Page banner image
Home > Waterwear > Cagoules > Reviews > Hilleberg

First Look: Hilleberg Bivanorak

This innovative, multi-purpose piece of equipment is indispensable for many outdoor activities.

Originally developed as a survival tool for Swedish air force pilots, the Bivanorak is a bivy bag/sleeping bag cover, rain garment, portable windbreak, and emergency shelter all in one garment, all in a 560 g or 19 oz package.

The Bivanorak is made from a lightweight, tough, polyurethane-coated waterproof breathable fabric and has fully taped seams.

Bivanorak is "one size fits all", and only comes in green and red.

Rain Garment

The Bivanorak is worn anorak style and can be adjusted to a variety of lengths. Simply pull the bottom hem up inside the body of the Bivanorak and tighten the draw cord around your waist or tuck the extra fabric under your pack's hip belt. There is even enough room to carry a backpack underneath.

You simple cinch it around your waist (not uncomfortable at all) and it hangs just below the knees, nothing you'd do a sprint in, but you can easily walk and do work around camp.

Pair it with rain pants or chaps and you have superb wet weather protection. Its single size and easy adjustability allow both the tallest and smallest person to use the Bivanorak.

When you wear down full length you can combine it with tall gaiters and it will keep you dry, no rainpaints needed, even when the rain blows uphill. It is easy to crank down the bottom and huddle inside to stay warm when stopping for a break.

The arm lengths for most people are more than enough and extend a few inches beyond. It will also wear well with a small-medium size backpack.


Pull it out of your pack and climb in. The windproof material, adjustable cuffs and hem, and generous hood make for a roomy, comfortable temporary refuge. It’s a versatile alternative to a windsack as safety equipment for one person.

Bivy Bag/Sleeping Bag Cover

You can use the Bivanorak like a bivi and it will fit a sleeping bag or poncho liner for added insulation.

The Bivanorak is cut long and wide to provide room for both a sleeping bag and pad in bivy bag mode. Its lower hem and cuffs have draw cords (those in the cuffs are elastic) which can be secured shut to keep warmth in and rain and snow out, and its long front zipper makes entry and exit easy.

The large hood will easily accommodate the hood of a mummy style sleeping bag, yet it can be cinched tightly around your face. Combine a Hilleberg Bivanorak and Tarp to create a highly effective and incredibly lightweight shelter system.

The foot area has a draw tie that can close up the footbox almost completely to protect the sleeping bag from water. The garment is also wide enough to accept a sleeping pad and the sleeping bag together. So this really is an all-in-one bivy rain gear set. It's basically a bivy sack you can wear.

Hilleberg recommends using it with a tarp for more overhead protection, as it is not possible to close the hood area up completely.

Around the Camp Fire

Yes it's nylon and we would not use it near a fire. The only material we trust 100% near a fire is wool. Anything synthetic needs to be closely watched and care should be taken around any kind of open flame.

It's not something we'd snuggle up to an open fire with but no different than any other synthetic (think fleece) where people can sit close enough to a fire for warmth without bursting into flames.

 About   Sportswear   Sun Protection   Swimwear   Waterwear