High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: , AB, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, trail running, spending time with my wife, kids, and dog.
So I have used both he discontinued Big Agnes 3 Wire Bivy and the Integral Designs Unishelter. Both were cramped, impossible to get in and out in the rain as standalone shelters, and prone to condensation. However, there was something wonderful about waking up on a ridge, opening my eyes, and seeing the sunrise from the confines of my shelter. They were also easy to set up.
But the weight to space factor was not ideal. I now use very lightweight, bug proof shelters such as those from Tarptent.
Regarding the MEC Tarn, it is inexpensive but really a poor choice for something like the WCT. It is much too heavy. It was my first tent so I do have a special spot for it in my heart, but I wouldn't direct anyone to that shelter. Even a beginner.
So apart from some romanticism with the bivy (I have also used water resistant bivvies that are under 10 oz with a tarp - a whole other ballgame), I wouldn't use one today apart from an emergency shelter. But even then I would probably just take a tarp.
Happy New Year, everyone.