Oct 1, 2006 at 6:50 pm #1219777
I’ve got a Gossamer Gear G4 backpack, and a GoLite Laze sleeping bag. The sleeping bag came in a really big (cotton I think) stow sack. I assumed that it was just shipped that way to prevent the loft from being damaged and that I could compress it down.
However, I’ve rolled it, folded it, pressed it down as much as I can. And, I’m going to try some more, but the thing just doesn’t fit into my backpack. And, it’s really not even close. It’s like to fit comfortably in the backpack, the sleeping bag would have to be half its size.
Is this a common thing? Do some sleeping bags just not fit into the backpacks? Or, am I just missing something?Oct 1, 2006 at 7:11 pm #1364048
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
well are you just putting the bag in without a stuff sack? If so probably that is the problem. If not then, what is the fill rate of the bag. Lower fill rate bags…ie 600 or so usually use larger stuff sacks. Higher fill rate bags, like 900 will squish down to a much smaller size.Oct 1, 2006 at 8:17 pm #1364054
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
That’s a 3lb synthetic fill bag, so yes, it’s going to take up a bit of room.
My guess is that most people with a G5 are using a down bag in the 1 to 2 lb range which will compress much smaller than the golite laze bag.
DanOct 1, 2006 at 8:21 pm #1364055
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
Synthetic bags like the Laze will take up far, far more space than an equivalent warmth down bag–I’m guessing the Laze will completely fill a stuffsack around 700-800ci. And the G5 has only 2800ci in the main compartment. Without knowing any more, I think you may have a gear mismatch on your hands. You may have to switch to a larger pack, which wouldn’t cost too much if you don’t have one already, or a lower-volume bag, which would cost a bit.
-MarkOct 1, 2006 at 8:29 pm #1364057
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
You have two packs mixed there– do you have a G4 or G5? If you have the G5, you don’t have a lot of room extra for bulky gear.
The GoLite Laze is a 20F/3lb synthetic bag, so it is going to take up some room. I was a able to get a similar bag (20F Sierra Designs) in a 13 liter stuff sack. I am able to get a 32F Delta fill bag (28oz total) in an 8 liter stuff sack. A compression sack may take it down a little farther, but if you can avoid that, it is better for the fill. The Laze is supposed to come with a silnylon stuff sack– did you use that or try to just stuff it in the bottom of the pack?
Don’t feel bad– I’ve been going through the same process getting my Winter gear to fit.Oct 2, 2006 at 11:52 am #1364089
I just corrected the original post. I do have a G4 backpack.
I tried a bunch of things, but I am now using the silnylon stuff sack.
After some work, and various experiments. I have gotten the sleeping bag in the backpacack. I’ve looked, and I don’t think the seams are ripping on the backpack. But, I would call the fit “very snug”.
I had to get the sleep bag inside the stuff sack into the backpack with it pointed one way. Then, once it was in the bottom of the backpack, I then had to turn the sleeping bag sideways to so that the bag wasn’t standing 2/3rds of the way up the backpack. This is when the fit became “very snug”.
Maybe with more work, I could make the sleeping bag even a little smaller. I haven’t tried yet, but am trying to get out of here today and am planning on using it like it is.
Hopefully, and I really don’t think it will, the sleeping bag won’t rip the seams on the G5…
I’ll probably email the guys at gossamergear when I get back to see if I can describe enough the situation for them to determine if they want to complain or not.Oct 2, 2006 at 5:39 pm #1364103
i have similar problem with a large synthetic bag — i line rucsac with a large plastic sack –then stuff s/bag down as best i can–i am going to experiment with internal compression straps to pull the bag to the bottom third of the rucsac–i want it to come down and push out to fill the bottom corners of the rucsac–the s/bag came with a compression sac but using it gives me a hard tube shape that i find difficult to accomodateOct 2, 2006 at 8:50 pm #1364121
@jbairdLocale: Deleware Watergap A_T
I’ve been reading the replies to your question. We all lose site of backpacking lite sometimes. Try layering your sleeping gear. use two lighter bags that fit smaller than one one big one. you’l find it warmer and easier to pack.Oct 3, 2006 at 1:55 am #1364133
John wrote: “use two lighter bags that fit smaller than one one big one. you’l find it warmer and easier to pack.”
Two sleepingbags which together rate at, say, 40 degrees will never ever be as light as one single sleeping bag rated at the same 40 degrees. In addition, if all the materials in all the three bags are the same, the single 40 degree sleeping bag wil be lighter than the two lesser warm sleeping bags together. And will also compress smaller than the two other bags.
Levender, you wrote: “The sleeping bag came in a really big (cotton I think) stow sack. I assumed that it was just shipped that way to prevent the loft from being damaged and that I could compress it down.”
I get the impression that you only recently got the sleepingbag. If so, maybe you can still return it since it doesn’t quite work for you?
I’d go for down instead of synthethic cause it compresses much better. I have a wonderfull 20 degree, 750 fill (european rated) 100% down sleeping bag, that fits nicely inside my G4 and that goes in without putting up a fight. But maybe you don’t want down due to moisture problems, i should say however that i never had a problem with my sleepingbag getting wet. I even wetted out in a GTX exchange bivi once and my sleepingbag was still dry and warm. The water didn’t penetrate the DWR outershell of the bag. It does weigh in at about 36 oz though and it’s still waiting replacement for a quilt like bag (for which i still don’t have money.)
EinsOct 3, 2006 at 8:05 am #1364147
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
I just wanted to second what Eins said, and if you decide to return the bag, put in a plug for the JacksRBetter No Sniveller quilt. I am 6’4″ and 210 lbs (BMI 25.6) and have slept comfortably down to 37° F wearing most of my clothes. I can’t imagine anything that packs smaller that would be as functional.Oct 4, 2006 at 3:14 pm #1364239
Yeah, I’ll probably get a down bag because it’s lighter eventually. I’ve got this sythetic fill Laze bag because it was on closeout, and was only priced at $80. Money was tight and I couldn’t justify spending $220 to save like what would have been 1 lb 3 oz for a really light down sleeping bag. Although, in retrospect, I could have just gotten a cheap down bag at Walmart that wouldn’t have weighed much, but I imagine it wouldn’t last as long either.
That said, where I slept the other night when I went out, it wasn’t raining, but because the side of the mountain I slept on was northern facing (not much sun during day), the sleeping bag was moist when I got up, and I had to air out even the synthetic bag. I wonder how bad the down bag would have been with the water?
It turns out to get that sleeping bag not only to fit in the stuff sack, but also to make it even small to fit in the backpack, there’s a process you have to follow. First, you lay the sleeping bag spread out flat on the ground. Then, you crawl across it with your arms pressing all the air out. Second, you fold it length-wise in half, and crawl across it again. Last, you start at the top end where your head goes because it’s wider, and start rolling as tight as you can. I’ve gotten to the point where on my second attempt, the sleeping bag fits in the backpack.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a pain in the ass at 6:30 am when you’re trying to get out of camp. Does this sound like more than most people have to do to pack their sleeping bag? Do down bags necessarily pack easier? If so, even more than the weight, easier packing would be a big reason for me to go down.Oct 4, 2006 at 3:18 pm #1364241
Einstein, that’s a good point about the outer shell. I don’t believe the moisture got inside the outer shell of the synthetic bag either. So, I assume it wouldn’t have gotten inside the outer shell of a down bag.
Eric Noble, I’m checking out the JacksRBetter web site now.Oct 4, 2006 at 3:19 pm #1364242
@crazypeteLocale: Above the Divided Line
It sounds like you are making a simple mistake that everyone has missed, namely, don’t roll your bag as you have with sleeping bags in the past. Instead, you just cram it into the stuff sack or backpack. The sleeping bag will take up less space that way.Oct 5, 2006 at 4:28 am #1364299
In addition to what pete said: it’s also BETTER for you sleeping to cram it inside a stuff sack or your backpack.
AND ALWAYS open your zip, don’t keep it zipped.
I pack my G4 like this: Backpack is empty at first, than the liner that i bought at Gossamer goes in, than sleeping socks go into liner, than sleepingbag. I stuff the sleeping bag all the way down untill the bottom is nicely filled out. I twist-turn the liner shut like you would a garbage bag and i go on with the rest of my stuff.
EinsOct 5, 2006 at 7:22 am #1364304
@scottalanpLocale: Northern California
I stuff the exact opposite. I place the heavier food items and extra clothes at the bottom of my pack, followed by misc. gear and then top it off with my sleeping bag. I have yet to use a stuff sack with my latest bag…but I am considering it for trips with a lot of stream crossings (in case the pack takes a swim). But the two main reasons I place the bag at the top: 1. I feel more stable with more weight towards the middle of my back and 2. My bag gets more and more room as the trip goes on, and the down needs to be compressed less…which I believe is the number 1 culprit to decreasing your bags effeciency, namely time and volume compressed.Oct 5, 2006 at 4:42 pm #1364343
Okay, at first I thought Crazy Pete was giving me a hard time. But then I realized it made sense because I could vaguely remember seeing the sleeping bag in a pile when I was out hiking and it did seem smaller. So now I’ve got Einstein backing him up. Plus, less packing when I’m out.
Thanks guys.Oct 5, 2006 at 5:06 pm #1364351
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Why is it better to cram a sleeping bag into a stuff sack, unzipped, as opposed to rolling it? Seems like it would be harder on the baffles, as well as less efficient space-wise.Oct 5, 2006 at 9:13 pm #1364368
Its better because if you roll the bag, you increase the liklihood of putting stress repeatedly upon the same spot.
when you stuff, the stress is always randomized. your never going to put stress on the same place twice.Oct 7, 2006 at 3:15 am #1364454
“Why is it better to cram a sleeping bag into a stuff sack, unzipped, as opposed to rolling it? Seems like it would be harder on the baffles, as well as less efficient space-wise.”
If you roll a sleeping bag you stretch the baffles, so stuffing is better. And as it might seem less efficient space wise: just try it. Neatly roll your bag and than try getting it into the stuff sack. I especilly dare you to do so with a TNF sleepingbag. I haven’t succeeded doing that ever. Than try stuffing it. See what works best and which method gets the smallest package. Maybe you’ll be surprised.
BTW i really don’t understand the fear of people on these fora about cramming a down sleeping bag into a tiny stuffsack. Just consider the truck delivering the down to the sleepingbag factory. That down isn’t nice and fluffy like it is in your sleepingbag. In fact, it’s crammed with a mechanical press untill it fits onto one pallet. And you’re affraid you cram your sleepingbag too much? HA
So when you go backpacking cram the heck out of your sleeping bag if you need the room in your pack. Than when you return home, dry it out and store it loftly, not crammed, your bag will be fine.
And yes, maybe your sleepingbag won’t last you 15 years, maybe it’ll only last 12 years, but so what? When has durabilaty ever been a concern for the (S)UL hiker anyway. Besides, I want to buy a newer, better, lighter, tougher sleeping bag anyway in 12 years.
EinsOct 7, 2006 at 4:43 am #1364456
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Glad Eins brought up the longevity issue when Eins said to “cram the heck out of your sleeping bag”. This is why many prefer to not compress the bag as much as they are able to and avoid compression sacks. However, Eins makes a good point on how long one plans to own and use their current bag. Often, as Eins said, UL’ers buy gear before the life of their old gear is used up. Witness the number of gear FS posts on these Forums.
For my part when using a normal UL backpack with UL Down bags, which are not particularly heavy and certainly not dense, i usually just put it in my pack on top of the heaviest gear and food to lower my pack’s CG and leave the bag in a large waterproof trash bag, so that it occupies as much space as it is able to – makes it a tad easier to fluff when making bivouac.
If it summer and i’m using a large hunter’s lumbar back instead of a regular UL backpack, i resort to the Mfr’s properly sized stuff sack so that the bag fits in one of the two larger compartments of the large hunter’s lumbar pack. MB’s stuff sacks are very nice as they have an extension collar and two sets of drawstrings. You first stuff the bag into the stuff sack, taking advantage of the extra volume that the extension collar offers. Cinch the cord-locked extension collar drawstring tight, and, if desired – it’s NOT mandatory, then stuff the bag filled extension collar down into the main portion of the stuff sack and cinch the second cord-locked drawstring at the main comparment/extensionCollar interface tight. Makes for a nice, small, tidy package.
Lastly, perhaps that’s why they’re called “Stuff sacks” and not “Roll Sacks”. The Mfr. intended their bag to fit into the sacks when properly stuffed.Oct 7, 2006 at 6:59 pm #1364490
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
A three pound Polarguard bag (even Delta) is just not very compressible. For now, just stuff it into the largest stuff sack that can fit into the bottom of your pack. If you want to stay with synthetics for your next bag, consider one made with Primaloft Sport, which is far more compressible than any version of Polarguard. They are not as easy to find on closeout as Delta bags, but it is possible. Back around Labor Day, REI had a Primaloft bag on closeout for about $70.Oct 9, 2006 at 4:49 pm #1364549
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I read the comments by JR and you with interest but, in the end, found them unconvincing. So, I called the folks at Western Mountaineering because I own 2 of their bags and consider them to be pretty much the last word on any aspect of sleeping bag care. They said that it makes no difference whether you stuff or roll your bag, but that some people have trouble getting a rolled bag into a stuff sack. In my case, I started out years ago stuffing my bags and always winced at the point pressure delivered to my bag by either a fist or palm of the hand when stuffing. So, I started rolling my bag first and then inserting it into the stuff sack. Initially, I used a large stuff sack, which made it easy to insert the sleeping bag and then add my down jacket. Afterward, I put the bag into the bottom of my pack and let my food bag and the pack’s compression straps do a little more compression. For the last 2 years I have been rolling my bag(WM Ultralite or Highlite) and inserting it into a small stuff sack, with no problems at all, contrary to what you said. I do this to give me more space management options with a small pack on longer trips. The trick is to roll the bag tightly and then hold it between your legs while kneeling on your groundcloth and slipping the stuff sack over the protruding end of the rolled bag with a spiraling motion in the direction the bag has been rolled in. Keep feeding the bag out from between your legs as you slip the stuff sack over it. Piece of cake. You might give it a try with that recalcitrant TNF bag of yours-you might be surprised.
Thanks for the comments and best of luck.
Tom KirchnerNov 3, 2006 at 4:34 pm #1366176
@jbairdLocale: Deleware Watergap A_T
I tried something last time out on the A_T. and it worked pretty well. I took the sleeping pad and lined the inside of the pack with it, making a well supported area for all the gear. Then take your sleeping bag and stuff it down the bottom first and layer upward to the top with your gear. It worked for me.
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