Nate Stephenson is an outdoor hobbyist and film photographer living on/restoring an anchored sailboat in Santa Barbara, CA, and occasionally freelancing to afford Portra and plane tickets.
Despite what our daydreams tell us, getting a good night's sleep while camping can sometimes be easier said than done. While some lucky few do simply conk out at the end of a long day outdoors, many folks find sleeping bags, especially ones of the sarcophagus-like mummy bag variety, to be too restrictive and uncomfortable. Zenbivy is one clever alternative. The two piece, bed-like sleeping bags are an innovative re-imagination of the classic sleeping bag design that allows more freedom of movement and consistent temperature regulation.
The Zenbivy Bed uses a 80/20 duck down quilt and fitted sheet that attaches to your sleeping pad to allow the user to move freely at night while eliminating the problematic and thermally useless down layer between body and pad.
A strategic combination of zippers, cinch cords, and drawstrings admittedly does require some extra attention during setup—moreso than a traditional bag, that is—but in return makes the Zenbivy a multi-functional system, allowing campers to customize and ventilated to best compensate for temperature and personal preference.
Take it from me, a relatively claustrophobic life-long side sleeper who tends to run hot at night; this is the best outdoor sleep experience I've ever encountered. I use my 10° bed year-round, both as a free-floating blanket in the summer and as a fully enclosed, non-restrictive mummy bag in the winter.
Like traditional sleeping bag makers, Zenbivy offers a range of options for every type of camper. For ultralighters, there's the 1-pound, 14-ounce 10° Light Quilt, and car campers can opt for the mattress-integrated MotoBed. Each packs that same element of versatility, and all are suitable for restless campers or shifty sleepers, whether they call a tent, hammock, or hatchback home for the night.