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First Look: Zenbivy Sleeping System For ‘Side Sleepers’

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The Zenbivy is a new take on the traditional sleeping bag intended to enhance comfort for side sleepers. We put it to the test for this review.

Zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag
The Zenbivy sleeping bag

Mummy-style sleeping bags are efficient and warm. But they tend to constrict movement and limit the possible ways of lying while asleep.

The Zenbivy, new this week, opens a new range of sleeping postures to those who find mummy sacks uncomfortable.

zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag
Note, the lower portion of the Zenbivy is not connected to the pad sleeve

Curious about the new product, I tested a pre-release model for a few nights this spring. I found the design comfortable and warm, having tested it down to its temperature rating of 25 degrees F.

Review: Zenbivy Bed

The Zenbivy sits somewhere between a quilt and a mummy bag. It’s a unique product that’s a little hard to explain. The video below does a good job.

Basically, a sleeping pad slides into a holder on the bottom of the product. This covers the sleeping pad with a thin, sheet-like material. This material zips onto a down quilt on each side, and the quilt can zip shut around the feet.

zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag

The result is a sleeping bag attached to the sleeping pad. But with a couple zips, it can be removed, becoming a stand-alone quilt, or partially attached, becoming an open bed.

Ultimately, it gives the user a lot of options for sleeping positions and insulation. Zip it open, kick out a leg, and you’ll cool off. Or zip it shut and close the hood around your head to stay warm.

zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag

I did that while on a float trip on the John Day River in Oregon. I slept outside and awoke surrounded by frosty grass. It was below freezing, but I slept well.

Zenbivy: A New Camp Bed Option

I found the bed very comfortable. It allows you to side-sleep or kick out a leg without restriction.

The Zenbivy is currently fundraising on Kickstarter, where you can pick one up, starting at $250. Given the 700-fill hydrophobic down used for insulation, this strikes me as a good value. The bag should work well down to its temp. rating, and well above as a quilt.

zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag
The Zenbivy is made of a removable quilt/bag, left, and pad sleeve/hood.

This gives the user versatility for moderate temps, or for use with a hammock as a simple quilt.

The regular length I tested weighs 2 lbs., 6 oz. and compresses well. It’s a reasonable choice for backpacking or car camping.

zenbivy side sleeper sleeping bag
The Zenbivy upside down shows the pad sleeve from the bottom

The Zenbivy requires a full-size sleeping pad. Note, a well-insulated pad will make cool weather much more comfortable.

For those who feel constricted in a mummy bag or want a quilt and sleep system in one, the Zenbivy is an interesting new option. So far, it has given me some great night’s sleep.

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