Best sleeping bag: The best sleeping bags from $30

The right sleeping bag should offer the perfect blend of cosiness and warmth for a good night’s sleep. Here’s our pick of the best.

Whether you want a sleeping bag for backpacking in the Himalayas or for rather tamer caravan trips in the UK, you’ll need to find the right one to ensure a decent night’s kip. Perhaps you only need one for occasional use at this year’s festivals – or maybe you want a stand-out double one to share with your significant other in the great outdoors.

Should you buy down or synthetic? Right or left hand zip? Rectangular or mummy shape? And then there’s the price tag, which can range from just a few quid up to over a grand. Whatever your needs, we’ve got it covered – not only in terms of which features to look out for, but our top recommendations.

How to buy the best sleeping bag for you

How do I choose the right season and temperature ratings?
To help quickly compare sleeping bags, they are roughly classified by season ratings one to four. Season one bags are made for summer camping, when the weather is mild, as well as for indoor use. Season two bags are ideal for late spring to early autumn temperatures. Season three bags are made for autumn and winter weather but not frost. And season four bags are designed to keep you toasty on cold, frosty and even snowy winter nights.

Meanwhile, temperature ratings are split into the ‘comfort’ rating and the ‘extreme’ temperature. The former is the optimum temperature at which you’ll feel warm and comfortable – meaning that if the bag is used in temperatures below that rating, you’ll probably get cold. The ‘extreme’ temperature rating (on more technical bags) refers to survival conditions – in other words, the limit at which the bag will keep you alive without frostbite and suchlike.

But don’t just think about the air temperature. Also consider how much you personally feel the cold, what clothing you intend to sleep in and what will be underneath you. In particular, remember the inner bag – not only does it add about half a season to the rating (too hot in summer? simply use the inner bag on its own), but it also keeps your sleeping bag clean and easier to wash, thereby increasing your bag’s lifespan and hygiene. If in doubt, go for a warmer sleeping bag than you think you’ll need – and that goes particularly for women, who tend to feel the cold more than men.

What about size, weight and shape?
If you’re only ever going to transport your sleeping bag in the spacious boot of your 4X4, you may not mind if your sleeping bag is on the bulkier, heavier side. But if you’ve got to backpack around the mountains with it, a tiny, lightweight option may be more tempting. In this case, be sure to check the packed size and weight.

In terms of shape, traditional sleeping bags are rectangular, with a zip that goes round two sides. The benefits of these are that they’re spacious and can be opened up to use as a blanket. But on the downside they don’t tend to retain the heat all that well – meaning that they’re best suited to caravanning, summer camping and indoor use, while mummy-shaped ones are better for more serious camping and people who feel the cold. Mummy-shaped ones also tend to weigh less.

How about the materials?
Down is the best filling for warmth-to-weight ratio, heat retention and temperature range – meaning that you can use it in both warm and cold conditions. Sleeping bags made from down also tend to last longer and are easier to pack up in small bags.

While synthetically insulated sleeping bags are usually heavier and bulkier, they are generally better at keeping you warmer when it’s wet or humid – as well as drying out quicker – and they are easier to clean and generally a good deal cheaper. And for people who are allergic to down, synthetic will be their only choice.

What do I need to consider about the zip?
Is the zip in the most practical place and does it work smoothly without sticking? Do you want it to be left or right hand opening (if you’re right handed, choose a left-hand bag and vice versa – and if you’re buying two that may need to connect together, buy one of each)? Do you need a two-way zip (good for easy opening when you need ventilation)? And do you want the zip to be full-length or only go half-way? Some bags have an insulated zip baffle behind the zip, which will stop the cold getting in, while others have a zip cover to stop it coming undone while you’re asleep.

The best sleeping bags to buy

1. Snugpak Softie 9: The best all-round sleeping bag

This is the most versatile sleeping bag – that doesn’t cost a bomb – which we have come across. While officially three-season, you can easily transform it into a four-season one by adding a Snugpak liner (available separately) and you can also make it bigger by buying Snugpak expander panels. It’s got a reinforced foot that means you can sleep with your boots on – good for nights when you need to be on guard or get up at a moment’s notice. The hood with drawstring works wonders for warmth and Snugpak throws in a free pillow (only with the lime green version though) if the hood doesn’t suffice for supporting your head. We were also impressed with the quality of the stitching – a problem with many sleeping bags at this price.

Key specs – Type: 3 season; Comfort temperature: -5°c; Extreme temperature: -10°c; Filling: 100% polyester; Weight: 1.5kg; Pack size: 19 x 21cm; Warranty: 1 year

2. Urban Escape Mummy Sleeping Bag: The best sleeping bag for festivals

If you want a no-frills, budget sleeping bag for under £15 that won’t fall to pieces after just one summer and will keep you cosy but not clammy, then this gets a big thumbs up from us. Unlike many in this price range, it’s double layered with decent stitching and the hood (which you can tighten using the drawstring) will help keep you warm, as well as adding some cushioning under your head. The internal security pocket is a nifty feature that will keep your valuables safe – a boon at festivals – and the zip isn’t prone to snagging. But give yourself a bit of time to fit it back in the bag after use, and don’t expect it to be much cop on very cold nights.

Key specs – Type: 2-3 Season; Comfort temperature: Not stated; Filling: 60% siliconized hollowfibre filling, 40% monofibre filling; Weight: 1.7kg; Pack size: Not stated, Sleeping size: 230 x 80cm; Warranty: 1 year

3. Rab Neutrino 800: The best sleeping bag for serious backpacking

This is the daddy of all sleeping bags, in our opinion – but with this price-tag, you’ll have to be a seasoned traveller to even think about buying it. Remarkably lightweight, given the warmth it brings on the coldest of nights (we’re talking -20° C), the goose down filling is also nice and lofty – an extremely welcome feature at the end of hard day’s walking. The zips glide like a knife through butter, never sticking, and we also like the internal collar at the base of the hood and hood draw cord – both handy for extra warmth when required. Whether you’re climbing mountains or trekking through the Rockies, you can say goodbye to cold spots at night and hello to a feeling of duvet-like snugness that will leave you fresh as a daisy the following morning, when you can also compress your bag with notable ease. Oh and the Polygiene odour control treatment works a treat too – for which anyone sharing your tent may be particularly grateful.

Key specs – Type: 4 season; Extreme temperature: -20° C; Filling: 800FP European Goose Down / Rab® fluorocarbon free Hydrophobic Down; Weight: 1.22kg; Pack size: 24 x 33cm; Warranty: Lifetime

4. Outwell Cardinal Double: The best double sleeping bag

In days gone by, a double sleeping bag usually meant zipping together two single ones, often fumbling about in the dark cursing the snagging zips that would never seem to marry up. Today, there’s all manner of genuinely double options that feel almost as roomy as your double duvet back at home. This one will set you back a bit more than many, but it even feels like a duvet, thanks to the soft-touch polyester microfibre shell with polycotton lining, lofty filling and zip-less front entry point with duvet cover. We also love the built-in pillows and foot zip in case you get hot and sticky on warmer nights. And while we were dreading trying to fit so much fabric into the compression bag, we found it surprisingly easy.

Key specs – Type: 3 season; Comfort temperature: 7℃; Extreme temperature: -12℃; Filling: Isofill Premium; Weight: 4.6kg; Pack size: 52 x 52 x 26cm; Warranty: 2 years

5. Robens Pamir 250: The best lightweight sleeping bag

You’ll hardly know you’re even carrying this around, thanks to it being ultralight and extremely compressed when in its storage sack. As such, it’s a fabulous sleeping bag for fast action summer outdoor adventures, without compromising on quality. Indeed, it boasts a soft, light and strong shell, along with nylon taffeta lining for comfort and a luxurious duck down filling – as well as full-length insulated zip baffle for extra warmth. Features that help keep it light include the auto-lock half-way centre zip (which still allows easy access) and tapered profile down in the leg area (which also helps improve insulation). And although the sleeping bag itself is less efficient in wet weather, the roll-top carry bag will protect the down in transit. It should last you a very long time too.

Key specs – Type: 1-2 season; Comfort temperature: 11℃; Extreme temperature: -6℃; Filling: 90% down, 10% feathers (700FP); Weight: 590g; Pack size: 30 x 14cm; Warranty: 2 years

Hyke and Byke 32 F Ultralight Mummy Down Sleeping Bag Review

The Hyke & Byke Shavano 32 F Ultralight sleeping bag comes in two sizes, making it perfectly suited to people on all sides

Finding the best sleeping bag can be difficult. There are so many to choices on the market, they all have different objects and include unique features. However, do not be overwhelmed by the process of choosing a sleeping bag. The first step is to determine the type of weather and at what time of the year you will need a sleeping bag.

For example, if you are looking to buy a sleeping bag that can keep you warm and comfortable on cold nights, then the Ultra-Moment Down Sleeping Bag Hyke and Byke Shavano 32 F could be a good sleeping bag for that you can look at.

 

REVIEW

The Hyke and Byke Shavano 32 F Ultralight sleeping bag comes in two sizes, making it perfectly suited to people on all sides, although individuals of 6’6 “and under are the targeted customers. While this sleeping bag is designed for feeling comfortable, it still has plenty of room to accommodate people who twist and turn when they sleep.In addition, this sleeping bag can be used in any place that stays above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

review of hyke and byke sleeping bag

Examination of the sleeping bag hyke and byke

Despite being able to manage only temperatures of 32 degrees and above, the Ultralight Mummy sleeping bag has several unique features, such as cords near the shoulders and head, designed to keep people warm during the nights of cooling. In addition, this sleeping bag is made from durable materials that will prevent it from tearing easily.

Although it is not a good sleeping bag to use in glacial climates, and that there is a small possibility, it will have a faulty zipper, it is always a reliable sleeping bag which will provide you with all the necessary tools to sleep a whole night on the trail.

BEST USE

The Hyke and Byke Shavano Ultralight Mummy sleeping bag is a good sleeping bag for hikers throughout the year and camping. It has been specifically designed to keep people warm in climates as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, its real ability to keep people warm is heavily debated among customers. Therefore, if you want to be on the right side, it is best to stick to the campsite in the fall and spring.

HYKE and BYKE SHAVANO 32 F ULTRALIGHT LUXURY BAG

Overall, this Hyke and Byke sleeping bag has a good reputation for keeping backpackers warm, dry and comfortable throughout the year. Do not be discouraged by its affordable price. This sleeping bag gives its competition a run for its money.

PACKAGING

Whether you’re buying regular or long waist, the Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag is compact enough when packed in its bag. When wrapped, the normal size compresses to 5.7 x 6.5 x 12.4 inches and the long waist compresses up to 5.9 x 6.7 x 12.6 inches.

Weight of the sleeping bag

In addition, there are cinch straps that curl on each side of the stack of materials. Therefore, the straps will help to compress the sleeping bag to its smallest size, which makes it very quick and easy to package.

While the size is slightly higher than that of another light sleeping bag, the Ultralight Mummy can still fit comfortably in a backpack, leaving plenty of room for other hiking equipment.

DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILITY
The look of the Hyke sleeping bag and Byke Mummy is similar to other bags in momic style. In fact, you might not think it’s something special at first glance, but the Hyke and Byke sleeping bag has an extremely functional design. This will make you really feel a mummy when you squeeze into this comfortable but comfortable sleeping bag.

The bag has a double zipper, which allows it to zip and unzip it up or down, which facilitates entry and exit. Individuals can also empty the top zipper. This way, there is no chance of closing the zipper while you sleep overnight.

YKK zipper sleeping bag

Overall, the design of this sleeping bag offers maximum comfort and warmth when most needed.

This sleeping bag is designed to be durable. The duck is not damaged when it is compressed into the material bag. The bag is made of 400T 20 D ripstop nylon fabric, which is an extremely durable material.

The Ripstop fabric is woven together in a crochet pattern, which makes it tear resistant. The 20 D seam does not have the highest fiber density, but it is still quite strong. As a general rule, 20 D are strong enough to prevent the seams from spreading, while reducing the weight of the sleeping bag.

However, there have been many problems with the YKK zippers. Many customers have had problems with the zipper blocked. It is possible that the zipper is blocked so often because the teeth are not wide enough.

WEIGHT

Many sleeping bags that can be used all year and claim to be lightweight, are not lightweight. Often, they still weigh about 4 pounds. Some customers may not consider the Ultralight Mummy Ultralight Sleeping Bag because of the fact that 3-season sleeping bags can be even lighter. However, this sleeping bag is very close to being ultralight.

weight of the sleeping bag

The regular size weighs only 2.09 pounds and the long waist weighs only 2.44 pounds. Therefore, both sizes weigh less than 2.5 pounds. Maybe 2.5 pounds looks a lot like a weight when you have to carry other equipment, but considering that this bag can keep you warm in climates as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s definitely worth it.

HEAT

There are a few factors that probably have priority when you look at different sleeping bags. How much does it weigh? What is sustainability? And how warm is he?

If you are an individual who is hiking or camping in cold climates, you need a sleeping bag that will keep you warm. However, if you are camping in warmer climates, you need a sleeping bag that will not burn you during the night either.

The Ultralight Mummy sleeping bag offers a good balance for hikers and campers who have to use it every season. Although it is not built for freezing temperatures, it is designed to keep people warm on nights that can be as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

heat of the sleeping bag

Made with duck, this sleeping bag is washed, providing a good layer of insulation. There are also some additional features that allow to block the heat on cold nights. With a foot box at the bottom of the sleeping bag, there are several cords that can be pulled to tighten the bag and keep the heat trapped around the shoulders and face.

There are reports that this sleeping bag has failed to keep people warm once temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. There are even reports that this bag can not handle a climate of 50 degrees. However, a random manufacturer defect or insufficient bag breakdown could be the problem.

The majority of individuals have no worry about staying warm in colder climates. Some have even reported that when they wore multiple layers, this sleeping bag kept them in colder climates than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

DIMENSIONS

Since it is a sleeping bag for moms, it is supposed to feel warm and comfortable. However, just because the mom’s sleeping bags are supposed to feel comfortable, this does not mean they should tighten. Fortunately, the Hyke bag and Byke Mummy offers plenty of room for individuals to twist and turn.

Dimensions of the sleeping bag

The exact dimensions of this sleeping bag are not included. However, according to Hyke and Byke, the regular size can fit individuals up to 6’1 “and the long waist can accommodate individuals up to 6’6”.

Even if the exact dimensions are not provided on a website, prospective customers should not be concerned if they fit comfortably or not. The high recommendation of Hyke and Byke seems to be reliable. There does not seem to be any complaints about the size of this sleeping bag.

TIME RESISTANCE
Beginner hikers may not realize the importance of having a weatherproof sleeping bag. Beginners may make the mistake of thinking that their tent will keep them completely protected from rain, wind, snow and other harsh weather conditions. However, tents are not infallible.

They can become ripped, allowing the wind to cross. Or they could leak, causing moisture inside the tent. Therefore, it is always an innovative idea to have a sleeping bag that can protect you if your tent fails.

OVERVIEW

The Ultralight Mummy sleeping bag is a good option, which comes in five assorted colors, for all individuals. Short and tall individuals can buy the size that suits them. Even individuals around the maximum recommended height should find this sleeping bag to be spacious instead of claustrophobic. Although, as it is a momic sleeping bag, it is designed to have a tight fit to keep the heat trapped better.

Although this sleeping bag is not advertised as a 3-season sleeping bag, it is best to avoid using it during the winter when it is iced. However, in climates that do not fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this sleeping bag will keep you warm. Due to the cords near the shoulders and face, as well as the crate and duck layer down, staying warm should not be a problem despite some customer reports.

Some customers reviews on Amazon.com

” Good sleeping bag, that’s well made and very comfortable and lightweight perfect for backpacking! I used it on a 6-day backpacking trip in the California Eastern Sierra during August. Most of the time spent above 10000 feet! So the nights were a little nippy. Inside

Most of the time spent above 10000 feet! So the nights were a little nippy. Inside tent while sleeping I had a watch with thermometer capability and was able to track inside temps. Needless to say the coldest inside temp one night was 36 degrees, and I was a little too cold even to an uncomfortable level, sleep was disturbed by this fact.

This was despite wearing lightweight silky thermal long johns and long sleeve shirt, which are light duty, not very warm thermals and a beanie to keep my head warm. I also didn’t wear any socks and forgot my old trick of stuffing the footing area with other clothing I planned on wearing the next day and also for extra insulation and warmth as my feet almost always get cold.

I learned my lesson after that and the next night sleeping in much higher elevation around 11060 feet which hit around 43 degrees in the tent I wore my heavy duty black thermals with thick wool socks and beanie. Given the higher temps and warmer clothing I slept nice and comfortably (not toasty, but just right).

My conclusion: Pros lightweight and small for backpacking, Con: not very warm and god forbid you to sleep at 32 degrees or below…good luck with that. Better wear those arctic heavy duty thermals that weigh a 1lb alone and maybe an extra layer to have a decent night of rest. Your sacrificing warmth and overall comfort for something lightweight and compactable by buying this bag.

I’d say buy if you’re hiking low elevations less than 8k feet in the spring or summer and plan on temps being in the 48 and above range at night.”

” These are worth every penny! A great product at a great price for those who need an ultralight bag. I purchased these because my son’s scout troop is starting to do more backpacking and high adventure trips.

He is a growing teen and I couldn’t stomach paying hundreds of dollars for a bag he may grow out of quickly. We have used these in the low 40’s and above without issue. They have tremendous loft but pack into their sack easily. This is important to note because not all bags in this price point do. I am 5’3 and my son is 5’7. We both felt like we had plenty of room lengthwise, though if his shoulders get much broader than they are, he will be pretty snug.”

How To Wash A Down Sleeping Bag?

Can you wash a sleeping bag? Do you know how to wash it in your house by yourself? 

Ask anybody who tents camps that one of your most valuable pieces of equipment is your sleeping bag. A well-maintained sleeping bag can mean the difference between a comfortable good nights sleep after outdoor adventures or a long miserable night on the cold ground.

Something that you can do to make sure your bag is working at peak efficiency is to periodically give a wash for your sleeping bag. If you are a typical camper, you should only do a full wash about every year or so. You can do small spot treatments in between. If you are a hardcore weekend warrior who camps every weekend, you will need to wash a bit more frequently.

Now there are services where you can send in your bags to be cleaned, but its just as easy to do at you home!

Disclaimer: If ever in doubt about how to maintain any camping equipment, check the manufacturer’s website. They often have FAQs that will be able to help. So let’s get to it!

 

Step 1: Supplies

Supplies

 

There are a couple of ways to go about this, hand washing (which is a bit better) or using a front loading washing machine. I will be hand washing but will be covering some aspects of both methods. If you decide to have a wash, you will just need a bathtub, your dirty down sleeping bag and some speciality sleeping bag detergent (or a regular mild detergent, no liquids though). Most manufacturers recommend Nexiwax wash, which is specialized for either down or synthetic sleeping bags. If you are machine washing, you need a front loading washing machine (MUST NOT HAVE AN AGITATOR, THIS CAN RUIN THE SLEEPING BAG!). You will also need a rope to hang your sleeping bag to dry or a dryer with a low heat setting and a few tennis balls

Step 2: Prepare the Wash

Prepare the Wash
IMG_1096.JPG

Before you wash your bag, be sure you know what material of sleeping bag it is, either down sleeping bag, it is much safer to hand wash rather than using a machine.

Synthetics can be washed in a machine but again only if they don’t have the agitators as they can damage the nylon shells and ruin the loft (the fluffiness of the bag). For both wash methods, you will want to use warm water rather than hot. Fill the tub up halfway and add your soap. Make sure that the soap is a non-liquid and doesn’t contain bleach especially if you have a natural down sleeping bag.

The feathers in them have oils on them that add to their insulation properties and bleach has a tendency to remove them. The liquid soaps tend to leave a residue even after rinsing.

 

Step 3: Add the Sleeping Bag

Add the Sleeping Bag

After you have the water ready, turn your north face sleeping bag inside out and zipped closed. Do this for both hand washing down and machine washing. We are doing this to make sure any debris that was carried into the bag is cleaned out. Once inverted, you can place it in the tub/ machine. Be sure the bag is submerged everywhere. Let the bag soak in the tub for 10-15 minutes to allow the soap to do its job and to let the water seep into the sleeping bag. If you are using a machine, use the delicate setting so the bag is less likely to get damaged.

Let the bag soak in the tub for 10-15 minutes to allow the soap to do its job and to let the water seep into the sleeping bag. If you are using a machine, use the delicate setting so the bag is less likely to get damaged.

 

Step 4: Gently Agitate

Drain

For this step its time to take off your shoes and socks and agitate the water. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to climb into the tub and step on the sleeping bag. Walk around on the down sleeping bag as if you were stomping grapes but did not have a vendetta against grapes. Continue to agitate the water until you feel that your bag has been thoroughly cleaned. This is important to wash a down sleeping bag.

 

 

Step 5: Drain

IMG_1103.JPG

For this step, let the dirty water drain from the tub. You will want to squeeze out the excess dirty water from your sleeping bag by walking on it or by folding it over on itself and compressing. Be very careful when moving the sleeping bag as they are very very heavy and we don’t want them to rip.

Whatever you do, NEVER try to wring out a sleeping bag. This will ruin the insulation and make your sleeping bag worthless. It is important to wash a down sleeping bag.

 

Step 6: Rinse

Rinse

To rinse, just use cold water and fill the tub up until the bag is submerged. Lightly agitate and squeeze the bag to make sure you have gotten the soap completely out. Drain and refill with the water that is squeezed out of the bag comes out clean. Once it does, remove the excess water like we did in the previous step and allow the bag to drain for 15 minutes. If you are using a washing machine, you can use an extra spin cycle if down sleeping bag wash comes out wet after the wash cycle is complete.

Once it does, remove the excess water like we did in the previous step and allow the bag to drain for 15 minutes. If you are using a washing machine, you can use an extra spin cycle if down sleeping bag wash comes out wet after the wash cycle is complete.

 

Step 7: Drying

Drying
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For the final step, hang your down sleeping bag across a piece of rope and let it air dry. Air drying is the best method for both down and synthetic sleeping bags. The only downside is that it takes a very long time. For mine to dry completely it took around 20 hours. If you use a dryer, use the lowest possible heat setting and throw a few tennis balls into the dryer. These will help to break up any clump of insulation that may have formed and to maintain the loft of the sleeping bag. Once the bag is dry you are ready to take it back out into the field.

These will help to break up any clump of insulation that may have formed and to maintain the loft of the sleeping bag. Once the bag is dry you are ready to take it back out into the field.

Thanks for reading “how to wash a down sleeping bag” and I hope this tutorial has made your camping trips more enjoyable!

How To Pack A Sleeping Bag?

Rolling or Packing a sleeping bag is an essential skill for any camper. Though bags come in a variety of shapes and storage options, packing your sleeping bag is easy.

Rolling or Packing a sleeping bag is an essential skill for any camper. Though bags come in a variety of shapes and storage options, packing your sleeping bag is easy. Once you’ve determined how your bag should be packed, getting it together is simple.

Packing a Sleeping Bag

  1. Do not roll a bag if it comes with a stuff sack and space is no issues. Rolling a bag frequently can damage the insulation, making it less effective at keeping you warm. Most bags that come with a storage bag are actually meant to be stuffed into the bag loosely, not rolled. Check your owner’s manual if you are unsure how to store your bag.

    • If the bag came with straps, either separately or attached near the head, it is likely meant to be rolled. These straps are meant to keep the bag rolled up.
    • If you need to save space, rolling your bag is the best way to compress it into its smallest shape. However, you should try to remove your bag from compression as soon as possible.
  2. Lay the sleeping bag on a flat, dry surface. If possible, use your ground tarp of the floor of your tent to roll up the bag, as this will keep it clean and moisture from getting rolled into the bag, where mildew might grow.
  3.  

    Zip up the bag and push any large air pockets out through the head. Zip it up completely, as an unzipped bag makes it hard to roll evenly. Smooth out the bag so that you get out as much air as possible, as air pockets will prevent an even, tight roll.
  4.  

    Fold the sleeping bag in half lengthwise. Fold one side over so that it lines up with the zipper. Take some time to make sure the edges are lined up. They don’t have to be perfect, but the closer you can get them the better.
  5.  

    Start rolling upwards, firmly, from the feet. Use both hands to roll the bag up tightly, kneading it with your hands to push any air in the bag up and out the hole at the top for your head.
  6.  

    Sit on the bag with your knees to keep it tight. If you are having trouble getting the bag tight enough, crouch down and use your knees to keep the roll tight and push out air. Then roll up another 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm), using your fingers to get the roll tight, and push some more air out with your knees.
  7. Use the attached straps to keep the bag rolled. Most sleeping bags that are meant to be rolled have straps that cinch around the rolled bag and then tighten, keeping it rolled up. You should have at lease two, and they should be positioned roughly 1/3 of the way from each edge of the rolled bag.

    • If you don’t have straps, you can improvise one out of a belt, large rubber bands, or rope.
    • If your bag came with a bag but no straps, store the sleeping bag in the appropriate carrying bag and close the top tightly.
  8. Keep the bag dry and free from water. If you are in the backcountry a wet sleeping bag isn’t only uncomfortable, it can be dangerous. Water wicks heat away from your skin much faster than air, so a wet bag can lead to deadly cold temperatures if you aren’t careful. Keep your bag in a waterproof bag, or improvise one out of garbage bags if you don’t have one.

 

Avoiding Common Issues

  1. Know that prolonged compression will make your bag less effective. Keeping your bag tightly stuffed or rolled for long periods of time will make it lose loft, which is what traps hot air to keep you warm. While you want to roll your bag tightly to travel with, you should never store your bag compressed or jammed in a stuff-sack.

    • Loosely roll your bag, or let it rest, lightly folded, when it is not in use.
  2. Turn wind or water resistant bags inside out. The layering on the outside of these bags is great at keeping air out when you need to stay warm, but it can keep air in when you need it to escape for packing. Turn these bags inside out, zip them up, and then roll them as normal.
  3. Use a stuff-sack for tighter packing. These bags come with several straps and cinches that let you pull down on the top of the bag and get it even smaller. They are usually waterproof, and you can often get a large enough bag the lets you stuff several other items, like shirts or camping pillows, in with the bag.

    • Always start packing by the tail if you use a stuff sack — this allows the air in the bag to escape through the top.
  4. Air out your bag when you return from your trip. While you should never stuff your bag and store it fully compressed, good bag care requires brushing out any dirt, twigs, and leaves and letting the bag dry out completely when your trip is over. Mold and mildew will grow if your bag is allowed to be stored wet, and it is tough to remove once it grows. Let the bag rest outside on a dry day for several hours and brush out any debris.

    • UV light can damage the sleeping bag fibers, so take care not to leave the bag in the sun all day.
  5. Gently pull any leaking down feather back into the bag. A few loose pieces of down is not uncommon in new sleeping bags. Gently work the quills back into the bag, pulling from the back side whenever possible. The holes will close back up and the insulation should settle with time.