Stuff or Roll Your Sleeping Bag? Pros and Cons of each

stuffing a sleeping bag

should you stuff or roll your sleeping bag to its compression bag or even normal bags? both have their pros and cons but which is better.

Generally, it’s recommended to stuff your sleeping bag rather than rolling it because it removes more air and allows for a smaller packed size, furthermore it is not time-consuming.

Pros and cons of Stuffing your sleeping bag

even though it is not intuitive stuffing your sleeping bag is better


  • well, it’s just easier.
  • it and be compressed which mean more space in your pack pack


  • not orderly(for OCD people)

note: if you are a side sleeper check this article

pros and cons of rolling your sleeping bag

Rolling your sleeping bag can be neater but there will be a lot of air trapped, which makes it ineffective.


  • less damaging for your sleeping bag
  • looks good when rolled


  • more space

Which is the right way to stuff your sleeping bag

To stuff your sleeping bag inside your backpack, place a 2mm contractor bag at the bottom of your pack, then stuff your sleeping bag or quilt inside. After that, twist or tie the bag shut (bring extra rubber bands). After you’ve stuffed your bag, stack the rest of your gear on top of it.

Contractor bags are less expensive, lighter, and can also be used in emergency situations than standard stuff sacks (think ponchos, bedding, and water collection).

Stuffing your sleeping bag in this manner at the bottom of your pack is beneficial for several reasons:

  • The sleeping bag will occupy as much horizontal space as possible. It will fill in all the nooks and crannies, freeing up more vertical space for other equipment.
  • A stuffed sleeping bag is more evenly distributed, which means no bump pressing into your back when hiking.

Pro backpacks even argue that stuffing is preferable to rolling because rolling applies pressure to the same areas while stuffing is more randomized.

long term storage for sleeping bags

If you’re storing your bag at home rather than in your pack, you won’t want to store it compressed at all, especially if it’s a synthetic bag.

Although down bags are generally thought to be very compressible and safer to store compressed for long periods of time, it is still best to avoid this practice.

The sleeping bag should be stored in a cool dry place out of the sun. Another option is to hang your sleeping bag, which is also not a bad idea.


When deciding whether to roll or stuff your sleeping bag, stuffing is always the better option. When packing your pack, using 2mm contractor bags at the bottom is the best way to go. If you need more space, stuff sacks can help and will not harm your down bags. Synthetic bags, on the other hand, require more care and are more susceptible to compression.

When storing bags at home, use a cotton or mesh bag to keep them in. Make sure they are dry and stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Categories

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