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  1. #1
    Senior Member 509-T203-KG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mead, WA
    Hammock
    REI Quarter Dome Air
    Tarp
    In the market...
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    Air Pad + Mummy
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    Becket to straps
    Posts
    142

    Zenbivy: Comfort at the Lower Limit?

    Wow. Really impressed with the performance of the Zenbivy Light Bed 25F. I've had it since April, 2020 and have spent 10 or so nights in it, but last night was the coldest I've taken it to by itself...

    The 25 rating is the EN lower limit. The comfort rating is 35. For most of the gear I've tried, the comfort rating is BARELY warm enough for me. So when I went out for the night to test the Zenbivy at it's lower limit wearing only base layers, warm socks, and a balaclava, I fully expected to either be cold all night, or to
    have to bail and go inside.

    Instead, I slept great, only woke up a few times, slept through my morning alarm, and was perfectly warm all night. I had already been impressed with the performance of the Zenbivy at my previous low with it near the comfort rating of 35 back in Spring when I got it, and wondered if it could go lower, but I was honestly kind of shocked to have no problems last night at the 25 lower limit.

    I've done a ton of testing in the 30s, 20s, teens, single digits, below zero, and to a low of -10F, with various gear combinations. So I know what it is to be too cold, too warm, to make adjustments during the night, or from one night to the next. I'm probably acclimated to the cold better than most, so my results would likely not be yours, but from my experience, the Zenbivy outperformed my expectations.

    Maybe it was a fluke... further testing will follow, but I'm very encouraged.

    Under insulation has always been a 5.7 R-Value Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm. Still haven't found its lower limit yet.






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  2. #2
    Senior Member 509-T203-KG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Mead, WA
    Hammock
    REI Quarter Dome Air
    Tarp
    In the market...
    Insulation
    Air Pad + Mummy
    Suspension
    Becket to straps
    Posts
    142
    Gave this a go again last night:

    Forecast: low of 30F, calm
    Hammock: REI Quarter Dome Air
    Tarp: None
    Top insulation: Zenbivy Light Bed 25 lower limit, 35 comfort
    Bottom insulation: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm MAX large 5.7 R-Value
    Clothing: mid-weight base layers and socks, with & without balaclava

    Given that the night before I was perfectly comfortable with this *same setup at 25, I figured Id be fine. And for the most part I was, but when I woke up around 6am, I was just a little cool. Not so much so that I wasnt able to fall back asleep even though I had to pee... just not as comfortably warm as I had been the previous night.

    I found this a bit odd and discouraging until I considered several likely factors, namely:

    1) The actual low temp according to my thermometer was 26.
    2) *No tarp. I havent tested this much as I usually go no tarp if I can, but it seems it can make a several degree difference even with a tarp without doors (Ive never used a tarp with doors).
    3) I got in with the balaclava on, but took it off before falling asleep for comfort. Also didnt think Id need it. I put it back on around 6am which helped.
    4) for some reason I put my lightweight down hoody on the ground rather than over the quilt in the hammock.
    5) When packing up in the morning, I noticed my pad wasnt quite as fully inflated as I usually have it.

    All things considered, Im still extremely pleased with the performance of the Zenbivy. I havent actually measured the loft but its noticeably greater than other down sleeping bags Ive used with similar temperature ratings. Still have yet to try a quilt from any of our many seemingly excellent cottage vendors.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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