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In this gear preview, Zpacks sent me a Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag to take out and get some honest feedback for those looking for an excellent piece of kit for this upcoming year of thru-hikes!
I was provided a 20-degree sleeping bag as this is the typical rating most thru-hikers will bring on nearly any long-distance trail.
I set it up in my X-Mid 2 Pro Dyneema tent and also set it up in my Hummingbird Hammock to show how it fits and with the hammock how beneficial the full unzip can be.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Specs
- The 900-fill power goose down in this jacket is sourced responsibly and meets the Responsible Down Standard. This means that the down will stay dry for 90% longer than the untreated down would.
- The compartments in this sleeping bag are overfilled with 30% more 900 fill power premium goose down than is necessary. This will ensure that the jacket remains lofted even if the down is compressed.
- The vertical baffles on the upper body help keep down from migrating to the sides. The tightly spaced compartments help keep the down evenly distributed so there are no cold spots. There are no “sewn-through” seams.
- The foot box is rectangular and roomy. It comfortably fits the shape of your feet when you are lying on your side, stomach, or back with your feet in a relaxed position.
- The black fabric on the inside helps the bag to dry quickly. The lining and the shell are both treated with PFC Free C0 durable water repellent to help keep you dry in case of condensation, rain spray, or when you sweat.
- The full-length, two-way zipper goes all the way around the bottom of the bag, so you can open it like a blanket.
- The draft tube prevents cold air from entering the sleeping bag through the zipper. The zipper guard prevents the zipper from getting caught on the draft tube or the material of the sleeping bag.
- An Elastic cord can be cinched tight around your neck to keep out drafts. The bag also has a way to pull it up around your ears, but it does not have a hood. If you want to keep your head warm, you can wear a hat or the Goose Down Hood, or size up in length if you want to pull it up around your head.
- The Roll Top Dry Bag makes the pack a little bit heavier (.9 ounces or about 25 grams), but it is a comfortable fit and you can make it smaller by squishing the contents and rolling the top down.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Sizing
The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag comes in three different temperature ratings, 10 degrees, 20 degrees, and 30 degrees.
This Sleeping Bag also comes in two different widths (reg, and broad), along with three different lengths (short, medium, and long).
I found the Zip Around Sleeping Bag to run on the narrow side, as the regular size fits me more tightly than I am used to coming from a quilt.
Most of the time I opt for a wide version with any sleep system gear for use on the ground, this bag is no exception to giving that little bit of extra area and will be good for bigger people but if you love burritos then the regular Zip Around Sleeping Bag will be perfect.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Weight
This is one majorly lightweight sleeping bag as the medium size comes in at 21.6 ounces or 612 grams in the 20-degree version, this is impressively lightweight given the temperature rating.
Check out how each model from the 10-degree up to the 30-degree Zip Around Sleeping Bag models are sized and how much each of the variations weigh here.
I can say that if you are bigger at the shoulders or larger in body weight you would want to look at moving to the broad size which will change the weight of a medium to 22.7 ounces or 643 grams.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Warmth
From my testing in the Texas heat, the bag is incredibly warm, I had to open it into the full blanket/quilt mode after an hour as the heat retention was absolutely outstanding and I feel no doubt in the bag taking me down to 20 degrees without issue.
As a note: Zpacks sleeping bags and quilts aren’t tested for their International Standard Organization (ISO) rating, they do estimate based on feedback and use so that they are closest to the ISO “Transition Range.“
Of course, as with any sleeping bag or quilt, you’ll want to have a good, high r-value pad rated for the temperatures you will camp in. I would always suggest an R-Value of 4+ and if you are a cold sleeper then a 5+ will do you good in holding heat.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Zipper
The zipper system is very smooth and slid up and down without any issues on my weekend use, the slide could easily be done with a single hand without needing to hold the fabric in place.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Drawstring
I like the drawstring and if you position your sleeping bag well you can have it under your head and pillow instead of above your face.
This will depend on how you lay the sleeping bag but I adjusted to always have it placed under my head and out of my face.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Down / Material
The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag uses a super plush, responsibly sourced DownTech water-resistant 900-fill goose down. If you haven’t owned a 900+ FP piece before, you’re missing out, as this will convert you permanently!
The Zip Around Sleeping Bag doesn’t have sewn-through areas and makes use of vertical baffles on the upper portion of the quilt and horizontal baffles for the foot box to keep down in place.
Zpacks uses a proprietary material called Ventum Ripstop nylon that is DWR coated to be water resistant, cuts wind while allowing for excellent vapor transfer and breathability, and weighs in at just .59oz per square yard. To top it all off, it’s super soft to boot!
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Footbox
This is how a foot box should be done with any sleeping bag! Since the two zippers allow you to open the foot box in any way needed you can get just the right amount of heat held or cooler air access to your feet without opening up the entire sleeping bag.
Quality Addition: Zpacks Goose Hood
Looking for a quality addition to your outdoor gear to ensure your head stays warm in the cold? This hood is designed to keep you warm and comfortable in extreme weather conditions and well paired with this hoodless sleeping bag and is made with top-quality materials and construction.
Filled with the 950 fill goose down allowing it to weigh less than an ounce!
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review: What I Liked
This is a very solid sleeping bag and I love many parts that I wanted to call out below:
This thing is amazingly lightweight, from the thin fabrics to the use of 900 fill power down, you won’t find many full sleeping bag options available that can hit this weight while performing as well.
Unzipping to Quilt
Having the option to open up your sleeping bag, especially as a thru-hike progresses into warmer weather is important if you don’t have the ability to swap out gear.
This can help you stay warm but remove as much as needed to maintain a good overall temperature without becoming a totally sweaty mess.
Separate Foot box Zipper
If you need to vent out heat you can open up the foot box alone to allow air to pass in and pull out the warmer air and swap out for cooler air, like when summer comes and you may want the upper body warmth but would love to have air to the feet.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review: What I Didn’t Like
I do believe this to be an amazing piece of sleep gear for those who prefer a sleeping bag, but there are some things that I wish were different though none I consider bad enough to not use this.
Missing a Draft Collar
The Zip Around Sleeping bag is a good product, but there are a few things that could be improved. For example, an added draft collar would help to keep out drafts around the neck and make the sleeping bag even better on those super cold chilly nights.
Since it has no hood it is needed to buy a longer bag then maybe would be needed to pull it up high around the neckline to cinch it down.
Lack of a Hood
When in those colder months your head will be exposed which can be a problem as you can lose a lot of heat. If you don’t bring a good warm beanie or similar you need to look at adding a down or synthetic hood to help conserve your warmth.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review: Conclusion
Overall, I am very happy with the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag and feel that it is a great option for those who want a lightweight and highly-functional sleeping bag.
The 900-fill goose down makes it amazingly lightweight while still providing plenty of warmth, and the separate foot box zipper allows you to vent heat as needed.
While there are some things that could be improved (a draft collar would be nice, and a hood would be helpful in colder weather), these are minor details compared to all the positives this sleeping bag has to offer.
If you’re looking for an ultralight option that won’t leave you cold on winter nights, the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag is definitely worth considering.
My Ratings For The Zpacks Solo Quilt
- Weight: 5 out of 5
- Cost: 4 out of 5
- Sizing: 4.5 out of 5
- Packability: 5 out of 5
- Warmth: 4..5 out of 5
- Quality: 5 out of 5
- Overall: 4.5 out of 5