I go hiking nearly every weekend, and usually (almost always) bring my rain jacket and pants. I store them in a stuff-sack in my backpack. I air them out after hikes if they are used. I was thinking about getting a compression sack to store them in, to take up even less space.

I've read that it's normal for Goretex (or equivalent) to wear out over time, as well as the waterproof impregnation of the nylon exterior. Does it wear out more quickly if rain gear is stored in a stuff sack i.e. squished up into the smallest possible space?

  • I would say the most likely scenario is one day your jacket will be stored while still slightly damp. In a compression sack, it will go moldy and be ruined. Hanging loose it will dry out and you won't even notice.
    – user5330
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 6:48

3 Answers 3


The creases that develop can theoretically compromise rain proofing treatment, especially if those creases cycle (bend and straighten repeatedly) however you can always retreat your gear to get more life out of them.

Everything in camping is a compromise between what you can carry and what you need. If you need the stuff you've chosen, and in order to bring it you need to add extra wear and tear to it, then that's one of your compromises.


Does it wear out more quickly if rain gear is stored in a stuff sack

Pretty much everything wears out more quickly in a stuff sack. They put additional pressures onto the fibres, etc. So yes it will. How much quicker is open to debate and will vary considerably depending on how compressed, for how long and what fibres, treating you have on the item.


The simple answer to your question is 'no'.

A more complicated answer would have to involve issues such as how many layers does the rain shell have, what are the fabrics involved, and is it being stored soaked for long periods of time.

A number of current high end WP fabrics are on the fragile side, so putting the WP layer in between two other layers (be it a 2.5 or 3-layer garment) is how companies protect these sensitive fabrics.

Will compression alone - and nothing else - cause these fabrics to be damaged? Again, highly unlikely even after hundreds or thousands of cycles of being compressed.

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