Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag Review

zpacks zip around sleeping bag

Most Versatile Sleeping Bag For Backpacking | Incredible Warmth-to-weight

If you’re willing to omit the hood, Zpacks Zip Around 20 will deliver the best backcountry performance in an ultralight sleeping bag. Without a hood, it is able to achieve the low low weight of only 21.6 oz, thus offering one of the highest warmth-to-weight ratios on the market.

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  • Weight: 21.6
  • Price: $519
  • Down: 900 fill power RDS hydrophobic goose down
  • Fill Weight: 14.5
  • Fabric: 7D Ventum ripstop nylon
  • Estimated comfort: +25F
  • Pros: Ultralight. High warmth-to-weight. Converts to blanket. Versatile.
  • Cons: Slightly delicate. Hoodless.

Features

But what makes this one so special is the full length 2-way, namesake “Zip Around” zipper venting feature. When it gets cold, zip up and cinch down the top for maximum warmth retention. But on warmer nights, you can also vent the footbox or fully unzip to convert the sleeping bag into a flat blanket.

Also great for use around camp! It’s like buying a 2-for-1, 20 and 40 degree sleeping bag. It’s just so practical for the wide array of temps a backpacker will face in one season.

It’s constructed with 7D Ventum ripstop nylon which is comfortable, breathable, wind/water resistant, and we find it’s durable enough for most backcountry use.

Its baffles are overstuffed (by 30%!) with 900 fill power RDS hydrophobic goose down. Overstuffing reduces cold spots due to down drift, and is a very desired feature that adds minimal weight.

It’s even protected from snagging on its own zipper by the full length zipper guard. But like most ultralight sleeping bags, it’s a bit more delicate than average. Handle with care and it will last many years.

If you’re unsure about going hoodless, consider this: You can always wear your hat, your mid-layer hood, and/or your puffy hood to bed, or buy a modular down hood to supplement. We’ve ditched sleeping bag hoods and haven’t looked back. Our head always stays plenty warm enough.

Verdict

As far as ultralight sleeping bags go, we feel that Zpacks singularly dominates the marketplace with the three best options, and this one is our personal favorite for having the best blend of features, versatility, warmth-to-weight, and price, which why we’ve picked it for the best performance award.

Sure, it ain’t cheap, but the Zpacks Zip Around still outperforms sleeping bags from other brands that cost $100 more. This is a seriously excellent ultralight sleeping bag and we recommend it highly.

Read about more great options in our guide to the best backpacking sleeping bags, or crank up performance to the next level with our guide to the best backpacking camp quilts.

Zpacks zip around sleeping bag fully open in blanket mode

Zpacks 20F Zip Around Sleeping Bag Key Stats

Measuring medium length, standard width.

Price $519| Weight 21.6 oz

ISO Comfort Rating: N/A

Our Predictive Comfort Rating: 23 F

Our Warmth-to-Weight Score: 4.8

Our Warmth-to-Cost Score: 2.9

Down: 900 fill power goose down, RDS-certified, DownTek PCF-Free water resistant goose down

Fabric 7D Ripstop Ventum Nylon with C0 DWR (.51oz/sqyd)

Other Versions: Also available in 10 and 30 degree variants

Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag foot box with zipper

Compared To Other Zpacks Sleeping Bags and Quilts

Compared to the Zpacks Solo Quilt, Classic Sleeping Bag, and the Zpacks Mummy Sleeping Bag (all very excellent options) the Zip Around is the third lightest, second most expensive, and has the third highest warmth to weight ratio, though they’re a close pack with only minimal performance gaps.

The increased weight and price relative to the Classic and the Solo Quilt are due entirely to the inclusion of the full length zipper, but we feel this is a reasonable trade off for the utility and improved user experience of being able to convert into a blanket.

While virtually all campers grew up with traditional sleeping bags and prefer having a hood, we believe hoodless bags are a significant upgrade for nearly all 3-season backpacking. Buying a hoodless bag like the 20F Zip Around saves you $60 and 1.6 ounces compared to the hooded 20F Mummy Sleeping Bag. They are otherwise identical.

Sleeping bag hoods are redundant because backpackers can always wear their hat to bed, and further warm their noggin by pulling up the hood of their fleece or puffy jacket, thus rendering the sleeping bag’s hood unnecessary.

Warmth-to-weight performance rankings as follows within the Zpacks sleep system family:

  1. Zpacks Solo Quilt 20
  2. Zpacks Classic Sleeping Bag 20
  3. Zpacks Zip Around Sleeping Bag 20
  4. Zpacks Mummy Sleeping Bag 20

In Conclusion

The Zpacks 20F Zip Around Sleeping bag is one the very lightest, warmest, and most versatile sleeping bags on the market. The Zip Around feature is very user friendly and allows the 20 degree bag to act like a 40 degree bag on warm nights. This is our favorite fully enclosed sleeping bag and we recommend it highly.

Read about more great sleeping bags in our guide to the Best Sleeping Bags of the Year, or crank up the performance further with our guide to the Best Camp Quilts of the Year.

Check out the hooded version of this sleeping bag, the Zpacks 20F Mummy Sleeping Bag.