How to store and care for a sleeping bag and pad

What could be nicer than wrapping yourself into a comfortable and well maintained sleeping bag after a long day of hiking! After reading this article you will find why you shouldn’t store a sleeping bag in its own storage bag, why you should wash it, and what is the correct way to store self inflating sleeping pads.

Johanna works as an outdoor expert at our Kuninkoja store in Raisio. Johanna has been trekking and hiking since childhood, and still spends most of her free time out in the wilds. Johanna is also our guide section’s hiking expert.

Outdoor expert Johanna’s instructions for sleeping bag and pad maintenance, storage, and washing

A sleeping bag should be stored at home outside of its storage bag in a loose pile. This way the bag will stay puffy and will regain its normal thickness after being packed tightly. Down bags especially often come with separate large storage bags for home storage.

The harder a sleeping bag is used, the more sense it makes to use a sleeping bag liner. Using a sleeping bag liner reduces the need for washing the sleeping bag and grants more warmth.

You should air out a sleeping bag after each night when hiking, if at all possible. That way the bag will keep its insulating properties better.

A self-inflating sleeping pad should be stored at home spread out and with its valve open, for instance under the bed. A sleeping pad that has been stored spread out will self-inflate much faster on a hike than one stored in a bag. Other types of pads don’t require any special tricks when stored.


A sleeping bag gets dirty in use, which gradually reduces its insulating properties. You can wash your sleeping bag yourself as long as long as you follow these instructions:

  • Only wash as big a sleeping bag as your washing machine is capable of accommodating: washing is not recommended if the dry weigh of a sleeping bag is one third more of the washing machine’s capacity..
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if they differ from ours.
  • Wash the bag with a suitable detergent: a synthetic fiber bag is fine to wash with normal detergent, while a down sleeping bag requires a detergent for down, like Nikwax Down Wash Direct.
  • Wash the bag with its zipper closed.
  • Don’t use fabric softener, bleach, or prewash.
  • Wash the bag at 30°C.
  • Use the delicate wash program.
  • Let the machine repeat the rinse cycle two or three times at the end of the wash.
  • Don’t spin dry.
  • Dry very thoroughly: a very long, low temperature tumble dry is a good option.
  • You will probably end up running the dryer program a few times before the sleeping bag is dry.
  • If you don’t have a dryer, spread the sleeping bag airily over a drying rack or a clothes line and ensure good ventilation – using a fan or similar might be a good idea. Turn the bag over often while it dries, so that the no moist spots remain in the insulation.

With these instructions you will keep your sleeping bag in top shape for a long time!

Read more:

How to choose a sleeping bag and pad

Tent maintenance, storage and cleaning

Check out our selection:

Sleeping bags

Sleeping pads

Pillows and liners

Kategorie: Anleitungen
Gepostet: 10.6.2020