sleeping bags left or right zipper

Share me!

Choosing Left or Right Zip Sleeping Bag for Your Needs:

Selecting a sleeping bag involves more than just warmth, weight, and where you intend to use it. The location of the zipper is a key factor that influences comfort and practicality, especially during the night if you need to make a quick exit. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you choose between left and right zip sleeping bags.

Why Zipper Orientation Matters

The side of the zipper affects usability, compatibility with other camping gear, and overall comfort. Consider these factors:

Hand Dominance

  • Right-handed people: May find left-zip sleeping bags more convenient.
  • Left-handed people: Might prefer right-zip sleeping bags.


  • Joining sleeping bags: Ensure the zippers are compatible to avoid problems in remote areas where you are unable to find a quick solution.

Tent Arrangement

  • Ease of access: The zipper side can affect how easily you can access it inside your tent.

For more tips on setting up your tent and preparing for camping, check out our Complete Guide to Camping for Beginners & First-timers.

Overview of Left and Right Zip Sleeping Bags

Left Zip Sleeping Bags

  • Best for: Right-handed people.
  • Benefits: Easier to operate with your preferred hand.
  • Pairing: Can be zipped together with another left-zip sleeping bag.

Right Zip Sleeping Bags

  • Best for: Left-handed people.
  • Benefits: More accessible for left-handed individuals when lying on their back.
  • Pairing: Can be zipped together with another right-zip sleeping bag.

Insights from Personal Experience

Being right-handed, I find left-zip bags more user-friendly, especially when you or your 5-year-old needs to do that dreaded midnight run to the loo. Which hand you would use to grab your zipper with first in the middle of the night is a real factor when choosing a sleeping bag.

Eco-Friendly and Ethical Choices

When choosing a sleeping bag, consider brands that prioritize sustainability. Look for those that use recycled materials, uphold ethical labor standards, and employ sustainable manufacturing processes. Notable brands include:

  • The North Face: Commended for their efforts in sustainability and lessening their carbon footprint.

For more on sustainable camping, explore our Eco Camping Tips for Low-Impact Tent Camping 2024.

Practical Advice

  • Try Both: Test both left and right zip sleeping bags before buying one. Don’t be shy to climb right in and test them out in-store, I assure you nobody will mind.
  • Consider Gear Integration: Think about how the zipper orientation will work with your other equipment.
  • Check Compatibility: If you plan to zip two bags together, make sure they have matching zippers to avoid any unplanned disasters when unpacking and setting up.

For a comprehensive packing list, see our Essential Camping Packing List for Outdoor Adventures 2023.

Sleeping Bag Comparisons

Patagonia: The “850 Down Sleeping Bag”

  • Features: Made from 100% down feathers for extra comfort (not vegan-friendly).
  • Left Zip: Perfect for right-handed users.
  • Right Zip: Perfect for left-handed users.
  • Summary: High comfort and warmth, premium price.

REI: The “Co-op Magma”

  • Features: Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, sustainable materials used.
  • Left Zip: Preferred by right-handed users.
  • Right Zip: Preferred by left-handed users.
  • Summary: Comfortable and at a much cheaper price.

North Face: The “Cat’s Meow”

  • Features: Synthetic insulation, ideal for damp conditions and environmentally friendly. 
  • Left Zip: Convenient for right-handed users.
  • Right Zip: Suitable for left-handed users.
  • Summary: My personal favourite as I feel cocooned, safe and secure.
52DZ 4K7 hero

For more tips on enhancing your camping comfort, check out 11 Steps to Make Camping More Comfortable.


1. How do I decide between a left or right zip sleeping bag? Choosing between a left or right zip sleeping bag largely depends on your hand dominance. Right-handed individuals typically find left-zip bags more convenient, while left-handed individuals may prefer right-zip bags. Additionally, consider how the zipper orientation will integrate with your other camping gear and whether you plan to join two sleeping bags together.

2. Are there any eco-friendly options for sleeping bags with specific zipper orientations? Yes, many brands now offer eco-friendly sleeping bags with both left and right zipper options. Look for brands that use recycled materials, uphold ethical labor standards, and employ sustainable manufacturing processes. Notable brands include The North Face, Patagonia, and REI.

3. Can I zip together a left-zip sleeping bag with a right-zip sleeping bag? Yes, you can zip together a left-zip sleeping bag with a right-zip sleeping bag, which is ideal for couples or when you need extra space. However, ensure that both sleeping bags are compatible, as not all zippers are designed to match each other. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for compatibility.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether to go with a left or right zip sleeping bag depends on which hand you use more, your individual preferences, and your specific camping needs. By evaluating the advantages of each option and how they fit into your overall camping gear, you can pick a sleeping bag that maximizes your comfort and ease while in the great outdoors.

For further insights on ethical gear choices, visit our Guide to Ethical Outdoor Clothing and Sustainable Gear 2023.

“Remember to Embrace the outdoors, where life is lived and loved to the fullest.”

Further Reading and References

  1. Advnture’s Guide on Left vs. Right Zip Sleeping Bags
  2. Tent Camping Trips – Important Considerations for Sleeping Bag Zippers
  3. REI Expert Advice on Choosing Sleeping Bags

Share me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *