Originally Posted by janliness
Heh-heh...I remember my days of experimenting with bivvy sacks -- lasted until one backpacking trip with three straight days of rain!
My one-man tent has enough room to repack the bike bags and the pole loop keeps the cold, wet tent fabric off my sleeping bag (and face!) and it's only slightly larger than a bivvy.
Whether it's a bivvy, single wall or double wall tent I'd say someone would have to be pretty insane to do a trip like this, regardless of the time of year or forecast, without that shelter being waterproof. My bivvy is waterproof/breathable (and tested thoroughly...I just moved here from Seattle!) and for motorcycle it's extremely awesome because I lay it out and put the bag inside before the trip, then the whole thing still stuffs in my sleeping bag stuff sack. All I've got to do at the end of a day of riding is pull the deal out of my bag, throw it on the ground, and it's ready to go.
Even with a tent the inside will often get damp (even to the point of dripping) due to condensation buildup from breathing through the night, especially if it's a cold night. Both of my good bags are down, but with a (good) DWR coating, so inside the bivvy or tent even if it get slightly damp from condensation I've never noticed it. I have had the little window on my bivvy freeze up during cold nights from my breath, though! If you were travelling with a non-waterproof bivvy then I really feel for ya -- I bet it became a big bathtub!
Everybody definitely has their own little systems and tricks and stuff. I've tried to select the stuff I use such that it's as compact and light as possible without causing me to have to suffer at night. Although most of my stuff is very light, compact is actually the more important attribute for me, as the less bulky the stuff I'm carrying is is the less my on-bike movement gets inhibited...I like riding my dirtbikes like they're dirtbikes, not big tanks. I ride a big tank of a motorcycle when I want to ride that way! I also always try and make sure I don't have anything flappy (and definitely not wobbly) on the bike as that kind-of stuff can easily catch an obstacle and put you ass over teakettle in a heartbeat!