View Full Version : Effects of compressing down beyond stuff sack size

Earl Grey
09-18-2007, 21:53
I remember reading about in the care instructions for practically any down product to not leave it compressed for extended periods of time. Recently got a compression sack for mine that compresses a sleeping bag to at least half the size of the stuff sack size. Will this damage the down faster than being in a stuff sack? How long is too long in a compression sack? Usually I crank it down HARD and the whole thing is hard as a rock.

09-18-2007, 21:56
~ Usually I crank it down HARD and the whole thing is hard as a rock.

I don't understand why people feel a need to do this. Is volume such a concern? It won't weigh any less if you compress it.

Earl Grey
09-18-2007, 22:08
I don't understand why people feel a need to do this. Is volume such a concern? It won't weigh any less if you compress it.

Space is a premium in my pack (3200cu. in.). I didnt have to worry about it using the 40 degree bag because it packed down to the size of a 32oz nalgene but now space is a concern with a 15 degree bag.

Appalachian Tater
09-18-2007, 22:12
Just take it out and shake it as soon as you get to camp so it will have time to expand. You wouldn't want to store it that way, but you can hike with it compressed.

09-18-2007, 22:13
I don't use a compression sack for any of my down bags. I use a larger than normal stuff sack, put it into the pack, and then compress it by pushing everything else down on it. I find that this approach results in much more efficient packing than stuffing the bag into a sack that becomes a hard lump and then packing the stuffed sack in the pack.

09-18-2007, 23:11
I believe that the idea is when you are storing it when you're not hiking, that is why many give you those big bags that hold the bag "loosely" so you can hang in a closet. Same with tents.

If you have a small or very organized pack, coompression is cool, but for weight you can make your own out of silnylon, and a draw cord.

09-19-2007, 06:28
How badly compression affects the bag largely depends on the quality of the filler material. Poor-quality materials are hurt by even short periods of compression, each and every time they're compressed. Really high-quality down can bounce back.

I wouldn't use a compression sack unless it's absolutely necessary, and then I wouldn't make it any smaller than I have to to make the bag fit into my pack. I have to use a compression sack on my winter sleeping bag.

09-19-2007, 08:35
I don't use a stuff sack when hiking. I have a BA system (I'm sure opinion varies as to the quality here but it works for me) which I just stuff, with deflated pad still in the bag, into my pack. Not really worried about any extra weight from a lil ol' stuff sack, just don't use one (I am open to discussion on this practice). For longer periods of storage at home I hang the bag at home in the loose sack made for that.

09-19-2007, 09:00
The only reason I use one is to keep the bag completely separate from any other stuff in my pack. I use a double walled silnylon bag, seam sealed and always keep the opening facing "sideways" when packed. I think LOST IN SPACE is right though about it becoming a hard lump.

It came in handy though when my hydration bladder failed once soaking my entire pack except for my bag.

I figured that if I stuff the bag, it would get grimy from the 'ins and outs' (hands, food, dirt, etc .) during the day. Maybe this just isn't the case for most :)

09-19-2007, 09:11
I have found that you can save space better by packing your bag into your pack with out a compression sack. like some one said earlier, then you just pack on top of it. this makes sure that every cu in of space is occupied, versus a compression system that doesnt comform to the shape of your bag, and is inflexible when you go to back stuff around it. to make sure it stays dry, you have to have a reliable pack liner, only drawback.

09-19-2007, 09:20
I forgot about my pack liner, I may try stuffing next trip out and see how it goes. I really don't like the hard lump it makes, and you're right, it would make more sense to use all your space up.

09-19-2007, 10:29
compression sack? Why, those things weigh like 5 oz. I can't see how a thru-hiker that's well underway has a space shortage in a 3200 ci pack try getting rid of some junk.