ZenBivy Lite Quilt and Sheet
by Cory McLaughlin
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Just the Facts:
The Zenbivy Light Beds have a patent-pending zipper-less design which means they can hang with the lightest quilts and mummies on the market. Add to that the comfort of a Zenbivy Bed, and its ability to transform from a Quilt, to a Rectangular Bag, to the warmth of a Mummy—the Zenbivy Light Beds are even more capable to take you anywhere.
Choose a quilt and a sheet to assemble your perfect Light Bed. Add a mattress and pillow to complete your bed.
Zenbivy Light Quilt 25
The zipper-less design of the Light Quilt 25º delivers the weight of a sewn-closed quilt, with the “full-flat” functionality of a convertible quilt. Zenbivy’s buttery-soft 20d fabrication sets this quilt apart from its more “purist” 10d competitors. It is the softest, and most durable, legitimately-lightweight quilt out there. Premium 800 fill power HyperDRY rounds out the package and delivers a final quilt that is weight-competitive with much more expensive offerings, while delivering on Zenbivy’s promise of maximum comfort.
1 lb 6 oz
78” x 54”
1 lb 10 oz
86” x 58”
1 lb 14 oz
90” x 64”
Includes: Mesh storage sack
Add a Zenbivy Light Sheet too!
Configure the Light Sheet 25º with any Zenbivy Light Quilt to make a complete Zenbivy Light Bed. The hood is insulated with 800fp HyperDRY down to perfectly match our 25º Light Quilt. However, it’s mid-temperature rating also makes it the best choice if you want one sheet to pair with multiple different temperature quilts.
Fits mattresses 20” x 72” up to 3” thick
Fits mattresses 25” x 77” up to 3” thick
Includes: Nylon storage sack
If you are anything like me you don’t get overly excited about sleeping in mummy style bags. It’s not that I can’t sleep or that they are overly uncomfortable it’s more that they are just, well, they cramp my style a bit. I am not a large guy but I like my space when I sleep and mummy bags are not designed to allow you space.
Another issue that I have with mummy bags is that they are often too hot. I really like them when it’s super cold but in the summer months even a light mummy bag can be uncomfortably warm. Knowing that this is an issue that I do not love I decided that I wanted to focus my efforts on testing some quilts. As luck would have it Zenbivy was just coming out with their Zenbivy Light system and I arranged for a testing sample.
Upon first inspection I was instantly impressed. I chose the 25 degree bed as I figured it would carry me into 3 seasons and though the summer months tend to get hot in town when you’re at 10,000 feet it can still be quite cold at night. The bed was very straight forward and I had no issues assembling it. I was also sent a ZenBivy pillow which was immediately not my favorite. It is a thin fabric covered plastic bag and I do not have high hopes of it holding up. For how nice the quilt and mattress cover seemed to be this pillow left me scratching my head a bit.
My first trip with the ZenBivy Lite Bed came just 2 hours after I flew home from summer Outdoor Retailer. I decided to head out on a backpacking trip with my kids and my buddy. We hiked 6.5 miles into the Oregon backcountry for some fishing and relaxing.
The trip was interesting as it was the end of June but the thermometer on my truck said 45 degrees when we left the the trailhead. It was chilly to say the least and it actually had me excited. I did not expect to have cold weather so I was happy to have a chance to test the ZenBivy in relatively cold climate. When we reached our camp and eventually settled in for the night my pack thermometer read 38 degrees and I could clearly see each breath as it fogged out my headlamp. It was the end of June but it was freaking cold!
I decided to pull the quilt together and draw up the foot box. I used the retention loops and clips to hold the quilt to the mattress and made a type of hybrid mummy bag quilt combo as the bed is designed to do. It was instant comfort and I slept like a baby.
The second night was not nearly as cold and after pulling my daughter out of the bed she was trying to steal from me, I was ready for another night’s sleep. I again slept like a baby and though it was warmer I was able to control my comfort by loosening up the quilt and allowing for more space to stretch out and even poke my feet out which was awesome. My feet typically get hot in mummy bags so this is a next level amazing feature!
The next day I was packing up my camp and while stuffing the Zenbivy system back into the stuff sack I took a second to compare it to some of the other bags we had on the trip. The stock stuff sack allows the bed to be a bit larger than it needs to be and a good compression sack would make a huge difference. No matter what, it is still a very acceptable size with fantastic compression ability.
Sadly, during my pack up I noticed that one of the retention clips had pulled out of the bottom sheet. This was a big bummer to me as I had only slept in the bed for two nights. It made me question the reliability of the bed and that is not something you want in your head when you are miles from the trailhead.
So what was I to do? Well, like any other consumer I contacted ZenBivy to tell them about my issue. They responded to me in record time and assured me that this was not typical and falls in a recorded .5% failure according to their QA. Knowing that this was not acceptable ZenBivy was quick to work out a new bottom sheet. They also asked for the defective sheet to be sent back so that they could inspect what the issue was and work to make sure that it does not happen again. They impressed me with how quickly they addressed the issues, how willing they were to make it right and how interested they were in finding out why it happened.
As a product tester and reviewer I like to see how a company acts when their product does not perform as it should. I love the opportunity to test out customer service and give real world results to the great folks that read our reviews. In the case of ZenBivy I have to say that they were very cordial and understanding but more importantly they were quick to make it right and assured me that though this is extremely rare they are going to examine my failed sheet closely and make sure to address any necessary changes if needed and tighten up QA. I take that as a big win! In the real world sometimes things don’t work out as we hope they will, that is just life. ZenBivy’s customer service has been amazing and though this is a problem 99.5% of purchasers will never have, it is nice to see they will take care of you if it does.
The new bed arrived just in time for another quick trip into the wilds with my kids. I again had a hard time convincing my youngest daughter that she could not have my bed!
The last testing ground was in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon. This was a chance for me to test out the versatility of having a full sleep system. Sometimes you only need part of a system and that is what makes them great! I was able to use the quilt and the quilt alone while hammock camping for 4 nights. Due to the nature of hammocks I find a quilt to be far better suited for this type of sleeping. I use a quality pad underneath such as the Klymit Hammock V and a quality quilt on top. This has been a very comfortable and effective system for me in the past so I was eager to test out the Zenbivy quilt for this application.
In my exhausted haze I climbed into bed unknowingly sleeping with my quilt inside out. Good thing it is extra versatile! I have now logged 14 nights sleep with different combinations of the Zenbivy Light Bed and I have found it to be hands down the best sleeping system I have ever used in the backcountry. You will not regret purchasing this fantastic product.
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What can be done better?
The pillow. Man, I just do not like it. I hate to have anything bad to say about a ZenBivy product as they have been so awesome but this pillow is flop in my opinion. This review is not for the pillow so I’ll not let that influence my rating. I must admit that I am not jazzed that I had a failure with the sheet but they made it right so I have only to mention it here as I would be remiss not to. Overall the ZenBivy Lite is by far the most comfortable sleep system I have ever used in the backcountry and I would recommend it to anyone that feels trapped in a mummy bag and wants a better nights sleep.
Initially I was going to give this a relatively low rating as I had the failure after only two uses but the new sheet has been great and the customer service was outstanding! I give the ZenBivy Lite system a solid 4 stars and would have easily given 5 had I not had the issues with the sheet. I will revisit this rating after more testing with the new sheet. So far it has functioned without issue.