How in the heck do you get the sleeping bag into that tiny little stuffsack!

4:43 p.m. on April 9, 2008 (EDT)
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I just got my Montbell UL SS #3 down bag and I don't know how anybody can get all of the bag into the tiny stuff sack they provide. What is the secret!

I am pretty happy though, my Henry Shires tent came in, along with my Montbell Versa Light jacket and pants. The two boxes with the gear in them was lighter than either my old tent or old sleeping bag alone. All of this stuff will easily fit into my 3000 ci Kelty pack. Light weight, here I come!

7:39 p.m. on April 9, 2008 (EDT)
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Get a compression sack that you can comfortably stuff the bag in, stuff the bag, close it, and tighten the compression straps. You will end up with a much smaller package than the provided stuff sack. Silcoat compression sacks are the lightest, plus it is easier to stuff into a Slicoat sack than a plain nylon one. I use the ones from ID.

8:06 p.m. on April 9, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm not sure that a compression sack will get the bag any smaller but that may be what I have to try. The provided sack is about 10 inches long by 5 inches in diameter and I really don't understand how anyone could get the sleeping bag into it. Who is ID? Integral Designs? Thanks for the info!

8:25 p.m. on April 9, 2008 (EDT)
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I wouldn't even bother, just get a larger stuff sack. Most great sleeping bags(Marmot, Western Mountaineering)seem to come with sub-par stuff sacks, I usually dump them immediately and go with something better I like(Outdoor Research Hydroseal, etc). And I usually go a little bit larger.

I read somewhere, maybe on the WM website, that compression sacks for bags are not recommended, something about zipper distortion and crushed down. My pack holds 6400 cubic inches so there's always room for my bag in an easy-to-stuff sack.

Everyone knows not to store a bag in its stuff sack for long periods, so there must be something relevant about packing it somewhat loosely versus packed tightly when out on a trip. I'd say the less it's packed the quicker it will loft.

9:06 p.m. on April 9, 2008 (EDT)
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Good point about using a larger stuff sack. The tent I bought will easily fit inside my smaller pack, I can put the sleeping bag into a larger sack and then roll up my sleeping pad around it and strap it to the outside of the pack. An extra 1.5 pounds on the outside of the pack shouldn't make a difference. Too bad I have to go to Kentucky next week or all this gear would be getting a shake down hike.

12:10 a.m. on April 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Lay out your bag to its full length, have a seat at the foot of your sleeping bag and grab a fist full of the bag from the very end (where your feet would be) stuff, grab, stuff grab, stuff grab... and ta da, that big ole bag should be stuffed in that little tiny stuff sack.

12:58 a.m. on April 11, 2008 (EDT)
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And be sure you are stuffing it hard down to the bottom of the bag at each of BigSmoke's prescribed "stuff grab" steps. If you don't really stuff it, you will end up with a quarter to half the bag hanging out of the stuff sack.

As for the compression sacks, well, yes, some of the quills are broken each time, so that over time, you lose some loft. That happens in regular stuff sacks, too (which is why you should always store sleeping bags and filled parkas unstuffed). But after 48 years, my Karakoram is still reasonably close to its original rating, and I have never had any problems with the zippers or losing loft in any of my down bags. I get my Feathered Friends bag out in -20 or lower temps several times each year (not this year, since I have had other things going that reduced my cold weather camping, like going for 3 weeks to Africa during December and other things from Jan-Mar - good grief! it is now mid-April! Wha hoppen?)

I have had loss of loft in synthetic bags, with Polargard and Hollofill losing significant loft in 5-8 years, and noticeable loss in the older Primaloft bags (my ID Primaloft seems to be standing up to the compression sack just fine at the 5 year mark).

11:17 a.m. on April 11, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm going to Ft. Knox this week so on the trip down there I'm going to look for a good outdoors store and get a slightly larger stuff sack and use the tips you guys gave here. The stuff sack Mont Bell provided has some bad stitching so I may as well get a new sack. The bag is very small and light and I will probably be strapping the sleeping bag to the outside of my Kelty so getting it as small as possible is not neccessary.

Just as an aside, my new sleeping bag, tent, jacket and pants together weigh the same as just my old sleeping bag. The new stuff is 4 pounds even, the old bag was 4, the old tent 4, the jacket and pants was 3, and then I save a good 3 or 4 pounds by using a smaller internal frame instead of the big external frame. I should have done this years ago.

11:30 p.m. on April 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Whoo Hoo party time!!! That weight saving is almost a case of brew. Now that you have room for some of the essentials you have space/weight to fill out the more important stuff.

Have fun. Seems like you have made a grand investment that will just keep paying you back for many years.

September 21, 2014
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