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Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review [2023 ] BikeHikeSafari


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This is a gear review of the all-new Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag 2023.

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag was recently released and is the newest sleeping bag from Zpacks. It’s part sleeping bag, part quilt but as with all things from Zpacks, it is ultralight. And already this bag is one of the best sleeping bags and best quilts for backpacking in 2023.

The Zip Around Sleeping bag comes in three temperature ratings, 10F, 20F, and 30F. I took the popular 20F hoodless sleeping bag out for a couple of trips to test and review just how good this bag could be for your next backpacking trip or thru-hike. Keep reading to find out how it went.


In-Depth Review: Zpacks Full Zip Around Sleeping Bag Specifications 2023

Zpacks 30F Zip Around Sleeping Bag

Zpacks 30F Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review

Overall Weight: 16.6 oz / 471 grams (standard width / medium length)
Shell Weight: 6.8 oz / 193 grams
Down Fill Weight: 9.8 oz / 278 grams
Pros:

> Ultralight
> Can be unzipped and used as a quilt
> Small pack size
> High-quality 900 Fill Power Water Resistant Goose Down
> Overstuffed baffle with 30% more down
>Come with a waterproof stuff sack
Cons:
>No Hood
>No Lofting Bag

Zpacks 20F Zip Around Sleeping Bag

Zpacks 20F Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review

Overall Weight: 21.6 oz / 612 grams (standard width / medium length)
Shell Weight: 7.1 oz / 200 grams
Down Fill Weight: 15.7 oz / 446 grams
Pros:

> Ultralight
> Can be unzipped and used as a quilt
> Small pack size
> High-quality 900 Fill Power Water Resistant Goose Down
> Overstuffed baffle with 30% more down
>Come with a waterproof stuff sack
Cons:
>No Hood
>No Lofting Bag

Zpacks 10F Zip Around Sleeping Bag

Zpacks 10F Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review

Overall Weight: 26 oz / 738 grams (standard width / medium length)
Shell Weight: 18.7 oz / 531 grams
Down Fill Weight: 15.7 oz / 446 grams
Pros:
> Ultralight
> Can be unzipped and used as a quilt
> Small pack size
> High-quality 900 Fill Power Water Resistant Goose Down
> Overstuffed baffle with 30% more down
>Come with a waterproof stuff sack
Cons:
>No Hood
>No Lofting Bag

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag is a cross between a backpacking quilt and a sleeping bag. It is a hoodless sleeping bag that features a full-length zip that increases the versatility of the bag by allowing you to fully unzip the bag, thus turning it into a quilt. Perfect if you find yourself on a backpacking trip that includes both hot weather and cold.

It comes in three temperature ratings, 10F, 20F, and 30F. There is also the choice of three lengths and two widths. So this bag can be customized to fit you perfectly. Add to that the choice of four colors and you will have something to fit both your body and style perfectly.

I tested the Zpacks Full Zip Sleeping Bag in warm weather and found it a blessing to have one bag that can be unzipped and turned into a down backpacking quilt when needed. If I used a sleeping bag with a short zip, my feet would have been cooked inside the foot box.

By having a full-length zip it has increased the weight of the bag slightly compared to Zpacks other sleeping bags models such as their quilt and 3/4 length zip bag. But that increase in weight also increases the versatility of the bag and turns it into a sleeping bag or quilt that can be comfortably used in a much wider array of situations.

The zip and neck area has a draft tube to keep the heat in when needed and the zip has a strip of webbing to prevent snagging. When I tested the bag I found the anti-snag zip worked well. I could get it caught if I tried but overall, it worked as promised.

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag comes in a Dyneema stuff sack that is not only waterproof but large enough to make packing the bag easy. This is a much appreciated feature, especially when sleepy in the morning. It is also easy to make the packed size smaller by sitting on the packed sleeping bag to remove the air. By doing this you can squash the bag to half its packed size.

Overall, the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag is the best full zip sleeping bag for 2023 and one of the most versatile sleeping bags or sleeping quilts you can buy.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag in use at a campsite

Down type / fill power

The Zpacks Zip Around sleeping bags are stuffed with 900-fill power goose down. It is water resistant thanks to the PCF-FREE DownTek that they use. This down is right up there with some of the highest quality down used on any sleeping bag or quilt on the market. It is not only lightweight but also has good water resistance qualities. Great if you find yourself backpacking in wet areas.

The down is overfilled into each baffle by 30%. Let me explain why I believe this is a great feature. Over time, the down inside the bag will get dirty, covered with sunscreen, body oils and goodness knows what else. Even when you use a sleeping bag liner or wear clean clothes to bed. All these contaminants will reduce the loft of the down, thus reducing its ability to keep you warm. By overstuffing the bag by 30% Zpacks have increased the time that your bag will stay nicely lofted before needing a wash. If you are on a long-distance thru-hike then this feature is invaluable.

As you would expect, the down is Responsibly Sourced and Responsible Down Standard Certified which is the gold standard for all down sleeping bags at the moment.


Construction

Let’s take a look at how the sleeping bag is made with the features such as the Inner and Outer Shell fabrics, zippers, baffles, draft tubes, and weather resistance.


Outer and Inner Shell fabric

The external face fabric and internal liner of the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags are made using a 7 Denier Ripstop Ventum Nylon. This is among the lightest fabric used on any sleeping bag that you can buy in 2023. It is coated with a PFC-free DWR coating to prevent drops of water from entering the bag. When you take a look at this fabric it is almost see-through and extremely lightweight.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag being tested fully zipped up

Weather resistance

As mentioned above, there is a PFC-free DWR coating on the sleeping bag fabric. I tested the water resistance and quality of the DWR coating. While I did not sleep outside in rain I poured several liters of water on the sleeping bag, and I can confirm it will provide a good level of water resistance. In comparison to other sleeping bags, it is at least as good as the rest of the competition in the Ultralight Sleeping Bag market.

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag would be good enough to sleep outside under the stars when there is a bit of condensation that comes down overnight.

As you can see from the photo below when I tested the fabric, the water beads quite nicely. That beading will prevent the water from getting inside the bag. Of course, it will get in through the stitching and where the zips are but it is reassuring to know that Zpacks use water-resistant down. This down would only be able to absorb about 10% of the water. Very impressive.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend that you pour a whole bottle of water over your sleeping bag to test its water resistance or sleep outside in the rain, sometimes you need to say these things!

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag DWR Coating being tested
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag DWR Coating being tested
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag has a water repellent ripstop fabric. Not how the water is pooling and not entering the sleeping bag.
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag has a water repellent ripstop fabric. Not how the water is pooling and not entering the sleeping bag.

Baffles

Zpacks use a combination of vertical baffles on the upper part of the bag that corresponds with your upper body. The lower section uses horizontal baffles. These styles of baffles do a good job of locking in as much heat as possible.

The vertical baffles do a great job of preventing any down from shifting during the night. If you are a side sleeper that means this design is for you. The horizontal baffles at your feet are not sewn through to maximize the warmth of your feet. If you suffer from cold feet then you will like this design. Of course, if you suffer from really cold feet Zpacks have you covered with their Goose Down Socks.

Overall, there is little to criticize and lots to praise with the baffle design, which combined with the overstuffing of each baffle leads to me regard this sleeping bag among the best of the best.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag being tested in a camp next to the ocean

Zips and Draft Tube

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag is the newest addition to the Zpacks sleeping bag stable. As the name suggests, it features a not only full-length zip but a wrap around zip that allows the sleeping bag to be completely opened up. Few high-end sleeping bags have this feature and even fewer high-end ultralight sleeping bags have this feature. the reason, it adds to the weight.

But this is where Zpacks have nailed it. They have created a sleeping bag that can successfully be used as a quilt without adding too much weight. While it is not the lightest sleeping bag on the market it is among one of the most versatile for this reason.

I tried my best to snag the zip and succeeded. But only when I intentionally tried to snag the zip. Along the zip, there is a length of internal webbing that is both lightweight and sufficient enough to prevent most snags. For most people, when you need to get out of the bag on a cold night for that midnight pee, it will work well.

Along the length of the zip and along the collar there is a draft tube. Not much to expand upon this feature, other than it works as promised. There is not much chance of any draft getting through the zip or neck area.

Overall, the zips and draft tubes do a good job and work as promised.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag zip and draft collar

Is a Hoodless Sleeping Bag for you?

There is no hood on the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag, in fact, they don’t use them on any of their bags. This is a move away from traditional sleeping bags that use a hood to keep your head warm at night. For many, this will be a new experience and one that may not feel right.

If you need to keep your head warm on a cold night then use your beanie which you are probably already carrying if you expect cold weather. Or even better, purchase a Goose Down Hood. It is made with the same down and same material as the sleeping bag, so it is of the highest quality. Use it on the cold nights and mornings at camp and when sleeping in your hoodless sleeping bag.


Stuff Sack

When I tested the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag I was impressed by the stuff sack. It was not only ultralight and made with Dyneema so it was waterproof and quite large. When I was tired in the morning I didn’t need to struggle to make the bag fit into the stuff sack.

The stuff sack does not use compression straps. I found I was able to sit on the stuff sack after putting the sleeping bag inside, this was able to decrease the size of the packed-up sleeping bag to about half its size. Great when you want to squeeze your bag into your pack on days when you are carrying lots of food.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag stuff sack
Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag stuff sack

Comfort

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags comes in three lengths and two widths. The widths are generous and sufficient for most people to not feel too cramped. I tested the standard width and found it perfect for my body size. If you are a larger build or want extra room, you can consider the broader width. Check the website for the exact specs.

When I tested the bag I had enough room with the standard width to still be able to wear my expedition down jacket. Not all bags have this amount of room. So I consider this a bonus.

Overall, the sizing of the bag is great.


Warmth

Let’s get this in the open, Zpacks do not test their bags to EN or the newer ISO 23537-1:2022 Standards. Zpacks use their own temperature ratings that are estimated to be close to the ISO Rated ‘Limit’ Rating of a Sleeping Bag, which is sometimes called the ‘transition’ rating.

When testing the bag I found the temperature rating to be quite close to those stated by Zpacks. When I compared the amount of down stuffed into sleeping bags from competitors that have their bags tested to ISO standards, I found the Zpacks Sleeping Bag to have a similar amoungt of down in their bags. Although not a truely accurate measure, it does give a good indication of whether they are close with their estimates or not. The use of a beanie or Goose Down Hood will increase your warmth and will likely be carrying one with you anyway.

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag being used as a quilt

Caring for your Spark Sleeping Bag

When you have a high-quality sleeping bag it is worth taking care to look after it. One of the best things you can do is wear clean backpacking base layers to bed to prevent sweat, dirt, and body oil from penetrating the liner of the sleeping bag. You can also use a sleeping bag liner to keep it clean.


How to store your Spark sleeping bag

Zpacks do not provide a lofting bag, which is a bot of a negative for me. When storing your sleeping bag it is best not to leave it compressed inside the stuff sack. Extended periods of doing this can affect the lofting ability of the down. The higher quality of the down (the higher the loft number, eg 900) the more chance you have to damage the down.

I recommend storing your bag in a larger bag in a lofted state to increase the length of service of your bag. If you do this, I suspect you will get 10-20 good years of use out of this bag. Especially if you take care of it and wash it when needed.


How to wash your Spark Sleeping Bag

Over time the sleeping bag will lose a bit of its loft and you may start to complain that the bag is not as good as it used to be. The overstuffing of down in this bag will mean it will outlast many other bags taht are used in a simialr way.

Maybe your bag might start to have some funky smells that seem to be a cross between a sweaty gym and an unwashed homeless person. If this occurs it is time to give the sleeping bag a wash. I wrote an article on how to do this so take a look at How to Wash a Down Sleeping Bag, for further details on how to wash your bag.


Price

At the time of reviewing this product, the price represents the premium quality of this sleeping bag. Having said that, it is a long way from the most expensive ultralight sleeping bag. In my opinion, it represents very good value for money. And unlike some other brands, it can be purchased today without having to wait weeks or months due to supply chain issues.


Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags Vs The Rest

How does the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags compare to other Sleeping Bags and backpacking quilts in the ultralight class in 2023? You will not be surprised to know they rated very highly. Check out my full comparison review of the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags and all the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags 2023 and Best Backpacking Quilts 2023.


Best Suited Use

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags would be perfect for anyone wanting an ultralight sleeping bag that can also be used as a quilt. Or maybe you are curious about using a quilt but haven’t taken the leap of faith just yet. The temperature ratings are solid and so are the sizes, so choose your sizes well and you will have a good bag.

  • Summer hiking in the Rockies or Sierra or North America with the 30F or 20F. Or into the Spring and Fall if using the warmer Zpacks 10F or Zpacks 20F.
  • Summer hiking in the Alps in Europe or hiking the Camino. The warmer bags will be well suited to 3 season trips in most places.
  • Summer hiking and 3-season hiking in Australia and New Zealand in most areas.
  • Summer trips in South America including Patagonia as long as the nighttime temperatures are above freezing. You may want the 10F or something with more insulation if heading to the High Andes of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Conclusion

The Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags is best suited to anyone wanting a high-quality ultralight sleeping bag. Or someone who hasn’t quite pulled the trigger on buying a down quilt but wants to try using them. The temperature rating for this bag is quite true to that stated by Zpacks and the sizes are as promised.

If you want a sleeping bag for the summer months and into the shoulder season for warmer climates then this is for you.

When it comes to improvements, I would like to see Zpacks add the option of a hood and a lofting bag. Other than that, I think they have a winner, and you will too.

Overall, the Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bags is a winner as one of the most versatile sleepings and quilts for 2023.

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag completely unzipped

Are Zpacks Sleeping Bags any good?

Zpacks Sleeping Bags and Quilts are some of the best quality and lightest weight available. The full zip and quilt are particularly good bags.

Does Zpacks use Responsibly Sourced Down?

Yes, All the down used in Zpacks sleeping bags is ethically sourced that can be traced as responsibly sourced.


Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review Pin

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful to you.

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