REVIEW: Zenbivy Light Bed 2.0 10º Sleep System
A few years back, Zenbivy introduced a new sleep system for camping and backpacking that changed the game when it came to getting a good night’s sleep in the backcountry. Using a unique and clever design, the original Zenbivy bed made it easier for campers to sleep in various positions—including on their side—while still maintaining warmth and comfort. The system uses a quilt as a blanket and a sheet that fits over a sleeping pad to create a close approximation to a bed. And while the system was a bit heavier and bulkier than some of the competition, it soon won over fans who didn’t mind carrying a bit of extra weight if it meant getting more rest on their adventures.
Recently, the company updated its Light Bed sleep system, making some subtle but positive changes to the product. Upgrades include a newly redesigned quilt that provides a more spacious foot box and allows for more freedom of movement for campers. The quilt also features a new baffle system designed to increase warmth and a larger—less restrive—hood. These refinements take an already great product and make it better, but is the Zenbivy Light Bed worth switching to? Read on to find out.
Comfort (5) ★★★★★
If you’re a restless sleeper who likes to move around in the night, chances are you’ve had a hard time finding a sleeping back/sleeping pad combo that works well for you. That’s because every time you turn over on your side or roll about, you end up taking the entire sleeping bag with you and maybe even end up rolling off your pad.
That doesn’t happen with the Zenbivy Light Bed, which allows you to move about all you want, while it stays firmly in place around you. It achieves this by separating the quilt from the sheet, just like with your bed back home. It is even possible to sleep on your stomach if you want, which is something that simply doesn’t work well in a normal mummy sleeping bag.
The bottom line is, if you like to sleep on anything other than just your back, this is a good option for you. And even those of us who do sleep on our backs will likely love it as well.
Warmth (4) ★★★★
One of the knocks against the original Zenbivy Bed was that it wasn’t quite as warm as other sleeping bags that shared the same temperature rating. That is in part because it isn’t as snugly wrapped around you as a typical mummy bag would be. The updated version of the Lite Bed is warmer than the previous generation, while still providing the same amount of space and freedom. Is it as warm as a similarly rated mummy bag? Probably not, but it is a lot closer in terms of performance in cool and cold conditions.
It should be noted that Zenbivy uses 700-fill power hydrophobic down as an insulator. As most people know, down overs the best weight to warmth ratio in outdoor space, but can become almost useless if it gets wet. Not the case with the waterproof down used in the Lite Bed, which retains its loft and insulating properties even when it has been immersed in water. If you’re buying any sleeping bag—or down jacket—these days, and it doesn’t have hydrophobic down, it’s best to move on.
Weight (5) ★★★★★
The original Zenbivy bed was also criticized for being heavier and bulkier than more traditional sleeping bags, although when the Lite Bed was first introduced it managed to shave 20% off the weight. This made it much more competitive with most other bags, although the ultralight and the minimalist crowd will still find it to be too heavy. A regular version of the bed rated for use in 26ºF weather tips the scales at 2 lbs, 8 ounces, while the 10ºF version runs 3 lbs, 7 ounces. All things considered, those are respectable numbers, especially when considering the comfort and performance offered here.
Make no mistake, there are lighter sleeping bags on the market that can be had at the same price point, but the Lite Bed 2.0 is well worth the consideration, especially if you value comfort and warmth.
Overall (4) ★★★★
As mentioned, it really is tough to beat the Zenbivy Lite Bed in terms of comfort, particularly for restless or side-sleepers. The sleep system is also quite warm, although it still isn’t as warm as a top-notch mummy bag. But if you’re looking fo the best night’s sleep possible, in moderate temperatures, the Lite Bed stands apart from the competition.
When purchased individually, rather than part of a bundle, the Zenbivy quilt and sleeping pad sheet are pricier—but not obsensely so—comparted to a traditional sleeping bag. Backpackers who have used the system can attest to how comfortable it and what a gamechanger it can be for sleeping in the backcountry. If that is of value to you, the difference in price is well worth it. Once you give Zenbivy a try, there is a good chance you’ll never want to go back to a “regular” sleeping bag again.
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