Should You Roll or Stuff a Sleeping Bag?

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Sleeping bags are a vital part of a camping trip. Like every other camping gear, it is difficult to manage. Some people like stuffing their sleeping bags while some roll theirs. So, which one is better?

Stuffing is given preference because it is the more straightforward technique of the two. You can stuff something easily but rolling it requires time. Rolling is good for when you have loads of space to spear. But most people who go camping try to minimize the space every item takes up. In this case, stuffing offers a better solution.


Should You Roll or Stuff A Sleeping Bag? 

Camping sleeping bags can be stored in two ways. People are divided on this issue. Let’s hear the two trains of thought.

  • Some believe that rolling yields a better result for the sleeping bag
  • Most campers suggest stuffing them as it is easier to do so, and this technique provides extra space

Two groups use two different methods, but some manufactures have expressed their thoughts as well. They believe stuffing is the better option. Some brands even refer to sleeping bags as stuffing sacks.


Benefits of Stuffing Your Sleeping Bag

As we mentioned before, stuffing is preferred by more people due to its simple technique and small space. If rolling can’t give you advantages while camping, then there is no reason to entertain that technique.

You just have to put a 2mm contractor bag at the end of your sleeping bag. Then stuff your sleeping bag or covers inside of that bag. Twist the bag head with bands or tie it up. That’s how easy stuffing is.

  • The benefits of stuffing start before camping. When you stuff it into the bag, it will already be somewhat fluffed and warm. It will be ready to use.
  • If you stuff a sleeping bag, it will take up space horizontally. Putting it at the bottom lets other gears and camping items have more vertical space.
  • For those who hike, stuffing is the better choice because it will be evenly stored inside the bag. When you have to walk long paths, you don’t want anything to bump into you from the back. Since stuffing means better distribution, you don’t have to worry about that. Rolling puts pressure on all areas, but stuffing does not.
  • When you are out camping or hiking, the last thing you want to do is frustrate yourself with gear management. Rolling a sleeping bag takes a long time. In the end, they need more space to be stored. This creates a risk of the bag getting torn.
  • It is the best method for fast packing. If you encounter a sudden situation like rain or heavy wind and need to pack and go somewhere else, stuffing is the best choice.


Drawbacks of Stuffing Your Sleeping Bags 

As plentiful as stuffing a sleeping bag is, there are some disadvantages to it. It is a technique for when you need to hurry. Nobody likes wasting time by packing camping gear. We spend the time we absolutely have to. This is why stuffing is so famous.

But stuffing is not the best technique for long-term storage. In this matter, most people prefer rolling. After you get home, you need to store all the camping gear. You can’t compress down your sleeping bag while keeping it at home. It might ruin the properties of the pack.


What Do I Need for Stuffing My Sleeping Bag? 

While sleeping bags can work fine on their own, some items will make your work much more manageable.

Compression Stuff Sack

The compression stuff stack is used for decreasing the sleeping size bag. Stuffing your sleeping bag already reduces bag space but using a compression sack will make it even smaller. It will compact the sleeping bag without you putting in extra energy.

You can also store other camping gears like pillowcases and quilts with your sleeping bag. The compression sack will create a compact storage bag. This will give your bag more space and make it easier to carry other products.

Cost: These bags are absolutely fantastic and come in many different sizes and colors. You can buy single pieces, but there are set packs in different sizes. Having different sizes of these sacks can help in carrying various tools. Single large pieces cost 10 to 20 dollars. Smaller pieces in 4 set packs cost about 40 to 50 dollars.

Fabric Storage Sack

If you want to store your sleeping bag for the long term, the technique differs from the simple stuffing technique. After you reach home, you need to take out the sleeping bag and let it breathe. You cannot store these bags in a compressed manner.

Use fabric storage bags or canvas bags for this trick. First, check your sleeping bag for tears and other damages. Then fold it neatly rather than compressing it down. Put it in the fabric bag for long-term storage. Some sleeping bags may come with storage sacks, but you can use large bags with good airflow if yours doesn’t.

Cost:  There are many designs available for fabric storage bags. You can use single storage bags or cube organizers. Some bags come with zippers, and some do not. Using a zipper will ensure the sleeping bag will remain clean when not used. Cube storage bags cost around 15 to 20 dollars. Large fabric storage units are 25 to 40 dollars, while the smaller ones are below 20 dollars.


5 Tips for Stuffing A Sleeping Bag

If you want to stuff your sleeping bags, there are some tips you must adhere to. Follow these bits of advice for a better camping experience.

Practice Before Camping 

If you never stuffed your sleeping bag before, practice doing it once before you go camping. While stuffing is easy, sometimes the sleeping bag might not comply with the size, and it becomes difficult to fit. You need to try doing it at least once before you hit the road.

For those who plan on using new sleeping bags on this trip, you must practice stuffing. Every sleeping bag is different, so don’t feel that just because you could do it before, you can do it again. You don’t want to be stuck with a sleeping bag you can’t manage. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Flatten Before You Stuff 

Before you stuff and pack your sleeping bag, you need to flatten it to get rid of extra air stuck inside. While the air inside the sleeping bag can help you be warm and stuffy during cold nights, it is not ideal when stuffing the bag. You need to spread the sleeping bag and compress it with strength.

Use Compression Sacks 

There’s no alternative to compression sacks when you’re trying to stuff your bag. As per the first tip, if you ever feel that you can’t stuff in your sleeping bags, you should use a compression bag to do it. They will smash down your bag to a smaller size. It’s essential to choose a compression sack that is big enough to fit your bag.

Take Care of Sleeping Bag While Camping 

Stuffing means compressing down your sleeping bag. While it’s an excellent way to pack, it is not beneficial for the sleeping bag if you use it for an extended period. You should only compress it as long it takes to reach the camping ground.

This means that you need to take out the sleeping bag after you reach the destination. Your sleeping bag needs to gain back its original volume. After you wake up in the morning, you need to get the sleeping bag out of the tent and air it out. It needs to bask in the sunlight.

Properly Wash the Sleeping Bag 

Sleeping bag liners will prevent the bag from accumulating dirt and damage. Plus, it will add to the insulation. Sleeping bags need to be taken care of. If you’re camping for an extended period, use the bag liner. However, once you reach home, you need to wash the bag.

For minor stains, use a sponge and soapy water. The larger ones cannot be washed by hand. You need to use the washing machine. Check the product manual to see if it is washing machine safe or not. Zip it up and fasten all the buttons before putting it inside the washer.

Use a liquid detergent that is used for sports products. Don’t use fast speed for cleaning. Instead, set a slow pace and let it rinse after washing to get all the detergent out properly. Let the sleeping bag dry horizontally. Do not use too much heat to dry it.

If your washing machine can’t fit the sleeping bag, use your tub or a large basin to clean it. Don’t wrinkle the bag and use proper rinsing methods.



Hopefully, now you know how to properly manage and pack your sleeping bag. Stuffing might be an easy technique, but that does not mean that you can just wing it. Practice it beforehand, and if you have trouble, you can always use a compression sack to minimize it.

Stuffing your sleeping bag lets you have more space for other gears. It is a fast and helpful technique. Remember to practice and take good care of your sleeping bag.