The Akula Bivy System (ABS) is a modular, fully custom fastpacking setup utilizing synthetic and down insulations inside an ultralight weatherproof outer shell.
Adaptable from 50°F (10°C) to 10°F (-12°C) the ABS is equally at home during summer FKT's or winter mountaineering, or for any one spending most nights 'cowboy camping'.
The foundation for the ABS is the waist high Akula Apex half bag and the Skaha Apex Hoodie, together forming a modern rendition of the classic climber's Elephant's Foot and mountain parka. Via custom options one can further build on coverage and insulation to expand the usage from mlld conditions towards higher and colder pursuits.
*All units are built with synthetic Apex continuous filament insulation, except the down filled Nano Liner. The Apex can be configured with three levels of warmth, both for the half bag and the hoodie. In addition, the Full Insulated Coverage bag can be built with different levels in the foot/leg section compared to the torso/head area. Adding the Nano Liner and one is presented with a huge variety of applications!
*The jacket used for the ABS is the Skaha Apex Hoodie, however one can certainly substitute with any existing insulated puffy with adequate features.
*For the half bag and its torso extensions the outer skin is an ultralight waterproof/breathable ripstop nylon. This material offers moisture protection against splash, mist, heavy dew and very light drizzles/snow fall. The shells are not suited for prolonged exposure to rain and snow, and the seams are not seam sealed.
*For the Skaha Hoodie the same waterproof/breathable fabric is recommended, however the selection also includes non-waterproof, breathable options.
*The Nano Liner is only offered with breathable non-coated materials.
*An adaptable 3 season setup for western United States mountains could read as follows:
1) Skaha Hoodie with 3.6 oz/yd Apex in torso, 2.5 oz/yd in sleeves/hood
2) Full Insulated Coverage Bag with 3.6 oz/yd foot/leg insulation and 2.5 oz/yd upper insulation
3) Nano Liner
Use the system without Nano Liner on warmer trips - add Nano for sub-freezing comfort.
The 4 ABS levels are described below, with links to individual product pages for detailed configurations and ordering.
The Basic consists of the Akula Apex half bag pared with a Skaha Apex Hoodie. Simple, lightweight and quick to deploy this adaptable setup is for fair weather recovery stops down to 35°. With full torso mobility one can cook, melt snow, eat; all from an insulated bivy. Find rock shelters or dense tree cover and extend the use to moderately wet conditions.
The Akula Bivy System with the Full Coverage option builds on the Basic by adding a simple waterproof/breathable sleeve to the half bag. Featuring a large draw-cord controlled opening one can adjust the utility from fully enclosing the user's torso and head with only a small face opening, to wide open with the option to pull the sleeve down under the arms for mobility, tasks and ease of getting in and out.
This sleeve gives considerably more weather protection and adds warmth by sealing out drafts.
In the warmest configuration the Full Coverage should be good down to 35° for longer stops than the Basic.
The ABS with the Full Insulated Coverage is no longer a 'half bag' but rather a full body insulated sack with a single layer fabric head cover. A short zipper on the front allow ease of entry/exit and the use of arms outside the bag.
The insulation value can be custom selected individually for both the lower and upper half, to dial in the usage in combination with the Skaha Hoodie.
If going with the warmest Apex (5.0 oz/yd) in top, bottom and Skaha Hoodie this setup would be good to well below freezing, but rather bulky and not particularly lightweight. A better option might be to add the Nano Liner below.
The Nano Liner component of the ABS is an efficient down filled quilt/bag to be used as a considerable cold weather boost to the system. It has a standalone rating of 40°, but can be customized with area weighted fill. The Nano is sized to optimize its role as an inner layer and is available in two versions:
Backcountry Quilt. Fully enclosed mummy like footbox flaring out to a blanket like upper and terminating in a drawcord controlled neck closure. Lightest weight, lowest bulk and ideal for regular, on-the-ground sleeping with the use of an appropriately rated inflatable pad. Easy to get in, simple to tuck and adjust, fast drying.
Full sack with short front zipper. Warmer but heavier, costlier. Pretty much required if mostly used for sitting bivies during alpine climbs or other cramped situations, with or without a ground pad.