Bivy Stick Field Test

The Bivystick was bought out by ACR and is now called the ACR Bivy but here is what I found out when I took my Bivy Stick Blue out for a field test.

ACR Bivy Stick

Bivy Stick Field Test

The first thing to notice is how small and easy the Bivystick is to carry on your pack. It’s stylish and well-made.

Bivy Stick

The Bivy Stick comes with a USB data cable, a carabiner, nylon rope to attach the Bivystick to your pack, two GoPro attachments so you can secure the device to your bike, kayak, jeep, etc. and a sticker. I made a mistake when I headed out into the mountains the first time with it, thinking that no contract meant I could immediately access the Bivystick. Wrong. You have to go through a setup process while in cell service or with WiFi in order to give them your emergency information and pay for a subscription plan. The plans do not have an annual contract and it’s nice for most people as you only have to pay for the months you plan on using it. See the images below for one of the setup screen shots and the subscription plan.

ACR Bivy Stick Setup

The setup was easy enough but is much more enjoyable when your sitting at local Colorado restaurant, high in the Rocky Mountains.

Bivy Stick Maps

I found the Bivy maps to be simple to use and had a lot of great information. For example, the maps show campground, hiking trails, biking trails, ATV trails, rivers to kayak, etc. You can also see a thumbnail with basic information about the location.

Bivy Maps

You can also see more details and trails when you zoom in on the map.

Bivy Map with Trails

As you can see, there is a lot of information available with the Bivy map that is helpful in finding everything from outdoor activities and places to sleep. I compared the Bivy maps to the Garmin maps and there are some significant differences but each one has a lot to offer.

Garmin inReach Mini 2


My next area of interest was the messaging. I took a lot of time to confirm how well messaging worked between the Bivy Stick and phones and from the Bivy Stick to other Satellite messengers. I’ll quickly tell you that the messaging takes somewhere between 3 to 5 minutes to send a message. It’s slow but it’s better than nothing.

Messaging from Bivy Stick to Cell Phone

Messaging from the Bivy Stick to any cell phone a tried, and I sent messages to four different people, worked perfectly. See some of the images below.

Message from Bivy Stick to Cell Phone

Nothing more to add here as the messaging worked extremely well.

Messaging from Bivy Stick to Garmin inReach Mini

A significant problem was messaging from the Bivy Stick to my Garmin inReach Mini. I tried several times messaging from my Bivy Stick to my Garmin inReach Mini, even using my Garmin inReach email and nothing worked. I checked many times over several hours, even trying again when in cell service and I was never able to make it work.

Message from Bivy Stick to Garmin inReach Mini

I would really like to message between different satellite messengers, so if anyone has a solution and has had success, please add a comment below.

Messaging from Garmin inReach Mini to Bivy Stick

The one thing that has always worked for me is when I initiate a message from either my Garmin inReach Mini or my Explorer+ to the Bivy Stick. Here is an image to show you a successful message.

Message from Garmin inReach Mini to Bivy Stick

One solution is for a person with a Garmin inReach satellite messenger to initiate a message periodically so that groups can communicate, but you may have to do this once each day or several times a day to ensure other satellite messengers can communicate with the Garmin satellite messengers. This is something I am not a fan of so my recommendation is for large groups to use one type of messenger so communication is never a problem.

Additional Bivy Stick Features

See the image below for other additional Bivy Stick features.

Bivy Stick App Features

You can see the additional features include New Adventures, Offline Maps, Community, Waypoints, Weather and Settings, in addition to the maps and messages.

Final Thoughts

I am impressed with all the options the Bivy Stick included in their satellite messenger. The features are easy to access and is easily understandable. It only took me testing the Bivy Stick on two different hiking trips to understand the abilities of this messenger. I highly recommend this Bivy Stick and I would love to hear any comments you have if you own a Bivy Stick.

See the YouTube video below of my field test.

Here is a link to the Bivy Stick if you want to learn more about it.

ACR Bivy Stick Two-Way Global Satellite Communicator Device - SOS, SMS, Tracking, Weather Report, and Share Location
  • No activation or annual fees | Global satellite coverage (Iridium)
  • Send and receive messages via satellite | Weather forecasts via satellite
  • SOS monitoring via satellite (Global Rescue) | Location tracking and sharing via satellite
  • Map display and navigation | Offline maps
  • One-touch Checkin (available directly from device and via the app) | Hundreds of mounts available

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

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