As you know that the role of backpacking sleeping bag is indispensable for your adventures, you may also need to know how to stuff your sleeping bag in your backpack.

To tell you the truth, improper packing can turn your comfortable backpacking sleeping bag into a piece of burden.

So if you are wondering how to pack your sleeping bag properly, you have come to the right place. We are here to help you with some standard methods of packing a sleeping bag.

But before that, you should know that packing a sleeping bag just for the trip is not enough. It would be best if you take adequate care of your stuff after you return from your adventure as well.

Now let’s get you through the organized steps of efficiently packing your sleeping bag.

Packing a Sleeping Bag Without Rolling

If you have just bought a new sleeping bag, you wouldn’t want to jeopardize its look by rolling it. Then how can you pack a sleeping bag without rolling it?

Thankfully, there are a few steps you can perform to pack your sleeping bag without having to roll it. Now, let’s discuss these steps in detail.

Get a Stuff Sack

A stuff sack in simpler terms means a type of drawstring bag typically used for the storage of sleeping bags. You can get a compression sack, which is a type of stuff sack designed particularly for fitting your sleeping bags in internal-frame backpacks. The compression pack comes with cinch straps that can further compress your sleeping bag into a smaller volume.

Compression sacks are generally good to save some space but they tend to be heavier than the regular stuff sack. Nevertheless, the minimal amount of extra weight from the sack helps it to reduce in volume and also protect the material against tears.

Stuff the Sleeping Bag in Stuff Sack

Once you have decided to use a stuff sack, the next step is to place your sleeping bag into it. Remember: Most of the sleeping bags are designed to be stuffed, not rolled. Whether your bag is filled with down or synthetic insulation, the process of stuffing it will help remove more air, allowing for a smaller packed size.

You just need to focus on one end and stuff your bag until it’s all in. If you start with the foot, it will aid in getting all the air out. While using the compression sack, ease the straps to tighten the bag further and pull the cord on the stuff sack as tight as possible.

Secure Your Bag From Water

While adventuring, you should always prioritize to keep your sleeping bag dry. You will not feel comfortable if you have to lay your body in a wet bag on a chilly night. And after the day full of hectic tripping, it is never a convenient option.

Many may get the wrong idea that adding waterproofing spray (DWR) on the sleeping bag makes it waterproof. But this is not the case. This method can surely keep them dry for a short period when they get put on wet grass for a few minutes. For extra protection, you can use a quality pack cover and stack the interior of your pack with a trash compactor bag.

In case you don’t have a trash compactor bag, you can use a regular garbage bag and fold its top over so that it is sealed and water won’t get in.

Stuff the Sleeping Bag at the Bottom of Your Pack

For the most part of your journey, you won’t need the sleeping bag during the day time. In such case, you can pack your sleeping bag at the bottom of your backpack. By doing this, you can ease up your back and knees since the bag is lighter by volume than the other supplies.

Remember to stuff your sleeping bag at the bottom of the top compartment if your backpack comes with two compartments.  You can also strap your sleeping bag to the top of the pack and the tent at the bottom. This way you can avoid your sleeping bag from contacting with the damp or muddy ground while you set your backpack on the ground at rest stops.

Packing a Sleeping Bag by Rolling

This method comes handy if you want to compress a sleeping bag to a suitable size for situations where the volume doesn’t matter much. Packing a sleeping bag by rolling works excellent for car campings and sleepovers, but not for the long trips.

Now let’s learn the primary steps of packing your sleeping bag by rolling it.

Lay Your Sleeping Bag Out

Before beginning the rolling procedure, you need to lay out your sleeping bag flat on the floor. Try to flatten your bag as much as possible by running your hands down the length of the bag. It will ensure that the further steps go smoothly and you get a tightly-rolled sleeping bag which is comfortable for you to carry.

Fold Your Sleeping Bag in Half

Now that you have flattened the sleeping bag, start folding your bag in half lengthwise. To make sure that the air bubbles are not trapped in the bag during the folding process, you need to flatten out your sleeping bag by running your hands along it. It will be convenient for you to smoothen the bag from the bottom where your feet go to the top where your head stays. It will push out the extra air through the opening at the top of your bag.

After completing the flattening process, align the two long sides of the bag. When you match these sides, it will assist you with the next step, which is rolling up the bag.

Roll Up Your Sleeping Bag

The is the prominent step of your sleeping bag packing method. But before starting with the rolling, place a heavy object on the top section of your sleeping bag to avoid it from unfolding during the process.

For a better roll up, you should start from the bottom (i.e., from the foot towards the head). It will help to let the trapped air escape easily from the bag. After finishing up the rolling process, make sure to grab the straps that are attached to the bag. If they are not connected, you can wrap up the separate straps around your sleeping bag.

If in case, the straps of your sleeping bag are located at the bottom, you can roll your bag in the opposite way- i.e., from head to foot.

Fit the Sleeping Bag Into Its Sack

Apart from the stuff sack, there is a fitted sack that aids to fit the sleeping bag after it is rolled up. In case you lack the sack, tighten up the rolled up bag with a belt, or a string or a rope. During the process, you may need help to hold the bag while you tie it up. Always keep in check that the fit is strong else you will lose your bag on the way and wouldn’t even notice it.

Packing or Storing a Sleeping Bag at Home

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, packing a sleeping bag for your trip is not enough. You need to follow some measures to store your bag when you return from the adventurous trips or outings.

So how can you pack or store your sleeping bag at home? Let’s get through some crucial steps.

Wash the Sleeping Bag If Required

First things first, you wouldn’t want to keep your sleeping bag dirty from the exhausting trip. If it is required, clean up the bag by washing it in a front-loaded washing machine. You shouldn’t use a top-loaded machine for this process as agitator may tear up the fabric.

After that, dry up your sleeping bag with the use of a dryer. Important Note: if you are using a synthetic bag, make sure to read the instructions well before carrying out the cleaning process. Meanwhile, while washing a down sleeping bag, add a tennis ball to the dryer near the end of the cycle. It helps to maintain its fluffiness.

Let the Air out of the Sleeping Bag

The next step you should follow is to let the air bubbles out from your sleeping bag before making it ready for storage. You should never pack a sleeping bag while it is wet or even a little damp. Keeping the sleeping bag wet can weaken its materials in the longer term making the bag vulnerable for further trips.

Don’t Compress During Storage

Compressing a sleeping bag during the storage could lead the material to compress permanently. So you need to store your sleeping bag without compressing it. It will be helpful to place it in an oversize, breathable storage bag which is made from cotton or nylon.

Another way to store your sleeping bag at home is by spreading it out under your bed. Or else, hang the sleeping bag on a large clothes hanger. But make sure that the bag you are hanging is crafted with synthetic insulation and not down.

Some Sleeping Bag Stuffing Precautions

It is your choice how you want to stuff your sleeping bag into a stuff sack for better packing. But during this process, the following tips should always be noted:

  • Do not roll your sleeping bag when it is wet.
  • Do not roll your sleeping bag until the zipper is zipped all the way to the top.
  • Do not roll your sleeping bag if it has any hard objects inside it.
  • Do not store your sleeping bag in an unnecessarily small stuff sack.
  • Do not store your sleeping back in its sack for longer than the trip home.


As you have known the methods of packing your sleeping bag, you can find the stuffing more preferable than rolling, which in fact is also much easier.  Always choose the largest stuff sack to fit in your sleeping bag as well as its accessories. With stuffing, you are green signaled to go in for long, enthralling trips.

If you prefer to roll your sleeping back instead of stuffing it, you should take note of a few essential things. Make sure to use this method for short trips, car campings, and sleepovers where the volume of the bag doesn’t matter much.

We hope these packing tips come handy for you. If you explore a few more ideas other than these, feel free to let us know.

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