Hey there, outdoor enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of sleeping bag storage. Now, I know it may not sound as thrilling as scaling mountains or roasting marshmallows by the campfire, but trust me, proper storage can make all the difference in the lifespan of your trusty sleeping bag.
So, grab a cup of tea, find a comfy chair, and unravel the secrets of keeping your sleeping bag in tip-top shape without any unnecessary frills.
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 home washing machine, so you will need to hit the laundromat 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 it once yearly 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.
Avoid leaving your bag in direct sunlight because this can damage the fabric.
Depending on the weather, drying a sleeping bag can take quite a while. 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 Out the Sleeping Bag
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.
As mentioned above, you can toss the sleeping bag in a commercial dryer to speed up this process. 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 several 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
If you don’t use it for a while, you should store your sleeping bag in a loose-fitting stuff sack. Sleeping bags stored in a compression sack will lose their loft and reduce the insulation, meaning 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 often have to buy them separately.
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 sacks), 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.
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 several 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.
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.
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 placed under the bed will retain their loft for extended periods, extending the bag’s life.
There are many 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 Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.