Depending on the type, quality, padding and built-in features of your sleeping bag, it can become difficult to fit it into its pouch or a stuff sack, especially in the case of a premium winter-purposed down-filled sleeping bag. If even the slightest amount of air is left pocketed within the sleeping bag, it’ll be near impossible to make it fit in a stuff sack or pouch. If your sleeping bag comes with a specifically designed stuff sack or compression pouch which has no space issues, then avoid rolling it and compressing it to save space.
Simply push it into the stuff sack steadily and seal the bag. If it doesn’t fit easily, as is commonly the case, then follow our easy instructions on how to roll a sleeping bag into a stuff sack safely.
Roll Up a Sleeping Bag into a Stuff Sack Step by Step
If you are using a stuff sack to save space and prefer rolling up your sleeping bag to make it more compact, then follow these six simple steps:
Clean Your Sleeping Bag
Prior to packing your sleeping bag away, make sure to shake it out in order to clear away any dirt or debris present. Do a spot check and clean away any grime or moisture which may be present.
Lay It Out and Zip It Up
Once your sleeping bag is clean, lay it out flat on a clean dry surface and make sure that any features such as netting or built-in pillows are tucked neatly into place. Zip up any zippers all the way to the top and fasten any fasteners.
Fold your sleeping bag in half across its length aligning the edges and corners perfectly.
Begin to neatly and tightly roll the sleep bag beginning at the open end and rolling towards the feet. It is best to apply gentle pressure with either one knee or both as your roll in order to keep it tightly wound.
Tie Up Your Rolled Up Sleeping Bag
When you reach the end of the sleeping bag secure it with its straps, tying any cords present around it using a basic knot such as the one used to tie your laces.
Packing Your Sleeping Bag into a Stuff Sack
Put your rolled up sleeping bag into your stuff sack with the zippers showing upward in order to grant the best ventilation while it is packed away.
Tips and Safety Steps When Rolling Your Sleeping Bag
If your sleeping bag carries either a wind- or water-resistant coating (or both), turn it inside out before rolling it up and putting it into your stuff sack. Reverse the bag, zip it up and then roll the sleeping bag as per usual.
A stuff sack work very well for packing items together tightly. Roll your sleeping bag up with other items such as items of clothing or camping pillows before packing them into your compression sack. Always air out all items which have been stored in a stuff sack and refrain from leaving goods out in the sun when they are packed into one.
Regardless of how you stuff your sleeping bag into your stuff sack these give factors should always be avoided:
- Never roll your sleeping bag up when it is wet in any way
- Never roll your sleeping bag up without the zipper zipped all the way to the top
- Never roll your sleeping bag up with any hard, rigid objects still present inside (only roll up completely soft items)
- Never store your sleeping bag in a stuff sack which is unnecessarily small
- Never store your sleeping bag in its stuff sack for longer than the trip home
When Possible, Stuff It In
Stuffing is highly preferable to rolling and much easier. Without unnecessary compression there are no areas where the lining wears thin and the creases are minimal. The longer insulation is compressed the more loft it loses. Always use the largest stuff sack which fits your sleeping bag and its accessories.
If you already have a sleeping bag which has difficulty fitting into its stuff sack, consider buying a bigger bag or resort to unpacking your sleeping pack and rather folding it after leaving it to air once you’ve arrived back home.
Keeping it in check ensures that it is constantly clean, removing the need to machine wash your sleeping bags and run the risk of damaging the waterproofing while generally taking an excessive amount of time to try.