Our Story – Backseat Bivy

This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.


Our Story

I am a self professed dirtbag*.

In my early thirties, I quit my corporate job in Calgary and hit the road in search of adventure. I spent a year living simply, travelling to places like Smith Rock, Yosemite, Utah and the Canadian Rockies. I spent weeks at a time camped out at the base of rock faces, hanging out and climbing anything I could.

But I had to go back to the world of employment some time, so in 2018 I got myself a solid job and found a home in the beautiful mountain town of Nelson, BC. I reluctantly sold my van, White Lightning, and settled back in to the rhythms of 9-5 working life.

Even after just 12 months of dirtbag living, it felt weird to go back to 'normality'. I missed the simplicity and minimalism of life on the road. I missed chasing adventure. So I soon fell into a routine of professional weekdays, and dirtbagging on the weekends. I would often leave work at 3 or 4pm on a Friday to travel to a nearby crag, and climb as many routes as I could before heading back to my desk on Monday morning. The easiest thing to do on these trips was to sleep in my car. It saved me time and money, but I quickly realized how f***ing uncomfortable it is.

Although my SUV has seats which fold down, creating a completely flat space in the trunk, it just isn't long enough. There's this annoying empty space between the front seats and the back seats which my head or my feet always seemed to end up in. No matter how much gear I stuffed down that gap, it was always there to haunt me at 2am.

After speaking to a number of other weekend warriors and dirtbags, it seemed the challenge is shared by many of us. Bad sleep was had by all. No matter how much time you put in to 'perfecting your setup', or how many blankets and pillows you bring to make yourself more comfortable, the issue is still the same: an ineffective use of space.

So I set about solving the problem. I wanted to build a bridge between the front seats and the rear seats. I enlisted the help of two close friends, Oyinkan and Peter, who helped me to dream up a very simple solution: the Backseat Bivy.

Now, 2 years later, after a lot of testing, a bit of swearing and a few design tweaks, we're ready to share the Backseat Bivy with the world. Our hope is that this product enables you to transform your car into a comfortable sleeping space: quickly, easily and affordably. I.e. without the need to buy a van or build a custom bed frame in the back.

So whether you're already a dirtbag, or just someone who wants to get more out of their weekend, the Backseat Bivy is designed to get you #closertoadventure. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Founder & Chief Product Tester



*Dirtbag (noun)

1. A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle.
2. Although similar in the aspects of communal living and a disregard for personal hygiene, dirtbags can be distinguished from hippies by their dedication to the send.
Example: the communities of climbers that can be found in any of the major climbing areas of North America, such as Squamish, BC and Yosemite, CA.