My first impression of the Bivy 30 was that it was a well-built straight forward pack designed for the backcountry hunter; overall light weight but solidly built and included tons of great features that we have come to expect from Sitka gear. The pack includes a sleeping pad built into the back of the frame and a built-in rain fly. I sleep on my side so the thin built-in pad would do me little good except in case of emergency. I replaced the normal pad with my Big Agnes Dual Core pad which fit in great deflated.
Just as I was leaving my truck in the dark for the 3 hour hike in, the thunder storms begin to roll in. I was grateful for the built-in rain fly which preformed perfectly. During my hike in, my overall pack weight was around 45 lbs. This is where the overall adjustability of the pack begins to shine. I was able to get the pack to fit great and the overall distribution of the weight was amazing. As with most Sitka gear there are always little features that you slowly begin to notice with use and these little improvements are what makes Sitka Gear so great I quickly fell in love with the hip pockets on this pack which were big enough to hold a rangefinder etc. but not bulky enough to ever restrict movement. Another feature that I didn’t notice on this pack was the built in bow holder that sits on the hip belt and attached to the sting so you don’t have to lay you bow down every time you stop to glass or need to use your hands.
During the first day of the hunt I was lucky enough to take a great buck. This is where the real test for the Bivy 30 begins. On my hike in I would estimate my pack was around 45lbs. overall.
But on the way out of the mountains I was able to really load the pack down, with my entire boned out buck, sleeping bag, spotting scope, tripod, clothing, rain gear, binoculars and my bow strapped on the back. With an estimated load in the 90 lb. range I would test the packs limits on the hike out. Over the next 5 hours the pack held up great even though I don’t believe that the pack was designed to haul that much of a load.
Things I like about this pack: Quality construction, light weight, hip belt pockets are great, good compression straps, adjustable, built in rain fly and overall super comfortable.
Things that could be improved upon: My only complaint with this pack is that it doesn’t quite have the frame to comfortably carry a super heavy load. But in this pack’s defense, it wasn’t built for that; it would easily have carried out half of my deer and half of my gear and been very comfortable.