Using a tent and sleeping bag or sleeping bag and bivy sack is so old school now that the Shield is on the market. The Mammut Shield is a waterproof shelter and 15-degree down sleeping bag rolled into one to make an expensive lightweight shelter. It’s essentially a waterproof sleeping bag. With no seams on top and seam-sealed stitches on the bottom, the roughly 2.5-pound Shield protects you from rain, snow and sub-freezing temperatures. It also has a stiffened visor that comes down to your nose to help keep you dry when you sleep.
If I were a bivy-sack fan and didn’t care whether or not I drowned when it rained, or I planned on backpacking when nobody within 100 miles did a rain dance, I’d be all for it. It seems counterintuitive to combine a down sleeping bag with a waterproof/breathable material, but Mammut seems to have pulled it off. Designed for the minimalist backpacker who wants to conveniently hike light, the entire bag, which has a half-length zipper on either side, packs down to about 6.5 liters. The Shield is available now for $530. www.mammutusa.com