Chapter 39: How to Decide on a Left or Right Zip Sleeping Bag

When you purchase your ultralight sleeping bag you’ll usually have the choice of a left or right zipper. The decision sounds simple, but it’s a little trickier than you might think.

As you’re lying on your back, a left zip bag will have the zipper or your left and a right zip bag will have the zipper on your right. This makes the left and right zippers opposite of what you would think if you were facing the bag.

If you’re right handed, don’t assume you’ll want a right zip bag. Most right-handed hikers prefer left zip bags because as you’re lying on your back it’s easier to reach across your body to your left side to use the zipper. Of course, it will be opposite if you are left-handed.

If you are a side sleeper who sleeps primarily on your right side, you probably want the zipper in front of you, so you would choose a right zip bag. If you sleep primarily on your left side and want the zipper in front of you, select a left zip bag.

Some high quality bags are only available in right zips. It’s more important to have a high quality bag than to demand a left or right zip.