In today's market most sleeping bags out there come with two zipper positioning: At the left or right hand side or the bag.
And which one should you get?
In summary; unless you are super uncoordinated with your secondary hand, own a bivy sack/a tent with side entrance or planning to mate two sleeping bags to one another - zipper side doesn't matter at all - so go for the cheaper one. If they cost the same, get the left zip bag if you're right handed and vice versa since it's a little easier to operate with your primary hand.
There's a confusion regarding the orientation of these bags, so let's clear that out first:
- Right hand zipper: The zipper will be on your right hand side when you're inside the bag and lying on your back.
- Left hand zipper: The zipper will be on your left hand side when you're inside the bag and lying on your back.
As you see, the zipper sides aren't named as if you're facing the the bag directly in front of you - but as if you're inside them.
If you own a bivy sack
The zipper of sleeping bag and the bivy sack should be facing the same side (duh).
If you own a tent with side entrance
The zipper of sleeping bag and the entrance of the tent should be facing the same side (duh x2).
If you're planning to mate two sleeping bags to one another
Zippers shouldn't be on the same side (duh x3).
If you're super uncoordinated with your secondary hand
Yeah, get the opposite sided zipper. Example:
- If you're right handed and your left hand is literally retarded, get a left handed bag since your right hand wouldn't be able to zip an upper right zipper of a sleeping bag.
Vice versa for left handed folks.
But, again, this should be like 0.1% of population.
If you're a side sleeper
Get the the one that is zipped to the side you're facing while sleeping. Example:
- If you're sleeping on your right side, get a bag with the zipper on the right as it'll be easier for you to adjust the zipper during the night.
Vice versa for left side sleepers.
If you're a side sleeper and looking for a sleeping bag, check out this post of mine where I talk about spoon shaped Nemo Sleeping Bags designed specifically for side sleepers.
If you're none of these... Get the cheaper one. Doesn't matter, really. If they cost the same, get the left zip bag if you're right handed and vice versa since it's a little easier to operate with your primary hand.
If you're none of them, zipper side doesn't matter at all - so go for the cheaper one. Just ONE exception - if you're super uncoordinated with your secondary hand (which I'd seriously doubt you are), get the left hand zipper if you're right handed and vice versa since it's easier to reach out to the other side of your body.
I hope this review was helpful for you to understand whether the sleeping bag with a right or left hand side zipper would be a better choice for your needs.
Feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback and I'll be happy to respond in the comment section below if it's within my knowledge.
Thanks a lot for reading. Happy trails.
References & Further Reading