Is it really possible for two to become one? We’re talking about sleeping bags here and whether two single sleeping bags can be zipped together to make a warm and comfortable double bag?
Yes, you can zip two sleeping bags together in many cases. However, there are many designs out there and not all sleeping bags can be joined successfully.
There is a mind-boggling array of sleeping bags designs to choose from, so when you’ve found your perfect single bag, it might be a hard ask to relinquish control of that zipper and double your bag space.
But once you’ve made that mental leap it still might not be a done deal.
We are going to unravel the confusing, long-standing online debate and answer the question, ‘Can sleeping bags be zipped together?’
It’s a good idea to buy two new compatible bags, or a double, or a double that unzips to form two singles instead.
See our top double sleeping bag picks for 2020 here
This way you can keep your single sleeping bag for those lone adventures and have the double for those experiences where you share your journey and your bag!
To help you decide which sleeping bags you should be buying, here’s the lowdown on what to look for.
It’s all about the zip
Left or right?
That’s the first question.
If you have a zip on the right hand of your bag you cannot join it with a bag with a zip on the same side.
You will have to zip it to a bag with a zip on the left-hand side. Even then though, that’s not the end of the issue.
Some have found that the male and female parts of the zip don’t align with the other bag, so unless you can get some clear answers from the manufacturers or can experiment yourself with the zips, it’s going to be a bit of a risk.
Also, even if it’s a bag made from the same company and it’s the same length, often zips still aren’t the same size or type and frustratingly won’t join together!
For some companies like Teton, the sleeping bags have to be the same length and the same temperature rating as well as left and right openings for them to hook up properly.
They say in their guidelines though that colour doesn’t affect compatibility – I say, thank goodness for that!
They’ve made it easy with their Mammoth range though.
They are designed with zips on both sides so that you can fasten as many bags together as you like from any of their temperature ratings.
Cue world’s largest sleeping bag attempt…
It’s all about the bag
If it’s a rectangular sleeping bag that unzips all the way around to form a duvet, then you will be able to zip two of the same together to form a double bag.
The zips will be down the sides of the bag and not stuck in the middle as they would be if the rectangular bag doesn’t open at the bottom.
If it’s a bag that doesn’t unzip all the way around or if it’s a mummy, then it’s a case of checking the manufacturer’s information.
Some produce differing left and right openings and so they will fit together.
Having said that, bear in mind that with a mummy bag you will always have your feet in the bottom section of your bag, separate to your partners, so you won’t be able to play footsie!
Unfortunately, presuming that just because you have had a particular sleeping bag for a few years it will be compatible with the same bag currently on the market isn’t always a good idea.
Manufacturers often update their sleeping bags by changing their zips from season to season.
What are the advantages of zipping two sleeping bags together?
Snuggling up to the one you love means romance doesn’t have to suffer when you’re under the heavens.
It’s definitely nice to get someone else’s body heat when you are feeling cold.
Great for when you are hiking long distances and weight is an issue. Each of you carrying a single bag is going to be easier than one of you carrying a double.
It’s versatile to have the option of sleeping solo or doubling up depending on the weather, or how grubby you or your partner are after a long day adventuring!
What are the disadvantages?
Some designs can be a tight fit when you’ve zipped together. If you’re a fidgety sleeper, then it’s going to be hard to move without disturbing your partner.
Getting up during the night might be a bit more difficult too.
Zip openings can be in an awkward position, down the middle of the joined bags. Although this isn’t the case for bags that open up completely like a duvet.
Relationships are all about compromise however, with central zippers, just sticking a leg out when you get hot is a bit more difficult.
On really cold nights it is still going to be warmer in your own single bag than in a joined one despite the extra body heat.
The increased volume of air in a double is harder to heat up and there is a bigger opening for cold air to get in.
Practice at home before you go on your joint venture. Some zips can be tricky to maneuver so practicing beforehand is a good idea.
Don’t allow yourself to get to your resting spot tired, and in darkness without having previously worked out the zip technique.
Check out what the manufacturers say
Not all bags follow the rules!
Some companies don’t have bags that zip up at all.
Another company that make it easy for you are Coleman.
All their rectangular bags are designed to zip together. Each one opens up as a blanket which also means that the zip isn’t down the middle.
There is no universal rule about whether you can zip sleeping bags together.
If you want to know if your current bag will be compatible with another, you are best contacting manufactures.
Alternatively, buy on Amazon and try it out. If it doesn’t fit, use the free returns to send it back and try again.
Pay particular attention to the zips, openings, and design of both bags.
See you on the mountain.