Sep 22, 2005 at 9:42 am #1216819
Hi, and thanks for letting me join. I learned quite allot from this forum that has made my life and hiking better.
Is there a correct way to stuff a stuff sack with a sleeping bag? The 2 schools I know of is rolling it up like a cigarette or just hand over fist stuffing. Also does keeping a Synth. bag in a stuff sack for extended periods ruin it?
TIA.Sep 22, 2005 at 10:34 am #1341889
I’m of the “fisting” school of stuffing sleeping bags.
But only with a consenting sleeping bag. And gently.
Never,ever leave a down or synthetic bag stored in a stuff bag for extended periods. You will ruin either in time–sometimes a short time. You destroy the longterm ability of the insulation to loft up after compression. Synthetic fill bags are more susceptible than high quality down bags but either will suffer from storage abuse.
I myself, stuff my bag at the trailhead. For long term storage, use a breathable storage sack or hang in a closet.Sep 22, 2005 at 11:14 am #1341890
It’s much, much harder to stuff a rolled bag.
Stuffing little by little is the way to go.
BTW, the bag should be stuffed inside the stuff sack only when you’re on the road. When storing, the bag should be loose — either hanging or laid flat (with nothing on it) or stored in the large cotton sack that usually comes with the bag.Sep 22, 2005 at 11:35 am #1341891
Stephenson’s Warmlite (www.warmlite.com) indicates the following: “To pack a bag, always carefully fold and roll it. Uniform end compression of the roll to fit in a sack won’t harm it. Don’t stuff anything you don’t want to rapidly destroy!” They also recommend the same procedure for their down air mats (DAM).
Stephenson’s is concerned about turning the down into string. They also do not suggest sleeping and lying on down for the same reason.
RichSep 22, 2005 at 12:36 pm #1341892
Stephenson is, as always, the iconoclast in this area. And while I think he’s sometimes right ( love his tents), when it comes to sleeping bag storage, I think he’s off base.
Why? Because rolling up a down bag before inserting in a stuff sack is not only harder to do, but also because rolling the bag will consistently compress areas of the bag in the same way to the detriment of the bag. The bag will develop creases. I have personally observed this phenomona and with a Stephenson Warmlite bag( ironically), to boot, among others.
The random nature of stuffing a sleeping bag (gently) will help to insure that your multi-$100 investment will give you many years of use.Sep 22, 2005 at 1:08 pm #1341893
What do you think about rolling the bag from the foot to open end (as my FF Vireo) and then stuffing it into the stuff sack. Or, do you think just stuff as from the foot to the open end into the stuff sack?
Also, I think that for the Stephenson’s Down Air Mat (DAM) folding the matress, rolling the matress from the foot end toward the top (to force the air out), and then sliding it into the stuff sack is probably the appropriate method (so as to not destroy the matress and the down).
RichSep 22, 2005 at 2:09 pm #1341894
I personally would gently (but manfully) stuff the bag foot first into ze sac d’compression.
As to the Down Air Mat–frankly my dear,I don’t
have a DAM–so I have no experience with it.Sep 22, 2005 at 2:17 pm #1341895
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
just stuff it in.Sep 22, 2005 at 2:19 pm #1341896
Either way it ends up the size of the rest of my Pack. It is by far the largest item I carry and am looking for ways to get it smaller with out spending a ton on a speacialty bag, I am in warm weather so I have always used a warm bag I can not imagine how people with colder bags fit them into a lightweight pack.Sep 22, 2005 at 2:23 pm #1341897
That is how I use to stuff all my down bags in the past. As to the DAM, I will basically follow what Stephenson’s has recommended. It makes sense because all the air has to be forced out of the matress before it is inserted into the stuff sack.
I will let you know how I like it later in the year. Only weighs about 20.2 oz for the mat in my size with 2.8 oz for the pump sack (weighs less than a full length thermarest Prolight 4). The mat has 3.5 to 4″ of thickness (and filled with down). It should provide great warmth with all the down in the mat.
RichSep 22, 2005 at 2:30 pm #1341898
My 22.4 oz Feathered Friends Vireo (could be as little as 16 oz) stuffs down to about the size of a loaf of bread in a #4 (5.5″ x 13.5″) Granite Gear Air Bag. I am sure that it could stuff even smaller as well. My Vireo has 2 oz of 800+ down overfill as well in eVENT fabric and in lighter fabrics with less down would stuff down much more. In its configuration it is probably about a 25? degree F bag and with enough clothing and a warm pad could be used to about 0 degrees F and possibly lower with the right clothing.
RichSep 22, 2005 at 3:14 pm #1341899
If you want a compact and light bag, then a down bag is the way to go. My two bags, for example:
1. Montbell 50F hoodless summer bag – 13 oz. weight, compacts to just 7″x4″
2. Montbell 30F bag – 21 oz, 8″x5″
Western Mountaineering bags are also tops!Sep 22, 2005 at 3:56 pm #1341900
I have always owned Qualfill synth bags as I thought they were lighter than down and stuffed better, but I guess I have been wrong. The Qualfill bags basicly go flat in a season or 2. My bags now are not common in this country, I have a Haglofs LIM (Less Is More) bag rated at 40 and a Kathmandu Bag rated at 35 both synth. The Haglofs was perfect for me until I left it in the stuff sack as that is how it came from Haglofs, it’s basicly a limp blanket with spots that have no insulation now. The Kathmandu on the other hand has never been stuffed and is perfect for me except it’s on the big side mass wise. I guess down will be my next bag.Sep 22, 2005 at 4:03 pm #1341901
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
you should seriously check out Western Mountaineering bags. 900 fill power and great weight savings and of course they compress well.Sep 22, 2005 at 4:21 pm #1341902
You may want to check the Rock and Ice Article:
RichSep 22, 2005 at 6:31 pm #1341903
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
* Theoretically, stuffing is preferable to rolling; it is easier, it may possibly perhaps maybe do less damage to the bag (more consistent compression, and it does not create wear spots. However, the crease-wear that occurs on tents and similar flat goods is less likely to occur with a sleeping bag because the creases are unlikely to occur in the same place very often. You probably would not be able to detect unusual wear after long use. That said, I stuff because it is easier.
* It is always better to avoid any unnecessary compression. The more (and longer) an insulation is compressed, the less it will recover and the longer it will take to recover whatever loft it has left. This is true regardless of the insulation.
* Compression sacks may overcompress the insulation. Use the largest sack compatible with your pack. The goal is to protect the bag, not to see how small you can make it. An odd historical factoid: Golf balls were originally made by pounding goose down into a leather sack. You can compress down into an amazingly small space. Whether you will get a warm night’s sleep out of it afterward is another matter.
* Silicone impregnated nylon or polyester stuff sacks are easier on sleeping bags because they are slicker. Each handfull of sleeping bag slides in with less pulling and stress than with polyurethane coated sacks.
* The tried and true technique for stuffing a sleeping bag is to bunch the foot of the bag and cram it all the way to the bottom of the stuff sack. Then grab a handfull of bag just above the opening of the stuff sack and cram it all the way to the bottom, next to the foot. Repeat as necessary, stuffing each handfull as far down as possible and filling the soft places as you go. After a little practice, you will find the right amount of force to apply. Use the minimum necessary to do the job.
* More damage is probably done to sleeping bags through improper storage than through improper carrying. Be sure your bag is dry before you put it up after a trip and store it loosely in a well-ventilated area. I prefer to hang my bags, but nowadays some bags come with loose storage bags that are meant to be hung. That’s OK, too.
* With good care, a good down bag will keep its performance for 15-20 years. I have one bag that is still in pretty good shape after 30 – although I have given some thought to replacing its down with higher loft stuff – just because I can.Sep 22, 2005 at 7:36 pm #1341906
Qualofil is actually an older technology, and compared to current insulation, it’s much bulkier and heavier, given the same warmth. An example of newer synthetics is Polarguard Delta. However, no synthetics today can approach natural down in terms of warmth, lightweight, compactness, AND longevity!
Do check out the various down bags mentioned above (including my beloved Montbell’s).Sep 22, 2005 at 11:01 pm #1341909
For many years, I “brutally” compressed highgrade down bags, without noticing too much degradation in loft….but now I have sort of changed…I just stuff the bag in the bottom of my pack…seems like things nestle in there just as well as when the bag is a hard “football” in its own stuffsack. Seems the bag fluffs up quicker at night, and things fit in fine. Bill
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