Over the years we’ve tested and reviewed a lot of sleeping bags here at The Adventure Blog, and spent nights in many more. Over that time, we’ve found some that provided plenty of warmth and comfort, and a few that were best left at home on a demanding trip. But there is one sleeping bag—well, sleep system really—that stands out above the others—the Zenbivy Bed.
This bag uses a unique design—which separates a sheet for use on your sleeping pad from the quilt that provides warmth—to create a versatile option for backcountry slumber. This makes it much easier to move about in your sleep and even accommodates side sleepers, providing better overall comfort. That same design was also incorporated into the Zenbivy Light Bed, which is a more lightweight alternative to the original and it works exceptionally well with the Zenbivy Light Mattress, a sleeping pad made specifically for the sleep system.
Now, Zenbivy has updated both its original Bed and the Light Bed with new features that somehow manage to make it even better.
Warmer and More Comfortable
Since I first tested the Zenbivy Bed back in 2018, it has become my sleeping bag of choice for most adventures. While it is a little heavier than other sleeping bags rated for the same temperature, the comfort and freedom that it provides make it the best choice for everything from car camping to backcountry excursions. And if you are counting ounces, the Light Bed is a worthy alternative.
But, the new Zenbivy Bed 2.0 brings a new design that refines the sleep system even further. While the changes are somewhat subtle, they do make a difference, creating a bag that is both warmer and more comfortable. For instance, the quilt now has a new baffle system that does a better job of keeping the down insulation in place and exactly where you need it. That includes holding it in place on the shoulders and chest even while moving in your sleep. Sometimes when shifting about, the insulation would settle in a new position, preventing it from providing as much warmth as possible. I didn’t experience this with the new version of the Bed however, with a warmer night’s sleep the result.
That isn’t the only change, however. Zenbivy also gave the quilt a new design that is semi-rectangular in shape that conforms better to the body. Not only does this hold in more warmth, it allows for more unfettered movement too. As a result, the foot box on the Bed is less restrictive and won’t bunch up, which can lead to other sleeping bags getting twisted around the body. Not the case with the Zenbivy Bed, which was designed to be comfortable to use in all conditions.
A Larger Hood and Draft-Free Sleeping
In addition to reworking the baffling on the quilt and adjusting its shape, Zenbivy has also given it a larger hood. This allows it to more readily accommodate a pillow and keeps it out of the way of campers who don’t prefer mummy-style bags in the first place. The wide hood does give the bag a higher level of versatility, allowing it to be left open and ventilated in warmer conditions, but cinched up tight when things get cold. The extra room for a larger pillow will be much appreciated by those who are looking for extra comfort too.
Finally, Zenbivy has added a set of drawstrings to the Bed that gives the bag what the company calls “The Kylie-curve.” These drawstrings adjust the fitting of the quilt around the center while leaving the outer edge to hold its shape. This creates a barrier that prevents cold air from reaching the interior of the bag, but in such a way that it doesn’t inhibit motion. Once again, the result is a warmer, draft-free sleeping experience.
Having now used the original Zenbivy Bed, the Light Bed, and the Bed 2.0, it is safe to say that Zenbivy has doesn’t an admirable job of evolving its core products. The original version still stands as a very comfortable sleep system for camping, but the new additions to its design are all excellent improvements. So much so, that it’s hard to recommend other sleeping bags over this sleep system for backpackers who are looking to get the most restful sleep possible in the outdoors.
Weight, Temperature Ratings, and Price
Zenbivy has done a very good job of trimming some weight off of the Bed, while still managing to improve its performance. The model I tested was rated for use in 10ºF (-12ºC) and the entire system (sheet and comforter) weighs just 3 lbs, 13 oz. (1.73 kg) for a large model. An equivalent-sized version rated for 25ºF (-4ºC) temperatures weigh more than a pound (.45 kg) less. Make no mistake, there are other sleeping bag options that weigh less, but few will deliver this much comfort.
As for those temperature ratings, I can safely say that they are more dialed in than they were in the past too. Like other sleeping bag manufacturers, Zenbivy has always provided a rating for the Bed, but it wasn’t always as accurate as one would hope. As a result, you might find yourself getting cold on a night when you wouldn’t expect it. To be fair, this is a common issue across the industry, particularly as gear companies compete to get their bag as light and warm as possible. But now, the new Zenbivy Bed 2.0 feels like it lives up to those temperature ratings.
The Zenbivy Bed 10º version is priced at $379.00, which is high for a bag rated for that temperature. If you’re just looking for a warm sleeping bag for use in cold weather camping, you’ll find other options that are priced more affordably. On the other hand, if you value comfort in your sleep system, the additional cost is well worth the money. Where other mummy bags tend to be restrictive and confining, the Zenbivy Bed allows for better movement and comfort. And while more traditional, rectangle-shaped sleeping bags may offer a similar experience, they rarely perform well in cold conditions.
With Zenbivy you get the best of both worlds, which makes it still the best sleep system for your outdoor adventures.
Buy the Zenbivy Bed online directly from the Zenbivy website.
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