If you’ve ever been to a backcountry hut, we’re sure you are aware of the magic of hiking deep into the backcountry and finding a modest yet magical structure in the woods to call home for the night. Or, maybe it’s just a place to pitch a tent for the night. While it’s easy to glamorize spending the night in the backcountry—because it is a truly special thing—there are certainly different obstacles to overcome to make it a truly pleasant experience, and one of the most important is a good night’s sleep. Alongside hydration, a good night’s sleep is the most important thing you can do to make sure you are ready to go for the next day of adventure. Lucky for us, Zenbivy has created a sleeping system to do just that.
Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz
Size: Compresses to about 5L
Fill Power: 700
Material: 50d Pongee Fabric
What Is It?
Zenbivy’s mission statement is clear—it’s right on the website, written plain and clear overlapping a shot of one of the most comfortable looking sleeps we’ve seen in a while: The most comfortable backcountry sleeping bag ever designed.
Zenbivy hasn’t totally turned things upside down, but they have introduced a new flavour to the sleeping bag world. By integrating a sleeve onto the backside of their sleeping bag, and pillow, they have created what they call a “sleep system”. With softer face fabric, a built in pillow, and extra attachment to the sleeping pad, the system aims to make sleeping in the backcountry as comfortable as possible.
Does It Work?
After many nights in the Zenbivy, our answer is yes—but with a catch. This isn’t your average sleeping bag, so don’t expect to be able to tip back a few glasses of wine in the hut and expect to not wake up fellow hut guests late at night as you fumble to set up your Zenbivy sleep system. This system takes at least one earnest attempt to sort out, and from then on, you’ll be (sleeping) pretty.
Aside from that one flaw that may or may not have been solved through this testers personal experience, the system has it all: a conveniently built in pillow, a sleeve to attach it to your sleeping pad so you don’t roll off your sleeping pad, and most importantly the ability to morph between a mummy bag, the warmest way to sleep in the backcountry, and a quilt setup, the most comfortable way to sleep in the backcountry. You can choose to keep the foot hole open for when it’s warm, and when its cold you can close it up and tuck in the sides of the quilt to make it a full sleeping bag, rated to 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
More Importantly, Does It Last?
Ah, the ever-important question when it comes to outdoor gear. For us, the answer is yes. After using the bag on 3 backcountry hut trips and 2 surf camping trips, the bag has remained more than intact. Through wet, cold, dry, hot, and plenty of packing, repacking, and lots of travel via snowmobile, car, backpack and more, this bag is still in great shape. The face fabric, one of the softest of any sleeping bag that we have tested, stayed in good shape. All zippers remain intact, and the seams seem to be holding up well. A handful of tests can usually tell you a bit about the durability, and this one seems to be up to the initial test.
The Zenbivy team may be on to something here. With a sleep system that can get you through the hottest of nights and the coldest of nights, you don’t need a summer bag and a winter bag any more. Add in that it is one of the most comfortable bags, and is as light as many of the winter bags on the market, and this new sleep system certainly packs a punch. You can find it for sale on Zenbivy’s site at https://zenbivy.com/.