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Sleeping bag zipper
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Michael Reagan
(MichaelReagan) - F

Locale: Southern California
Sleeping bag zipper on 12/18/2007 11:31:15 MST Print View

I got my first sleeping bag when I was a Boy Scout in the mid-1960's. Since then I've owned quite a number of bags, mostly mummies, all of which sported a right-hand zipper.

I recently bought a heavily-discounted Marmot Helium Long at REI and immediately noticed that it came with a left-hand zip, which I thought was a bit unusual. The salesguy said that most men's bags have left-hand zips now, and women's bags have the righty zips. I had never heard of this, as all of my previous bags from such companys as TNF and Western Mountaineering and Sierra Designs all came with right zips, but admittedly these are all a few years older.

I must say that I have taken to the left-hand zip easily and now actually prefer it. Since I am right-handed, it seems much more natural to reach across my body with my right hand and work the zipper when it's on the left side than to twist my wrist at an odd angle to zip up on the right. I'm quite glad the Helium came that way.

But has anyone else heard of "Men's lefty/Women's righty"? or was the REI salesguy making that up? If he was not making this up, what is the logic of gender-based zipper placement?

What gives?


Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re:Sleeping bag zipper on 12/18/2007 12:08:26 MST Print View

IME, you could choose which side the zip is on. Ever since I was young, the righties took left zips and the lefties took right zips - not gender specific.
I bought my girlfriend a woman specific bag about 2 years ago and it's left zip. I suspect that the gentleman may have been misinformed or is an ambidextrous cross-dresser, in which case, there is no correct zip for him. ;)

Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
mens lefty/womens righty on 12/18/2007 12:17:04 MST Print View

I used to work in a gear shop, over ten years ago, when there were very few women's bags available

we always sold men a left zip and women a right zip, unless they requested differently.

our theory was that if an outdoorsy guy mey an outdoorsy girl somewhere in the big world, they should be able to zip their bags together no problem.

An old climbing buddy of mine had expierenced just this sort of kismet in New Zealand, and may have been the strongest advocate of this theory ever.

Edited by joshcgil2 on 01/02/2008 19:00:16 MST.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: liberals lefty/conservative righty on 12/18/2007 14:15:16 MST Print View

I always thought conservatives got zippers on the right and liberals zippers on the left...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: liberals lefty/conservative righty on 12/18/2007 20:19:27 MST Print View

Depends on whether they're back sleepers or belly sleepers;}

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Boy meets girl on 01/02/2008 09:24:31 MST Print View

When I thruhiked the PCT there were a lot of jokes on the trail about right and left zippers.

Most people (and girls) have right hand zippers. So if you are a guy having a left hand zipper you could easily zip the bags together with another female hiker.

So whenever there was a single guy with a left zipper you would assume he is looking for company.... ;-)

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Boy meets girl - zipper choices on 01/02/2008 13:40:28 MST Print View

What does the zipper quandry say about quilt users? Party animals?

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Boy meets girl on 01/02/2008 13:45:05 MST Print View


I have not been appointed to represent my gender, but I may be the senior member.

Assume that all men are looking for company.

Edited by food on 01/02/2008 13:45:56 MST.

Dan Whalley
(thedanwhalley) - F

Locale: peakdistrict natonial park, UK
lefty/righty gender thingy on 01/02/2008 15:04:16 MST Print View

I prefer i lefty myself to! my bags are all leftys!
I have also herd the lefty/righty gender thing to, also on clothing women’s jackets have leftys! apparently!
Don’t believe it myself!
What ever is more comfortable!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Boy meets girl on 01/02/2008 16:07:48 MST Print View


No wonder my early hiking days were so free of frisky forest females, my bag had a center zip. Come to think of it, my second bag had no zip at all--hrrumph.

Given a choice and being a righty, I prefer left-hand zips because as has been pointed out, they're much easier to open with the right hand.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
Boy Meets Girl on 01/02/2008 16:28:36 MST Print View

My wife always makes sure we sleep with the zippers facing away from eachother...

No wonder she makes us use sleeping bags instead of blakets in the house too!!!

Thank you for the eye opener...

From a sad and rejected man in Northern California.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Boy Meets Girl on 01/02/2008 19:11:50 MST Print View

Hummmmm. My NF Beeline has no zipper.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Zip side="looking for status" on 01/02/2008 22:36:27 MST Print View

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will make sure I start using it at work (in a gear store) and pass it onto all the other staff. There isn't enough love in the big wide world.

I'm in the market for a new bag, so it looks like lefty it is! Thankfully the bag I am looking at, although it only comes with one option, is a lefty. Phew!

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
2-person tents for single hikers on 01/03/2008 03:26:28 MST Print View


thank you for enlightening me. I now also understand we I met so many single male thruhikers with a 2-person tent.

I was always wondering why so many single male thruhikers -who are ultralighters and even drill holes into their toothbrushes to save weight - carry a 2-person tent. When I asked them about it I usually got very vague answers like "It is nice to have a lot of room for my backpack..."

By the way: These guys usually have a left hand zipper, too...

Enlightened greetings,

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
zippers on 01/03/2008 05:04:31 MST Print View

lol - now you guys made me actually go to the gear closet and see what side my bags zip on... my down bag is a left zip and my synthetic/down combo is a right zip... my winter bag is a right zip. Bryan's are all left zips. Now here is the funny thing - some are half zip bags and some full zip bags.

We backpack with our son and he is only six - so he sleeps inbetween us in a 3 person tent. I sure miss the days when we split the weight of a two person tent.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: zippers on 01/03/2008 08:14:53 MST Print View


Half zip bags are for guys that are afraid of commitment.

I tell my 23 YO daughter that evolution is not always desirable.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Zipless in the Sierra on 03/04/2008 02:02:11 MST Print View

Richard writes, "Half zip bags are for guys that are afraid of commitment."
I guess that means that Denis and I in our ziperless TNF Beeline 900s are just plain afraid of everything.
It's a great bag, but it hasn't helped my love life.

Don - I don't know how a left zip works on a women's jacket, but here's the story on left handed buttons on a womens blouse vs. right on a mans shirt:
When buttons first came out they were a luxury that only the rich could afford. Rich men dressed themselves but a female of the landed gentry class would be dressed by a lady in waiting or a servant girl - most commonly right handed - who would be facing the lady she was dressing. Hence the reverse button orientation.

Vick writes, "What does the zipper quandry say about quilt users? Party animals?"
Sorry my friend, but I gotta go with bi-sexual on this one.

Tom - Any Republican who sleeps on his stomach is just asking for it!

Edited by Al_T.Tude on 03/04/2008 02:06:31 MST.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
how the heck does the site filter ...? on 03/11/2008 09:38:10 MDT Print View

What do you mean half-bags are for ....? There is a small segment of the ul community devoted to BDSM that carry half-bags and magnesium cuffs and restraints [also doubles as guy lines and snag line for bear bags]. These are some of the most commited fringe group of our fringe group.
You didn't think WildThings just made half bags and climbing stuff, if you click on the eye of the dragon in their logo you'll be carried to their complete line of "other interesting products". Along with the hand devices I'm really fond of the air-core spectra braided flogger and the ultra light synthetic leather outerwear and silnylon costumes. Open your mind and your feet will follow.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 02/12/2013 21:54:21 MST Print View


Edited by on 06/11/2013 23:46:55 MDT.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 02/12/2013 21:57:25 MST Print View


Edited by on 06/11/2013 23:51:20 MDT.