Ive been fettling a little bit with kit, trying to work out what/how to take lifes essentials (and no more...ok, maybe a hip flask) on the bike. My tent (TNF mountain marathon is bothering me. Its light, a solid design and easy to put up. But, it is a little long once packed (46cm), and could be described as a little heavy by modern standards (1.7kg).
There are basically 2 options.
1) bivi bags. If i am going this route, i want a single hoop bivi with a fly net. This is essential for the midge. It also needs to be highly water proof. Terra nova jupiter and the rab ridge raider are the choices here.
2) ultralight tent. Ideally double wall (scotland is wet) with the inner being a closed micromesh. The MSR microzoid at 1.3kg and 40x10cm is winning here. With my current tent, or the msr zoid 1 (1.5kg, 46cmx15cm packed) close behind.
The detractors say why go to the expense of a loop bivi when an ultralight tent is the same or less weight, and offers more inner space. Those in favour cite generally smaller pack sizes and weights (something like 40x13 cm for the terra nova jupter at 900g) and fast "roll out and ready" time. They are harder to get into than some of the micro tents though, some of which (the microzoid for example) have side entry.
Its close, and in some ways only use of both would actually lead to any sort of informed decision. Anybody need testing done? Hmmmm?