does compressing your sleeping bag have a negative long-term effect on it?
this is a common thing you would hear from long-time campers and backpackers, so, I wanted to get to the bottom of this question.
Is compressing your sleeping bag bad in long term
The insulation capability and puffiness of a sleeping bag is often lost over time, though it is unclear whether this is due to several compression or natural degradation.
Because insulation in a sleeping bag works by trapping air in the gaps between fibers (known as loft), a compressed sleeping bag means that the loft has collapsed and thus the insulation properties have been lost.
When you sleep in a sleeping bag, for example, you compress the bottom of the sleeping bag, collapsing the loft in the bottom of the sleeping bag. Because the bottom of the sleeping bag does not do a good job of retaining warmth, a sleeping pad is frequently required to trap the warmth on your bottom side (since you are compressing it while you are in it).
Best Way To Store a Sleeping Bag
I would say the best way to store a sleeping bag is using the compression bag the company gave you, there is going to be minimal damage done to your sleeping bag but it is negligible considering the amount of space it will save you when compressed.
But in a perfect world the best way to store your sleeping bag is left uncompressed on a hanger in a dry and cool location.
Is your compression bag damaging your sleeping bag and how much
The idea is that if you leave your sleeping bag compressed in storage for an extended period of time, the loft never recovers, and your bag loses its ability to keep you warm over time.
Unfortunately no one has conducted a 10-year experiment wherether commpression bags affet sleeping bags but it is logical that they would loose some loft density
But generally, I’d say that the amount of insulation lost by leaving your bag compressed is negligible in comparison to the damage your bag can sustain from storing in a humid environment.
What do experienced backpackers say about this question?
I asked some experienced campers if their sleeping bag had suffered from compression.
Some reported that their synthetic bags don’t lose the same lofting abilities that others reported: Down (feathers) is one of the most effective insulations in a sleeping bag due to down’s amazing properties. Some said, though, that their synthetic fill bags didn’t lose their loft the same way down bags lose their loft.
Some claimed to have stored their bag compressed for years with no problems: One person in particular stated that they compressed their sleeping bag for 20 years and it still worked perfectly. This is likely to be the majority of people’s experience, particularly if they are not camping in extremely cold temperatures.
One person mentioned that down sleeping bags retained their loft longer than synthetic sleeping bags.
But most of them told me thier sleeping bag lost has its loft after years of storage: For whatever reason, many people noticed that their sleeping bag’s insulation abilities deteriorated over time.