I can't figure out how to put the kelty pdsi back in its stuff sack as small as it did before and can't figure out an easy way to get all the air out

  • 5
    As a side-note to this, you shouldn't store your pad in it's stuff sack when not in use for extended periods. Most self-inflateable pads consists of a layer of foam on the inside. The foam takes form of the shape it is in, when stored for longer periods, and thus will "remember" the deflated state. This will make it take longer to inflate when needed and tends to loose insulation. I always store my inflatable mattress with the valve open, under my bed to preserve the "filled shape".
    – Fizk
    Oct 16, 2015 at 10:02

4 Answers 4


In addition to what Liam writes, since early childhood, I have found that a two-step approach gets out more air. It starts the same as Liams approach, but has some more steps. The approach below works for Thermarest.

  1. Open the vents
  2. Fold it as Liam says
  3. From the far end that does not have a vent, roll it slowly, continuously having one knee on top to push the air out (when folded, there is no space for two knees).
  4. When you have it fully rolled, close the vents.
  5. Unroll.
  6. Once again, roll it up (still folded).
  7. When you approach the end, remaining air will start to accumulate near the vent. When this becomes noticeable, open the vents again.
  8. Continue rolling until the end.

In my case, there's always some additional air that escapes in step 8, and I usually cannot put it in the container yet at the end of step 4.


Typically...when putting an inflatable matt back into it's packaging I:

  1. Make sure all the vents are fully open
  2. Fold it (width wise) to the size of the bag you want to put it into
  3. Slowly roll the matt towards the vents, squeezing as much air as you can out. I'll normally roll it one roll then put my knees/weight onto it to squeeze the air out, continue.

It should end up barrel shape and it should just slide into it's container easily.


I still use the old Thermarests, which are norotiously difficult to pack down small. What I do is slightly different than what has already been suggested:

Start off by quickly getting the bulk of the air out however you wish, I over inflate my mattress, so often I only have to open the valve while I'm getting out of bed, and by the time I've gotten dressed and packed up my bag (while kneeling on my bed) my mattress is mostly deflated. I'll then quickly fold the mattress over a couple times and just sit on it to get the the rest of the bulk out. When rolling my bag I follow these steps:

  1. Unroll mattress.
  2. Quickly roll up mattress again comfortably snug.
  3. Kneel on mattress with valve open until air stops coming out.
  4. Close valve.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

I keep doing this over and over until the mattress is small enough to fit nicely in my bag.


I usually take a container for the pad that is large enough so I can store it easily. When hiking, I don't exactly want to spend 15 minutes crushing my pad into its pack in the morning.

So measure your current smallish container (height and circumference (flat width)), and find something slightly larger (a few cm are enough). A lot of outdoor brands have stuff sacks that would be suitable.

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