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When I was first getting into backpacking I did a lot of research on different types of sleeping bags, as well as quilts. I liked the idea of a sleeping bag having a hood, and not having to sleep directly on my sleeping pad. However I liked the versatility of a quilt, with the ability to cinch it up like a sleeping bag, or lay it out flat just like a normal blanket back home. I saw an ad for Zenbivy during my research, and instantly had my attention captured by what looked like the perfect solution!
Zenbivy is a brand that sells a few different style of sleep systems for camping and backpacking. The one that interested me was the Light Bed configuration, since I’d be taking it backpacking and needed the lightest weight options. It includes an inflatable sleeping pad, sheet, and quilt. You can also get a pillow from them.
I personally own and have used all 3 temperature rating quilts/sheet sets. I first purchased the 10 degree(for myself), and the 25 degree(for my husband). I liked them both so much that I also bought the 40 degree for warm summer nights.
Disclaimer: I purchased all the Zenbivy items shown here with my own money, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.
*Also, this review is of the 2020 versions of these quilts & sheets. There are newer versions currently out which have improvements to the baffle direction, and cinch cords, but are otherwise the same.
When purchasing a sleeping pad for backpacking it was really important for me that I bought one that was insulated(I tend to sleep cold), and that wasn’t noisy(I toss & turn a lot in my sleep and stories about other mattresses sounding like potato chip bags scared me off from those options-even if they were lighter).
The Zenbivy sleeping pad checks both of those boxes easily, although it does weigh a bit more than desired at 21oz, or 23oz with the included dry bag/inflation sack. It has an R value of 5 however, which makes it great for even sleeping in colder winter temperatures.
The inflation dry sack it comes with is made out of sturdy material. It has a valve at the end where you would hook it up with the sleeping pad to inflate it, and is also used to roll out the extra air when you pack the pad inside it for storage.
I like inflation sacks because I saves me from using my own breath to blow it up at the end of the day. It does take several minutes to do however. I’ve calculated at least 10 or so times having to fill the bag with air, and then rolling it down pressing the air into the mattress. It’s also a little tricky to get enough air in the bag(sometimes you start rolling it down and only end up with a bit of air). On Zenbivy’s website, the instructions say to aim the bag into the wind. It does take some practice and getting used to, but not a big deal.
The mattress itself has a valve on the one corner of it with an inflation side, and if you flip it around a deflation side, along with a cap. The baffles are long and vertical. When deflating you can fold it longways starting with the end furthest from the valve, and roll it up.
This mattress has been very comfortable to sleep on! I do sleep on a firm mattress at home, so I fill this with as much air as I can, otherwise I get some lower back pain. I sleep on my back, sides, and stomach…the mattress has been comfortable with any sleeping position! My only issue has been I wish it was 25″ wide, so that my elbows have more room to stay on the pad when sleeping on my back.
Conclusion: I own the regular sized(20×72″) light sleeping pad mattress. They also offer one in a large size(25×77″). I do wish they would offer a regular-wide version(25×72″) like some companies do for those of us that want just a little extra width but don’t need the extra length. This sleeping pad is super comfortable however, and after probably at least 30 nights of sleeping on it thus far I haven’t had any leaks or any problems!
I really love the idea of not having to sleep directly on my sleeping pad. I guess it doesn’t matter a whole lot, but it’s a nice luxury to have a sheet beneath you. Plus it keeps your sleeping pad clean! The feature I like most about the Zenbivy Light sheet however is the hood. It’s made out of the same material and down rating as the matching quilt.
I can’t sleep if my head is cold at night. Yes, I could wear a hat. Or a balaclava even. But then, I sleep on my sides, and my stomach, and sometimes put my arm above my head…what if my hand gets cold? Also..it prevents my pillow from falling off the mat!
Another little feature is that there’s a pocket on the back of the hood. Perfect for storing your cellphone or other small belongings you want easy access to at night.
Along the edges of the sheet are little hooks that pair with the loops on the quilt, so you can attach them to each other to prevent drafts should it be colder at night.
The sheets are offered to fit a regular sized pad at 20×72″, or a large size at 25×77″.
The main part of the whole Zenbivy sleep system is the quilt.
I’ve used the 10 degree quilt in temperatures down to the high 30’s and was toasty warm. I haven’t tested the limits of how low the 10 degree can comfortably go as of yet.
For the 25 degree, I wouldn’t take it out if it were colder than 40 degrees. So if you’re a cold sleeper I recommend adding at least 15 degrees to the temperature ratings on these quilts for comfort. That is combined with the sheet, and the sleeping pad which is an R5 value.
As I mentioned in the beginning, what I really love about using a quilt over a sleeping bag is the ability to open it up like a blanket or tuck it in around you like a sleeping bag. The Zenbivy quilt hooks onto the light sheet by a series of small hook and loops along the edges of both. They’re color coded towards the bottom to help make it easier. Also the bottom of the quilt cinches down tight to make an enclosed foot box to keep your feet warmer.
The loft in the 10 degree is noticeably a lot larger than that of the 25. It’s so super puffy! The 25 and 40 degree quilts appear to be about the same thickness. Both the 10 & 25 degree are made with 800 fill down. The 40 degree has a synthetic fill.
The quilts also come in different sizes depending on your preference.
I personally weighed all these items myself at home. They are all the regular sized quilt & sheet, and the 20×72″ sized mattress.
- 10 Degree Light Quilt: 2 lbs (33 oz)
- 10 Degree Light Sheet: 0.53 lbs (8.5 oz)
- Combined total: 2.6 lbs (41.7oz)
- Total with Light Mattress: 4 lbs (65oz)
- 25 Degree Light Quilt: 1.34 lbs (21.5 oz)
- 25 Degree Light Sheet: 0.46 lbs (7.4 oz)
- Combined total: 1.8 lbs (29 oz)
- Total with Light Mattress: 3.2 lbs (52oz)
These aren’t the lightest options out there, however the quilts themselves are comparable within a few ounces of other top of the light down quilts with 800-850 fill that are able to open the footbox fully. Especially the 25 degree. The extra weight mostly comes from the sheet.
The 10 degree quilt you could find lighter options out there for sure(between 24-28oz just from a quick search, but are more $$). I’m not sure why it has the extra weight, perhaps it was overstuffed? It’s definitely super fluffy! However I’d rather be safer with a few extra ounces of overstuffed down than be cold at night!
A couple other things to note: You can pair the quilt and sheet with any other inflatable pad that it’ll fit. So for warmer seasons you can get a pad with a lower R value that is lighter to use. I used an affordable Sleepingo pad with my during the summer and it worked fine.
Also for warmer seasons you can leave the sheet at home and just take the quilt with you if you wanted. And Zenbivy recently released a 3oz. half-sized, non-insulated sheet! So that’s another option for summer backpacking trips.
In addition, the sheets & quilts can be mixed and matched. So you could just purchase one sheet and have multiple quilts for different temperatures.
Conclusion: I genuinely love my Zenbivy Light Bed! The material is buttery soft, I can’t wait to get it setup at night and go to bed, it’s so comfortable! I recommend it to anyone who wants extra versatility plus comfort out on the trail at night and to all of those who don’t like the idea of a being squished in a mummy bag. For backpacking the 25 degree has the best weight to warmth to price ratio. If you only get one, go with the 25!
Have you tried a Zenbivy? Or have any questions on one? Post in the comments below!