how to store sleeping bags

If you love camping and the outdoors, you know there are few things more important than a good sleeping bag. Getting a good night’s sleep under the stars is often dependent on a good, cozy sleeping bag, among other things. But what do you do with your sleeping bag on the nights you’re not camping out? How you clean and store your sleeping bag while it’s not in use actually has a big impact on its performance when needed. Taking care of your sleeping bag today can mean better comfort, and better sleep, on your next camping trip.


How is this possible, and what steps can you take to keep your sleeping bag in peak condition? Here are some helpful tips on how to clean and how to store sleeping bags when they’re not in use.

How to Store Sleeping Bags: Store In a Breathable Bag

Most sleeping bags come with a handy compressed stuff sack. This is great for when you’re on the trail or getting ready to go camping. Packing your sleeping bag in the stuff sack saves precious space and makes it much easier to carry it with you on a hike. But, while stuff sacks are a highly practical solution while camping, they’re not great for year-round storage. There are a couple of reasons for this.


First, too much compression can cause your sleeping bag to lose some of its insulating properties. In simpler terms, your sleeping bag needs air pockets in order to trap heat inside. If your bag is kept in a compression sack for too long, it loses some of its “fluffiness”, and has trouble trapping in heat when it’s in use.


The other problem with year-round storage in a stuff sack is that this can cause the interior of your sleeping bag to grow mold or mildew. This is especially a problem if there is moisture in the bag, either from cleaning or simply from condensation.


To protect the insulation and cleanliness of your sleeping bag, the recommended storage method involves using a large breathable bag. Most sleeping bag storage bags are made from either mesh fabrics or cotton. These bags are less restrictive and more breathable, meaning they will protect the insulation and prevent mildew growth.

How to Store Sleeping Bags: Finding a Good Spot

Once you have your breathable storage bag, what’s the best place to store your sleeping bag? As you might have already guessed, humidity is not great for your sleeping bag. As such, you should avoid storing your sleeping bag in any damp or humid areas of the house, like the basement. Prolonged exposure to high or low temperatures can also cause your sleeping bag to lose some insulation. While sleeping bags are designed to keep you insulated in extreme temperatures, that’s usually in short bursts. Leaving your bag for weeks or months in a cold spot can be bad for it.


The best place to store your sleeping bag, therefore, is in a safe, climate controlled closet. This keeps the sleeping bag well-insulated at all times while not in use, and protects it from harmful airborne moisture.

How to Wash Sleeping Bags

If moisture is bad for sleeping bags, you’re probably also wondering how to wash sleeping bags without damaging them. For stains and problem areas, spot cleaning a sleeping bag with soap and warm water is sufficient. But what about fully rinsing your sleeping bag?


Most sleeping bags are machine washable. But, before washing your sleeping bag, always be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions first. You may find instructions on a tag attached to the bag, or printed on a card that came with the bag.


If you do machine wash your sleeping bag, avoid harsh chemicals, fabric softeners, and bleach. All of these can damage the bag and cause it to lose some of its insulating properties. Use a gentle cycle with cold or warm (not hot) water. Many people will run a second rinse cycle without any soap to ensure that all soap residue is removed from the bag. To dry your bag, use the lowest-heat setting available on your dryer. Always make sure that your sleeping bag is fully dry, inside and out, before returning it to its storage bag.

Stock Up On Sleeping Bags and Other Outdoor Gear

Whether you’re planning on an outdoor excursion or running a charity, stocking up on sleeping bags in bulk is a good idea. If you are looking to purchase sleeping bags in bulk, consider these polyester sleeping bags from Yacht & Smith. Or browse Wholesale Sock Deals’ complete inventory of sleeping gear for more great deals on bulk products.