Have Zenbivy Solved the Hybrid Sleeping Bag Problem?
Zenbivy may have solved the problem of getting a good night’s sleep on the trail with their new hybrid sleeping bag.
When you’re on a multi-day trek through the mountains, good sleep is essential for peak physical and mental performance. Safety concerns aside, being well rested will also greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trail.
Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep in a tent isn’t always the easiest endeavour. Too cold, too hot, too restricted, too uncomfortable. Tossing and turning until the sun comes up again despite going to bed completely shattered isn’t fun!
There’s typically always a compromise between warmth, comfort and weight. Big thick sleeping bags are weigh down your pack, mummy bags save weight and space, but restrict movement. Ultralight options lose their allure after the 5th night shivering with rocks digging into your back…
What is a Hybrid Sleeping Bag?
Basically, a hybrid sleeping bag is an integrated camping mat sleeping bag.
This theoretically solves two problems:
- Saves weight by removing the part of the sleeping bag that’s usually crushed beneath you.
- You can’t slide off the camp bad end end up on the cold hard floor
The downside to most hybrid sleeping bags however is that they end up being oversized to allow movement. Imagine a mummy bag where you’re literally fixed into a sarcophagus position! This ends up adding extra weight, plus more space inside the bag means less efficient insulation.
How does the Zenbivy solve these issues?
The Zenbivy uses an innovative “hinged wing” system to attach the bag to a fitted sheet.
This keeps the bag snug to your body while you sleep, while still able to expand to accommodate movement.
Modular Design Allows Greater Versatility
Modular design is one of the Outdoor Industry Trends we expect to see continue to grow in 2021.
Traditional hybrid sleeping bags are great for winter camping trips, but little else. You’ll need a different set up for summer, and also for stays in hostels and refuges.
Rather than being a true hybrid bag, the Zenbivy is actually a detachable quilt that connects to a camping mat via a fitted sheet.
This not only means that you can use the same set up all year around for camping, but you can also use the quilt when sleeping in a bed or hammock.
Even better, the fitted sheet is compatible with pretty much any camping mat, so you can keep using your tried and tested favourite.
Goldilocks and the 3 Zenbivys
The Zenbivy bed comes in three different flavours – The Original, the Moto Bed, and the Light Bed.
The Moto bed is a bigger, bulkier version designed for maximum comfort when car camping. At just shy of 4kg however, it’s not one you want to be hauling up a mountain in your backpack.
The standard version of the original comes in at just over 1kg, and is rated for temperatures down to -5C. There’s also a lighter version rated to -1C and a heavier version for down to -10C.
The standard version of the light bed is rated for temperatures down to -3.8C, and weighs just 0.82kg. There are also slightly lighter and heavier versions depending upon the type of climate you’ll typically be encountering.
It appears much of the weight saving comes from swapping zips for hooks and loops. We can’t imagine that these would give the same seal as a zip, but if ultra light is your game it’s the way to go.
We can’t say that we’re overly convinced by the wing and hinge system claims.
Zenbivy state that most hybrid bags end up using more material to allow more space for movement. It’s not really clear, however, how this system equates to less material. It looks more like it simply holds the extra material closer to your body. That could certainly be a good thing, aiding heat retention, but could also be a bit of a gimmick. Not sure how much use it will be in practice.
Wings aside however, the Zenbivy Bed certainly looks interesting thanks to its modular multifunction design. I’m also fantastic a breaking zips, so the hook and loop feature of the light bag is also quite appealing!
They are also very reasonably priced when compared to other lightweight winter sleeping bags on the market, with prices starting from $209
This is definitely a piece of kit that we’d considering adding to our pack list.
For more details check Zenbivy.com