Couples: Consider Zipping Your Sleeping Bags Together

Alee January 31, 2012 5

Today, Kat and I did the most romantic thing a couple can do: purchased sleeping bags that zip together!

The Macpac bags happily zipped together!

Why? 
- Having two bodies in a sleeping bag is FAR warmer than one;
- It will be nice to be able to sleep next to each other after a long day on the road;
- It feels much more like you’re in a bed;
- Our sleeping bags stay bottom-side down when we sleep; and
- We can use one stuff sack rather than two.

We both had fantastic sleeping bags already, but for our big trip we wanted to change a few things about our current bags, to make them lighter-weight and warmer. The bags of choice today were:

Macpac Express 400 XL for Alex
Weight: 820g
Fill weight: 400gms
Fill power: 800+ Loft
Temp rating: Comfort 2ºC / Limit -4ºC / Extreme -21ºC

Macpac Express 600 STD for Kat 
Weight: 980g
Fill weight: 600gms
Fill power: 800+ Loft
Temp rating: Comfort -2ºC / Limit -8ºC / Extreme -28ºC

The XL bag is slightly longer to accomodate my bigger frame. The difference in size doesn't affect the ability for them to zip together!

More on the sleeping bags in a review coming soon!

So far we have discovered when zipped together:
- The hoods can be done up with their drawstrings to keep our heads warm;
- There is a feeling of much more room in the bag than having an individual bag;
- It is easy enough for one person to sit up and reach something whilst the other’s sleeping (as there is ample room);
- By unzipping the top zipper all the way down, we can independently choose to have the top of our sleeping bags on or off our bodies;
- We can roll around without the sleeping bag moving with us; and
- There is lots of room to sleep apart, for times when it is warm and we don’t want to brush shoulders.

If you are thinking of purchasing bags that zip together, you’ll need to:
- Have one sleeping bag that offers a left zip and another that offers a right;
- Make sure that your zips are the same size, or your bags the same model; and
- Use sleeping mats that are the same thickness.

The two bags are weighing 1850g inside this medium Sea to Summit compression sack!

Including a waterproof stuff sack, our bags are sub-1900g - which is actually around the same weight, temp rating and size as Kat’s previous sleeping bag alone! It is worth noting that often extra long sleeping bags are only available in a right hand zip. This means that the smaller of the bags must have a left hand zip. We were surprised to find out that although our bags are different lengths, the zips on both of our Macpac bags are the same length, leaving no exposed zip thread!

On the Macpac bags, the zips finish at the same point even though the bags are different sizes!

Although we have’t spent much time in our bags together, we are confident that we are on the right track here. It will be most beneficial in cooler countries where we will be able to share body heat, as well as snuggle together.

As we generally share sleeping space in a double bed, we believe that even after extended periods of time on the road, being ‘zipped together’ will make camping feel more like being in our own bedroom, and less like tent-sleeping. Not that camping is a bad thing though, as I cannot see myself getting sick of it… but now I’m imagining the first night when we sleep alone will just not feel right anymore.

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  • Campbell

    Congrats on you choice of sleeping bags! We’re certyain you’ve chosen wisely.
    Cam (from macpac)

  • Asman

     Great sleeping bag, unfortunately comes with a tiiiiny storage bag.

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      We actually haven’t used the storage bags. We’ve always been big fans of the Sea to Summit compression sacks, as we can stuff everything in a larger bag and compress it down! (Not to mention the ones we use are waterproof!)

  • Kerem

    Hello,

    Very informative piece of text here!

    May I ask, if the double-sleeping-bag idea worked fine in more harsh winter conditions? Say, your sleeping bags are comfy enough for -2 Celcius. Were you still comfortable while coupled in the limit range, or were you feeling chilly? Was the void area above the zipper (near the hoods) a problem?

    Today I was talking to a friend of mine, who told me he tried coupling his sleeping bag with someone, but in the end they were far too cold… I am suprised (and happy) that you were warm enough.

    Thanks for your advice,
    Kerem, from Istanbul!

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alee Denham

      Hi Kerem

      There’s only been a handful of nights that we haven’t zipped together our bags, and most of the time it wasn’t because we were too cold. Kat’s quite a cold sleeper generally, and I’m the opposite, so my body warmth is normally enough for the both of us if we stay close.

      That said, there are heat losses associated with zipping together bags. In the cold, we tuck the top of our sleeping bags in near our necks, which seems to stop a lot of it.

      Still very happy with our setup!
      Alee