Why do Sleeping Bags Have 2 Zippers & How to Use Them?

A few days ago I visited an outdoor gear store and noticed a particular sleeping bag which featured two zippers. That seemed entirely arbitrary at first and got me a little curious. When I got back home, I managed to think about several purposes for that, although deeper research across the internet provided with a better answer. Let’s figure out why do sleeping bags have 2 zippers.

Sleeping bags have two zippers since this configuration servers a better comfort around your shoulders, particularly when placed perpendicularly. Also, they will provide you with better management of the internal ventilation and help you to lower the temperature when it elevates. For last, two zippers would ease the experience for either right and left-handed and serve as a proper reserve in a case one of them gets stuck.

1. Better Comfort

The dual zipper set up tends to make sleeping bags more comfortable. The top zipper serves the function of making sure that the bag is closed tightly and securely.

If you’ve ever spent any time outdoors, then you will appreciate the importance of sealing the human body so thoroughly within the bag that it won’t allow cold air to trespass in significant quantities.

But cutting yourself off from the outside also tends to bring with it some discomfort, especially in cases where the bag has been wrapped so tightly around your shoulders that it takes considerable effort to shift positions.

But this is where the bottom zipper will help. By opening it, you can substantially increase the amount of breathing room available inside the sleeping bag. This will, in turn, make your slumber a more peaceful affair.

2. Proper Ventilation

Sleeping bags are designed in such a way that, once they are zipped up, they will retain any heat you generate. However, sometimes, things can get a little too hot for comfort.

Sometimes, your body generates so much heat that it begins to hamper your enjoyment rather than improving it. But simply unzipping the bag to let some of this warmth out won’t do because you will lose all the heat you have generated up to that point.

This is why two zippers matter. You can manage the internal atmosphere of your sleeping bag by playing with the bottom zipper.

Both of these purposes can be achieved with ease and convenience.

3. Hand Dominance

Besides breathability and ventilation, sleeping bags that feature two horizontal zippers offer better access for both left and right-handed. 

In a supine position, it is easier to reach to the side contrary to your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, for instance, it would feel more comfortable if the zipper is on the left side. 

Sleeping bag producers have solved that issue by placing a zipper on each side – this way you won’t be limited when you choose which one to buy.

4. A Convenient Reserve

When your sleeping gets stuck while you are camping – you are feeling hopeless. The first time it happened to me was also the first time I’ve pitched my own tent. 

Not only that you struggle effortlessly to get it unstuck, your body consistently loses heat. Well, when you have two zippers, you will still be able to use the other one to open the sleeping bag and get out. 

Nevertheless, if your problem is that you can’t close your sleeping bag – two zippers would still won’t do any good. I will elaborate on that matter later on and show you how to fix a jammed zipper.

Can You Zip 2 Sleeping Bags Together?

Sleeping bags that feature two zippers enable a convenient dual zipping. Not only is it possible to zip two sleeping bags together but it is also encouraged for the following reasons:

1) When you zip two bags together, it allows two people to sleep within proximity to each other. This makes for greater comfort because two bodies tend to generate more heat than one.

2) It has been suggested that the zipping together of two bags makes for more romantic sleep because the resulting configuration mimics a proper bed.

3) In that same vein, many a couple appreciates the opportunity this setup gives them to sleep next to one another.

4) With the right brand of sleeping bags, you can actually pull the hoods up and fasten them in place using drawstrings, keeping your heads equally warm.

5) Connected sleeping bags tend to provide more space to maneuver within. It is possible to move about inside without disturbing your partner’s sleep. One person can roll around without shifting the sleeping bag or even bumping into the other.

Suffice it to say, even if the thought has never occurred to you, there are plenty of reasons to zip two sleeping bags together.

What is The Right Way to do so?

First, make sure that both sleeping bags are entirely unfolded and lay next to each other in a symmetrical manner. At this point, you have got to ensure that the sleeping bags feature zippers on opposite sides – both of them should have a zipper facing to the middle. 

Then, zip both sleeping bags through the segment which is closed to the ground. At this point the front area of the sleeping bags is wide open – you may either leave it this way and use them as a blanket or perhaps zip them together for a better seal.

Do All Sleeping Bags Zip Together?

You can’t just combine any two sleeping bags your stumble upon. Certain conditions must be met, for instance:

1) Try to find sleeping bags with two zippers each. This gives you far greater flexibility.

2) One bag must have a left zipper while the other offers a right zipper.

3) You need to make sure that the zippers are of the same size and type.

4) It would also be in your best interest to make sure that the bags are of a similar model.

It is worth mentioning that the rules surrounding the zipping of two sleeping bags together are not absolute. The situations tend to vary depending on the sleeping bags in question.

There are bags of different brands and models that will happily combine so long as the zippers are the same. You also have bags that you can only connect with other bags of the exact same type.

Many modern sleeping bags have labels that will tell you whether or not they can be zipped with other bags. They will even tell you which bags they can combine with, and which bags they are incompatible with.

How Do I Know if The Zippers Will Match?

In all cases, regardless of the type of bag or even the brand, you need the zippers of any given pair of sleeping bags to match before you combine them. In other words, their teeth must be of the same size and the same material. Zippers can be metal, plastic, and coil.

Pay close attention to the material, the size, and the shape of the teeth. It is possible to seek guidance online or from a seasoned camping instructor.

But for the most part, you can just as easily rely on your own eyesight. If you look at the zipper of a particular sleeping bag, it won’t take you long to determine that its teeth are either similar or drastically different from those of the sleeping bag to which you want to connect it.

If the differences between the two zippers are too minute to identify, just go ahead and experiment. Unzip the sleeping bags, spread them out next to one another and see if the teeth can slip into one another to zip up securely.

What If the Sleeping Bags Feature Different Sizes?

Some people insist that two sleeping bags must be of the same size to be zipped together.

But this isn’t necessarily true. It is possible to zip two bags together even if they differ somewhat in size. The resulting bag might lack the neatness and symmetry some people desire, which is probably why they shoot this idea down.

But the size of the bags isn’t necessarily an obstacle to the zipping together of two bags.

Should I Carry Two Sleeping Bags to my Journey?

If you are sleeping with another companion – each one would bring he or she’s own sleeping bag and things would probably be okay. Nevertheless, bringing two sleeping bags could be tempting if you wish to gain this extra comfort. 

If you are planning a short hike or perhaps camping in the same area for a couple of days – I would say bringing two bags shouldn’t be an issue. 

Things get a bit more complicated when you have to hike quite a lot, and your backpack should be lightweight. In general, I wouldn’t pack more than 10% of your own body weight. If your pack weighs more than this – leave the extra sleeping bag at home. 

Either way, I suggest that you take a look at my article in which I’ve discussed how to attach a sleeping bag to a backpack. It would become even handier if you are bringing more than one sleeping bag, or perhaps, carrying the one which belongs to your spouse.

Can I Place Two Sleeping Bags in One Tent?

Having two sleeping bags in one tent may be problematic, even when your tent was meant to populate more than one person. The main reason for that is that tents usually feature a pyramid shape which would make it difficult to straighten up when there are two bags inside. 

The best way to answer this question is by testing your tent back home to see if it could handle more than one bag. If it can’t, you could always camp without a one by hanging a tarp over your sleeping bag. 

If you’ve never done this before, I highly suggest that you take an in-depth look at an article that I’ve written regarding 15 essential camping knots. I have gathered you there all the knots you could possibly imagine and described each one’s instructions elaborately.

How Do You Get a Zipper Unstuck From a Sleeping Bag?

A stuck zipper is quite common and becomes even more relevant when the bag features two zippers. There are a few ways that you can approach complexities that arise from a zipper sleeping bag:

Caught Fabric

If the zip gets caught in the fabric of the bag as you move it up the slider, the easiest way to unstick it is to reverse its direction. 

If that doesn’t work, jiggle it gently until its teeth pulled out of the fabric. Still, it is possible that you will have to use a little force to release it. 

If it seems to stick firmly, perhaps you should make a sharp movement in the opposite direction. If neither of these had worked – you could always cut the problematic area in a way it doesn’t compromise the rest of the teeth.

Jammed Zipper

If the zipper jams, in that it just refuses to move up or down, try to look out for damaged or misaligned teeth. Fix any teeth that can be fixed. 

Where you fail, go to a tailor. It is also possible that it got jammed because of dirt. If you suspect this is the case, make sure that you clean it thoroughly with a toothbrush and see what happens. Do not risk taking the zipper off the bag unless you know what you’re doing.

Conclusions

Some camping gear features may seem entirely arbitrary at first, although when you take a more in-depth look into it, you often figure it serves a significant purpose. 

That is definitely the case of sleeping bags which feature two zippers. Besides better comfort and ventilation, dual zippers enable you to attach to sleeping bags to each other. 

In general, that process requires two sleeping bags which feature zippers on opposite directions. Nevertheless, bags with two zippers are more flexible and may attach to a single zipper bag from either direction. 

For two sleeping bags to match, they should feature the same type of teeth and be on the proper side – make sure you test it before going on your journey. 

I hope my article had answered your question. If you have any questions or new insights – let me know all about them by leaving a comment below!

Giladsu

My name is Gilad, a 24-year-old medical student from Israel. Everyone who knows me would tell you that my absolute favorite thing is traveling. Through my journeys, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience. Now, I am ready and willing to share it all with you! Read more
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