of a comfortable shelter. The Snugpak Stratosphere is a lightweight sleeping system designed for those who demand nothing but the lightest setup – but also a system with built in design elements to keep dry and well protected from the elements including the bugs.
- Bivvi system
- Mosquito net
- Sturdy aluminum poles
- Taped/sealed seams
- Snagless zippers
- 2.44 lbs
- Room even for large guys
Sleeping in a bivvi is quite the experience your first time. Bivvis are lightweight and are easily transportable but most fail to keep you dry and are extremely cramped. The Snugpak Stratosphere is more like a tent/bivvi combo. It’s not quite a tent yet much more expansive then your standard bivvi sack. The Stratosphere comes with sturdy aluminum poles to prop up the head end of the bivvi sack. There’s a surprising amount of head room and space to keep even the most claustrophobic person satisfied and sleeping soundly. On the tail end of the bivvi are nylon loops where you stake down the tent. This prevents the bivvi from rolling around and makes it feel like an actual tent rather than just another layer around your main sleeping bag.
The material is waterproof and will easily withstand rain storms. The heat you generate will cause a bit of internal condensation but overall the Stratosphere is well ventilated. The mosquito net allows for ventilation while simultaneously keeping the critters and crawlers at bay. In warm climates you don’t need much to stay warm in this bivvi.
The Stratosphere has also seen extensive use with many search and rescue teams worldwide. The lightweight footprint makes for the perfect hiking experience. There’s nothing worse than lugging around a 6 pound tent all the way to the campsite and then back. The Stratosphere weighs in at a mere 2.4 pounds and packs down to basically nothing. When fully compressed it easily stuffs deep into a backpack or happily lashes to the externals with a bit of paracord. You will question the true durability of the Stratosphere as soon as you pick it up – it’s light as a feather. But as you set it up and use it, the ultimate utility of this bivvi will blow your socks clean off.
Perhaps the greatest fear of many people is becoming stuck inside the bivvi itself. How easy is it to get the bivvi sack open again after you’re all zipped up? It’s actually very easy and the zippers are specially designed to not snag on the fabric. This leads into one of my favorite elements of the Stratosphere – the zippers. They’re extremely durable and smooth open and closed like a hot knife through silky butter. Anything that zips I want to make damn sure the zippers aren’t going to bust on me the first time I go to use the product. The Stratosphere over delivers with solid a solid zipping experience.
But can it fit the big guy? I am not a big guy myself (5’10”) but I can tell you this – there is AMPLE room in this thing and it’s quite easy to tell that the Stratosphere will stow away the larger guys too. As a guy with a medium build the Stratosphere bivvi is the perfect size for me and my gear. I’ll thrown my entire backpack straight in with zero problems.
The Snugpak Stratosphere is hands down the best bivvi you can get on the market today. The genius design actually resembles a bivvi/tent combo while still staying true to the lightweight and packable footprint. The Stratosphere is a solid sleeping system for the lightweight hiker or anyone requiring a no-nonsense waterproof sleeping setup.