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MSR E-Bivy Emergency Shelter

by Martin Hackworth 

Photos: Martin Hackworth


Motorcycle Bivy
      There are two types of adventure motorcyclists: hard corps and others. Others either ride with enough gear to supply an army or employ a chase vehicle to make sure that everything works out. Hard corps riders are perfectly content to sleep under their bike in helmet and boots wrapped in a space blanket when the vagaries of adventure travel place a speed bump in the middle of a pilgrimage. 

     Experiential research has led us to rank motorcycles we've slept under in the following order: 1) CRF450X - excellent heat radiating qualities make for a comfy night, and it's light enough not to kill you if if falls over, 2) YZ250F - ditto, but the engine cools down much more quickly, 3) CBR1100XX - scares even large, very hungry bears, 4) XR650R - high ground clearance and long wheelbase keep chain oil off your space blanket while you toss and turn and fluff your sagebrush pillow, but you're a goner if it falls over on you, 5) 
Ducati S2R1000 - oozes dreams of beautiful women, 6) CBR954RR - no ground clearance and cold - like sleeping with a picture of a supermodel, 7) TDM850 - you'll dream of large women, 8) XR600R - you'll dream of large and unattractive women, 9) CB5504K - you'll chew off your arm.     
     Hard corps riders have something in common with our brethren in the mountaineering community - unplanned overnighters. From the climbing world comes a solution to a night on the ground - the MSR (Mountain Safety Research) E-Bivy. The E-bivy weighs a scant 9 oz and comes factory stuffed into a parcel the size of a 12 oz soda pop can. The top is silicon-coated and taped ripstop nylon and the floor is polyurethane coated, waterproof, heavy-duty ripstop nylon. Once deployed I doubt that you'll ever get the bag back into it's factory stuffsack but it'll easily fit into one slightly bigger.

     The E-Bivy is small enough, light enough, and inexpensive enough (less than a single night in many motels) that it seems a no-brainer. It will easily fit in most of the many pockets of an OGIO Flight Vest or in any of the many common bags for off road motorcycles. It will keep you much warmer than a space blanket (especially in the wind) and will even keep you dry in light rain.

     So what's not to like? It turns out that MSR donates thousands of dollars annually to organizations that advocate restricting motorized and even mechanized access to public lands. Based on that, we'd rather rely on garbage bags to stay warm and dry. We cannot recommend this item to offroad motorcyclists.  
Motorcycle Bivy
Motorcycle Bivy MSR E-Bivy

Price Paid: $79.95 - Backcountry.com

The Good: Yeah, it works.
The Rad: Yeah, it works.
The Gnarly: I'd rather use a garbage bag for shelter than an item from a company that donates money to organizations trying to keep me off public lands.

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