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Tyvek Sleeping Bag/Quilt Cover from Terra Rosa Gear

Tyvek Sleeping Bag Cover From Tera Rosa Gear
Tyvek Sleeping Bag Cover From Terra Rosa Gear

The problem with bivy sacks and sleeping bag/quilt covers is that they’re often fairly expensive, especially ultralight ones that weigh under 6 ounces, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 up to $300 depending on the materials used.

But Terra Rosa Gear (TRG) from Australia has busted that price barrier with a sleeping bag/quilt cover cover made out of a soft grade of Tyvek called 1443r, which is a breathable, waterproof fabric with a very soft hand that feels like silk. It’s amazing stuff and doesn’t feel like house wrap at all.

Weighing, a miserly 5.2 ounces (150 grams), the TRG sleeping bag cover only costs $55 AUD or $57 USD, making it quite affordable.  Couple this with the $50 TRG Tyvek Tarp I reviewed last week, and you’ve got the makings of a very functional UL shelter system.

Recommended Use

The Terra Rosa Gear sleeping bag / quilt cover is not intended to be a standalone shelter like a bivy sack. It really is just a sleeping bag cover and not a full-on bivy with a mummy hood.

Dimensions:

  • (72.8 inches) 185 cm in length
  • (33.5 inches) 85 cm width at head
  • (19.7 inches) 50 cm width at the footbox
  • (11.8 inches) 30 cm deep in footbox

Size-wise, the bag is big enough to fit an inflatable  sleeping pad and a 20 degree puffy down sleeping bag, without compressing it, and long enough that the top comes up to the top of one’s chest.  This is perfectly adequate to prevent rain splatter or splashback from wetting the outside shell of your sleep system if you are sleeping under a tarp, and will even add a few degrees to your sleep system.

A Tyvek Room with a View
A Tyvek Room with a View

Construction

The TRG sleeping bag cover has two double stitched seams running down to the footbox, which is constructed separately, and sewn to the top half of the bag. The seams are not taped, but can be seam sealed if you want to make the sleeping bag cover a little more weatherproof. I didn’t do this because I plan to raffle the sleeping bag cover off in the coming weeks, and instead slept on a thin sheet of plastic.

One thing to be aware of, is that the tyvek sleeping bag cover is easily dirtied if it the outside contacts the ground. To clean it, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth or plastic scrubber. There is no need to wash the sleeping bag cover in a washing machine to clean or soften it and I’d recommend you avoid doing this because it may pull the seams apart if they get caught in the agitator.

Breathability

I’ve slept in the Terra Rosa Gear sleeping bag / quilt cover for 2 nights so far and haven’t experienced any condensation using it, not even trace dampness on the outer shell of my sleeping bag. Although this is inconclusive, I’m inclined to believe that Tyvek is pretty breathable, based on my knowledge of the conditions that I was camping in: cold outside / warm inside. I sometimes experience condensation in other higher end, breathable bivy sacks I own, under similar conditions.

Wrap-Up

The Terra Rosa Gear sleeping bag cover is an affordable way to minimize the impact of rain splatter in a UL tarp system or to prevent tent condensation from soaking your sleeping bag shell in a double-walled tent. While the bag is not seam taped, it can be seam sealed to provide a better moisture barrier against heavier splash back or ground dampness. For $57, it’s a pretty good value and a good example of how to use alternative, breathable fabrics to construct more affordable ultralight backpacking gear.

For more information, contact Terra Rosa Gear.

Disclosure: Terra Rosa Gear provided Sectionhiker.com with a complementary tarp and sleeping bag cover for this review.

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17 comments

  1. I didn't give it much more than a passing thought when I saw it that weekend you used it, but now that I see the specs (5.2 oz, $57), I'm a lot more impressed. If it's anywhere near as water resistant as the tyvek I'm used to, or the DriDucks fabric (which is similar as far as I can tell), this is a pretty great item. Since I love using tarps so much but can't stand fully enclosed bivies, this would be a very nice option for windy conditions or winter tarping.

    I may have to put this on the long-term wish list.

  2. Exactly! That's why I'm so jazzed about tyvek and these Terra Rosa products. Incidentally, I just got a Driducks rainsuit and the tyvek material in the sleeping bag cover is as soft as the material in the rainsuit.

  3. Good to know! I love my driducks, although I wish I could find something a little less disposable. Speaking of which, after you get some use out of those driducks, can you comment on the durability of the sleeping bag cover? The driducks are not particularly durable– I would hope the bag cover is a little tougher.

  4. There's some real room for home made gear with this. The material is about $65 for 60" by 10 yards (about 1.8x 9 meters) from materialconcepts.com (first that came up on google) and about $3.50 per yard in the same width from amazon or intothewind (kite supplier). It's used quite a bit for kites and I'll bet kite maker's suppliers have lots of ways of fastening together.

    If 1443r is what's used in dry ducks, then I bet it is an excellent bivy.

  5. I've also been looking into a MYOG Tyvek sleeping bag cover. I don't have any experience with Tyvek, but I know there's debate about the waterproofness of the material. I was planning on using HouseWrap for the bottom (more waterproof) and 1443r for the top (more breathable). In your pictures you had a groundcloth; did you feel the 1443r wasn't water resistant enough to keep you dry or was that simply to keep it clean?

  6. It was to keep clean – I knew that it wasn't going to rain on the nights I was sleeping out. I plan to raffle this sleeping bag cover off sometime before christmas and I wanted to keep it nice.

  7. Interesting. I'm wondering if it could be combined with a silvered "survival bag" on the outside to make an interesting lightweight winter bivy? I would think you should be able to shake out the accumulated hoarfrost in the morning…

  8. I think it's worth a go. There is something to be said for not waking up in the morning with frost all over you (it's also happened to me). Using a 2 layer bivy system like that is an interesting idea. It would certain be lighter than that monstrous, sorry, heavy ID Penguin you were using.

  9. Andrew – there are always debates about waterproofness. It's amazing what grownups will obsess about. I usually discount most of it. The question is not how waterproof it *is* but how waterproof it *needs* to be.

    As to this type of tyvek – I think it is a MYOG goldmine and also one for commercial companies who want more customers by selling reasonably priced gear.

  10. If I were trying an inner layer tyvek outer layer "space blanket" bivy I'd look at type 16 tyvek which appears much more permeable than the type 14 used here. It's supposed to be softer and probably is less tough than the type14. It certainly isn't good enough as a single layer because it would let too much water in, but with an impermeable outer shell you'd want to make sure you got the water out.

    This is beginning to sound like a Christmas break project.

  11. It seems like someone need to try this as a hammock sock!

  12. Along the same lines, is the tarp made out of the same material?

  13. Never mind. I read the article about the tarp and you have it listed there. Thanks.

  14. You’ve answered a few of my questions; however: How noisy is his material? What about packability and durability? If you regularly fold it along the same line, will it eventually tear along the fold? Or is it better to crumple and stuff – though it appears too stiff to stuff very compactly.

    • I suggest you buy some and see for your self. The stuff is dirt cheap – so what if it degrades over time? Do you backpack more than 60-90 days a year? That’s about how long I’d expect it to last.

      • The economics were not in question – I was hoping for more insight on the product from someone who had used it… Noise? Compactness?

      • Sorry I thought I had replied to your earlier question.
        This grade of Tyvek is very soft like fabric and not house wrap. There’s no need to wash it to soften it up.
        The bivy bag will be durable if you treat it gently – like all UL gear.
        It also folds up compactly. I’d estimate it will take about 3-4 liters of space in a bacpack. Doesn’t matter if you fold or crumple, but it will be smaller if you fold it.

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