any users of bivy stick?

Cidertom

Chionophile
GOLD Site Supporter
Been looking at this one, Some good points, some maybe not so good.

 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
Been looking at this one, Some good points, some maybe not so good.

Resurrecting this thread because I was looking at one of these back when I was considering Garmin, Spot and Zoleo.

Honestly I discounted the BivyStick pretty quickly because of the way it's pricing plan works. Rather than a "monthly" subscription like all the other units, the BivyStick sells "units" that you use for various function. This can either save you a ton of money or cost you a ton of money depending upon how you use the device.

For example, if you check the weather forecast that is 1 unit per weather check. If you drop electronic breadcrumbs on an internet based map, that is 1 unit per hour. If you send OR if you receive a message, each of those uses 1 unit. It seems that you can, unlike some of the other brands, turn your subscription on or off without paying added convenience fees, Just pay $18/month for any month you plan to use the unit, get 20 credits. But it also seems like the monthly fee is high for what you get compared to the other competitors.

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So looking at the plan above, if I use it on a motorcycle trip that is 3 days long, and if I have it tracking me for 8 hours per day, I will use 24 credits just for the tracking function that drops an electronic pin on an internet map so my wife knows that I am still moving (therefore alive). 24 credits if 4 credits OVER my limit, so I would pay 50-Cents per extra credit. Add in a few "check in" messages or a message saying I arrived at a campsite each night and I'm farther over my limit, adding in a few more charges. To eliminate the extra charges I could up to the $40/month plan but Spot offers that functionality for $12/month

BivyStick uses the Iridium network that covers OCEANS and the Arctic Circle, central China, central Africa, which are NOT covered by SPOT so if you are planning to go to those areas then it would be a better choice, but at that point I'd probably grab a Garmin InReach Mini, which offers the same functions, a few others, at the same initial cost and with a monthly subscription that might work better for many people's needs.


For whatever it is worth, BivyStick is now owned and marketed by ARC, the maker of emergency beacons, EPIRB units, etc. ARC has a great reputation for making rugged safety communicators so I suspect the BivyStick is a very well made reliable unit.
 
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Cidertom

Chionophile
GOLD Site Supporter
Good points on comparison. For my use it is more restrictive. either emergency, or a "i'm staying over another night " so they don't launch a search party. or if there is emergency at home I can be found. I doubt I'm going to use it (whichever I settle on) at all, it's more the backup to murphy's law.
 

Melensdad

Jerk in a Hawaiian Shirt & SNOWCAT Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
Good points on comparison. For my use it is more restrictive. either emergency, or a "i'm staying over another night " so they don't launch a search party. or if there is emergency at home I can be found. I doubt I'm going to use it (whichever I settle on) at all, it's more the backup to murphy's law.
For that type of use you may find the BivyStick to be the most economical? Costs about $350 + $17 for 20 units of use. It costs $17 each additional year for the basic package. You do have to remember to have your service TURNED OFF at the end of the trip and turned back on or the $17 fee is charged monthly.

A Spot Gen 4 costs about $99. It is a 1 way communicator. SOS button. Check In button. Pre-programmed message button. Tracking button. It will cost you $12/month or $144/year for the basic package.

So assume you have use of these items for "20" transmissions/receptions over the course of 1 full year.

BivyStick
$367 in total costs for 1 year. ($349 + $17)
$384 in total costs for 2 years. (an additional $17)
$399 in total costs for 3 years.

SPOT Gen 4
$243 in total costs for 1 year. ($99 + $144)
$382 in total costs for 2 years. (an additional $144)
$526 in total costs for 3 years.

The math changes slightly if you use a larger plan for the BivyStick but honestly for "occasional use" the BivyStick is the cheaper alternative
 
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