Home > Backpacking > Zenbivy Light Bed Quilt System Review

Zenbivy Light Bed Quilt System Review

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.
20191023_161527.jpg

Love being warm and cozy but hate the feeling of constricting mummy sleeping bags? Zenbivy’s new Light Bed System might be the answer you’re looking for. The Zenbivy Light Bed (you choose your quilt and sheet) offers the temperature regulation and freedom of movement of a quilt, but it stays tucked in and retains heat more like a traditional mummy bag when the temperature drops. 

The main downside with the Zenbivy system is that it’s quite a bit heavier than other ultralight sleeping bags/quilts on the market, and that’s a big deal when your trekking deep into the backcountry. The extra weight could be worth it for a comfortable, versatile, and secure sleep system, but that will depend on your personal preference.

For more quilt recommendations, check out our 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags & Quilts List.

20191023_164133.jpg

Quick Specs

  • MSRP (Light Quilt & Sheet 25°F): $359

  • WEIGHT (Light Quilt & Sheet 25°F): 2 lb. 2 oz.

  • FILL POWER: 800 goose down

  • TEMP RATING (not EN tested): 25°F (Also available in 10°F & 40°F Synthetic)

  • SIZES AVAILABLE:Regular, Large, & XL

  • COLORS: Orange / Red, Black / Blue, Blue / Orange / Black

  • PRODUCT TESTED: We tested a Light 25°F Quilt and Sheet size large (fits long/wide sleeping pads)

20191023_162440.jpg

PROS

HIGH VERSATILITY – The Zenbivy can adapt to be comfortable in various conditions, making it ideal for use throughout spring, summer, and fall. It can be opened partially for ventilation and movement when it’s warm out, or be battened down like a mummy bag for maximum heat retention when it’s cold. The footbox is designed to change easily from rectangular-style to mummy as well using color-coded hooks, loops, and snaps on the underside. Another unique feature that sets the Zenbivy apart is that it can be completely detached and used without the sheet like a blanket. Essentially, the Zenbivy is a sleeping bag-quilt hybrid. 

Underside view of how the zenbivy sheet attaches to a sleeping pad

Underside view of how the zenbivy sheet attaches to a sleeping pad

EXCELLENT PAD ATTACHMENT SYSTEMThe Zenbivy uses hooks and loops to connect the quilt to the sheet with no zippers to annoyingly snag the fabric. The quilt can be attached to the sheet in several ways, giving you lots of control over your temperature and comfort. Check out this video for an introduction to the Zenbivy Light Bed and the ways it can be configured.

Quilt easily attaches to sheet by loops and hooks.

Quilt easily attaches to sheet by loops and hooks.

Quilt attached to the sleeping pad sheet

Quilt attached to the sleeping pad sheet

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT The goal of the Zenbivy is to give the user a comfortable experience close to the feeling of a bed at home. Instead of being restricted like you are in a mummy bag, the Zenbivy has a roomy, loose feel and allows the user to roll over and move freely without the quilt drafting or slipping off the sleeping pad.

RELATIVELY WARM – The Light 25°F Quilt and Sheet we tested have a lower limit rating of 25°F. That means this system will keep you alive down to 25°F, but we found its comfort rating to be closer to 35°F. The Zenbivy could be used when temperatures dip below freezing if you’re prepared to supplement the quilt’s warmth by wearing base layers, a hat, and a puffy jacket.

20191023_162349.jpg

HOOD – The Zenbivy Sheet features a unique hood that adds comfort and warmth to your sleep system whether you wear it as a hood or rest your head on top of it over a pillow. The hood keeps your pillow from sliding away and provides a soft, pleasant surface to lay on. This is a nice advantage over the typical ultralight quilt.

CONS

SLIGHTLY EXPENSIVE – When purchased together, the Zenbivy Light 25°F Quilt and Sheet are a fairly expensive sleep system. The bed setup costs a bit more than the average high-quality down quilt and is on-parr with high-end mummy bags.

20191023_165048.jpg

HEAVY/BULKY – While the Zenbivy Light Bed weights 20% less than the Zenbivy Original Bed, it’s still significantly heavier and slightly bulkier than other quilts on the market. This is partially due to the fact that the sheet and hood add a bit more coverage and security to the mix, but also because the materials aren’t the lightest/most efficient available. When compared to one of our favorite quilts, the REI Magma Trail 30°F in the same size (wide/long), the Zenbivy is almost a pound heavier, which is a lot if you like backpacking trips in the mountains, with lots of elevation gain and loss. 

LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC SLEEPING PAD SIZE – Since you have to order the right size Zenbivy sheet and quilt to fit your sleeping pad, you’re stuck using that size even if your needs change down the line. For example, a few years ago we mostly used regular size sleeping pads (20 x 72in) to keep weight and bulk to a minimum. But the introduction of Therm-a-Rest’s UberLite Pad allowed us to upsize to a more comfortable wide/long pad (25 x 77in) for roughly the same weight and bulk. But with a fixed size Zenbivy sheet, you’ll have to stick with the same size pad for every trip or buy multiple sheets (and possibly quilts) when your needs change.

20191023_164446.jpg

MEDIOCRE PILLOW The pillow for the Zenbivy is sold separately. While it is compact and lightweight, we found it to be a bit unstable and wobbly, which made it hard to get a good night’s rest on. For our favorite backcountry pillow recommendations, check out our Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows List.

More ZenBivy Photos

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, the Zenbivy Light Bed quilt system is really cozy, comfortable, and versatile. The innovative pad-attachment system makes it feel much more secure than other quilts while still allowing almost unlimited movement. 

For us, it’s a little tough to justify the extra weight to take the Zenbivy Light Bed on rugged backpacking trips, when we could take another ultralight quilt that will weigh about a pound less. But for those who are fed up with constricting mummy bags or drafty quilts, the Zenbivy is certainly worth checking out and might be a great fit. 

If you’re looking for a sleep system that’s warm and portable for front-country camping when weight isn’t super critical, both the Zenbivy Light and Original Bed are awesome options that we’d happily pack for camp comfort.

For more quilt and sleeping bag recommendations, check out our 10 Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags & Quilts List.

20191023_164331.jpg

More Information

We hope this review helps you determine if the Zenbivy is the right quilt system for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions.

For more popular CleverHiker content, check out the following links:



Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.