8 Expert Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Sleeping Bag

No one treats sleeping bags quite as terribly as I do. In my day, I have broken all the rules of proper care techniques, including every single tip listed here.

Luckily for you, I spoke to real experts to learn how to extend the lifespan of your sleeping bag — Jeff Blakely from Brooks-Range Mountaineering and Kimberly Cunningham from Warmlite. They both forgave me of my sins and set my bad habits straight.

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7 thoughts on “8 Expert Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Sleeping Bag

  1. Just how much should one compress (or not compress) a down bag? I already reasoned that compression sacks might be abusive, but to chase out the previous night’s moisture I’ve been alternately rolling from foot to head and fluffing mine 3 times prior to stuffing for the day. I squeeze it fairly tight and sometimes lie on it once it’s rolled. This seems to help ventilate the down, but at the expense of extra compression cycles.

    How can I tell when it needs washing? In 11 yrs and well over 100 nights It doesn’t smell, isn’t stained, retains 3.5 in. of its advertized 4in. loft, and baffles are intact though it doesn’t spring back nearly as quickly as when new. To minimize body oil absorption I use a silk/cotton liner and dedicated night clothes, but some oils probably have crept in.

    1. Great questions & your doing a GREAT job already taking care of your bag! It’s ok to use a compression sack but you do not want to store it that way. When not using we suggest to store under your bed and even wrap in sheet. You are correct in that over many years of compression it will break the down and after enough times the down will start to crumble but that would take many many years of doing that. Washing it, using the liner is perfect. If it doesn’t seem like it really needs to be washed then leave it be. If you decide to give it a bath use a mild soap in the bathtub. Rinse and this is where the fun begins. It will take many hours to dry and every hour or so as it is drying you will want to “beat/fluff” the down because after being wet it will all clump together and you need to work the feathers apart. Here is a link to a recent article we were interviewed about this exact subject of caring for your bag:https://www.warmlite.com/2017/10/12/8-expert-tips-to-extend-the-lifespan-of-your-sleeping-bag/
      Thanks for your questions and Happy Camping! Kim

  2. I use a liner whenever possible and sponge mine out occasionally. I’ve dry cleaned it once in 1981 at Down Depot in San Francisco. They freaked out at the number of zippers, but did a nice job. It has acquired miscellaneous patches to cover tears and burns, but has saved my life at least once at -53.

    1. -53, now that’s a cold night! Very happy you invested in your Warmlite Sleeping bag! Another life saving story. Happy Trails & stay warm! Kim

  3. Thanks for sharing your significant recommendations with us! I suppose that your tips will come in handy!

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