How to Roll a Sleeping Bag Tightly


Sleeping bags are an essential part of the camping or backpacking experience. They provide the comfort of warmth and sleep but also are potentially the most unwieldy and awkward item to bring along. Most sleeping bags include built-in features such as cords or elastic straps to make binding easier when packing. Some sleeping bags come with carrying bags equipped with drawstrings to facilitate easier transportation. In addition to these built-in or accompanying accessories, good packing technique helps conserve space, making storage and transportation much easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Sleeping bag
  • Included packing accessories (cords, elastic straps, drawstring sack)
  • Place the sleeping bag flat on the ground, wrinkle or bump free. Irregularities in how the sleeping bag is lying on the ground can lead to uneven rolling and bulkier packing.

  • On your hands and knees, start at the end of the sleeping bag without the straps and begin to roll up the bag. Maintain good pressure by pressing with your arms as you roll.

  • Keep the rolled bag compressed either with one arm or your knees and apply the binding straps or elastic cords.

  • Place the bound, rolled sleeping bag in its carrying sack if one is provided.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some designs of sleeping bags allow for folding the bag in half before rolling begins. This allows for a more compact rolled sleeping bag. Keep in mind that compressing a sleeping bag actually diminishes its capacity to keep you warm. Insulation acts by creating a barrier of air between you and the cold. If this barrier is compressed, it does not function as well. Shaking out your sleeping bag while opening it is a good antidote to this problem.

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