Materials Matter: Zenbivy Beds From the Inside Out
October 28, 2020
Do you geek out over gear as much as we do? Quality materials make all the difference. We use the best so that you're able to get maximum performance from your Zenbivy Bed while remaining ultra-comfortable. Join us on a deep dive into the nitty-gritty details. Let's start from the inside out:
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that synthetic insulations outperform down in wet conditions, but conventional wisdom is wrong. While it is true that synthetics will insulate better than down when they are wet, it is also true that synthetics soak up water while down is naturally hydrophobic. It's simply much harder to get a down bag wet in the first place, and with the recent invention of water-resistant down, that's truer than ever.
When down is first harvested from a duck or goose, it is water repellant due to the plumage's natural oils. However, when down is processed and washed, some of these oils are removed. While there have been improvements in washing methods to remove less of these natural oils, generally, DWR ("durable water repellant") treatments restore the down's natural ability to repel water. There are several on the market right now, including the HyperDRY™ down from Allied we use in our products. This premium down uses a natural wax-based compound to make it water-resistant. It is both durable and fluorocarbon-free.
It is important to consumers and producers that down is responsibly sourced - meaning it does not come from animals that were subject to unnecessary harm. This includes standards that say down cannot be live-plucked from birds, birds cannot be force-fed, and producers have "holistic respect for animal welfare" throughout their lives. The Responsible Down Standardhas become the worldwide certification for ensuring down is responsibly sourced. Zenbivy is proud to be RDS compliant. All of the down used in our products can be traced back to its source. When you receive your Zenbivy Quilt, check out the Allied tag and track your down.
We promise this is no "dumbed-down" synthetic. The Synthetic Zenbivy Bed features the exact build and same buttery-soft fabrics as the down version. We use a 1d/3d polyester synthetic blend that is as soft as it gets. Vegan friendly and built for tighter budgets, it's just as comfortable and backcountry-worthy as the original.
Exterior: The Fabrics
50d Pongee Polyester
Conventional slippery, sticky, and tacky sleeping bag fabric didn't appeal to us... We wanted to elevate your camping experience and give you something better. Our legendary Pongee fabric is both durable and soft. Most importantly, it has a similar feel to a sheet you would use at home, bringing a familiar kind of comfort to the backcountry. We use this Pongee fabric as the lining for our original Zenbivy Bed and our new MotoBed™. We also used it for our Pillows. Why not, right?
20d Nylon Taffeta
The 20d Nylon Taffeta is 42% lighter than our 50d Pongee. We use it for the exterior of the original Bed and the entirety of the Light Beds. Though it lacks the familiar sheet-like feel of the Pongee, you won't believe the buttery-softness. You'll find that most other ultralight quilt makers shed weight by making their fabric a super thin and clingy 10d. Instead, we opted to find clever ways to lose ounces while keeping the fabric a very soft, comfy, and durable 20d. 20d fabrics are much softer than traditional ultralight technical fabrics while only being a fraction heavier. Worth it? Absolutely.
Fun fact! We calender all of our bed fabrics. What does this mean? Fabric calendering is a mechanical finishing process where the fabric is passed between large rollers at high temperatures and pressures. This process flattens the fabric and seals the weave, making our fabrics down proof and relatively water and windproof!
Snaps, zippers, cinches, clips are the unsung heroes of outdoor gear. They're what makes everything come together to do the cool things we want them to do. That's why it's essential to use the best available, so you'll be able to use your gear for years. Across our line, we use special YKK "MUSI spec" zippers, which use a computer-controlled process that allows all of our zippers to mate perfectly with other MUSI spec zipper. This ensures all of our zippered quilts can be swapped out or upgraded without hassle. We also use the top quality clips and cinches, with each of those items carefully tested to make sure they meet the strength requirements necessary in high-performance gear.
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