Zefabak Down Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Zefabak Down features 600-fill down in a 90% down, 10% feather mixture. It's available in a few other slightly smaller sizes and lower fills, and a handful of colors.
The Zefabak measures 53 x 84 inches and is one of the larger single-person blankets we tested. It's thick and boasts a high loft, which gives it a rather nice "nesting" vibe. This combination of size and poofiness makes it pleasant to wrap up in on a cold day or wear as a poncho. It is, however, contained in a slippery outer layer of 20D ripstop nylon that isn't the most comfortable against our skin. The mixture of high loft and slippery fabric put it on the border of being warm, yet having the capability of causing you to sweat (when the blanket sticks to your skin). It's most comfortable over a layer of clothing. While we love the oversized poncho it can morph into, our 5'4" main tester had some issues tripping up the stairs while wearing this behemoth blanket.
After you get over the feeling of the slippery nylon exterior against your skin, the Zefabak feels warm. In our insulation testing, it finished in the top half of contenders, doing an above-average job of retaining heat. The 17.6 ounce duck down filling is super large and lofty, and its 90% down/10% feather mixture is on the higher end of down percentage. Despite advertising the same amount of down filling (or less) as the other down blankets we tested, the Zefabak is by far the thickest and warmest of the down-filled bunch. It's also one of the few blankets that's advertised to work for specific temperatures; Zefabak claims this cover can keep you cozy down to 24°F. We'd recommend using it as an extra layer on top of whatever you might normally wear outside on a 24° day, but we don't recommend replacing your sleeping bag with just this blanket (and heading out in below freezing temps).
Five snaps will turn this big blanket into a poncho. If you need your hands, you can still get pretty good coverage without fixing all five closed. If your arms are long enough, the front corners of the poncho have small triangular pockets for your hands. Our main tester has long arms and is 5'4"; she had a difficult time being able to use these pockets, but we also don't feel that they're absolutely necessary.
Against the wind, the Zefabak offers solid protection. And though it's not waterproof, it does a pretty good job repelling most water, only soaking up a small amount into the outer layer after we left a puddle sitting on it for quite some time. However, we worry a bit about the longevity of this blanket's warmth and loft, as it almost instantly allowed tiny pieces of down to start sneaking through to the outside of the blanket. We tested a black version and this is all the more obvious because the entire thing looks like it's covered in a thin layer of dust. Our several months of testing made no discernible difference to its warmth and loft, but we're left with some concerns about how it will fair after years of hard use outdoors.
Weighing a whopping 30 ounces, we're a bit shocked at how large this down blanket truly is! Typically one of the positives of down in an outdoor setting is that it's light and can easily pack down to a small size. Neither of these things is true about the Zefabak, solidly removing it from consideration for a backpacking trip or any travel where space and weight are on tight restriction. It's a bit on the tough side to fit back into the drawstring stuff sack it comes with, and it's a fairly sizeable bag!
Features & Design
The Zefabak's poncho design has five full snaps and its larger size make it the fullest-coverage poncho we tested. Aside from the not-overly-useful hand pockets, it comes with no other features. Notably, it's also NOT machine washable and instead is hand washable only. Despite the inability to give it a thorough cleaning, Zefabak advertises this blanket as a summer sleeping bag replacement. Our testing indicates it might be warm enough to get you through a typical summer night, but it's not quite the right size to lay on and fold over your body unless you're a very small person who doesn't move while sleeping. But you know how you sleep best, so if just a blanket on top sounds like a good idea to you, perhaps this one will work.
Though we appreciate some of the performance aspects of this large, lofty blanket/poncho, it comes at a price that we think is a bit on the high side for what you're getting. Several other down and synthetic options are far more worth the cost and cost a touch more, or are even less. But if the size and extreme loft sound like your ideal blanket, we don't think the cost is outrageous.
This super thick down blanket offers lots of loft and coverage. It turns into a protective poncho and is one of the warmest down blankets we tested. Its weight and bulk do not make for lightweight endeavors and we're not sure its down is well-contained. But if you like to nest in your blanket and don't mind that it's a bit slippery, the Zefabak is a solid choice.
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