Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make
Display Avatars Sort By:
E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/23/2009 16:09:10 MST Print View

Of course this is a very subjective question and depends on many factors, such as length of trip, type of trip, region, etc. But for general 3 season use, I'm curious:

-How many stuff sacks do you carry?
-What do you use each size for?
-What material and brand do you recommend?
-What's the max compression you'd apply to puff insulation, synthetic or down? Are there any good rules of thumb to go by? (I've erred on the safe side using fairly large sacks for puff insulation.

We're dialing in our 3 season list and winter list and trying to keep things as organized as possible, without going overboard.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/23/2009 16:48:15 MST Print View

EJ:

You are right, this is totally personal. I was a traveler before I took up hiking -- and I used to use different stuff sacks for different things (bag, pad, clothing, misc., etc.).

After a few trials, I found that I could pack more and faster and easier and lighter by ridding the sleeping bag, pad, and clothing stuff sacks! Now, I actually prefer just one big hole -- and use one small stuff sack to house the misc. small items.

When traveling, I prefer compartments for organization and ease of use. But as an UL hiker, what I find is that at the end of the day, pretty much all my stuff is pulled out anyway -- so no need for compartmentalizing at all. During the day, I do separate out my hat, rain jacket, first aid kit and food -- placing them in outer pockets and hip belt pockets. I LOVE hip belt pockets.

YMMV, of course.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/23/2009 16:51:52 MST Print View

-How many stuff sacks do you carry?
Lots. Critical ones lined with plastic bags. I compartmentalise all my stuff.

-What do you use each size for?
I try to not have them too full, so they can squash around inside my pack.

-What material and brand do you recommend?
Chuckle! MYOG silnylon.

-What's the max compression you'd apply to puff insulation, synthetic or down?
As low as possible.

But I know others prefer just one or two big stuff sacks, more along the lines of a pack liner. That works too.

Cheers

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/23/2009 19:24:56 MST Print View

I'm with Roger. I compartmentalize my stuff too. It's easier to find what you need, when you need it.

Use however many stuff sacks you need, based on your packing system. Silnylon is relatively cheap and lightweight.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
# on 01/23/2009 20:19:50 MST Print View

Three to four: Sleeping bag, extra clothes (sack rarely used), food and toiletries. I use a S2S roll top waterproof sack for my sleeping bag, a MYOG silnylon for extra clothes, either a MYOG silnylon or a plastic grocery bag for food and a small stuff sack from ID for my toiletries. It is the same sack my ID eVent gaiters came in. I also have a sack from my VBL socks that is the same size.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Stuff sacks... on 01/23/2009 21:42:06 MST Print View

I use four.

An Outdoor Research Hydroseal dry sack for my down bag which I over compress to the extreme. I'm prepared to replace it every few years if it starts to lose it's insulating ability but it's been surprisingly resilient so far. My trips tend to be of short duration so that may allow the bag to recover between trips.

An Outdoor Research Helium dry sack for my clothes -- insulation layers highly compressed once again. I also use a Granite Gear Air bag for my food and a very small stuff sack for my tent stakes.

Over compressing allows me to carry a fairly small pack and I'm a bit more obsessed with volume than weight (although the two go hand in hand). I like a small pack and I really don't care if my gear lasts 5 or 10 years because I'm always looking for something new to try anyway.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/24/2009 06:03:28 MST Print View

My standard 3 season kit uses 2 stuff sacks, if you don't include the small zip lock I use for essentials. I use either REI tuff lite or granite gear air bags.

#1 REI tuff lite X-Small
Contains: bivy, tarp, stakes, lines, gloves, & hat
#2 REI tuff lite Small
Contains: food (2 days), 550 pot w/stove inside, biner+35 ft of line (bear bagging)

My sleeping bag and UL down jacket are stuffed into my pack directly. I dont compress them overly.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 01/24/2009 06:05:55 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/24/2009 14:55:15 MST Print View

> My sleeping bag and UL down jacket are stuffed into my pack directly.

What do you do if it rains for several days? or if you have to swim a river?

Cheers

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/24/2009 15:14:12 MST Print View

I use six I guess -

I use a Sea To Summit dry bag lined with an oven bag for my sleeping bag or quilt.

Another Sea to Summit dry bag sometimes lined with an oven bag (if lots of rain or stream crossings are expected) for insulated and sleeping clothing.

A third Sea to Summit dry bag for food.

A small cuben fiber stuff bag from Z-packs for sundries.

A tiny homemade tent stake bag for tent stakes,

And finally a small generic stuff sack for my bear bag rope.

I also put my Esbit stove & my beer can pot in a Zip-lock gallon bag.

I find this system makes it easy to find everything, keeps it dry and keeps moisture/condensation from clothing or sleeping bag from being absorbed by the other.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/24/2009 15:21:59 MST Print View

Forgot to mention some of the stuff sacks become multi-use. The clothing one becomes my pillow, the food one is used to bear bag the food, and the small one holding the bear bag rope is used to hold rocks or a couple of energy bars for weight in throwing the rope over a tree limb.

The sundry bag clips easily to the ridgeline of my hammock so I can easily find things I might want during the night.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/25/2009 12:29:43 MST Print View

Hmmm, I've never really thought about it. I carry as many as I need...and that changes with every trip. And if you're going to include ziplocs, then the tally is pretty high!

All my clothing and sleeping bag (except rain and wind clothes) go in one giant Silnylon dry bag. I have a small MYOG spinnaker bag for wind gear (shell, pants, gloves and hat), another one for bedtime stuff (earlpugs, headlight etc...) and a ziploc for toiletries that need to be dry. Lots of little tiny ziplocs for matches and fuel, bigger ziplocs for food. The tent also has it's own spinnaker sack. Oh yeah, and an emergency kit in a heavy duty ziploc. I never over compress my down gear. I want it to last a lifetime.

Edited by retropump on 01/25/2009 12:30:44 MST.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
How many stuff sacks just right for 3 season? Best material, make on 01/25/2009 13:09:57 MST Print View

I wrote...
"My sleeping bag and UL down jacket are stuffed into my pack directly."

Roger wrote...
"What do you do if it rains for several days? or if you have to swim a river?"

Roger, The answer is it depends...but for starters the pack is waterproof + the pad is a tube that adds another barrier layer. But for real rain protection one of my kits uses a poncho tarp. The other uses either a pack liner (plastic bag) or I'll put my down into my bivy then stuff it all into the pack (not had to do this though). The third is to yes add another stuff sack that is waterproof (granite gear air bag). But on my last four trips I did not take a stuff sack for my sleeping bag or jacket.

As far as the river thing goes, I'd say your trips are a bit more extreme then mine. In my many years of backpacking I've crossed a many river by fording or bridges but never had to "swim" one. I need to hook up with you sometime so you can point me to something a bit more challenging.

Jamie