Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack
Display Avatars Sort By:
Levander Thomas
(levander) - F
Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/01/2006 19:50:37 MDT Print View

I've got a Gossamer Gear G4 backpack, and a GoLite Laze sleeping bag. The sleeping bag came in a really big (cotton I think) stow sack. I assumed that it was just shipped that way to prevent the loft from being damaged and that I could compress it down.

However, I've rolled it, folded it, pressed it down as much as I can. And, I'm going to try some more, but the thing just doesn't fit into my backpack. And, it's really not even close. It's like to fit comfortably in the backpack, the sleeping bag would have to be half its size.

Is this a common thing? Do some sleeping bags just not fit into the backpacks? Or, am I just missing something?

Laze bag:
G4 backpack:

Edited by levander on 10/02/2006 12:45:25 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/01/2006 20:11:34 MDT Print View

well are you just putting the bag in without a stuff sack? If so probably that is the problem. If not then, what is the fill rate of the bag. Lower fill rate 600 or so usually use larger stuff sacks. Higher fill rate bags, like 900 will squish down to a much smaller size.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/01/2006 21:17:24 MDT Print View

That's a 3lb synthetic fill bag, so yes, it's going to take up a bit of room.

My guess is that most people with a G5 are using a down bag in the 1 to 2 lb range which will compress much smaller than the golite laze bag.


Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/01/2006 21:21:32 MDT Print View

Synthetic bags like the Laze will take up far, far more space than an equivalent warmth down bag--I'm guessing the Laze will completely fill a stuffsack around 700-800ci. And the G5 has only 2800ci in the main compartment. Without knowing any more, I think you may have a gear mismatch on your hands. You may have to switch to a larger pack, which wouldn't cost too much if you don't have one already, or a lower-volume bag, which would cost a bit.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/01/2006 21:29:08 MDT Print View

You have two packs mixed there-- do you have a G4 or G5? If you have the G5, you don't have a lot of room extra for bulky gear.

The GoLite Laze is a 20F/3lb synthetic bag, so it is going to take up some room. I was a able to get a similar bag (20F Sierra Designs) in a 13 liter stuff sack. I am able to get a 32F Delta fill bag (28oz total) in an 8 liter stuff sack. A compression sack may take it down a little farther, but if you can avoid that, it is better for the fill. The Laze is supposed to come with a silnylon stuff sack-- did you use that or try to just stuff it in the bottom of the pack?

Don't feel bad-- I've been going through the same process getting my Winter gear to fit.

Levander Thomas
(levander) - F
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit into my backpack on 10/02/2006 12:52:10 MDT Print View

I just corrected the original post. I do have a G4 backpack.

I tried a bunch of things, but I am now using the silnylon stuff sack.

After some work, and various experiments. I have gotten the sleeping bag in the backpacack. I've looked, and I don't think the seams are ripping on the backpack. But, I would call the fit "very snug".

I had to get the sleep bag inside the stuff sack into the backpack with it pointed one way. Then, once it was in the bottom of the backpack, I then had to turn the sleeping bag sideways to so that the bag wasn't standing 2/3rds of the way up the backpack. This is when the fit became "very snug".

Maybe with more work, I could make the sleeping bag even a little smaller. I haven't tried yet, but am trying to get out of here today and am planning on using it like it is.

Hopefully, and I really don't think it will, the sleeping bag won't rip the seams on the G5...

I'll probably email the guys at gossamergear when I get back to see if I can describe enough the situation for them to determine if they want to complain or not.

Edited by levander on 10/02/2006 12:53:45 MDT.

barry hitchcock
(barryspoons) - F
sleeping bag fitting in rucsac on 10/02/2006 18:39:11 MDT Print View

i have similar problem with a large synthetic bag -- i line rucsac with a large plastic sack --then stuff s/bag down as best i can--i am going to experiment with internal compression straps to pull the bag to the bottom third of the rucsac--i want it to come down and push out to fill the bottom corners of the rucsac--the s/bag came with a compression sac but using it gives me a hard tube shape that i find difficult to accomodate

John Baird
(jbaird) - F

Locale: Deleware Watergap A_T
sleeping bags and fit on 10/02/2006 21:50:49 MDT Print View

I've been reading the replies to your question. We all lose site of backpacking lite sometimes. Try layering your sleeping gear. use two lighter bags that fit smaller than one one big one. you'l find it warmer and easier to pack.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: sleeping bags and fit on 10/03/2006 02:55:58 MDT Print View


John wrote: "use two lighter bags that fit smaller than one one big one. you'l find it warmer and easier to pack."

Two sleepingbags which together rate at, say, 40 degrees will never ever be as light as one single sleeping bag rated at the same 40 degrees. In addition, if all the materials in all the three bags are the same, the single 40 degree sleeping bag wil be lighter than the two lesser warm sleeping bags together. And will also compress smaller than the two other bags.

Levender, you wrote: "The sleeping bag came in a really big (cotton I think) stow sack. I assumed that it was just shipped that way to prevent the loft from being damaged and that I could compress it down."

I get the impression that you only recently got the sleepingbag. If so, maybe you can still return it since it doesn't quite work for you?

I'd go for down instead of synthethic cause it compresses much better. I have a wonderfull 20 degree, 750 fill (european rated) 100% down sleeping bag, that fits nicely inside my G4 and that goes in without putting up a fight. But maybe you don't want down due to moisture problems, i should say however that i never had a problem with my sleepingbag getting wet. I even wetted out in a GTX exchange bivi once and my sleepingbag was still dry and warm. The water didn't penetrate the DWR outershell of the bag. It does weigh in at about 36 oz though and it's still waiting replacement for a quilt like bag (for which i still don't have money.)


Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: sleeping bags and fit on 10/03/2006 09:05:38 MDT Print View

I just wanted to second what Eins said, and if you decide to return the bag, put in a plug for the JacksRBetter No Sniveller quilt. I am 6'4" and 210 lbs (BMI 25.6) and have slept comfortably down to 37° F wearing most of my clothes. I can't imagine anything that packs smaller that would be as functional.

Levander Thomas
(levander) - F
Down bags on 10/04/2006 16:14:42 MDT Print View

Yeah, I'll probably get a down bag because it's lighter eventually. I've got this sythetic fill Laze bag because it was on closeout, and was only priced at $80. Money was tight and I couldn't justify spending $220 to save like what would have been 1 lb 3 oz for a really light down sleeping bag. Although, in retrospect, I could have just gotten a cheap down bag at Walmart that wouldn't have weighed much, but I imagine it wouldn't last as long either.

That said, where I slept the other night when I went out, it wasn't raining, but because the side of the mountain I slept on was northern facing (not much sun during day), the sleeping bag was moist when I got up, and I had to air out even the synthetic bag. I wonder how bad the down bag would have been with the water?

It turns out to get that sleeping bag not only to fit in the stuff sack, but also to make it even small to fit in the backpack, there's a process you have to follow. First, you lay the sleeping bag spread out flat on the ground. Then, you crawl across it with your arms pressing all the air out. Second, you fold it length-wise in half, and crawl across it again. Last, you start at the top end where your head goes because it's wider, and start rolling as tight as you can. I've gotten to the point where on my second attempt, the sleeping bag fits in the backpack.

It doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a pain in the ass at 6:30 am when you're trying to get out of camp. Does this sound like more than most people have to do to pack their sleeping bag? Do down bags necessarily pack easier? If so, even more than the weight, easier packing would be a big reason for me to go down.

Levander Thomas
(levander) - F
Re: Re: sleeping bags and fit on 10/04/2006 16:18:03 MDT Print View

Einstein, that's a good point about the outer shell. I don't believe the moisture got inside the outer shell of the synthetic bag either. So, I assume it wouldn't have gotten inside the outer shell of a down bag.

Eric Noble, I'm checking out the JacksRBetter web site now.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Down bags on 10/04/2006 16:19:33 MDT Print View

It sounds like you are making a simple mistake that everyone has missed, namely, don't roll your bag as you have with sleeping bags in the past. Instead, you just cram it into the stuff sack or backpack. The sleeping bag will take up less space that way.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Down bags on 10/05/2006 05:28:32 MDT Print View

In addition to what pete said: it's also BETTER for you sleeping to cram it inside a stuff sack or your backpack.

AND ALWAYS open your zip, don't keep it zipped.

I pack my G4 like this: Backpack is empty at first, than the liner that i bought at Gossamer goes in, than sleeping socks go into liner, than sleepingbag. I stuff the sleeping bag all the way down untill the bottom is nicely filled out. I twist-turn the liner shut like you would a garbage bag and i go on with the rest of my stuff.


Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Down bags on 10/05/2006 08:22:20 MDT Print View

I stuff the exact opposite. I place the heavier food items and extra clothes at the bottom of my pack, followed by misc. gear and then top it off with my sleeping bag. I have yet to use a stuff sack with my latest bag...but I am considering it for trips with a lot of stream crossings (in case the pack takes a swim). But the two main reasons I place the bag at the top: 1. I feel more stable with more weight towards the middle of my back and 2. My bag gets more and more room as the trip goes on, and the down needs to be compressed less...which I believe is the number 1 culprit to decreasing your bags effeciency, namely time and volume compressed.

Levander Thomas
(levander) - F
Re: Re: Re: Down bags on 10/05/2006 17:42:53 MDT Print View

Okay, at first I thought Crazy Pete was giving me a hard time. But then I realized it made sense because I could vaguely remember seeing the sleeping bag in a pile when I was out hiking and it did seem smaller. So now I've got Einstein backing him up. Plus, less packing when I'm out.

Thanks guys.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Sleeping bag won't fit in pack on 10/05/2006 18:06:53 MDT Print View

Why is it better to cram a sleeping bag into a stuff sack, unzipped, as opposed to rolling it? Seems like it would be harder on the baffles, as well as less efficient space-wise.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit in pack on 10/05/2006 22:13:19 MDT Print View

Its better because if you roll the bag, you increase the liklihood of putting stress repeatedly upon the same spot.

when you stuff, the stress is always randomized. your never going to put stress on the same place twice.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Sleeping bag won't fit in pack on 10/07/2006 04:15:30 MDT Print View

"Why is it better to cram a sleeping bag into a stuff sack, unzipped, as opposed to rolling it? Seems like it would be harder on the baffles, as well as less efficient space-wise."


If you roll a sleeping bag you stretch the baffles, so stuffing is better. And as it might seem less efficient space wise: just try it. Neatly roll your bag and than try getting it into the stuff sack. I especilly dare you to do so with a TNF sleepingbag. I haven't succeeded doing that ever. Than try stuffing it. See what works best and which method gets the smallest package. Maybe you'll be surprised.

BTW i really don't understand the fear of people on these fora about cramming a down sleeping bag into a tiny stuffsack. Just consider the truck delivering the down to the sleepingbag factory. That down isn't nice and fluffy like it is in your sleepingbag. In fact, it's crammed with a mechanical press untill it fits onto one pallet. And you're affraid you cram your sleepingbag too much? HA

So when you go backpacking cram the heck out of your sleeping bag if you need the room in your pack. Than when you return home, dry it out and store it loftly, not crammed, your bag will be fine.

And yes, maybe your sleepingbag won't last you 15 years, maybe it'll only last 12 years, but so what? When has durabilaty ever been a concern for the (S)UL hiker anyway. Besides, I want to buy a newer, better, lighter, tougher sleeping bag anyway in 12 years.


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Stuff vs. Roll on 10/07/2006 05:43:30 MDT Print View

Glad Eins brought up the longevity issue when Eins said to "cram the heck out of your sleeping bag". This is why many prefer to not compress the bag as much as they are able to and avoid compression sacks. However, Eins makes a good point on how long one plans to own and use their current bag. Often, as Eins said, UL'ers buy gear before the life of their old gear is used up. Witness the number of gear FS posts on these Forums.

For my part when using a normal UL backpack with UL Down bags, which are not particularly heavy and certainly not dense, i usually just put it in my pack on top of the heaviest gear and food to lower my pack's CG and leave the bag in a large waterproof trash bag, so that it occupies as much space as it is able to - makes it a tad easier to fluff when making bivouac.

If it summer and i'm using a large hunter's lumbar back instead of a regular UL backpack, i resort to the Mfr's properly sized stuff sack so that the bag fits in one of the two larger compartments of the large hunter's lumbar pack. MB's stuff sacks are very nice as they have an extension collar and two sets of drawstrings. You first stuff the bag into the stuff sack, taking advantage of the extra volume that the extension collar offers. Cinch the cord-locked extension collar drawstring tight, and, if desired - it's NOT mandatory, then stuff the bag filled extension collar down into the main portion of the stuff sack and cinch the second cord-locked drawstring at the main comparment/extensionCollar interface tight. Makes for a nice, small, tidy package.

Lastly, perhaps that's why they're called "Stuff sacks" and not "Roll Sacks". The Mfr. intended their bag to fit into the sacks when properly stuffed.

Edited by pj on 10/07/2006 06:10:24 MDT.