Integral Designs Unishelter


Whilst laying in my Unishelter watching the sun rise recently I begun to reflect on why I like this shelter. It is a bit more than a bivy and tarp and it weighs more than the lightest tents but for me it is my preferred option. As it provides an easy and quick solution to setting up camp, it provides that next to nature feel whilst also providing ample shelter in rainy conditions. It allows me to camp in small areas where a tent would not be suitable. The bivy has lots of space inside and it is possible to change clothes whilst inside the bivy. Entry and exit can be a challenge in the rain but a little planning can be helpful.

Things I have learnt are
1. Pack your sleeping bag and other dry clothes inside the bivy, it both saves a waterproof pack liner and allows you to assemble the bivy with your dry gear well away from the entry and thus moisture.
2. Plan at least one non cook meal if you bivy bound.
3. A container to save you midnight visits to the a nearby tree can be invaluable when it is raining.
4. Organise your gear for a quick exit in the mornings when it is raining.
5. Have your camera ready for those sunrises you will see whilst still half asleep.
6. Choose a site which gives the maximum benefits of seeing the surroundings and appreciating the stars and other sights at night.
7. A small tarp (or umbrella) can be used to protect you upon entry and exit in torrential rain.
8. Enjoy the experience and learn as you go along.

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13 Responses to Integral Designs Unishelter

  1. Holdfast says:

    How much does this shelter weigh Nielsen? I was looking at the Big Agnes 3 Wire eVent bivy as I need a one person shelter soon.

  2. Nielsen Brown says:

    Mine weighs 892 gms, that includes the pole but not the pegs. I cannot comment about the 3 wire only seen pictures of them, though there was some photos and comparisons on BPL a little while ago.

  3. Holdfast says:

    Thanks for the info Nielsen, it’s another shelter to consider. I’ll check out the BPL article. On an unrelated topic, where do you mail order products from in Scandinavia? I’m trying to find some Icebug shoes from Sweden and can’t find them anywhere.

  4. Dave (FamilyGuy) says:

    Hi – I am the fella who posted pics and a comparison of the two bivies and wanted to add a couple of comments.

    I prefer the Unishelter for four primary reasons over the Three Wire. First, exit and entry is much, much easier. The awning on the three wire will poke you in the back trying to contort in.

    Second, the ventilation options on the Unishelter are greater. Yes, I would like a little more mesh. However, the rear vent is invaluable for flow through and for allowing a full zip up in really poor weather and still have ventilation.

    Third, when setting it up in the rain, the pole inserts externally so the door to the shelter can remain closed. Not the case with the three wire, which requires inserting poles internally with the door wide open.

    Last, the secondary door for the mesh wall opens from the inside. So in bad weather one can adjust it from inside the bivy.

    Otherwise they are both great and I do believe that Nielson summed up the attractiveness of these types of shelters very nicely!

    Should you have any questions, please drop me a line at outdoorapproach@yahoo.ca.

    Dave

  5. Nielsen Brown says:

    Thanks Dave for your comments. When ever I go on a trip the dilemma of taking the unishelter, or another shelter always exists, as in many ways I prefer the Uni shelter, but in winter or long trips I am probably more inclined to the Shangria la for the space etc.

  6. Holdfast says:

    Thanks for the extra information you provided Dave. You and Nielsen have convinced me that the Unishelter is the better option, precisely for the points made above.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering whether the three-wire allows for star-gazing? With the Unishelter I can roll back the wired hood as well as angle the bivy pole backwards slightly to provide me with great views. If I need rain protection during the night, its a simple adjustment to make without leaving the bag.

  8. Nielsen Brown says:

    Hi Anonymous
    Thanks for your comments, as I only have the unishelter I cannot comment on the 3 wire. But a look at the pictures provided Family Guy at BPL it would appear that a view of the stars from the 3 wire is possible as well as zipping up when it rains something I have experienced with the unishelter more than once. However, only an owner of the 3 wire bivy can confirm or otherwise this option.

  9. FamilyGuy says:

    No, not really with the 3 wire because the awning comes out quite far. Stars out toward the horizon yes – stars more directly up – no.

  10. Nielsen Brown says:

    Thanks David for your clarifying comments re viewing the stars from a 3 wire bivy.

  11. Hi – I am the fella who posted pics and a comparison of the two bivies and wanted to add a couple of comments.I prefer the Unishelter for four primary reasons over the Three Wire. First, exit and entry is much, much easier. The awning on the three wire will poke you in the back trying to contort in.Second, the ventilation options on the Unishelter are greater. Yes, I would like a little more mesh. However, the rear vent is invaluable for flow through and for allowing a full zip up in really poor weather and still have ventilation.Third, when setting it up in the rain, the pole inserts externally so the door to the shelter can remain closed. Not the case with the three wire, which requires inserting poles internally with the door wide open.Last, the secondary door for the mesh wall opens from the inside. So in bad weather one can adjust it from inside the bivy. Otherwise they are both great and I do believe that Nielson summed up the attractiveness of these types of shelters very nicely!Should you have any questions, please drop me a line at outdoorapproach@yahoo.ca.Dave

  12. Holdfast says:

    How much does this shelter weigh Nielsen? I was looking at the Big Agnes 3 Wire eVent bivy as I need a one person shelter soon.

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