Last Updated on January 3, 2019 by mountainswithmegan
In my quest to reach an ultralight base weight, one of the first hurdles I came to was replacing my old synthetic sleeping bag with a down bag. I knew I would easily spend over $400 on this endeavor, so this was not a decision I took lightly. I needed something that I could use in spring and autumn, as well as in the summer.
I bought the ZPacks 10 degree F sleeping bag, sized long and wide.
Weight: 23 ounces
I’ve owned this sleeping bag for a year and a half now. In total I’ve used it for 4 months last summer on the Appalachian Trail, 3 1/2 months while tea house trekking in Nepal’s Himalya mountains, 2 weeks in the Peruvian Andes, and for 6 months this year while working in the Utah desert (not including my days off).
What do I like about my ZPacks sleeping bag?
- The particular sleeping bag that I have weighs 23 ounces, thus sufficiently assisting me in my goal to become ultralight. I regularly get compliments on how small my sleeping bag packs down to. The lack of a hood contributes to the low weight. If it is cold out I’ll sleep with a hat on.
- It is fluffy. There’s no shortage of loft in this bag. It was recently seeming flatter than usual. I wondered if after 1 1/2 years of heavy use my sleeping bag was not quite what it used to be. Nope. After being washed and dried the sleeping bag puffed right up like it was new again. Just be sure to carefully follow instructions for washing down sleeping bags.
- It is warm enough for 3 seasons. I was happy with this bag during summer in the Appalachians, autumn in the Himalaya, and spring in the high desert of Utah. However, I was chilly during the Utah winter while also using a sleeping bag liner. I sleep cold, and I probably won’t use this bag in the future if temperatures are going to be under 25 degree F. If you are a warm sleeper you can push it more.
- It is durable. When I first got this bag, I wasn’t sure if the thin fabric would hold up. It has. After all this time there is hardly any noticeable wear. Granted, I do give it exceptional care as should any down sleeping bag owner.
Room for improvement:
- I would like to see a wider foot box. Most of the time my feet are toasty in this bag. When the temperature gets under freezing is when my feet start getting cold. The foot box isn’t lofty enough.
Take into consideration when shopping:
- Before ordering this bag, take sizing into account. I’m 5’8″ and I wear a women’s size 10. The long and wide version is a good fit for me. I originally ordered a regular size and found it to be too tight around my chest. The company was super helpful with letting me return it and quickly shipping me a different bag.
- As with any down sleeping bag, take into consideration in what region you will be using it the most. Down sleeping bags have a tendency to soak up moisture from the air. In the Appalachians, I made a habit of stopping as soon as a window of sunshine came along and drying out my sleeping bag. In Utah dampness isn’t a big issue. If it does get a little wet, 10 minutes in the sun is more than enough time to dry it out. If you are going to go with a down sleeping bag be prepared to take care of it like a house plant.
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