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ZPacks Sleeping Bag - a Side Sleeper's Dream Bag!
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Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
@ Tom on 07/28/2012 09:28:02 MDT Print View

I can't tell about any internal details, but from the outside they give every appearance of continuing all the way to eh zipper.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: @ Tom on 07/28/2012 15:40:15 MDT Print View

"from the outside they give every appearance of continuing all the way to eh zipper."

Thanks, Steve.

jason quick
(jase)

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
Ordered...done deal with mods...all too easy. on 07/30/2012 05:18:56 MDT Print View

@ Anat et al

Well, I placed my order today for a ZPacks 30F wide and long sleeping bag...with mods.

Joe was more than happy to accommodate my modifications - I ordered a 30F long and wide bag, and having it trimmed down to 59" shoulders, 56" hips and keeping the 35" footbox. The default wide (62") would have me swimming, while the standard 56" is simply too narrow...I modified one of my existing bags as a test and it was just too risky (tight).

I also ordered the full length zipper with draft tube (I am a very restless sleeper) and drawcord footbox with draft tube. Long bag purchased to compensate for some length lost due to footbox. So now it will also serve as an open blanket for warmer Aussie nights (50-70F)...at least until I buy a warmer bag....Perhaps a 40F bag....or knowing how hot it gets here on some nights, perhaps just a Cuben Fibre or Tyvek sheet! :-)

How exciting. Joe's great to buy from.

Keep you posted once it arrives. I also purchased an Arc Blast with some add-on's too...hey...it's my birthday. Not too many write-ups of these yet either so I look forward to posting my feedback on that too.

Jase

Edited by jase on 07/30/2012 05:31:46 MDT.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks for posting, Stephen! on 07/30/2012 13:46:50 MDT Print View

Been thinking about one of these since winter...a 20 deg with draft collar and made so the zipper is on top rather than the bottom.

At any rate, can someone explain the differences between the foot-box in one of these Zpacks compared to other bags? In looking at profile pics of the Zpacks bag, it looks flat from top to bottom whereas on my WM Summerlite, for instance, the foot-box contours up as if ergonomically built. Is there a difference in feel? Warmth?

EDIT: Also, Dan, how much weight did you save by having 10D inside and out?

Edited by rustyb on 07/30/2012 13:48:25 MDT.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
review on 07/30/2012 17:17:17 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

I did a quick and dirty YouTube video on this one that may show some detail to those of you considering the bag. It has been used about 60 nights so far with good success.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6MpplS8Zz8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

All the best,

Jeremy.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
flat footbox and top zip on 07/31/2012 03:19:29 MDT Print View

@rusty
indeed the footbox is flat - its due to the simple design (similar to MYOG type) although users and Joe himself say that its fine and im sure they are right IMO its not as elegant as some others (like the commercial ones or Katabatic or Nunatak) and in theory might mean the footbox is less optimal in its use of fabric and space and thus heat retention
Joe was talking about changing over to some "shark toe" type but hasn't yet - peer pressure might help here :)

Re topzip - (disclaimer - I LOVE topzips and have 2 Nunatak topzip bags)i would be cautious of getting a very long topzip - gravity is working against you with respect to down falling away from the zipper (as obviously the baffle has zero height there)as opposed to a side zip (where the down falls onto the zip line) and even though you will have a draft tube IMO at 20F or below this will make your bag susceptible to cold spots (unless of course you make some elaborate system like the Valandre LAfayette or some huge interlocking draft tubes A-LA WM) I'm not saying it wont work (i had a nunatak alpinist with a full length top zip and it worked fine at 10F) but that on the margin it is a weak spot.
When I had Tom redo that bag for me (its a5~10F bag with 22ozz of down) I both made the topzip shorter (21") and had him redo the baffle end design (where it meets the zipper) in a way that instead of the baffle being simply sewn there (which means height tapers down gradually to zero as it is wedge shaped) having a "wall" there so the baffle height is full up to the zipper line. That, combined with the draft tube gives a better seal (ping me if you want more data)

RE weight savings: judging from the data it should be about 1oz diff if you do a full 20F medium girth length reg in full 10D. When I did my new nuntak in full 7D i saved about 2oz in the full shell over the 0.8 quantum


A side note - although YMMV and all that - i cant fathom the fascination people here have with a quilt that can fully open? Yeah i can see that if you have only 1bag and take it anywhere from 50F to 15F then yeah you might want to open it fully....but that doesnt really happen that much does it?
I have 3 bags rated approx at 45,30, 10 and on any given excursion i would take the relevant one and thus cant see how i would get SO HOT that i would need more than a 1/2 length zip to vent

Mike

jason quick
(jase)

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
Fully Opening Quilts on 07/31/2012 05:14:38 MDT Print View

"A side note - although YMMV and all that - i cant fathom the fascination people here have with a quilt that can fully open? Yeah i can see that if you have only 1bag and take it anywhere from 50F to 15F then yeah you might want to open it fully....but that doesnt really happen that much does it?"

....who holds the greater fascination??? (insert tongue-in-cheek here)

;-)

Jase

Edited by jase on 07/31/2012 05:24:17 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Fully Opening Quilts on 07/31/2012 06:54:58 MDT Print View

I've been out here in the Sierra in early Oct. for years now, temps can range at night from 40's to single digits, depending on where you are at, that I have personally experienced. My 15 degree WM bag has been good to the single digits at Crabtree Meadow area a few years ago. You never know.
Duane

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
@ Anat on 07/31/2012 07:25:22 MDT Print View

My wife uses the 20 degree bag (with 1 oz overstuffing IIRC). She sleeps very cold. A couple of weeks ago we were camped at over 3000 metres in the Aladaglar mountains in Turkey. The temperature was cold enough that the condensation inside the tent froze and the small spring-fed pool outside the tent froze over. I would guess the temperature was somewhere between minus 3 and minus 5 degrees (centigrade). My wife was wearing a microfleece (Montane Gazelle) and a lightweight down puffy (Uniqlo, jacket weight 224 grams). She was as warm as toast. If you want the bag for 30F, I think you'll be fine with the 20F bag.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: flat footbox and top zip on 07/31/2012 08:54:38 MDT Print View

"@rusty
indeed the footbox is flat - its due to the simple design (similar to MYOG type) although users and Joe himself say that its fine and im sure they are right IMO its not as elegant as some others (like the commercial ones or Katabatic or Nunatak) and in theory might mean the footbox is less optimal in its use of fabric and space and thus heat retention
Joe was talking about changing over to some "shark toe" type but hasn't yet - peer pressure might help here :)"

Mike-
Having thought about this briefly, in my mind, it seems in a flatly constructed bag, the feet would have to push up the bag thereby putting pressure on the underside and smashing some of the loft in the process...whereas with a "box" already built/shaped, the loft would remain a more or less constant. Perhaps I'm missing something though.....

What you say about the zip, baffles, and draft tube makes sense...pretty much. I'll have to sit on that a bit and let my mind digest.

Re the Nunatak Alpinist, that's a fantastic looking bag! Two things have kept me from giving it more serious consideration: the price and the hood. The hood looks super but I'm thinking a hoodless bag with separate hood would work better for my sleep habits.

Thanks for the info, Mike. Appreciated!

r

Anat Lev Hacohen
(ninelives99) - F

Locale: -
ZPacks for women on 07/31/2012 14:24:46 MDT Print View

@William

Thanks for the input!
After doing some calculations (with a huge help from Mike) I came to realize that a 20F bag with 1 oz overfill could have been the perfect choice as a 30F women bag.
This kind of bag has the exact amount of filling needed, in my eyes.
Any way, since Joe is not doing those in between temp sleeping bags any more (and I didn't want to argue or beg) I had two choices: 1. Taking the regular 20F bag. 2. Take the 10F bag, which is actually a 20F bag with 2 oz overfill.
This isn't such a *big* deal but at the end I carried on and bought the 10F bag. It would do the job, without a doubt. Just hope it won't be too much of an overkill.
Any way, it's always nice to hear a "women" perspective on these kind of bags.

@Jason

Lovely modifications... would love to hear your review on it after you get it.
I ended up asking Joe for similar moifications. Hope I will be able to give an interesting perspective on it as well.

Scott Simcox
(Simco) - F - M

Locale: Nashville
Re: ZPacks Sleeping Bag - a Side Sleeper's Dream Bag! on 07/31/2012 14:30:37 MDT Print View

Have a 40° quilt. Always have to fix the down, which runs to the sides leaving the top with nothing. Love the bag otherwise.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
20 on 07/31/2012 14:55:37 MDT Print View

I bought one of joes pre-made 20* bags earlier in the spring and upon arrival i found the foot slot was tiny! (he did say it was a first run and they now make em bigger)

So i sent it back and had him make me a 20* with black EIGHTD inside and out with a 38" wide footbox instead of (30"?). I also had him put the neck drawcord off to one side so its easier to synch while on stomach or side. also had him use 1/2" grosgrain with a flat center release buckle for the quilt straps.
I'm mainly a side or stomach sleeper (sometimes hybrid with one leg out while on stomach) and the quilt works great! had it down to 15 or 20 and was plenty warm with base layers. I toss and turn quite a bit and haven't noticed much draft.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
pics on 07/31/2012 15:18:43 MDT Print View

A picture of the sleeping bag would be a whole lot nicer than a wall of text.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Blanket Mode - Zpacks Quilts on 07/31/2012 21:13:15 MDT Print View

"Dan, how much weight did you save by having 10D inside and out?"
I think the 10D weighs about 0.7oz/yd, whereas the regular Pertex shell is about .95oz/yd. So you save 0.25oz/yd and the shell is likely ~4 yards of fabric, so about an ounce.

"i cant fathom the fascination people here have with a quilt that can fully open? Yeah i can see that if you have only 1bag and take it anywhere from 50F to 15F then yeah you might want to open it fully..."
For me, the goal with a 'quilt' that opens completely into a 'blanket' isn't to extend the temperature rating, although I suppose it does do this in hot temperatures. In the same way that I find a quilt much nicer to use than a bag (ie. egress/ingress), a blanket is even nicer still - it's pretty much just like home if it's large enough. So I prefer to sleep this way if the conditions will allow. Unfortunately with the regular width Zpacks bags the foot end is quite narrow, so you can't use this blanket mode anywhere close to the temp rating of the bag/quilt because of the unavoidable drafts and challenges with keeping your feet covered.

While I like 'blanket' mode, it's not worth several extra ounces to me, so I don't mind .5oz for a zipper, but an extra 3-4oz to make the entire quilt much wider (ie. 56" the whole way) wouldn't be worth it.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: pics on 07/31/2012 21:49:52 MDT Print View

Michael, Jeremy Platt posted a link to a video of his bag

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
RE on 08/02/2012 05:58:48 MDT Print View

@rusty
re the footbox - what i tried to say politely was that imo its less thermally efficient just as you noted.

RE the hoodless part - i guess to each his own


@duane - hmmm.....from 40 to 0F in one short trip is indeed alot. usually where i hike the diff isnt hat big and i assume if i had to plan for such a trip i would take my MLD quilt as a topbag and a down inner bag to combine.

@dan - to feel like home i need to hug the wife...and thats just too many ounces to carry on my back just for feeling good :) but i think you and i see this in the same way - there is a point where that extra comfy factor is outweighed by weight (pun intended)


MC

Anat Lev Hacohen
(ninelives99) - F

Locale: -
New ZPacks sleeping bag on 08/25/2012 10:18:50 MDT Print View

Just arrived a few days ago... I'm so excited. It fits perfectly for my size! (but I can definitely understand why people tend to say it's restrictive).
It will take a while till I get to use it but for now it just feels great!

Wanted to post some pictures:

ZPacks sleeping bag

Here are some more:

https://picasaweb.google.com/118297616523199350868/ZPacksSleepingBag?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Zpacks Bags on 09/10/2012 18:47:58 MDT Print View

I'm currently looking at Zpacks for a 20 degree bag.

Dan, in your post you mention:
"I wouldn't suggest opting for the 10D outer shell. It's a nice fabric that feels great on the skin, but it's only moderately downproof and its far from being windproof and water-repellant, so it's a good choice for the inner fabric but not the best shell material. Zpacks regular Pertex fabrics is the better choice."

I recently was sent samples of their 10D and Quantum fabrics. Using a simple breath test, it was pretty obvious to me that the 10D is actually at LEAST as wind resistant than Quantum (it felt a smidge MORE wind resistant, actually).

Water did bead up BETTER on the Quantum fabric, but the 10D fabric didn't exactly wet out immediately, either. Whether or not it has a DWR, it did a pretty good job preventing moisture from going through the fabric.

That said, and the fact that he uses 900fp (which should have very little feathers), makes me wonder that if you can adequately protect your bag from water (bivy or larger coverage tarp), the 10D shell becomes the more obvious choice.

What are your thoughts/experiences now that you've had the bag for a while now? And how did you determine that the Quantum was more wind resistent?

NOTE: It's possible that the 10D liner material has changed, and I currently have a question out to Joe, in this regard.

Thanks!

Edited by lindahlb on 09/10/2012 18:52:38 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
10D vs. Quantum on 09/10/2012 19:24:35 MDT Print View

Brian,

What I was trying to say is that in my qualitative experience, TenD is below average in terms of downproofness, wind proofness and water repellency, so opting for something a little more proven for the shell portion of the bag would be a sage decision. It's not worth compromising these attributes for an ounce, and fabrics like Thru-Hikers M50 boast excellence in all of these attributes for the same weight as TenD.

It's been a while since I used any Pertex Quantum, but my recollection of this fabric is that it worked well as a shell. So given the choice between these two fabrics, I would choose Quantum for the shell. I haven't compared the two head to head. If Zpacks offered more fabric choices then something else would likely top the list for a shell choice. As I recall, there may even be different versions of Pertex Quantum (ie. Pertex Quantum Eco?) so I can't really speak to the characteristics of Quantum with any accuracy.

To me, wind resistance is the least important of these three attributes. If I often cowboy camped it might be more important, but I'm normally sleeping inside an enclosed shelter where breezes are low, so it's a tiny consideration as long as the fabric is reasonably windproof. I haven't determined that Quantum is more wind resistant. TenD seems adequate in this area, whereas my (vague) recollection of Quantum is that it's pretty good. Either way, they're both likely good enough.

Water repellency is more important. Theoretically it shouldn't matter too much to a double wall shelter user like myself, but it's a nice extra line of safety for a down bag (for zero weight vs. M50). Should I ever have an issue with my shelter (ie. fly sticking to inner) or on the trail (ie. waterproof stuff sack leaks) or in the tent (spill water on it), then hopefully the water repellency would mitigate any trouble.

Downproofness may be personal preference. Perhaps I'm just anal, but I'm not particularly fond of having a constant exodus of down from my quilt, even if the total amount is fairly insignificant. With TenD, there is ALWAYS several tuffs of down on their way out of my quilt. Often it's not large feathers either, it's down clusters with maybe a super tiny stem. My previous quilt was made of M55 (supposedly the same as the current M50 (2nd generation)) and I never saw a single down clump or feather come from that. Both quilts were "900 fp".

So to wrap this up, to have a nice soft feel TenD compromises downproofness, likely compromises water repellency and might compromise windproofness. For the inside (lining) of a bag this might be a compromise worth making, but for the outside it doesn't make sense trading these attributes for feel, since you aren't even touching this area. Unfortunately the other option (Pertex Quantum) is heavier. A fabric like M50 would be ideal for the shell. It's the same weight and won't let a smidge of down, wind or water get through.

I'm at about 100 nights with this quilt.

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2012 19:31:25 MDT.