AMK Heatsheet Review

Posted by: Alan_Romania

AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 03:02 PM

Since the opportunity arose to evaluate and review Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) new Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy. For those of you that aren't familiar with AMK's Heatsheet, they are the latest in space blanket technology. Doug has a quick review here, but basically the Heatsheet utilizes a new material, replacing the brittle and noisy traditional Mylar material with a "special low-density polyethylene film." AMK printed one side with an orange background and survival instructions giving added function to the Heatsheet. A major benefit of this polyethylene material is that when it tears it doesn't shred, if a hole should occur it can easily be repaired with a piece of duct tape or by simply tying a knot in the material to occlude the hole. These new space blankets are much quieter, stronger and more versatile then the old Mylar blankets.
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 03:03 PM

In the Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy AMK takes the concept of theirThermo-Lite( you can read my test of this exceptional product here ) and combines it with this new material. The end product is a lighter and smaller Bivvy sack for emergency kits.
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 03:08 PM

My initial test of the Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy was in less severe conditions then my test of the Thermo-Lite Bivvy. I plan on doing a few more tests in different conditions but the night of this test the temperature dropped only to 52deg F. I used the Bivvy alone with no shelter or fire and I slept in a cotton long-sleeve t-shirt and cotton utility pants as well as wool hiking socks. It was about 58deg F when I went to bed, and dropped to 52deg F in the four hours I was in the Bivvy. While these conditions are far from cold, I was completely warm inside the Bivvy. The Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy was as warm, if not warmer then the Thermo-Lite Bivvy in similar conditions, however it blocked the wind much better!
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 03:14 PM

I plan on using the Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy in all of the kits I currently have a Thermo-Lite Bivvy in and a few of my kits that I currently have a Heatsheet in. The Heatsheet Emergency Bivvy is close to a quarter the size of the Thermo-Lite Bivvy but is bulkier and takes up a little more then twice the space of the standard 2-Person Heatsheet.
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 03:14 PM

The small sack it comes in is slightly oversized, which allows you to keep additional survival items in it. I was able to fit 20' of 550 cord, one of Doug Ritter's AMK Pocket Survival Pack, Doug Ritter Special Edition eQ Hands-Free Multi-Light , 10 Katadyn Micropur water purification tablets and 6 Gerber Breast Milk bags. This setup was a little bigger then I would like to carry in my pocket, but it makes an almost idea survival kit for backpacking or in a Camelbak for day hikes.

For some reason the whole review would not post in a single post. I have no idea why, but sorry for the multiple posts.
Posted by: billym

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 04:54 PM

Thanks for the review. How was the condensation?
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/25/06 05:30 PM

I actually noticed no condensation, it was not very humid and I condensation is greatly reduced by not exhauling into a sleeping bag.
Posted by: Todd W

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 01:53 AM

Where can we buy the bivy from?

The links I keep finding are only the blanket...
Posted by: redflare

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 01:56 AM

When you used the bivvy, did you have some sort of insulation from the ground? Did you sleep on cement, wood, grass?
Posted by: Todd W

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 01:57 AM

I hope he didn't sleep on cement that'd sure be damn dusty!!!
Posted by: redflare

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 02:16 AM

You can buy Heatsheets Emergency bivvy sack on website.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 02:35 AM

Hey Thanks alot for the review. I have one myself in my medium kit. But I have one question: how are the survival instructions?whats it include?are they useful?

Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 04:16 AM

For the test I had no insulation under me, I slept on grass in my back yard. It was probably softer conditions then I would find around here, but not as soft or inuslated as I would normally try to make.

As far as I know, the Heatsheet Bivvies all come with a stuff sack but the Heatsheets themself do not. I will have to look at the instructions closer, I glossed over them. The ones included on the Heatsheet we pretty basic and not a replacement for good survival practice or instructions.

I will see if I can get some more decent pics of it in use up. There is no reason this piece of gear shouldn't be in everyones larger survival kits.
Posted by: Todd W

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 09:21 AM

I ordered 3 bivvys and sheets.
I'm going to be doing some testing too <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/26/06 11:48 PM

Well, that is what I get for opening the thing in the dark! The Bivy has no survival instructions on it, only the standard HeatSheet... no lose really.
Posted by: Blast

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/27/06 03:33 AM

Hmmm, maybe that's what I need to increase the warmth of my sleeping bag.

Thanks for the info!

Posted by: duckear

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/27/06 04:35 AM

Any tears or other wear to the bivy???

Posted by: Matt26

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/27/06 02:05 PM

I bought two of the big heat sheets and had to open one (thats why I bought 2 <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />) The survival instructions are basic. How to build a simple leanto shelter, build and start a fire, basic first aid and hypothermia tips. This is all from memory but covers most of it. Frankly it's not much help to me due to my own experience in the outdoors. The printing takes up no space so why not include? Best part about opening the blanket was how quite it is compared to a mylar blanket. I opened it in my month old daughters room while she was sleeping, no extra effort was made to keep it quiet. The next night I caught hell from my wife when I decided to conduct a control experiment and opened a mylar blanket in the room, This time I did try to keep it quiet but still woke her up.
Posted by: redflare

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/28/06 05:39 AM

This material is rather strong, so even if it tears, you can easily repair it with a piece of duct tape or perhaps Crazy glue. (Haven't tried repairing myself)
Has anyone tried repairing Heatsheets?
Posted by: leemann

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/28/06 05:46 AM

It looks rather small when rolled ut and packed it its bag.
It will be on my list of things to get.


Posted by: Stretch

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/28/06 06:16 PM

Hi Redflare,
I'm just guessing and assuming that you're connected with". So I thought I might let you know this....
When you arrive at the link you posted, there is no price for the Bivvy Sack and no way to add it to the Cart. You actually have to click on another product (in my case the Survival Blankets) and then it's listed in the "related items" section down below. I know it's a minor thing, but I thought maybe the company wasn't aware of that.

Anyway, I went there and bought 2 Bivvy Sacks and 3 Survival Blankets. I carry several "Listos" brand blankets (made in USA which, for some reason, is very important to me), and I'm really looking forward to trying out the Bivvy Sacks.

Thanks for the link!
Posted by: redflare

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/29/06 11:38 AM

Weird, It works fine with me. There is an "add to order" button and prices above it. Here is that link again: Emergency bivvy sacks
What version and which browser do you use?
Possibly, the button could be off the screen on the right, because the picture is too big, I'll fix it.
thanks for point this out. <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Stretch

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 11/29/06 03:52 PM

Well Redflare, how about that. I used your link and went to the site. There was the price and "Add to Basket" button, scary as a snakes fangs, right where it ought to be. I swear I hunted all over that page for the price the first time, but I surely could have missed it. Sorry about that!
Posted by: Brangdon

Re: AMK Heatsheet Review - 03/05/07 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Alan_Romania
For the test I had no insulation under me, I slept on grass in my back yard.
I tried doing that the other night. It was raining; I found the wet grass sucked the heat out of me through the bivvy. The material is thin and offers no insulation against conduction. I quickly moved under some trees, where there was a bed of pine needles. This was much warmer (and dryer).

The twigs poked a dozen or so holes in the material, but that didn't seem to matter much at the time. The holes didn't grow. I've now put duct tape over the worst of them and left the others. I think the bivvy is still usable but I've swapped it out of my everyday carry.

I spent about 90 minutes on the test. I was wearing thin office trousers, and wasn't really comfortable enough to spend the night by choice.

I was impressed by their small size when carried and large size in use. In use they are about 7'x3', which is easily enough to lie full length with your head covered. Much better than any ordinary plastic bag I've found. When carried they are small enough to fit in a tin mug with room over. I found I could re-pack them easily (indoors) - any trapped air somehow escapes and it's no trouble putting them back into their bag. I have chosen to fold mine rather than roll it, to make a flatter form-factor which will fit better into my EDC waist-pack.

It's best to have a pee before you get into the bivvy. Don't get in, lie there for an hour and then think to yourself, "I'd really like to have a pee now."

Overall I'd strongly recommend them, so long as you are realistic about their limitations.