How Do You Choose A Compression Sack For A Sleeping Bag?

A good compression sack (also known as stuff sack) provides you with ample room to carry your sleeping bag during your outdoor excursions. Be that as it may, choosing the best stuff sack for a sleeping bag can be a pretty challenging exercise for some people..

When it comes to selecting a compression sack for a sleeping bag, size is the most important factor to consider. This is simply because sleeping bags typically come in a variety of volumes. Whereas most manufacturers include a ‘right-sized’ compression sack with their sleeping bags, this is not necessarily the case with all brands.

There are also instances where the stuff sack acquired from a sleeping bag manufacturer may not be of the best quality. In such a scenario, you might need to pay extra money in order to get good quality and the right size for your sleeping bag.

I understand why some people may read this and conclude that finding the right one is too daunting a task.

However, this need not be the case at all. If you are wondering how to choose the best compression sack, read on to learn how to gauge the right size before making a purchase.

How to Pick the Right Size of a Compression Sack

When shopping for a compression sack, it is absolutely crucial to ensure that the size is compatible with your sleeping bag. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing one that is too small for your sleeping bag to fit into.

On the other hand, buying one that is too large may lead you to spend more money unnecessarily, since the size of the item determines the cost.

Therefore, it is very important to get the size just right before spending any money.

In order to determine the appropriate size, you need to check the model of your sleeping bag to determine its size.

You can do so by checking the documentation that came with it on purchase.

Once you have confirmed the model size of your sleeping bag, conduct an online search to see which compression sacks are compatible with it.

In case you are unable to find the model information, worry not. You can overcome this issue with a little innovation on your part.

One way of doing so is by measuring the dimensions of your sleeping bag using a tape measure. This will provide you with the size information of your sleeping bag.

A general rule of thumb when measuring the size of your sleeping bag is to add a few extra inches to the actual dimensions. This ensures that the compression bag you choose has extra room to allow for ease of packing.

Manufacturers usually provide the sizes of their stuff sacks in different ways.

Some of the most common metrics used to denote the size include volume in liters and cubic inches or diameter in cubic inches.

So, ensure that you roll up your sleeping bag and take the measurements. This will help you avoid making the wrong purchase.

Other Factors to Consider when Choosing a Compression Sack

Although size is very important when purchasing a stuff sack, it is by no means the only factor to consider.

There are several other things you need to take into account when buying a stuff sack. These include:

Fill Type

This essentially refers to the material that is used to fabricate the sleeping bag. Whereas most sleeping bags are filled with either down or synthetics, there are those which feature a mixture of both.

The fill type of a sleeping bag determines how much it will compress. Depending on the fill type of your sleeping bag, you may require a specific size of compression sack.

In general, down sleeping bags are highly compressible and therefore need much smaller sacks than synthetic ones that do not compress as easily.

Fill Power

This is a term that is used in relation to down sleeping bags. It refers to the amount of space in cubic inches that is occupied by an ounce of down when it reaches its maximum loft.

Generally, the higher the fill power of a down sleeping bag, the greater its compressibility.

Consequently, sleeping bags with high fill power require smaller sacks than those with lower fill power.


Compression sacks come in a wide variety of gender specifications. There are those which are specific to either men or women as well as genderless or unisex items.

So, depending on your gender, a certain type may be more appropriate for you.

For instance, women-specific sleeping bags are typically designed with special insulation properties, which affect their compression-ability.

Subsequently, this determines the choice of a stuff sack that is appropriate for them.

Fabric Material

The fabric type of your sleeping bag also determines the kind of sack that you should buy.

Ultra-light fabrics such as nylon and polyester are easier to pack than natural fabrics like cotton.

This makes it possible to fit the former in much smaller sacks compared to the latter.

Temperature Rating

The temperature rating of your sleeping bag is determined by the amount of fill it has. This means that bags that are designed for cold weather typically have more fill than those that are built for warmer weather.

Consequently, a sleeping bag with high amounts of fill is less compressible and therefore requires a much larger compression sack compared with a low-fill bag.

In Conclusion

Now that you understand everything that is required when choosing a compression bag, I am sure that you will find the process a lot simpler.

Remember to select one that is slightly larger than your sleeping bag when making your purchase.

This will make stuffing the sack a lot easier and provide you with greater flexibility when packing and unpacking.