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I came across the following comment (From durable 3-season bag.):

don't forget that synthetic doesn't last nearly as long even if you take extremely good care of it (i.e. never compress it) – Ryley

It got me thinking if I might be packing my bag wrong. I store it in a larger uncompressed bag when not on the go, but on the go I use the tiny bag it came with.

I don't doubt the small bag is fine, but how do I take the best care? What should I consider doing to pack my sleeping bag best?

  • Rolling or stuffing?
  • Loose or tight?
  • Completely avoiding the tiny bag?
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The advice I was given was to randomly stuff (as opposed to rolling) it so that it didn't compress more repeatedly in a given area or pattern. –  Russell Steen Jun 26 '12 at 20:17

2 Answers 2

Guidance that came with my extreme sleeping bags was to randomly stuff, as @Russell commented, trying to use a different pattern each time, and to hang it over a line and give it a good beating when you return home.

The small bags they came with seem fine - and they have lasted 10 years+ so far.

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When you say "extreme", is that the particular synthetic fill? –  Ryley Jun 27 '12 at 14:08
    
It's this one: google.co.uk/products/… –  Rory Alsop Jun 27 '12 at 15:02

I made that comment coming from the perspective of a long distance hiker. If you're going to use the same bag every day for 3 months, regardless of whether it's down or synthetic, it pays to treat it well.

There's an author, somewhat of a distance hiking guru, Ray Jardine, who informs most of that community's thoughts. His suggestion for synthetic bags is to store them un-compressed in the top of your backpack (i.e. let them fill up whatever room is available). I think there are some practical issues with that idea, like if it is raining, but nonetheless that's his suggestion.

His other main point is to treat your bag gently. Don't jam it into a stuff sack so small that you're tearing at the fibres as you try to get it into and out of the sack.

For shorter trips, compression is less crucial as long as you don't go too small (a good rule of thumb is to only use stuff sacks as large or larger than the one provided with the bag). At the end of a trip, the loft of your bag might be somewhat compromised, but if you follow the suggestions for storage at home like we talked about in the other question, it ought to rebound to nearly full loft.

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