1) Should I buy a Zenbivy Bed? What are the benefits over a mummy bag?
Mummy bags are warm but generally constrictive and uncomfortable. "Hybrid" sleeping bags (bags that integrate the mattress) have always been a compromise. The idea seems simple: remove the weight that's crushed underneath you in a mummy bag (and is thus rendered thermally useless), and re-allocate that weight to address the mummy bag's inherent constriction and lack of versatility. But combining a sleeping bag with a mattress tends to create more constriction by pinning you to the mattress. To address this, hybrid bags tend to be larger and less thermally efficient. And, you guessed it, heavier. The Zenbivy Bed is the first hybrid sleeping bag that matches a mummy bag in warmth/weight ratio while eliminating constriction and excelling in a much wider range of temperatures.
2) What are the different pieces of the system? What comes with it?
All Zenbivy Sleep systems use the same two-piece design - each consists of a comfortable sheet with a hood that goes on your mattress and a quilt that floats on top.
When you buy a Zenbivy Original Bed, you get both the sheet and the quilt. Add a mattress and pillow, and you're ready to get outdoors and get a great night's sleep out there.
With our Zenbivy Light Bed, the quilt and sheet are sold separately. This allows ultralight backpackers to just buy a quilt if they want the lightest possible sleep setup. It also enables users with specified needs to mix and match a quilt and sheet that will work best for them.
3) What size should I get?
To find what size Zenbivy will work for you, you'll want to do two things. First, you'll decide how much space you want in your quilt. Unlike mummy bags, there is no thermal disadvantage to a larger size Zenbivy Bed because it is always free to wrap snugly around you. Generally, our regular quilts fit anyone up to 5'10" our large quilts fit anyone up to 6'6", and if you're looking for more space, go XL. If in doubt, size up. To match the sheet, you'll need to find the dimensions of your sleeping pad. Every mattress we make has a corresponding size mattress that works with it - so make sure to choose the right one if you are buying a Zenbivy Mattress. If you're using your own mattress, measure the length and width of your mattress and puck the sheet closest to those dimensions. When in doubt, size up. Visit our Size Guide for more detail.
4) Is it warm?
Yes! The Zenbivy Bed is the first hybrid sleeping bag that matches a mummy bag in warmth/weight ratio while eliminating constriction and excelling in a much wider range of temperatures. When temperatures drop, zip up the foot box to shut downdrafts while maintaining the "blanket top," so it still sleeps like home. Even colder? "Tuck" in the sides with the zippers and pop your head and arms under the hood, and you are in a full EN rated sleeping bag that's as snug as any mummy.
5) Is it waterproof?
None of the Zenbivy sleep systems are waterproof, but all are extremely water-resistant. It is tough for water to move through the shell material fully, and if it does, we use high-quality hydrophobic HyperDry Down that will retain loft and warmth even when a bit wet.
That being said, we recommend using a tent with your Zenbivy in most cases. If there's any weather coming in - rain, wind, or worse - sleep in a tent. If you're in a place with lots of bugs or creepy crawlies, sleep in a tent.
We do have 'Bivy' in our name, which often refers to a weatherproof bag you'd put your sleeping bag inside as shelter. We don't reference those in our name. Instead, we're referencing the traditional use of the word "bivouac," which refers to a "temporary camp." Zen = peaceful & relaxed, Bivy = temporary camp. Zenbivy = Peaceful temporary camp.
If you prefer video, Mason from Zenbivy sits down and goes over these same questions in the video below:
To compress or not to compress? That’s the question. Compression caps (and compression in general…) are hotly debated within the backpacking community. Even the Zenbivy Team has opposing opinions on the use of compression caps.
Temperatures are warming and summer is just around the corner. If you've always wanted to try backpacking now's the time to get ready for a summer outdoors. Backpacking is a lot of fun, especially with a few friends, and doesn't have to come with all the struggle and discomfort associated with it.
Deciding what to eat in the outdoors stumps even seasoned backpackers, but having a delicious meal when you get to camp can take your trip to the next level. There are many good options for calorie-dense freeze-dried meals, just head to your local outdoor store and pick your menu.