Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in the 2019 TGO Challenge over in Scotland. But before I left out for the trip, Zpacks contacted me to see if I’d be interested in testing out a prototype of a new design of their sleeping bag. Of course I said YES!! But I wasn’t the first time I’ve tested gear out for Zpacks. Back in 2018 I tested out a prototype of the Vertice rain kilt while I was on my JMT thru-hike and in the Uinta Mountains of Utah as we filmed Highline. That rain kilt made it to production and has been a great option for those who don’t want to wear rain pains, but need more privacy than what the traditional DCF (Dyneema Composite Fabric) rain kilt provides.
When I received the 20 degree sleeping bag for the trip I visually inspected it. I noticed immediately they had introduced a new color, orange. The shade of orange resembles the same shade of orange that the University of Tennessee uses. It’s bright, but not too crazy like a fluorescent orange. Zpacks also told me they are introducing a Azure Blue and a Black. They still offer the Green, but no longer offer Slate Blue.
The next thing about the sleeping bag that captured my eye was the foot box. It looked enormous compared to the flat foot boxes on there older sleeping bags. And when I climbed in it I could definitely tell an obvious difference between the older models and this bag. The new design has more of a rectangular style foot box.
As I continued to research and talk with Zpacks about the sleeping bag I found out about the changes I couldn’t see. And they were big changes as well. They now use DownTek water resistant 950 fill power premium goose down. This is the same goose down that Ben Smith of Goosefeet Gear uses on all his custom down clothing.
Zpacks also fills each baffle with 30% more goose down. Between the extra down and vertical baffles. This helps keep the down from shifting and keeps it where you need it most and help keeps the loft of the down over time.
Now I used this bag on the TGO Challenge as I hiked from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland. Roughly 225 miles over a 14 night period. In addition to the TGO. I also used it in the Smokies a couple of times since. And every time I’ve used the sleeping bag it’s kept me very warm. So warm in fact that I haven’t even had to zip it up yet. I’ve just been using it in quilt mode. Even though we experienced a few night in Scotland that were in the mid to low 20s.
Another thing I noticed while using the sleeping bag was my feet weren’t getting cold like in my older Zpacks sleeping bags. I didn’t need my down socks or had to stuff my down jacket in the foot box just to give my feet extra warmth. It was so nice to have that extra room in the foot box as I flipped side to side as I slept at night.
So what are the specifications on this new design sleeping bag? Well, here you go:
MATERIALS, CONSTRUCTION & FEATURES
• The inner and outer shells are constructed from .59 oz/sqyd 7 denier Ventum Ripstop Nylon.
• There are 4 colors to choose from now. Azure Blue, Orange, Green and Black.
• DownTek 950 fill power premium goose down with a “C6” water repellent to help the down to stay dry 90% longer than untreated down.
• Each compartment is overstuffed with 30% more premium goose down than necessary.
• Vertical baffles keep the down from shifting to the sides. Which keeps the down in place. And they don’t use sewn through seams.
• NEW rectangular foot box has more room, and fits your feet more comfortably when your lying on your side, your stomach, or on your back.
• 3/4 Length Zipper extends to your calves.
• No draft tube is necessary since the zipper is located on the back (underneath you).
• Elastic cord is located around the opening of the bag. It can be cinched tight around your neck to help keep out drafts, or it can be pull the bag up around your ears.
• A flat clip located at the top of the zipper keeps the zipper securely closed.
• A Roll Top Dry Bag is included with the sleeping bag and adds .9 ounces (25.5 grams) to the total listed weight.
• All Zpacks gear has a two year limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
This NEW design is a HUGE improvement to Zpacks line of Sleeping Bags and Quilts. Having more room in the foot box along with a better quality of goose down including more down in each compartment makes this design more comfortable all the way around.
I could move around in my bag without my feet pressing up against the outer walls of the sleeping bag and getting cold. This was my biggest complaint about the older design. In the older design bag there were many times I’d put my down jacket or other clothing in the foot box to give me a little more loft around my feet. I’d also wear my Goosefeet Gear down socks to help keep my feet warm.
But I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this New design sleeping bag that Zpacks has come out with. In my opinion it’s a game changer for them. I honestly feel like they can be competitive with other companies like Enlightened Equipment. And weighing in less than their old design, but still giving you a larger foot box and more down is a HUGE PLUS.
I really don’t have anything negative to say about the bag itself, but I would like to see Zpacks offer up more colors in the future. Having 4 colors is great especially since we use to only have 2 colors to choose from. But adding a few more would be a good idea in my opinion. Maybe add Burgundy, Gray and Yellow to the list of color options. I’d also like to see the Slate Blue be brought back. I really loved that color.
Here’s a link to my video experience/review. If you don’t already follow my YouTube channel be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell so you don’t miss out on any new content.
Zpacks Sleeping Bag – NEW 2019 DESIGN – Gear Review