Highlander Hawk Bivi Bag Review

Bivi Highlander Kestrel

For years, I’ve wanted to try camping with a Bivi Bag. For those not in the know, a Bivi/Bivvy/Bivy bag (I’ve seen it spelled in every way imaginable) is basically a jacket for your sleeping bag. It is used instead of a tent and is just a waterproof bag that goes over your sleeping bag.

Bivi Meshed Panel Kestrel

They are brilliant for lots of reasons. Firstly, they are cheaper than tents and also a lot smaller and lighter which makes them brilliant for adventures when travelling on foot, bike or kayak! My £27.95 Hawk bivi bag is just 950g compared with almost £100 ultralight tents that weigh in at the best part of 2kg.

Bivi Zip Kestrel

They are also a lot more exciting; you can really feel the outdoors around you. You even get to look at the stars as you fall asleep. They are also brilliant for wild camping as they are smaller and stealthier and have a much smaller footprint and outline. Bivi bags are also very quick to set up and a doddle to use.

Bivi Meshed Panel Hood Kestrel

  • Get the Bivi out the stuff sack and lay it out on some flat ground.
  • Slide in your sleeping mat or place it under the bivi. I prefer it inside the bivi to keep it clean and to help to prevent puncture.
  • Pop your sleeping bag inside the bivi and climb in.
  • Now, zip up the hood. You can use a mesh opening if the weather is good or a waterproof one in the rain.
  • Leave a little opening to let your breath leave the bivi and help prevent condensation (which you get in even the most expensive bivi bags.)

Bivi Meshed Hawk Hood Kestrel

I ended up getting a Highlander Pro-Force Hawk Bivy Bag which is an excellent entry level bivi bag. It is made with a thick, waterproof and breathable AB-TEX Trimax laminate material, which has a Hydrostatic Head of 4000mm so you know you are going to stay dry even in very rainy weather.

Bivi Taped Seams Kestrel

The waterproof taped seams ensure that not even a drop of water is getting in along the joins in the fabric. It is also breathable and allows moisture to evaporate whilst maintaining an impenetrable barrier to the rain.

Bivi Highlander Kestrel Waterproof

This bag is a really good size. I’m 6 foot tall and there was enough space for my pack at the top end of the bivy. Alternatively, if you want to have more room you can just put your gear in a waterproof sack outside. It’s got a wide chest area too, so despite being encased in waterproof fabric, you don’t feel as if you are in a coffin.

Bivi Highlander Hawk Taped Seams Kestrel

My Highlander Hawk bivi bag packs down into a tiny 37x12cm ripstop stuff sack making it brilliant for all kinds of adventures. It’s a really strong bivi bag that is packed full of awesome features and comes at a bargain price. If you’d like an entry into bivi bags then I’d strongly recommend starting out with a bag just like this.

Bivi Highlander Hawk Kestrel



  1. LEO
    March 22, 2018 / 10:43 pm

    You made a small error: the bivy you used weighs 950G, its the Kestrel that weighs 370

    • WildTide
      April 19, 2018 / 7:17 pm

      Oh thanks for your eagle eyed observation or should I say ‘Kestrel’ eyed! I’ll amend that – thanks for letting me know!

  2. yo
    May 10, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    and packs down into a 37x12cm stuff sack (not 21x9x9cm, that is the krestel)

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