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How to Store Your Sleeping Bag Like a Pro

A sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of gear to take with you on a camping trip. Sleeping bags keep us warm and comfortable, but they need to be stored correctly.

Sleeping bag storage may seem like an easy task at first glance; however, improper storage techniques can cause problems that will shorten the life of your beloved bag.

Sleeping bags are meant to last for years, but they will wear down quicker if they’re not cared for properly.

Sleeping bags can be stored in many different ways– it all depends on what will work best for you. This blog post discusses how you can store a sleeping bag to stay clean and last longer.

Before storing a sleeping bag

Before storing your sleeping bag, you need to ensure it’s ready to be stored. The bag needs to be clean and dry. Here are the steps to prepare your sleeping bag for storage.

Clean the sleeping bag

Cleaning a sleeping bag can be a daunting task. However, depending on how dirty the sleeping bag is, you might only need to spot clean, and air dry it before putting it away.

Refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions if your sleeping bag needs a full-blown bath. Depending on the size of your washing machine, the bag might not fit.

Many sleeping bags won’t fit in your washing machine at home, so it’s best to use a commercial unit.

Depending on how often you use the bag and how dirty it gets, you may only need to wash your sleeping bag every year (or a couple of years).

If you use the bag a lot, it’s good to wash once per year to get any oils, sweat, etc., out.

Drying sleeping bags

After washing your sleeping bag, it’s essential to dry it thoroughly before storing it. If the sleeping bag is not completely dry, it will mildew and become damaged.

An excellent way to dry a sleeping bag is to hang it outside under a covered area, like a patio. You can use a hanger or a clothesline if one is available.

Try not to leave your bag in direct sunlight because this can damage the fabric.

Depending on the weather, it can take quite a while to dry a sleeping bag. So, after a few hours, turn the bag inside out to make sure it is thoroughly dry, inside and out.

If drying the bag outside isn’t an option, you can use a commercial dryer in a low heat setting.

Tip: Adding a couple of tennis balls to the dryer can help fluff the filling in the bag.

Air it out

Even if your bag isn’t dirty, or you think it’s not wet, it’s always a good idea to hang your sleeping bag outside and let it air out. This will remove any residual moisture that might be inside the bag.

This is a crucial step to prevent mildew and mold from forming, especially if your bag is stowed away for months at a time.

As mentioned above, you can also toss the sleeping bag in a commercial dryer to speed this process up. Read the cleaning instructions on your bag for dryer instructions.

What is the best way to store a sleeping bag?

Once your bag is dry and ready to be stored, there are quite a few different ways to store a sleeping bag. From hanging the bag in a closet to stowing the sleeping bag under your bed, let’s take a look at storing a sleeping bag.

Never store your sleeping bag in a plastic trash bag because it won’t breathe.

Use a stuff sack

You should store your sleeping bag in a loose-fitting stuff sack if you won’t be using it for a while. Sleeping bags stored in a compression sack will lose their loft and reduce the amount of insulation, meaning that the bag will not provide as much warmth as before.

Stuff sacks come in many different forms. For instance, you can use an oversize pillowcase or a cotton sack. Some sleeping bags come with a stuff sack, but you have to buy them separately in many cases.

Sleeping bags stored in a stuff sack will retain their loft so they can be used later. Sleeping bags also have their own storage sacks (compression sack), but storing a sleeping bag inside a stuff sack will help keep it dry and ready for use.

Temperature controlled environment

Extreme temperatures and moisture are tough on sleeping bags. I live in a warm-weather climate, so storing sleeping bags in the attic is not an option. Damp spaces, like a basement, are no good either.

Try to store sleeping bags inside your house where the environment is more in your control. Then, your sleeping bag will thank you.

Hooks

You can hang your sleeping bag in a closet on a hook if you have the space. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to install; all you need is a stud in the wall or a piece of wood.

Many sleeping bags come with loops attached to the ends specifically for hanging the sleeping bag up. This allows air to circulate around the bags.

Another plus to hanging a sleeping bag on a hook is that it’s easily accessible.

Under the bed

If you have limited space for storing items, under your bed might be your best option for storage. There are a couple of ways to store a sleeping bag under your bed.

First, as I mentioned above, you can use a loose-fitting stuff sack and store the bag under your bed. You can also lay the bag lengthwise under your bed if you have the space.

If you store the bag lengthwise under your bed, it might be a good idea to wrap the bag in a sheet, just to keep dust from collecting.

On a shelf

Sleeping bags can take up a decent amount of shelf space, but if you have the room, you can store the bag on a closet shelf to help preserve the bag’s loft.

Sleeping bags stored in a stuff sack will retain their loft, extending the bag’s life.

How long can I leave my sleeping bag compressed?

You should not store your sleeping bag in a compression bag for long periods, but only when traveling. Sleeping bags packed in a compression bag lose their loft, making the bag less effective.

Sleeping bags stored in a compression sack for longer than recommended will be more challenging to restore the loft. Sleeping bags can be taken out of compression sacks and hung up on hooks or one of the other methods mentioned in this article.

FAQ’s

How do you put a sleeping bag away?

There are many ways to store a sleeping bag:

  • Hang the sleeping bag on hooks in a closet
  • Put the sleeping bag in a stuff sack and store it on a shelf or under a bed
  • Lay the sleeping bag under a bed lengthwise surrounded by a bedsheet

Can I store sleeping bags in the garage?

The sleeping bag should be stored in a dry, temperature-controlled environment. If your garage fits the bill, you should be okay to store your sleeping bag in the garage.

Conclusion

Sleeping bag storage doesn’t have to be difficult. Sleeping bags should be stored in a dry and temperature-controlled environment. 

Sleeping bags hung on hooks or laid under the bed will retain their loft for more extended periods, extending the bag’s life. 

There are many different ways to store a sleeping bag, so find the one that works best for you and your space. Sleeping bags can last longer when they are stored the right way.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Happy camping!

Steve and Kris
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Steve and Kris are avid campers, outdoor lovers, and founders of Camp S'more Worry Less. When they are not camping, they enjoy other outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, and hiking with their family. Read more.

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