Avoid this One Costly Mistake with Your Sleeping Bag and Puffy Coat

November 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

Down Sleeping Bag Care

Care for your Sleeping Bag and Puffy Coat Between Trips

Remember that last backpacking trip? The one you got home from and were so tired that you never fully unpacked?

“I’ll be camping again soon anyway, right?” This is what I always think to convince myself that my gear will be happily waiting for me come the next trip.

“Thanks for leaving us in this tightly cinched pack with your unwashed pan and wore-it-three-days-in-a-row shirt,” sulks my sleeping bag and down jacket.

Never leave insulated gear in its compression sack

This seemingly minor act of neglect is slowly killing your gear’s insulation, all while the muffled screams of lofty down and techy Primaloft are unable to escape the walls of the record-breaking stuff-job you did to turn that ginormous zero-degree sleeping bag into a cantaloupe. Congrats, you got it in there. Now let’s get it out!

You are probably already aware of this no-no. But do you live by it? It can be difficult to believe much harm is taking place to a sleeping bag or jacket sitting motionless in storage, but it is true. Sadly, I’ve witnessed it first-hand on a Patagonia Down Hoody that I thought was so much fun to smash into its own tiny pocket and throw like a football onto the top shelf for the summer.

Your sleeping bag and puffy coat’s insulation degrades simply by you doing nothing

Storing your gear in a compressed state mats down the loft of its insulation irreversibly. The feathers and/or fibers break down and clump together to create permanent patchy areas for the cold to sneak in and party—sort of like dreadlocks in more ways than one. This can easily be avoided by only compressing your gear during outings and taking extra care to store sleeping bags in the huge storage sack that most quality bags come with.

Hopefully you’re already sprinting out to your garage to save your gear, but if not, please share one of your favorite gear care tips in the comments.

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One response to Avoid this One Costly Mistake with Your Sleeping Bag and Puffy Coat

  1. Haha I wish I had known this advice years ago! I started doing some ‘extreme’ treks which weren’t that extreme, but they got down to 0F. A few months back I took out the sleeping bag I had packed away to do a similar trek and it was next to useless (I think there was some moisture in the storage room too). I had to pack it on in and head home :(

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