It is well recognised that few things reduce your performance like a poor night’s sleep. Few things guarantee this more than being cold and wet which is why choosing a decent bivvy (bivvi, bivi?) bag is so important. There are lots of options out there but we consider the Snugpak Ionosphere and Snugpak Stratosphere offer significant improvements over the issue item, without breaking the bank.
The major difference between them is that the Ionosphere is really a small tent whereas the Stratosphere is a high quality bivvy bag with a hoop over the head. This creates a small clear area that prevents fabric lying on your face which not only makes sleep far more comfortable but also provides room to do minor admin tasks.
As you’d expect from Snugpak, they’re both constructed of rugged, ripstop materials and the Stratosphere also has a highly breathable upper and internal mosquito net. Both have fully taped seams, are highly waterproof and are well proven in even the most demanding conditions.
The Ionosphere is undoubtedly the one which you’d choose as the luxury option as it has more room and a full inner/outer system but comes in slightly heavier at 1.52kg. The Stratosphere is the tactical/lightweight option with an all-in weight of 1.13 kg and is also quicker to erect/dismantle. If you need to exit in a hurry then it also has a full length size zip and enough room at the foot to allow boots to be worn in there.
Both the Snugpak Stratosphere and Snugpak Ionosphere are excellent one man bivvi tents ideal for use in a military situation when you need to ensure a good night’s sleep. The choice of which one will boil down to your assessment of the tactical requirements of your role.