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Andrew Green
(swampfever) - F
Stuffing a Sack on 09/22/2005 10:42:35 MDT Print View

Hi, and thanks for letting me join. I learned quite allot from this forum that has made my life and hiking better.
Is there a correct way to stuff a stuff sack with a sleeping bag? The 2 schools I know of is rolling it up like a cigarette or just hand over fist stuffing. Also does keeping a Synth. bag in a stuff sack for extended periods ruin it?
TIA.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Stuffing/Storing Sleeping Bags on 09/22/2005 11:34:06 MDT Print View

I'm of the "fisting" school of stuffing sleeping bags.
But only with a consenting sleeping bag. And gently.

Never,ever leave a down or synthetic bag stored in a stuff bag for extended periods. You will ruin either in time--sometimes a short time. You destroy the longterm ability of the insulation to loft up after compression. Synthetic fill bags are more susceptible than high quality down bags but either will suffer from storage abuse.

I myself, stuff my bag at the trailhead. For long term storage, use a breathable storage sack or hang in a closet.

Edited by kdesign on 09/22/2005 11:54:19 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stuffing a Sack on 09/22/2005 12:14:20 MDT Print View

It's much, much harder to stuff a rolled bag.

Stuffing little by little is the way to go.

BTW, the bag should be stuffed inside the stuff sack only when you're on the road. When storing, the bag should be loose -- either hanging or laid flat (with nothing on it) or stored in the large cotton sack that usually comes with the bag.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Stuffing a Sack on 09/22/2005 12:35:10 MDT Print View

Stephenson's Warmlite (www.warmlite.com) indicates the following: "To pack a bag, always carefully fold and roll it. Uniform end compression of the roll to fit in a sack won’t harm it. Don’t stuff anything you don’t want to rapidly destroy!" They also recommend the same procedure for their down air mats (DAM).

Stephenson's is concerned about turning the down into string. They also do not suggest sleeping and lying on down for the same reason.

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 09/22/2005 12:36:28 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
re.stuffing a bag on 09/22/2005 13:36:03 MDT Print View

Stephenson is, as always, the iconoclast in this area. And while I think he's sometimes right ( love his tents), when it comes to sleeping bag storage, I think he's off base.

Why? Because rolling up a down bag before inserting in a stuff sack is not only harder to do, but also because rolling the bag will consistently compress areas of the bag in the same way to the detriment of the bag. The bag will develop creases. I have personally observed this phenomona and with a Stephenson Warmlite bag( ironically), to boot, among others.

The random nature of stuffing a sleeping bag (gently) will help to insure that your multi-$100 investment will give you many years of use.

Edited by kdesign on 09/22/2005 13:36:33 MDT.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
stuffing a bag on 09/22/2005 14:08:29 MDT Print View

Kevin,

What do you think about rolling the bag from the foot to open end (as my FF Vireo) and then stuffing it into the stuff sack. Or, do you think just stuff as from the foot to the open end into the stuff sack?

Also, I think that for the Stephenson's Down Air Mat (DAM) folding the matress, rolling the matress from the foot end toward the top (to force the air out), and then sliding it into the stuff sack is probably the appropriate method (so as to not destroy the matress and the down).

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 09/22/2005 14:25:10 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Richard--just stuff it ;-) on 09/22/2005 15:09:08 MDT Print View

I personally would gently (but manfully) stuff the bag foot first into ze sac d'compression.

As to the Down Air Mat--frankly my dear,I don't
have a DAM--so I have no experience with it.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
stuffing a bag on 09/22/2005 15:17:41 MDT Print View

just stuff it in.

Andrew Green
(swampfever) - F
Bigger Pack on 09/22/2005 15:19:55 MDT Print View

Either way it ends up the size of the rest of my Pack. It is by far the largest item I carry and am looking for ways to get it smaller with out spending a ton on a speacialty bag, I am in warm weather so I have always used a warm bag I can not imagine how people with colder bags fit them into a lightweight pack.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Richard--just stuff it on 09/22/2005 15:23:16 MDT Print View

Thanks kevin,

That is how I use to stuff all my down bags in the past. As to the DAM, I will basically follow what Stephenson's has recommended. It makes sense because all the air has to be forced out of the matress before it is inserted into the stuff sack.

I will let you know how I like it later in the year. Only weighs about 20.2 oz for the mat in my size with 2.8 oz for the pump sack (weighs less than a full length thermarest Prolight 4). The mat has 3.5 to 4" of thickness (and filled with down). It should provide great warmth with all the down in the mat.

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 09/22/2005 15:25:40 MDT.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Bigger Pack on 09/22/2005 15:30:18 MDT Print View

Andrew,

My 22.4 oz Feathered Friends Vireo (could be as little as 16 oz) stuffs down to about the size of a loaf of bread in a #4 (5.5" x 13.5") Granite Gear Air Bag. I am sure that it could stuff even smaller as well. My Vireo has 2 oz of 800+ down overfill as well in eVENT fabric and in lighter fabrics with less down would stuff down much more. In its configuration it is probably about a 25? degree F bag and with enough clothing and a warm pad could be used to about 0 degrees F and possibly lower with the right clothing.

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 09/22/2005 16:30:29 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Bigger Pack on 09/22/2005 16:14:24 MDT Print View

Andrew:

If you want a compact and light bag, then a down bag is the way to go. My two bags, for example:

1. Montbell 50F hoodless summer bag - 13 oz. weight, compacts to just 7"x4"

2. Montbell 30F bag - 21 oz, 8"x5"

Western Mountaineering bags are also tops!

Andrew Green
(swampfever) - F
Stuffing Sacks on 09/22/2005 16:56:38 MDT Print View

I have always owned Qualfill synth bags as I thought they were lighter than down and stuffed better, but I guess I have been wrong. The Qualfill bags basicly go flat in a season or 2. My bags now are not common in this country, I have a Haglofs LIM (Less Is More) bag rated at 40 and a Kathmandu Bag rated at 35 both synth. The Haglofs was perfect for me until I left it in the stuff sack as that is how it came from Haglofs, it's basicly a limp blanket with spots that have no insulation now. The Kathmandu on the other hand has never been stuffed and is perfect for me except it's on the big side mass wise. I guess down will be my next bag.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
bags on 09/22/2005 17:03:08 MDT Print View

you should seriously check out Western Mountaineering bags. 900 fill power and great weight savings and of course they compress well.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Sleeping Bags on 09/22/2005 17:21:58 MDT Print View

Andrew,

You may want to check the Rock and Ice Article:

http://tinyurl.com/bwsh4

Rich

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Stuffing sleeping bags on 09/22/2005 19:31:49 MDT Print View

* Theoretically, stuffing is preferable to rolling; it is easier, it may possibly perhaps maybe do less damage to the bag (more consistent compression, and it does not create wear spots. However, the crease-wear that occurs on tents and similar flat goods is less likely to occur with a sleeping bag because the creases are unlikely to occur in the same place very often. You probably would not be able to detect unusual wear after long use. That said, I stuff because it is easier.
* It is always better to avoid any unnecessary compression. The more (and longer) an insulation is compressed, the less it will recover and the longer it will take to recover whatever loft it has left. This is true regardless of the insulation.
* Compression sacks may overcompress the insulation. Use the largest sack compatible with your pack. The goal is to protect the bag, not to see how small you can make it. An odd historical factoid: Golf balls were originally made by pounding goose down into a leather sack. You can compress down into an amazingly small space. Whether you will get a warm night's sleep out of it afterward is another matter.
* Silicone impregnated nylon or polyester stuff sacks are easier on sleeping bags because they are slicker. Each handfull of sleeping bag slides in with less pulling and stress than with polyurethane coated sacks.
* The tried and true technique for stuffing a sleeping bag is to bunch the foot of the bag and cram it all the way to the bottom of the stuff sack. Then grab a handfull of bag just above the opening of the stuff sack and cram it all the way to the bottom, next to the foot. Repeat as necessary, stuffing each handfull as far down as possible and filling the soft places as you go. After a little practice, you will find the right amount of force to apply. Use the minimum necessary to do the job.
* More damage is probably done to sleeping bags through improper storage than through improper carrying. Be sure your bag is dry before you put it up after a trip and store it loosely in a well-ventilated area. I prefer to hang my bags, but nowadays some bags come with loose storage bags that are meant to be hung. That's OK, too.
* With good care, a good down bag will keep its performance for 15-20 years. I have one bag that is still in pretty good shape after 30 - although I have given some thought to replacing its down with higher loft stuff - just because I can.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stuffing Sacks on 09/22/2005 20:36:07 MDT Print View

Qualofil is actually an older technology, and compared to current insulation, it's much bulkier and heavier, given the same warmth. An example of newer synthetics is Polarguard Delta. However, no synthetics today can approach natural down in terms of warmth, lightweight, compactness, AND longevity!

Do check out the various down bags mentioned above (including my beloved Montbell's).

William Siemens
(alaskaman) - F
stuffing sleeping bags on 09/23/2005 00:01:44 MDT Print View

For many years, I "brutally" compressed highgrade down bags, without noticing too much degradation in loft....but now I have sort of changed...I just stuff the bag in the bottom of my pack...seems like things nestle in there just as well as when the bag is a hard "football" in its own stuffsack. Seems the bag fluffs up quicker at night, and things fit in fine. Bill