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I've heard that storing a sleeping bag in its stuff sack for long periods of time will cause it to lose loft, and won't provide as much comfort or warmth when used again.

If so, how should I store my sleeping bag when I won't be using it for months at a time?

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I have an old hockey bag that I keep my sleeping bag in. It protects it from dust/moisture without compressing it and damaging the loft. –  Hartley Brody Jan 25 '12 at 18:32
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5 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Some sleeping bags come with a larger sack which does not unnecessarily compress the sleeping bag. So you might get a linen bag of around 50l volume (depends on the size and type of the sleeping bag). Furthermore, it is best to store it in a dry place, especially if it's a sleeping bag with down stuffing.

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This is what we have at home. Our down sleeping bags came with 50l or so mesh sacks so that the bags can be stored safely at home. I would add, though, that we lay them out and open to dry for a day or two after bringing them home from a camping trip to make sure we get rid of moisture before storing them. –  Clare Steen Jan 25 '12 at 18:16
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I use a suitcase, and try to let the sleeping bags take up all the space available to them inside. It's a good use of space that you probably aren't using otherwise, and protects them well.

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Best way would be to lay it horizontally so the filling won't shift and create spots that are more/less insulated.

Second best would be to store hanging up in a closet. It does not compress the bag at all.

If you don't have a closet tall enough to hold the bag, get a king-sized bed pillow case. put the bag in the pillow case and store in a clean, dry corner.

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When you put the bag into a compressing sack, the insulation fibers take some damage. (Synthetic fibers are less resistant in this regard than down.) The longer and harder you compress the insulation, the more damage; the insulation slowly loses loft and gets "colder". Therefore it's best to keep the sleeping bag hanging or lying freely, possibly in a bigger sack. That's about the only thing that matters, plus maybe the decent humidity mentioned by Thomas.

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When I bought my sleeping back from the scouts I was told not to store it in its stuff sack for long periods, and instead to hang it on a coat hanger so that it doesn't get compressed.

I was also told to stuff it into the bag rather than roll it as that way the bits that get squashed when compressed are different each time.

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I've been hanging my bags for years, and they're still going strong –  HorusKol Jan 25 '12 at 22:24
    
+1 for scout training, that is exactly what I learned in Philmont. –  Justin C May 18 '12 at 3:04
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