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Center zip sleeping bags?
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Joe S
(ThreeRidges) - M
Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 06:39:52 MDT Print View

The Stoic Somnus 30 center zip bag seems like a great deal when Backcountry has it on sale. The ability to use it like a quilt when unzipped is a plus. But I also sometimes sleep on my stomach, not on my side, and would the zipper drive me crazy when using it in bag mode? Any folks have experience with this?

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Center Zip on 10/11/2012 07:01:00 MDT Print View

I have used a center zip bag(Exped Wallcreeper) and quite liked the zipper orientation once I got used to it. I am mostly a side and back sleeper, but occasional found the zipper underneath me from tossing and turning in the night.

I didn't find the center zip uncomfortable when I laid on it. The draft tube on mine seemed to cushion it enough, but can't speak for all bags.

I have used center zip and side zip bags for quilts and don't think the center zip is that much better for that use though.

My Wallcreeper worked especially well as a two person quilt and that is usually what I use it for.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 10/11/2012 16:44:06 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 08:17:22 MDT Print View

I put the zipper on my hybrid bivy/quilt in the center which would be much the same as your bag

I think this is much better. You can open zip and push to both sides. Gives good ventilation. Keeps the open bag out of the dirt.

Theoretically, there's a cold spot at the top but I haven't noticed. It might help that I sleep wearing clothes under, so that cold spot is sort of averaged out.

I don't know why they don't put all zips in the center. I think maybe it's just convention. They put the zip on the side because that's how everyone does it.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 10/11/2012 08:54:24 MDT Print View

Twist the bag 90 degrees. Problem solved. It's more of a mental thing than a physical altercation.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 16:29:59 MDT Print View

I prefer a centre zip too. It makes for a better quilt design. I do not find having the zip under me when sleeping on my face to be even noticeable.

Cheers

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 16:40:14 MDT Print View

I may be dense here, but I don't understand the comment about the zip under you from two people now

The zipper is on top of you

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
center zip sleeping bags on 10/11/2012 17:01:28 MDT Print View

I had one, a Golite Adrenaline sleeping bag, with the center zip. It's actually a great design for back and side sleepers as it reduces the chances of laying directly on the zipper.

My big gripe with the concept (or at least the Golite version) was that the center zip was really short, so you were limited in how much you could vent or open up the bag. Seems like the zipper only went down to about my waist. If it's cold enough to be in the bag, this isn't a big deal, but if the bag is a little too warm, there was no way to easily hang a leg out the side or open up the bag any more.

I ultimately switched to quilts full time and haven't looked back since. I like the increased venting options. I hang on the Golite bag as a loaner for friends.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 19:39:02 MDT Print View

"I may be dense here, but I don't understand the comment about the zip under you from two people now"

Jerry: Some bags have the zipper on the bottom, ie: Zpacks.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 20:49:41 MDT Print View

Or, if you sleep on your stomach, the zipper is under you.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 21:19:06 MDT Print View

"Jerry: Some bags have the zipper on the bottom, ie: Zpacks."

ahhh

that seems weird

how do you open the zipper if you're sleeping on it?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 22:28:27 MDT Print View

> how do you open the zipper if you're sleeping on it?
Very very complex.
You roll onto your back.

Cheers

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/11/2012 22:38:44 MDT Print View

But if you roll on to your back, your back would then be on top of the zipper, and it would be difficult to manipulate the zipper with your hands behind your back

I guess you could sit up, open the zipper, then lay down

Seems like it would be easier if the zipper was on top

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
Bivy on 10/11/2012 23:00:22 MDT Print View

I really like the center zip bag.

The only issue is, it's hard to find a center zip bivy to go with it, if you're into bivy sacks. Has anyone found one?

Borah tells me that a center zip bivy was impossibly awkward to get into, so they don't sell it--I can't imagine it being any different from a center zip bag, but they're the experts.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
zpac on 10/11/2012 23:09:13 MDT Print View

I just thought i'd throw a picture of the Zpacks quantum bivy. BTW Nick, what center zip bag do you use?

I have a Stoic 30, I don't mind the center zip as it saves weight by the zipper being smaller. There are upsides and downsides to it. First the upside, it is lighter than a full side zip and warmer. Heat has less of a chance to escape from the foot area if theres no zipper. Downsides are venting options by the feet when its hot. In this case I unzip the center zip and put it on top of me like a quilt, and lay directly on my pad.zpacks bivy

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/12/2012 03:32:15 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry

> But if you roll on to your back, your back would then be on top of the zipper
Huh????
No, when I roll over in a SB, the bag goes with me.

Cheers

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
Zip cold spot on 10/12/2012 04:06:53 MDT Print View

@jerry- a bit of confusion here. The OP was about sleeping bags with a top zipper in the middle (eg stoic, nunatak alpinist, golite adrenaline) in these cases the zip is on your chest... And if you roll to sleep on your stomach it is UNDER you
The Zpacks is a hybrid quilt where the zip is in the center of your back and you sleep on it that way

Re usability- I have 2 nunatak bags with center zips and love them. I made zips very short and indeed venting is an issue... But I usually sleep in temp ranges that are. It that wide and would rather have more bags and take the right one. Of course you can vent by wearing your puffy jacket and getting out of the bag slightly if it's really warm. I guess u could also have a short zip in foot box

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Center zip sleeping bags? on 10/12/2012 07:04:41 MDT Print View

Okay, I see now

When I roll around in a sleeping bag, it stays in place so the top stays on top

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Sleeping bag Stays in place on 10/12/2012 07:16:03 MDT Print View

Re: "When I roll around in a sleeping bag, it stays in place so the top stays on top"

I have sleeping bag that you attach to the sleeping pad and because of this, it can stay in place like a quilt. It is snug fit so I don't use the tiedowns because they made me feel trapped. Mu tighter bags turn when I do.

For cold weather, I find that a sleeping bag that fits snug when I wear extra clothing inside is warmer, but will move with me when I flop from side to side and so the zipper never stay in one place.

Nick G
(HermesUL) - F
Thanks on 10/12/2012 10:20:45 MDT Print View

Michael--I use a Golite Adrenaline 1+ season bag. Thanks for picking that up about the Zpacks bivy--I sent a note to them to see about using less expensive fabrics to reduce cost. If anyone happens to have a used one for sale, let me know.


Basically, the upshot is that unless you custom make a bag that doesn't have any zipper at all, it will always be possible to roll over onto your zipper. I don't sleep on my stomach, so I can't say for sure, but I will say that its not an issue to leave the bag where it is and roll over on my side. You do get a face full of bag, but that's life in a mummy bag. I didn't like having a side zip bag because it was very painful to roll over onto, so that was a deciding factor. A center zip is, for most people, the most difficult kind of zipper to end up on top of.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Zips on 10/12/2012 10:40:09 MDT Print View

All of this is why I moved to quilts.