By Dan Kidder Managing Editor
I dislike sleeping bags. Your options are a strangulating mummy bag that makes you sleep on your back and stay that way throughout the night or one that freezes off your arms, neck and shoulders.
Well, now there is another option. As a side sleeper, I like to roll around in my bag and as someone with larger shoulders, I like to do so without smothering myself inside my mummy hood. The Z Top Sleeping Bag from Kodiak Canvas gives the perfect combination of a rectangular shaped sleeping bag with a special flap on top to cover my arms and shoulders and still let me move around in my bag.
The patent-pending Z Top can be unzipped and removed for warmer weather and in cold weather it features a knitted neck hole to allow your head to stay outside, while covering your shoulders, keeping cold air out of the top of the bag and still allowing you to reach out easily to unzip or turn off the lantern. If you like to use your arm as a pillow, it covers it so you don’t end up with a frozen limb.
The rest of the bag is a roomy 10-ounce water-resistant cotton canvas shell with a cotton flannel liner, stuffed with Factor 4 hollow-fill insulation. A large rectangular headrest sticks out past the opening and features a pocket to keep a small pillow in place or it can be stuffed with extra clothing to act as a pillow. It even has a tech pocket to keep your phone handy for music during the night.
A gusseted toe box flares around the feet to allow the sleeper to rest with their toes pointed skyward to avoid stiff ankles in the morning.
Heavy duty YKK zippers with anti-snag strips make zipping and unzipping a breeze and won’t move or unzip by accident. A full-length zipper baffle and offsetting seams prevents cold spots and heat loss.
The sleeping bag is available in regular size, 36x90 inches or XLT, 40x95 inches for the bigger guys. It comes in both 0-degree and +20 configurations.
The bag features a small plastic ring on all four corners, stitched to the bag with nylon webbing. These rings are attachment points for the Booster Quilt. Plastic toggles stitched to the quilt allow it to be quickly added or removed from the sleeping bag to provide an additional 30 degrees of protection from the cold for sleeping in sub-zero temperatures. The Booster Quilt is made of the same materials as the sleeping bag and can be used alone in warmer temperatures. This gives you a range of use from 70-degrees to -30 Fahrenheit. Additionally, the Booster Quilt can be used under the sleeping bag as an added layer of padding or insulation from ground cooling. The edges of the quilt extend well over the edges of the bag to provide additional draft resistance on the zippers and seams and also touch the ground or edges of your cot.
This combination isn’t designed for backpacking and the regular bag alone weighs 12-pounds and the quilt adds 6-pounds more, but the versatility and comfort they provide make them an ideal sleep system for camping out of the truck or from horseback.
The bag comes with multiple compression straps to minimize size and a durable and roomy zippered bag with nylon handles. The quilt features a hefty canvas stuff sack with a cinch cord.
As I get older, I appreciate the ability to rapidly get into and out of my sleeping bag and also the ability to move around while I sleep. I also appreciate a sleeping system that will withstand years of use and abuse and that I don’t have to worry will melt from a stray ember from the campfire. I love sleeping under the stars next to my fire and thanks to this system, I can do that just by sliding a wool knit cap on my head to prevent heat loss and a frozen scalp. With the wide range of versatility this sleeping system provides, Kodiak Canvas has me covered year-round and if the quality is anything like their tents, I know it will withstand anything I can throw at it.