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Should You Pack Your Sleeping Bag in a Waterproof Stuff Sack?

Types of Stuff Sacks: Compression Sack, Roll Top Dry Sack, and a Draw String Stuff Sack
Types of Stuff Sacks: Compression Sack, Roll Top Dry Sack, and a Draw String Stuff Sack

Do you pack your sleeping bag or quilt in a waterproof stuff sack when you go backpacking?

We polled Section Hiker readers and surprisingly, the vast majority don’t stuff their sleeping bags or ultralight quilts into a waterproof stuff sack. Instead, they line their packs with trash bags and mostly stuff in their sleeping bag loose. I must admit, I was surprised by this. I thought the use of waterproof stuff sacks or compression sacks was the norm, not the exception.

How about you?

Do you pack your sleeping bag or quilt in a waterproof stuff sack when you go backpacking?

  • Why or why not? Dig deep and explain your motivation for or against using one.
  • If you use a waterproof stuff sack, tell us which one you use.

Please leave a comment and share your experience with our readers.

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269 comments

  1. I don’t use any kind of stuff sack for my sleeping bag when I go backpacking. I stuff it in the bottom of my bag which is lined with a heavy duty plastic bag. I do this so that my sleeping bag can fill void space so that my gear packs more nicely and so that I don’t over compress my sleeping bag.

  2. I don’t use a special stuff sack as I use a garbage bag as a waterproof packliner. That gives my quilt more space to loft, too. If I do longer trips with more equipment I sometimes separate my quilt and my puffy layers as well as my sleeping socks from the rest of my gear by using a non-waterproof bag. This is an old, large GossamerGear spinnaker stuff sack

  3. Back in the bad old days of my 50+lb pack, I used to keep my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack because I could never be sure I wouldn’t get water leaking into my pack during a downpour. But back then I also thought that a rain cover was a swell idea.

    Times have changed, though, and now I travel light, line my pack with a compactor bag, and stuff my quilt loosely in the bottom so it can fill up the spare space with a nice fluffy cloud of non-lumpy goodness. SO much happier now!

  4. No need to. I stuff my quilts in the bottom of my pack which is lined with a trash compactor bag. It provides a nice base for my pack and naturally compresses in the bottom from the gear on top.

  5. No. Never have a problem of getting it wet while hiking – I use rain cover and if I need to wade something deep or dangerous I will just repack it into a trash bag for the crossing.

  6. Yes. I use a sleeping bag and a waterproof stuff sack. I don’t have to dig very deep for this… I live on Canada’s Pacific Wet Coast. My children grew up in the rain forest. My daughter says she prefers the drama of a damp foggy day in the woods to bluebird sunny glare. As a backcountry traveler, I claim to be ready for whatever adventure nature prepares for me. Often it is wet. Or snowy and wet. When I took a course in alpine travel, I was taught to use a vapor barrier in my backpack (actually, I use a huge garbage bag). Being wet, and having wet gear is just a fact of life. Being cold and wet is not nice. If I have a shelter (a tent, or an igloo I made), then in that shelter I will want a warm and dry sleeping bag. The main reason I use a stuff sack is to make the huge volume of the sleeping bag as small as possible. So the compression straps of the stuff sack is the main feature. That it is waterproof is just a bonus. The one I use is an OR Hydroseal Drycormp sack #3. Just a thought… I am amazed at how much my warm body can dry things when we are in the sleeping bag. I’ve stared the night with a wet fleece sweater and socks that I had to wring out. So, at that hour, I am warm but very damp and uncomfortable. By 2am, the sweater, the socks, and the whole inside of my bag is warm and dry. That’s kinda neat, eh?

  7. My quilt is in a sylnylon stuff sack at the bottom of my pack . I use a trash compactor bag to line the backpack. Double protection from Rain. East coast hiking can b wet. This has worked well for me.

  8. I used a ZPacks quilt, which came along with a waterproof CF stuff sack. I put it inside every day during my hike, and was quite confident the bag will remain dry when I needed it at night.

    Back on my AT hike, I used an old synthetic bag, which I stuffed inside a standard (non water proof) stuff sack by Granite Gear, which I lined with a trash compactor bag, just to be on the safe side. I also had a really good pack cover (I think it was Arc’teryx), which kept my whole backpack dry during the hardest rains I hiked through.

    I think not using anything to protect your sleeping bag is not a good idea. That extra protection can make the difference between a warm night, and a miserable and dangerous one.

  9. First thing in my pack is a trash compactor bag, second is the sleeping bag. This sytem seems to work.

  10. I always use a sack. I used to use a S2S eVent compression sack, but nowadays, I just use a much lighter dry sack, and then throw it in the bottom of the pack. Even though I often line my pack with a trash compactor bag, I still like the redundant protection of the dry sack. Not only to protect the bag from water, but also from abrasion, now that sleeping bag fabrics have gotten lighter.

    As to the specific model of the dry sack, I actually do not know. I researched at the time the lightest waterproof roll top closures by S2S, OR & GG, and I got a couple for different size sleeping bags.

  11. Agree with Mr Ed above: a waterproof trash compactor bag is the first thing to go into the pack. Lately I bought a couple of Gossamer Gear pack liners which are better than traditional trash compactor bags in two ways: 1) they are transparent, and 2) they fit a pack perfectly. This eliminates the need for a distinct pack for the sleeping bag.

  12. same as most of the people who have already commented. if im just expecting rain, and not waist deep river crossings, ill just put it inside my bag that’s lined with large trash compactor, or what we call a mother bag. if river crossing, i just use 2 compactor bags/mother bags.

  13. I use a stuff sack but I have had it so long I don’t recall who makes it. Thanks!

  14. I always use at the very least a trash compactor bag because I am generally not a fan of using a stuff sack because it always seems to fit awkwardly in my pack. If I’m expecting rain on my trip I will put it in a large 20l sea to summit ultra sil water “resistant” sack just as a little extra insurance be cause we all know sleeping wet is never a fun time.

  15. I always use a a watherproof compression sack. It’s an OR. It’s soo light that it doesn’t really make a difference, but it gives me assurance that I will always sleep in a dry bag!

  16. I used to use a plastic garbage bag, but the past few years I’ve stopped–probably because most of my backpacking has been out West, without a lot of rain. Also, the one time I fell into the water this summer, my partner was carrying our double sleeping bag, so I’ve been lucky.

  17. I pack my sleeping bag into the stuff sack it came with. If it was likely to be a rainy trip, I’d probably put the rain cover over my pack or line my entire pack with a garbage bag liner.

  18. Yes. Use a 4 liter sea-to-summit watertight stuff sack. It is a tiny amount of added weight, but this is one item that must be dry when all else fails. I also feel that it helps to keep odors from food and other items in my pack off my quilt.

  19. I also use a garbage bag (thought I would be the only one!). I don’t ever want to be stuck out with a wet sleeping bag. The garbage bag can also keep gear i dont put in tent dry while sleeping, or hold any wet gear while packing out to keep rest of bag dry.

  20. Absolutely. I use a sea to summit 4 liter waterproof rolltop waterproof compression sack. It’s worth the weight penalty to guarantee a dry night’s sleep. Even with a bag liner I want to keep my sleeping bag airtight against all inclimate conditions whether that be a torrential downpour or a leak in my water bladder.

  21. I always use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner. With my larger (60 l.) pack, the sleeping bag just gets stuffed loosely in the bottom. If I’m using my smaller, frameless Golite Peak, I put the sleeping bag in a silnylon stuff sack placed vertically in the pack to stiffen the pack a little (but still within the pack liner).

  22. I use a Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Dry Sack. It compresses my quilt very well and allows it to fit perfectly inside my pack. I tried using a trash compactor bag but could never get anything to stay put inside it, it was just to slippery. Using the Dry Sack is a safety issue for me, I get cold very easily and do not want to chance my quilt getting wet. I strive to keep my pack light but this is an area where I will accept the extra weight. I use a HMG Windrider so no need for a pack cover. If any water does get in, the Dry Sack will be further protection. If anyone wants to give me a lesson on how to use the compactor bag, I would be willing to try it again.

  23. Yes, I always line my pack with a heavy duty trash bag (it has one big compartment) so everything inside is protected.

  24. I use a trash compactor bag, like many others. It’s the lightest and easiest way to ensure that your sleeping bag will stay dry for a decent night’s sleep and to avoid hypothermia.

  25. I use the water resistant stuffsack my sleeping bag came with. With a good pack cover I’ve not yet had any issues even after some heavy rains.

  26. I use a sleeping bag and pack it in a Sea to Summit waterproof compression sack. This garuntees a dry nights sleeping and makes room in my pack.

  27. My quilt goes in a Zpacks Cuban waterproof stuff sack along with the rest of my down gear when hiking. This bag then goes in the bottom of my pack for further protection. I do this to keep it dry since I hike in the rain often. I like to be organized when I hike so pretty much everything goes in a stuff sack of some sort. It keeps me from losing things.

  28. Usually yes, either a sea-to-summit dry bag or a plain old kitchen garbage bag (a lot lighter). For really long trips I line the entire inside with a trash compactor bag. It fits pretty nicely and is thicker than a normal trash bag.

  29. i line my pack (ULA Circuit) with a zpacks pack liner. Stuff my Enlightened Equipment quilt in the bottom. Done deal.

  30. Trash compactor bag is what I use. Cheap and use the space inside the pack efficiently. Never had a problem so far although I’m careful to replace the bags periodically.

  31. I do not, I us a trash compactor bag to waterproof my bag. I do, however, want to start using a drysack to put my sleeping bag in, as I think it would be more reliable.

  32. The Zpacks sleeping bag I have been carrying for the last 3 years goes in to the cuben bag provided. I also carry a pack liner in the form of a clear or white garbage bag. Swimming with this system has kept my gear dry. The added bonus of the garbage bag is a cleanish platform for sorting pack contents, repair material, a post hike container for garbage and many other uses.

  33. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack as I line my pack with the XL nylo barriers. Keeps my pack water tight.

  34. i pack my down sleeping bag and clothing in a sea to summit ultra sil dry bag. a slight weight penalty for peace of mind works for me.

  35. New system this year: Sleeping bag goes in a S2S ultra-sil roll top dry bag. I sit or kneel on it to compress before rolling the top closed. Much more packable shape, and lighter than a compression sack. Clothing is packed similarly in another dry bag. I’ve tried the compacter bags, but like Cheri have been frustrated by their slipperyness, and I can’t seem to avoid tearing holes in them.

  36. I do not pack my bag in a water proof bag. I line my pack with a plastic bag and then use my rain cover if it starts to rain. Less bags, less weight and bulk.

  37. I use a trash compactor bag for a pack liner. It it so much easier to pack and cheaper than silnylon bags, and I can put more clothing and dry things in it as well.
    Worked great this weekend where I had to wade deep in a lake to continue a coastal walk.

  38. Like many others, I use an unscented trash compactor bag (Hefty brand currently) at the bottom of my pack for my bag, sleep clothes and any puffy insulation.

  39. I pack my sleeping quilt and clothing in the bottom of a pack liner. After many years I discovered it took less space in my pack than using a dry bag and saves weight as my (nyloflume bag) pack liner weighs 1 oz. Once everything is packed I twist the top up real good and fold the excess over so the pack’s compressions keeps it from unraveling.

  40. I used to use a “homemade” waterproof compression sack (a kelty compression sack with a garbage bag inside of it) for my quilt, but just tried out using a contractor bag in the bottom of my pack. I like the contractor bag because it is less of a hassle, but plan on keeping the compression sack. I use one for my quilt and one for my clothing, and arrange them both in my bag to add extra lumbar support.

  41. I pack my sleeping bag in a plastic bag and put that in a silnylon stuff sac. Anything I can do to keep the down dry seems reasonable. I’ve had water get in my pack occasionally in heavy rains and once a water bladder leaked. Since my sleeping bag is my major warm layer I take care to keep it functional. Also, nothing ruins a day’s hike than a lousy nights sleep.

  42. Ever since one trip where an outfitter left my bag outside in the rain—in what became a massive puddle—which soaked my bag while I was out for a long day hike, I use a Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Sack. It’s been 4 years now, and am finally getting over my anxiety of a wet bag, and am planning to switch to a compactor bag liner only.

  43. I prefer a dry sack for my bag, simply because I know that it will be sturdy enough and not tear like a garbage bag might with repeated use. I have a sea to summit dry sack that works great and then I can also use it for other things if I know it am camping in a dry climate.

  44. I pack my down sleeping bag into a Sea-To-Summit Ultra-Sil stuff sack. In the past, I’ve gotten my bag wet due to rain or water bottle leak when I was using a trash bag. It is horrible to sleep in a wet down bag and they are a pain to dry out. In the end the difference in weight between a normal stuff sack and a waterproof stuff sack is negligible. A waterproof stuff sack, however, is great insurance against on of my most critical pieces of gear being unusable for a night(s).

  45. I use an Exped UL pump bag to pack my sleeping bag. I like it because it’s a drybag and a sleeping mat pump at the same time. It’s also pretty lightweight (~40 litres and ~50 grams). Keeps my sleeping bag dry and reduces the amount of moisture getting inside my sleeping mat.

  46. I currently stuff my bag or quilt loosely into a very light non-waterproof stuff sack and then into a compactor bag with other dry things. This makes stuffing my pack much easier because the loosely stuffed bag is not trying to escape all over the place. It still takes on the shape of my pack nicely. And, it compresses further with ease because the sack is not waterproof.

  47. I currently stuff my synthetic bag in a compression sil nylon sack (non waterproof) BUT am considering ditching that or using the sack for clothes and letting my bag fill-in the bottom of my trash bag lined pack.

  48. I usually use a garbage bag in my pack to keep my sleeping bag dry when backpacking back east and out west for three seasons.

    For backpacking in winter out west (snow trips in the cascades), I prefer putting my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack. I use a sea to summit e-vent stuff sack, large. I put my down booties and pants in the stuff sack with the sleeping bag.

  49. I typically do not use a water proof stuff sack. Instead I use a trash compacter style bag as a pack liner. These bags are tougher than a normal trash bag and stand up to more use and abuse. Plus it can serve to keep my other stuff dry if the weather looks inclement by expanding for the full pack interior. Or the trash compacter bag can double as a pack cover if I am using a sleeping system that doesn’t have room for a pack under cover. Simply, inexpensive, far more utilitarian, and effective.

  50. I pack my sleeping bag in a Zpack dry bag. I love the roll top and how much i can compress my bag.

  51. I use a standard compression bag for my sleeping bag. I then put it inside a GG pack liner bag along with my long underwear or other sleep clothes. All this goes in my pack that uses another GG pack liner, this gives me a lot of protection (I used a down sleeping bag) and gives me a backup pack liner / utility bag / etc. I had a bad experience with a wet down bag in freezing conditions as a teenager hiking the Organ mountains in New Mexico, promised myself that I would never get my self into a bad situation like that again.

  52. Living in the Pacific North West, I find it necessary to pack my sleeping bag in a trash bag. I don’t have a big budget for new gear so I still use an old synthetic bag. I fold and roll it up, put it in its own trash bag, and squeeze out as much air as I can by sitting on it.

  53. I pack mine in a Sea To Summit E-vent compression bag & strap it to the bottom of my pack (external frame). This makes a great base & l can open the interior all the way to the bottom.

  54. These answers are great! Awesome way to learn a lot! Okay, my answer isn’t as cool, but we’re still learning! We use the stuff sacks that came with our bags, and no, they are not waterproof, as mine even has a big rip in it. I’ve actually put the whole thing in a plastic grocery bag before to protect it. Sad but true. I’ve considered a big ziploc bag even! When we’ve gone somewhere with risk of falling in, we’ve used a big dry bag, but that’s so heavy, we normally just use that in float trips. A bag to line the entire pack really sounds like a great idea! I’ll be looking for those GG ones! But yeah, we’re still working on building a good system, please keep running contests in this form so that I can keep reading other tips! (also, yes, we’ve had gear fail from a poorly protected system, wetted out in the bag from heavy fog. We know we need to fix this)

  55. I am still working out the kinks of what works best. But as of right now I do not use a stuff sack. I just roll it sinch it and shove it in the bottom. This is more because I dont have a very compressable quilt yet than anything. But I have never experienced a wet blanket. I am just getting started and after roasting all day and almost freezing all night this past weekend I think my sleeping plan is going to be bumped up on the list of upgrades.

  56. I line my GG Mariposa with a trash compactor bag and put my quilts/sleeping bag in the bottom. I never felt the need to do any more then that. i did throw a pack cover over the whole thing on a particularly wet outing. Everything stayed dry.

  57. I stuff my quilts in an old coated nylon sack with my extra clothes, pull the draw string, roll up the top and, so far (10 years+) no problem. The label is long gone so I have no idea where it came from. :)

  58. I do carry my sleeping bag in a stuff sack. For trips to locations where I’m not expecting much heavy weather I use a silnylon compression sack from Integral Designs. For trips were I do expect wet conditions (I’m looking at you PNW) I use an old Outdoor Research sack with a roll top closure. This one is reliably waterproof, which I proved by floating the sack, stuffed with a sleeping bag, overnight in a bathtub of water.

    Both these options are old now. Lighter and sturdier options for the same categories can be had. Using stuff sacks does add some limitations to packing the pack. It also assures that my sleeping bag will stay dry.

  59. I typically do not use a dedicated stuff sack for my quilts. I find that they pack better without one. I do use a large plastic bag for the quilts and then also use a sea to summit pack liner for all pack internal contents including the quilts.

  60. I use a Hyperlite Mountain Gear cuben fiber stuff stack. I like the security of knowing my sleeping bag will be dry and I also like having my bag organized without any loose items.

  61. A stuff sack seems like extra weight, even though I am not an ultralighter. I put a trash compactor bag in my Gossamer Gear Gorilla and am good to go.

  62. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack for a couple of different reasons. 1-I’m about as fair weather as it gets and 2-I don’t usually use a stuff sack at all. I like for my sleeping bag to fill voids in my pack. If I do use a stuff sack, typically it’s the compression sack that came with my sleeping bag to free up space in my pack for when I’m schlepping a bunch of extra gear for my kids, etc. At that point, who cares if it weighs an extra ounce?! We’re not going far and my pack is already heavy as lead. If there’s rain in the forecast, a sturdy trash bag gets the call.

  63. > Do you pack your sleeping bag or quilt in a waterproof stuff sack when you go
    > backpacking?

    > Why or why not? Dig deep and explain your motivation for or against using one.

    I don’t use a pack liner and have three drybags that I use for those items that should stay dry. I can unpack my pack in the rain and not worry about wet gear. Individual drybags are light, convenient and flexible.

    > If you use a waterproof stuff sack, tell us which one you use.

    I use the excellent Lawson Cuben fiber bags that are no longer made. They are durable, light and very waterpoof. Zpacks and many others makes similar. The silnylon drybags I’ve used don’t compare.

  64. I think mine is water resistant. It’s a Kelty compression sack. I’ve yet to do any river crossings,the worst I’ve dealt with is a knee deep stream. If it rains, I throw a poncho on over everything. If I manage to upgrade to a down bag or quilt, it’ll go into a waterproof sack just for the added security, and if I were planning any deeper fords I might add a plastic liner to my pack.

  65. I stuff my Underground down quilt in the stuff sack it came with (not waterproof). That gets packed in a waterproof pack liner. I use the stuff sack as it is easy to stuff into a small space while sitting in my tent in the morning. The small (football-sized) package then fits perfectly across the bottom of my pack (inside the liner). I know I could just stuff the bag in the liner. I think this would be more awkward to pack, but truthfully I haven’t tried it.

  66. No. I put my sleeping bag in a stuff sack, then I use a garbage compactor bag to waterproof it, putting inside the pack that is fully lined with a garbage compactor bag. I haven’t done long multi-week hikes so haven’t bothered to maximize my efficiencies. This is sufficient for now.

  67. I pack my sleeping bag in his compression sack, and then I put it in a garbage bag, and finally I pack it in the sleeping bag compartment in my osprey kestrel 58. Have never been wet. No extra weight for a stuff sack.

  68. I always pack my quilts in a waterproof sack. I usually use either a z-packs or HMG cuben sack (or both in the winter for double quilts). I also have a MLD dry bag closure sack which I really like, but not as much for quilt packing because it is really airtight. I like the extra bit of security and protection that the sack provides – both from moisture and from getting mangled in my pack somehow. I think the investment in a little more protection gives me piece of mind since my quilts are homemade and with the rising cost of quality down, virtually irreplaceable.

    Cheers,

    Logan

  69. Yes, I use a Sea to Summit Evemt compression dry sack. Even with a pack liner, seems like something always goes in wet or leaks at the worst possible moment. And my pack is just a hair small to not use a compression bag.

    I hate wet sleeping bags. The weight is insignificant.

  70. Since I carry a smallish pack (<30 liters main body volume) and usually stuff my shelter into the bottom of my pack, I use a ZPacks cuben roll-top stuff sack to compress and protect my quilt. The stuff sack doubles as a pillow case.

  71. i don’t use a stuff sack. My enlighten equipment is simply stuffed in the bottom of my pack. The trash compactor bag keeps things nice and dry.

  72. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack for my quilt. I line my pack with a garbage bag to keep the contents dry. In the past I’ve just stuffed the quilt directly into the garbage bag “free” to take up excess space in my larger pack. Recently I switched to a smaller pack so I stuff the quilt into the sack that it came with before packing. I should also note that I am picky about my backpacking weather so rain wetness is not typically an issue on my trips.

  73. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack for my Nemo quilt. Most of my trips are done in dry conditons. When I do expect to encounter rain, I use a ULA pack liner.

  74. Honestly, it depends on the trip, and how lazy I am being when I am packing.

    I try to always use a trash compactor bag to stuff my down quilts into before they go into my pack. But once in a while I’m absent minded and stuff them in there without the compactor bag. If I get half way though packing I think “Meh…too far” and just throw a pack cover into the front pocket of my pack.

    My cold weather quilts are synthetic. If I pack those, I’ll just use a pack cover.

  75. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack for my Montane Minimus. I use the large cotton drawstring bag it came with to allow it to air out in between use. And use a drysack inside my backpack when I am backpacking.

  76. I am not a happy camper if I am sleeping while wet, so I’ve always used some sort of stuff sack to keep my bag dry. I used to simply use a trash bag, but I have recently swapped my trash bag for a Sea to Summit Dry Sack. I’m not the most patient bag packer, so I need the added benefit of compressing my sleeping bag down.

    • For several years now I just stuff my sleeping bag/quilt in the bottom of my backpack (in the trash bag). It’s not so much to save weight on the staff sack, but rather makes filling my backpack easier. Packing a bunch cylinder or other odd shaped items in a pack ends up wasting space. Stuffing the sleeping bag in there uses up all that “space between”. And it is just 1 less step in packing up each morning.

      Has always stayed dry thus far.

  77. I am a member of the quite large “compactor bag” tribe, of the “don’t usually use a stuff sack but stuff it loosely in the bottom” sept. Things stay dry that way.

  78. Always pack my sleeping bag in an Exped roll top waterproof bag. This seems to compress less than a compression bag and is a lot less faf. I use a hydration reservoir & backpack in Highland Scotland.

  79. I haven’t done an overnight yet, but I plan to use a compression sack, and also a trash bag inside my pack

  80. I go with the ol’ trash compactor garbage bag trick and shove my sleeping bag and underquilt in the bottom. Anything that I don’t care about getting wet, or that might leak, go on the outside of the trash bag. Light and cheap. So far it hasn’t failed me.

  81. I pack my sleeping bag in a small garbage bag. I haven’t had it get wet, but the added weight is worth the assurance of a dry bag.

  82. I pack everything in a large trash bag, inside my backpack. I tried this on a rainy weekend hike a couple of years ago and was pleased with how well it worked so I just kept doing it any time there’s a chance of rain in the forecast.

  83. Gotta love the trash bag method. It’s light and very very cheap, just like most of us. :) Everything that needs to be dry goes into it’s own or shares space in a zip lock or trash bag.

  84. I stuff my sleeping bag into one of those clear plastic compactor-like bags sold by Gossamer Gear & use another one of those bags for clothes that’re clean *&* dry. The rest of my gear stays in my pack outside the bags &/or in pockets on the outside of my pack. Not really a pack-liner set-up, just 2 “dry” bags that’re lighter than waterproof stuff sacks.

  85. I just stuff my sleeping bag in my pack as I haven’t done more than an overnight and not ready for doing so in the rain!

  86. I do not have a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. If a lot of rain is expected; I will put it in a small trash bag before putting it in my pack. If I were to do more extended trips I may go ahead and get one though.

  87. I always pack my sleeping quilt, sleep clothes, down jacket, and other extra layers into a 18L Granite Gear Cubic Tech Oberlight CTF3. Two reasons why:
    – I don’t use a pack cover, so I feel more confident knowing my warmth is always protected. In the case of hard rain or full day of rain, I will line my bag with a large trash bag.
    – Using the stuff sack aids in packing. The size/shape fills 1/2+/- of one side, food bag sits on top of it, and Z-Lite pad fills the other side of pack. Perfect for me.

  88. Why not waterproof the entire contents of your pack? I use a trash compactor bag to line the entire inside. My hydration sleeve is external to the main pack compartment, so if it leaks, the compactor bag is the barrier. Simple and when it gets a hole or starts to feel tattered you can put in a brand new one. Waterproof stuff sacks are expensive & difficult or impossible to rejuvenate once the coating degrades.

  89. I don’t use a special waterproof sack around my sleeping bag. I do wrap it in a garbage bag if the weather is looking chancy. I always have a couple trash bags in the bottom of the pack for various usages. I haven’t regretted this setup yet.

  90. I put my hammock quilts in a trash compactor bag at the bottom and along the outside (back) of my pack. I also include my hammock and anything else that needs to stay dry, including a fleece pullover if rain is expected. Not only does this protect my down, cloths and hammock from rain leakage into the pack, but it also is there in case my bladder or water bottles were to leak. I’d rather keep those in outside pockets, but it’s not always possible when you need to carry a lot of water. Since it is so heavy, water should be carried high and tight against your back, which places it right over the stuff you need to keep dry. I like the trash compactor bag over a stuff sack because it’s cheap/replaceable, and is loose so the quilts can fill in the loose spaces around the more rigid gear in my pack.

    that pack looks nice. wish me luck!

  91. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack. I recently purchased a sea to summit stuff sack and had the option of going Waterproof for a few dollars and ounces more. I chose not to based on some recent experiences I’ve had.
    I was backpacking in Northern VT and got COMPLETLY drenched. My guess would be more than 4 inches of rain came down that day and I really don’t feel like that is an exaggeration. I had a trash compactor bag liner and, knowing it was going to rain, I put my sleeping bag inside a regular garbage bag. I was really nervous to the say the least. I have plenty of experience hiking in the rain, but never that much rain.
    I converted my rain poncho into a pack cover to shield some of the rain, allowing myself to get pretty wet. I figured dry clothes and sleeping bags were more important than me being dry on a summer day. The poncho held up ok, but eventually everything was a soaking wet clump of gear strapped to my back.
    Terrified that my down bag would get wet, I called it a day after 8 miles (instead of the 13 I had planned). My pack was soaked through completely, but everything within the trash compactor bag was bone dry! So I believe in trash bags. If I’m especially nervous I put my sleeping bag in an extra trash bag.

  92. I haven’t done an overnight trip yet but have an REI waterproof stuff sack that I plan to use.

  93. I always pack my down quilts, my spare set of dry clothes, and any electronic equipment in Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil stuff sacks. Then those go inside a trash compactor bag that I roll down in the bottom of my pack. My pack’s “Inner Sanctum.” Things that can get damp go on top. I put a pack cover on when it starts to rain. Am I adding weight by doubling down on waterproofness? Yup. But I’m not taking any chances with my sleep system, and haven’t had any such problems in over 2000 miles on the AT since adopting this system.

  94. Not at all. I use a pack liner, and keep all my water and other liquids outside the pack.

    Plus it helps to only go out in fair weather.

  95. Absolutely! I live through a winter rain/snow storm with a wet bag. Won’t let it happen again. I currently use a roll-top dry bag and compress it down.

  96. I use a Sea to summit event-sil for my winter bag. It compresses it down well and I know it is water proof. It the summer I have a trash compactor bag and it gets stuffed in the bottom so it still stays waterproof.

  97. I generally pack my quilt/sleeping bag loose in the pack inside a ZPacks cuben fiber pack liner (Velcro closure with roll top. However, if I need additional room inside the pack I’ll stuff the quilt/bag inside a ZPacks waterproof stuff sack that came with the sleeping bag I bought from them. I then put that inside the pack liner.

  98. I either line my pack with a trash bag, storing anything I really don’t want to get wet inside the trash bag liner or line my sleeping bag case with a smaller trash bag before stuffing the sleeping bag inside. I’ll also throw on a pack cover when it starts raining enough that it may get the inside of my pack wet. If going with the lining the pack with a trash bag method it’s good to use a pretty durable trash bag as pulling things out and putting things back in can easily rip thinner trash bags.

    • Forgot to explain why…. I go with the trash bag method because it’s inexpensive and if you use a durable trash bag you can get multiple uses out of it. I decided to acquire gear over time, getting all the essentials first and then the smaller, less essential or non-essential items last and over the course of time. It required an upfront investment and research, but I’m happy with the items I have. Then once I get more experience and talk to more people I figure I’ll get a better idea of other items that I’d want to have.

  99. Yes. I’m a bit paranoid about getting my down bag wet. I usually have a trash sack liner in my pack and then pack the bag in its own quasi-waterproof stuff sack. The reason I say quasi-waterproof is I found out on a canoe trip when I ignored the “This Side Up” instructions on the canoe that that the stuff sack does leak. I did buy an eVent compression sack afterwards for a kayak trip. It worked well when I once again ignored the “this Side Up” instructions.

    I generally don’t like the idea of a compression sack for down because I don’t want to scrunch the loft out of it but I needed all the room I could get in that tiny kayak for our 83 mile, 5 day trip.

    When I recover from my back surgery and go on my next trip, I may use the eVent sack and only lightly compress the bag. I don’t want to get stuck some night in a wet bag.

  100. Yes, I am overly cautions about getting my stuff wet. Especially since I do a lot of snow shoeing. Keeping your gear dry can mean life or death.

  101. I use a Sea to Summit ultra-sil dry sack. I like it because it is light, and waterproof, and gives me a guarantee that my sleeping bag will be dry (which is a survival/safety concern). I use a sea to summit ultra-sil pack cover (considering getting a z-packs cuben though) to keep the rest of my stuff dry for the most part. I also like the dry sack because it isn’t completely firm, so it can be molded to fit the space. I used to use compression bags to make my sleeping bag as small as possible, but it was a rock and couldn’t be molded, and probably wasn’t the best for loft of the sleeping bag.

    I have heard of people lining their packs with trash compactor bags, but I wouldn’t want my backpack getting soaking wet if it did rain, even if all my stuff stayed dry inside.

  102. I just commented on my sleeping bag stuff sack. I noticed that some use Ziploc bags on various items. On my kayak trip last year, the things I had in properly sealed Ziplocs handled the dunkings very well. I very large Ziploc bags are also available. I don’t know if I’d try one for a down sleeping bag because the bag will be trying to uncompress itself and may pop the seal.

    There are also clear plastic bags with stout zip type closures and one way valves that can be used on clothing or sleeping bags and the excess air vacuumed out or forced out by rolling the bag up tight. I have also used those to keep my gear dry and they’ve worked. What I don’t like about them is that once all the excess air is out, the bag and its contents can become a semi rigid block that doesn’t conform well so it gets a little difficult to pack.

  103. I have used “waterproof” stuff sacks for some items but my down sleeping bag is the one thing that I don’t risk getting wet – or even damp from contact with other items. So for years, I have used the Cliff Jacobson method for both canoe camping and backpacking ie stuff the sleeping bag into a stuff sack, put that into a plastic bag, then put that into another stuff sack to protect the plastic bag. Yea, it’s not ultralight but it has never failed me. Silnylon stuff sacks reduce the weight. To save weight and space, all my clothes and other items that need to stay “dry” all get stuffed together into a trash compactor bag. Damp pants will dry from body heat, but a damp sleeping bag is the pits.

  104. Yes if i have a waterproof bag i would stor the sleepingbag dry .

  105. I never use a stuff sack because I feel it is not the best use of the space inside my hiking bag. If I just stuff my sleeping bag into the bag I can fit more stuff in . . . rather than negotiating space with an awkward stuff sack. That said, I use a camelbak so I am probably flirting with danger. However, the camelbak itself sits inside its own pocket, so if there is an outright explosion the water is going to slowly drip inside the pack. The way it is positioned it would also just drip “below” the sleeping bag. To protect my things from the rain I just used a backpack raincover or carry a garbage bag. I should add, my sleeping bag is designed to take some moisture/water (it was designed with military use in mind).

  106. I don’t pack my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack. I keep it in the water resistant stuff sack that came with the sleeping bag and my pack is fairly water resistant, so between those two layers I have not encountered the back getting wet.

  107. Depends on the forecast. If the chance of rain is slight I’ll just take my chances with a regular stuff sack and depend on my pack cover if it does rain. If there is a good chance of rain I just use a garbage bag over the regular stuff sack.

  108. I use a trash compactor bag, and that holds all the things I’d prefer to keep dry. Within that, I do have separate bags for quilt/sleep clothes (1.5oz Big Agnes Pumphouse, which I use to pump up my NeoAir) and a generic silnylon bag of similar weight for clothing changes, and I keep my insulated jacket in a separate Ziploc. I don’t compress my sleeping bag heavily in this method, and it occupies the bottom of the compactor bag/pack.

    All non-clothes, non-sleeping bag content reside outside the compactor bag.

    I was heavily influenced by a Jim Wood article http://www.jwbasecamp.com/Articles/DryGear/ – it’s great to cut corners until you really need dry gear. If I were doing a water-heavy trip instead of just backpacking, I would probably use more robust layers and even a proper dry bag within the compactor.

  109. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack inside my sack anymore – I keep my sleeping mattress (Thermarest NeoAir Xlite) and down bag together rolled up and standing at one side of the bottom of my pack , which is a ZPacks – Arc Blast 52L sack with a waterproof, roll-top closure. When I first got the new sack, I kept the sleeping bag in a waterproof plastic bag – just in case. After going through a couple of heavy rains with the bag, I got rid of the plastic “insurance bag” The sack was always dry inside – even in the heaviest, blowing rain. Going without a stuff sack saves me a little weight. I do carry two waterproof roll-top stuff sacks – both medium-sized roll-top versions – both from Zpacks again. One of them is used for a food bag (I think a waterproof bag contains food odors better), the other is the pillow version, which has a soft surface on the inside which can be turned inside our and used as a pillow – I use that for my extra (warm) clothes, but I think I could stuff my down bag in there in a pinch. I like the Zpack waterproof stuff sacks – they’re not cheap, but they are really light and well made to my eye.

  110. I do not use a waterproof bag but prefer a trash compactor bag. Here’s why:

    1) Finances. Financially I don’t think it pays to invest in more gear when a simple trash bag I already own works great.

    2) Functionality. Not only are trash bags easy to use but everything in my pack stays dry.

    3) Fast. After long hikes or when trying to pack up early to get on out, simply stuffing my sleeping bag in the bottom of my pack is quick and efficient. By not using a waterproof stuff sack, I save time and can do more of what we all love – hike!!

  111. Although I always line my pack with a compactor bag, I also put my quilt and sleep clothing in a sea-to-summit ultra-sil dry sack. It weighs less than an ounce, helps me keep my pack organized and gives extra protection against spills and leaks. I’ve thought about getting the ultra-sil compression sack, but I’ve found the dry sack compresses well enough if I close it quickly.

  112. I’ll use a trash compactor bag either for the sleeping bag or the pack contents, depending upon how wet I expect it to be. In the Sierras in summer I usually have only a lighter plastic bag along just in case, with my quilt in the stuff sack that it came with. So far, so good.

  113. I always pack my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack. It is partly because I want to keep it watertight even if my pack has a trash liner. It is also because my Sea to Summit eVent stuff sack allows me to compress it as small as possible and keep the small shape better than a non-waterproof stuff sack, which personally is more important than the waterproof aspect. It’s the only waterproof stuff sack I use so I don’t mind the extra weight.

  114. I do not stuff my sleeping bag in a dry bag. I do use a pack cover. I do use a trash compactor bag to line my pack. I do stuff my sleeping bag in to a sil-nylon bag (has some water repelling capability). All of this said, I have never been on a backpacking trip that was a complete rain-out or dropped my pack in a stream/river/pond/lake. I have hiked through a good rainstorm that lasted a couple of hours. This may be overkill for the ultralight crowd but its worked for me.

  115. Since I hike in the PNW, the answer is, absolutely! I have been using a cuben fiber pack liner, but I find that there is a lot of material bunched up that is unnecessary. So, I’m thinking about moving back to a smaller stuff sack. I’ve been trying to pack it more loosely so that it takes up the corners in the bottom of the pack, but I think that is mitigated by the extra bag. Trash bags have the same problem–too much extra bag, plus they seemed more flimsy and more likely to get holes.

  116. I have been using trash compactor bags inside my packs for years. I have hiked through rain sleet and snow and have yet to have my contents ruined by water. I do not use a pack cover. But I do use plain stuff sacks inside my pack to keep the sleeping bag compressed and my clothes organized.

  117. I grew up camping in Louisiana, so I’ve always put my sleeping bag in something waterproof. Now that I’m in California, I plan for mountain thunderstorms in the afternoon or drizzle and fog drip in the coast ranges.

    I replaced my worn out nylon stuff sack with a Sea-to-Summit eVent compression dry bag. Neat bag, but pretty heavy, over five ounces (150g).

    When I switched to a down sleeping bag, I needed a smaller stuff sack, plus it was so much easier to stuff than the synthetic bag. So now I use an 8 liter Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil dry bag. That is also much lighter, 1.1 ounces (41g).

  118. I always use a waterproof bag. I’m not an ultralight hiker, so I need to compress the volume of my bag. I might as well do it with a waterproof bag. Additionally using a roll top waterproof bag, lets me hold a little bit of air for comfort when it becomes my pillow.

    Also having both of bags be down bags, this gives me a little bit of piece of mind.

    Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack

  119. As a beginner backpacker, I picked up a discounted pack that has a separate compartment for the sleeping bag. i did both the trash bag and also bought a Granite Gear eVent dry compression sack. It compresses better than the sack that came with the sleeping bag. After 3 backpacking trips this summer, I would move to a lighter pack and possibly just do the trash bag liner only.

  120. I have a Sea to Summit Trek TkII and I simply use the stock stuff sack. I find it works really well in compressing space. I simply use a heavy duty trash bag or compactor bag to “waterproof” my bag. I haven’t encountered many river or stream crossings in my hikes (nothing above the knee at least), so I am relatively low-risk. My “waterproofing” is primarily for rain protection. If I were certain to encounter higher-risk water crossings, I might consider switching, but for now I’m OK.

    On canoe/kayak trips, however, I use a seal line 30 liter waterproof sack for my clothes and sleeping bag (as well as my wifes)

  121. I use a trash compactor bag in the bottom of my pack. I keep anything that shouldn’t get wet in this bag. That usually includes my sleeping bag and hammock under quilt and my puffy layer. Using one big bag fills in the space of the back pack more efficiently and weighs less than 3 stuff sacks.

  122. I sure do. I use a Sea to Summit eVent compression dry sac which both keeps it dry and ensures it’s packed down as small as possible. Then it goes right at the bottom of my pack and I don’t have to worry about it.

  123. Currently, I use the ever-popular Trash compactor bag. I have tried stuff sacks before, going so far as to line the entire volume of my pack with a lightweight Seal Line 60L drybag. Transitioning to Lightweight, and moving ever closer to UL backpacking, I feel that the trash compactor bag is good enough for the weather I hike in. Fits my Down quilt and layers that I am not wearing just fine, and twisting and coiling the top of the bag like an elephant trunk keeps out any rain or moisture until I am under cover.

  124. I use the trash compactor bag for my quilt. It fills the bottom of my pack and leaves no gaps.

  125. Sometimes I use a dry bag for my sleeping bag; sometimes I don’t. I live in Southern California. It may not rain for months at a time, and creek crossings are seldom more than a few inches deep. There’s little need for a dry bag under such conditions, and I typically don’t take one. A simple SilNylon stuff sack is lighter and more convenient.

    However, if heavy rains are predicted or I’m doing a hike up north (where they actually have water), I’m far more likely to take a dry bag.

  126. Lately I have been using the trash bag as a liner and putting the sleep bag on the bottom . I used to put my bag in a compression sack but didn’t like the shape and pretty sure I had some dead space to deal with. I like having the bag loose on the bottom.

  127. I’ve been using a synthetic sleeping bag so moisture is less of a worry. I line my pack with a trash bag, put the sleeping bag in first as it helps fill out the lightweight pack, and then the rest of the stuff. This way heavier things end up in the middle.
    If I knew rain was predicted, I have a sil-nylon stuff sack that I would use but a dry bag is probably unnecessary for my needs.

  128. I always put my down bag in a waterproof roll-top bag. I couldn’t bear the thought of ending up with a wet bag in Scotland! The bag I use is a classic Exped one, I can’t remember what size, but of all the various waterproof bags I have, this one fits my sleeping bag in its compression sack perfectly, though it isn’t the lightest. Of course, the down side (if you will pardon the pun) is the extra weight of the bag and the fact that it forms a rather rigidly structured mass, but that slots quite well into the bottom of my rucksack. All in all, I am happy with it and I like the security that my bag is not going to get remotely damp, even when packing up in the morning.

  129. Another user of a trash compactor bag liner here. I usually just stuff my sleeping bag into the dead space around other stuff. But somehow, I got a snag/rip in my down bag, which made me sad and also made me wonder if just cramming it down into oblivion amongst all that stuff in my pack might not have done it.

  130. I guess you could call a plastic trash compactor a giant stuff sack as it is serving the same purpose- keeping your sleeping quilt dry. I just leave my underquilt attached to my hammock and top quilt in the hammock. Then I untie one end and start stuffing into the compactor bag inside my backpack. Moving toward the other tree I keep stuffing until it’s all in there. Of course, I need a bigger pack using this method because everything is stuffed more loosely.

  131. I use a good ole garbage bag. I’m cheap and try to spend money on other gear instead of a waterproof sack. Plus a bag is not heavy at all.

  132. On the basis that, even with a rain cover, there is no such thing as a fully-waterproof backpack, everything inside goes into plastic bags.

  133. I keep my sleeping bag in a rubble sack which is more durable than a trash bag.
    I have had a wet down sleeping bag in the past and it is a miserable experience.

  134. I use a Sea to Summit evac dry sack. My pack has a separate bottom compartment, so I dry sacks for my sleeping bag & clothes, which go in the bottom. I line the larger upper compartment with a trash bag to keep everything else dry. I had a damp sleeping bag early in my backpacking career, and have been vigilant about keeping it dry since

  135. I’m a three season backpacker and after a few years of always using a drysack for my shelter, I can fairly say now that: it depends on the pack I’m using. In a small pack, the drysack can greatly increase the amount of space the shelter occupies.

    If I’m going with a smaller and lighter pack, I want to stuff the tent and rainfly (I mostly use an REI Half-Dome 2 now) in as much of the free space at the bottom that I can. For example, my lighter pack is an Osprey Exos 58- it guards against most rain storms really well and does not require an extra seal. This Summer on the Northville Placid trail my group got caught in a mid-day severe thunderstorm that soaked us thoroughly. In the terrential downpour I could not find my pack cover (I know, noobie mistake), so I draped my rain jacket over the top of my pack and hoped for the best. When I pulled out the tent and rainfly, both were dry as a bone. The experience definitely renewed my confidence in the pack itself and made the extra interior room well worth it.

    If I’m using a bigger pack ( REI Flash 65L+), I will go ahead with the extra protection just in case. For this I prefer the absolutely lightest and thinnest drysack to maximize the space it can fill and to make it easy to stuff down. To meet those requirements, I use a Sea to Summit NanoSil 13L. Its super thin, semi-durable, and slides right in. They also seal really well and get you close to what it would be like without a drysac. However, I would advise not using them for food or other gear with sharp edges. I’ve had mine rip while storing my food in a communal bear box on the Pemi Loop.

  136. Definitely. I’m new to backpacking, but I know that if my water leaks or I get caught in a downpour or something equally disastrous happens, I want at least one thing in my pack that is dry and can keep me warm. Goes in a Sea to Summit Lightweight dry sack, 20L version along with some extra layers/sleeping clothes. Roll the air out and it compresses really well.

  137. In Alaska I led multiday sea kayaking trips where we always stuffed our sleeping bags in dry bags. I even went the extra length and also put the sleeping bag in a garbage bag with the dry bag. Alaska is very wet and down losses alot of its warmth when wet. So when it cam to backpacking in alaska i lined my sleeping bag with a thick contractor garbage bag then place my sleeping bag in another thinner garbage bag. It worked really well. I have been very concious about my pack weight lately. So a garbage bag seem to be a great light weight solution. The durablity of a garbage bag is poor but a couple small holes have never been a problem. Waterproof stuff sacks cost more and weight more so i try to avoid them.

  138. I don’t because I do most of my backpacking in Southern California, specifically in the desert, so it rains very little. I did a trip in the North Cascades a couple years ago and put it in a trash bag and that worked well for the four days we were out.

  139. I don’t carry water inside my pack, so I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack. Admittedly, I get a little nervous about getting my down bag wet, but so far the rain cover has kept it nice and dry.

  140. Yes, my down sleeping bag is always in a waterproof roll-tight bag in my backpack. For starters, it needs to be compressed to fit and allow my balanced packing method that I consistently use. Even on short trips like an overnighter, I choose the ZPacks cuben fiber stuff sack. If I know I will be fording big creeks or glissading in snow then I’ll go back to my old standby the Sea To Summit roll top bag which is more “bomber” i.e. less susceptible to punctures/tears. I do not use a trash compactor bag only waterproof bags for items that ought not get wet.

  141. I pack my sleeping bag in a Sea to Summit Evac Dry Sack. Even though I also line my pack with the Sea to Summit pack liner, I like the added assurance that my down sleeping bag is protected from getting wet. The Event panel on the dry sack allows me to compress the air out of the dry sack to reduce bulk.

  142. No stuff sack here! I just stuff it in a garbage bag lined pack. So far it’s worked really well!

  143. It always goes in it’s own waterproof stuff sack, it may include my night time clothing as well. I do it since it’s my last defense against the cold plus I like to have a dry sleeping bag. Worth the extra weight.

    I think it’s an eVent stuff sack or something like that.

  144. I always pack my down bag in a 6.5L Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Stuff Sack , keeps the rain out and my 480.00 $ bag dry. Don’t like getting into a wet down bag.

  145. I use an aarn rucksack which has a waterproof liner and I just stuff it loose in this.

  146. I do not pack my down bag in it’s own waterproof stuff sack. I use a garbage bag as a pack liner. I do not, however stuff everything into the garbage bag. I usually only put my sleeping bag and sleeping clothes in the garbage bag at the bottom of my pack and then seal the garbage bag shut. My theory (right or wrong) is that the garbage bag will allow my sleeping bag room to fill some of the empty space in my pack, especially as I eat food and my pack gets lighter. I don’t put everything in a pack liner because I don’t want my cook pot and dirty bear bag to get my sleeping bag and clothes dirty. I also figure that it’s not a problem for most of my carried items to get wet, but the things I NEED to keep dry, will.

  147. my pack is fairly waterproof and I use a compacter bag as a liner. I don’t use a stuff sake, but lay my quilt into the bottom of the liner and stuff my clothes or anything else I want to remain dry around it. Fold the top down on the liner bag and them put anything else on top of that. I use an Unaweep, so the pack compresses fairly well on its own. I guess I subscribe to the thought that a stuff sack is unneeded and unwarranted excess weight to carry.

  148. Yup, always put my sleeping bag in a stuff sack (right now using Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil), but I also have my pack lined with a garbage bag. I don’t mind a bit of redundancy in order to keep my sleep stuff dry.

  149. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. I use a regular compression sack because i don’t have much space in my backpack. I also use a waterproof liner (garbage bag) in my backpack. I carry my water outside of my bag, this way no water can enter in my bag en wet my gear.

  150. I both line my pack with a trash compactor bag and use a sil-nylon roll top bag. In the past sea to summit ultrasil and more recently in my exped snozzle pump bag. It is welcome insurance for me to keep my insulation dry. It can be wet her in the northeast and I like the piece of mind.

  151. I have a down bag and I use a 13-gallon size plastic trash bag. I can squeeze the bag down, letting the air out of the bag & repeat. I end up with an odd shape but it is easier to place in the backpack than a cylindrical stuff sac.

    • I try for as ultralight as I can get. I stuff my down bag inside my pack that is lined with a double trash bag. Both trash bags together weigh less than any combo of dry bags. This also lets me use all of the odd spaces in the pack to distribute the load a bit more evenly.

    • I pack my sleeping bag in an Outdoor Research Compression Bag that is water repellent. It allows me to make it smaller, and I like the peace of mind of the extra protection. I also line my pack with a heavy duty garbage gpbag, to,protect other items. Stuff can go wrong, so why take chances, right?

    • I always pack my quilt in a small garbage bag wrapped so that the quilt is protected from moisture/water. I use a hydration reservoir and the small garbage bag protects my quilt if it ever leaks.

  152. I pack my sleeping bag and clothes in the same dry bag in the bottom of my pack – because it rains a lot where I hike (East Coast, mid Atlantic region).

    I used to use a trash compactor bag, but now I use a sea-to-summit silnylon 16 lite stuff sack with a dry bag closure. I switched because I like to be able to unload my pack and have the contents stay relatively organized- so 3 stuff sacks (insulation, food, shelter) was nicer than big pack liner.

    I leave my rain gear, accessories / ditty bag, Lunch/snacks ziplock, and rest stop layer (thin fleece shirt) in top of the pack. Everything else in the 3 stuff sacks (stove/pot in the food bag).

  153. I just put my sleeping bag and clothes in a small trash bag and stuff that into the bottom of my pack (inside my trash compactor bag). That way it’s double-bagged but it can help fill the space in my pack. Treated with care, I’ve never had any issues with wet clothes or sleeping bags this way. It also makes packing very quick. It’s worked well for me in the wet mid-Atlantic where I hike.

  154. I put my sleeping bags in waterproof compression sacks so that I can save room and not risk freezing to death in a wet bag. I like the Sea to Summit UltraSil compression sacks and the other Sea to Summit waterproof sacks that don’t compress. Plus I like to color code things. I am not organized in my normal life, but I am obsessive in my outdoor life. Granite Gear makes nice sacks too.

  155. The answer would be depends… in the dry summer time I do not for overnighters. In the other 3 seasons I use a pack liner for my quilt and clothes that I twist shut in the bottom of my pack; food etc. go on top of that and my pack is sprayed down with DWR. KISS and try not to pack your fears. If I was a pack rafter the approach would be different.

  156. I use a PU coated nylon stuff sack for my sleeping bag but I don’t trust it to keep my bag dry. So, I then put it inside a 13 gallon trash bag in the bottom of my pack. On a recent trip in the Cascades, my sleeping bag was about the only piece of gear that was dry.

  157. I just put it in its own stuff sack. It’s a kathmandu down sleeping bag which is specially treated with a patent waterproof coating. But i have never tried to soak it though…

  158. I use a sea to summit stuf sack for my clothing and sleeping bag.

  159. I have a down sleeping bag, so it’s the one item in my backpack I try to keep dry at all costs. I put it in the stuff sack that came with it (maybe slightly waterproof?), then put that in a plastic bag at the bottom of my pack. I use an external rain cover, and I’ve never had the sleeping bag or anything else get wet, ever…
    Thank you for the give away!

  160. Yes. I use a waterproof (resistant) compression stuff sack for my goose down sleeping bag, both from 1976. Afraid I’ve long since lost the name. Plus – crunches the bag down to fit in my pack. Con – added weight.

  161. For me it depends on the forecast, if rain chances are slim I generally just stuff my bag in the sleeping bag compartment in my Atmos pack in the stuff sack that came with my bag. Then stuff the rest of my gear in the upper compartment in a compactor bag. If it looks like rain or things change while hiking then I will put the bag in the compactor bag also and change the configuration of the Osprey Atmos not to have the lower sleeping bag compartment ..

  162. I use a stuff sack for my sleeping quilt, which is water resistant, not necessarily water-proof (being made of silnylon). I depend upon a contractor bag liner in my pack for waterproofing the entire contents. I have a pack cover as well, but that won’t keep things dry if the entire pack goes into the drink (water crossings. etc.). Like others has noted, sleeping in a wet bag leads to a cold and miserable night. The multiple component system (contractor bag, silnylon bag) helps prevent that.

  163. I actually do pack my sleeping bag in a stuff sack, one of the cheap roll top ones you get from walmart. It barely fits, and it’s probably going to split a seem one of these days, but it works. The reason I use it is because I like the idea of knowing exactly how much volume it will take up every time I pack it up. It makes planning and compartmentalizing my pack much easier this way when I can pre-pack everything before a trip to make sure it fits. I’ve been intrigued by those who just stuff it in their pack and allow it to fill in all the empty space in their pack, which in theory sounds more efficient since you are using every square cm of space, but at the same time I feel like the space used up will vary every time you stuff it in there. This gives me consistency.

  164. Usually. For three season use I’ll put my bag and clothes in a waterproof compression sack. In the winter, with a much larger volume bag, I’ll put it in a compression bag and then into a pack liner along with a separate bag for clothes. I’m willing to put up with a bit of inefficiency and extra weight for the piece of mind.

  165. I also tend to check the weather forecast and if no rain is in the forecast I have taken my chances and just used the stuff sack the sleeping bag comes with. Otherwise either a cheap (wal-mart) stuff sack or a plastic garbage bag fits the bill!

  166. I don’t use a stuff scak. When it rains, I put a large trash bag over my entire pack.

  167. Yes, I always use a “water resistant” stuff sack for my bag. Nothing worse than a damp/wet down sleeping bag!

  168. I don’t, while I probably should to prevent it from getting wet and cause some comfort issues at night (if I even use the sleeping bag at that point if it got wet) but a lot of it is because I’m lazy.

  169. I use a Sea to Summit eVent compression sack for my summer fleece bag, which compresses fairly well and just fits into the lower compartment of the pack. Clothing goes into a compactor bag in the pack’s main compartment. I haven’t been caught in the rain yet, but I’m optimistic that the sack will keep my sleeping bag dry. If however that is not the case, I’ll wrap the bag in a standard garbage bag and compress it with the eVent.

  170. I used to go the garbage bag route but now I use a stuff stack that I am carrying anyone to stuff clothes in at night to use as a pillow. Thought about upgrading to a fleeced line stuff sack but that would be too luxurious and not sure those are water proof either. Stuff sack is a sea to summit ultra sil

  171. I do use a stuff sack (the sea to summit one) just because it helps me save some space… and If I’m already using a sack then I think it’s always better when it’s waterproof… you can never be safe enough with protecting your sleeping bag!
    In addition, I like it when every thing is organised so a stuff sack is a must for me!

  172. I use the stuff sack that came with my Kelty Ignite sleeping bag. I don’t double stuff that into anything else, mostly because I’m cautious about weather conditions when I go out. Although that may be changing in the next year as Colorado seems to be getting more rain, and skipping out cuts into my camping/backpacking time!

  173. I carry a down bag and am probably over paranoid about keeping it dry. I line my pack with a trash compactor bag and stuff my sleeping bag into a roll-top dry bag. For my 0 degree bag I use a 20 liter SeaLine and roll it down to about half that volume. I just bought a 30 degree bag that I will have to buy a lower volume dry bag for, but I haven’t been bothered to do it yet.

  174. I recently picked up a roll top dry bag for my down bag and have been happy to have the extra piece of mind using it.

  175. I don’t use an individual stuff sack, but do use a pack liner for quilt, clothes and anything else that must stay dry. Usually a trash compactor bag, but I have been known to use a large cuben dry bag.

    • Why, I like a simple system that isn’t very fidgety and use only enough stuff sacks needed to be organized (2 plus my pack liner). I use a pack liner because I’ve yet to find rain gear that keeps me or my pack dry, so I only worry about staying warm when wet and keeping those few key items dry.

  176. My top and bottom quilt along with my clothes all go in a Mountain Laurel Designs XL cuben fiber dry bag. It can be compressed and rolled shut or most of the time I just tuck the top back down along the back of the pack and let my food bag compress the dry bag contents. I have never had any of my down sleeping equipment get wet and am not in any hurry to find out how down performs (or doesn’t) when wet.

  177. I use a regular, non-waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. To prevent water from getting in I use a trash compactor bag on the inside of the pack. A tip I learned on this very site! If it’s really coming down, I’ll put a pack cover on the outside of my backpack as well.

  178. I don’t use stuff sacks for any of my gear. The weight of different sacks really adds up. Instead, I use a single trash compacter bag as a water proof liner inside my pack. My quilt goes in first and fills the bottom of my pack. It’s followed by other gear that must be kept dry (down jacket, etc).

  179. When I am hiking in the southwest or when I am reasonably certain of dry weather, I will typically forgo a waterproof compression sack for my topquilt – relying on putting it in a trash compactor bag – this goes in my pack which is lined with a Gossamer Gear pack liner (crinkly and noisy though they are).
    If I am on a wilderness canoe trip I always put my quilt and sleeping clothes in a waterproof compression sack – Sea to Summit Ultrasil – and that get placed inside my pack lined with a heavy duty 3 mil contractor grade trash bag.

  180. I hike in all types of weather. Use to line my pack old school style with a contractors trash bag. I now stuff my sleeping bag in a Sea to Summit compression sack. 10 raw soggy days in the Alaskan bush without an issue. Dry and warm makes for a happy camper.

  181. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. I line my pack with a trash compactor bag and that does a good enough job of keeping my sleeping bag dry. Normally, I keep my sleeping bag in a water resistant stuff sack that it comes with. With this method, my pack would probably have to be submerged for my sleeping bag to get wet.

  182. I always line my pack with a garbage bag then placemy quilt in its own stuff sack in there. I either line the stuff sack with a bag or use a stuff sack I have sewn myself and seam sealed per Ray Jardine in Beyond Backpacking. I want my clothes and quilt dry at the end of a day of hiking in the rain. Perhaps I am a bit obsessed about having dry insulation. So a quilt in a waterproof stuff sack in a pack lined with a garbage bag.

  183. I use a large black garbage bag to line my entire bag and my sleeping bag (in a compression sack) is at the bottom. I have thought about not taking the garbage bag because I also have a pack cover, but it weighs nothing and has other uses so I just keep using it.

  184. I do pack my quilt into a silnylon stuff sack that came with it. However this doesn’t matter to me, any lightweight stuff sack would be ok with me as long offers some protection from punctures. The best way to keep your bag/quilt dry is to just not get it wet. Its not that difficult. I live and hike in the PNW and have never had anything get wet and I don’t even use a pack liner. I will carry a pack cover if there is a forecast for significant rain, but that is more to keep my pack from getting soaked overnight than to protect my quilt.

  185. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. I simply use a trash bag if needed.

  186. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag. I simply use a trash bag if needed. I use a trash bag because it is lighter than a stuff sack.

  187. I don’t use a waterproof stuffsack. Rather, I use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner. It is close in weight to a stuffsack and I use it to put my pack, etc in at night.

  188. I keep it in a loose light nylon bag. Not having it fully compressed allows it to fill in and stabilize the load. I have a trash compactor bag lining the pack and a cuben fiber pack cover.

  189. I use a garbage bag as a packliner and put my quilt inside, down to the bottom. Everything else goes on Top and i simply press everything down if I need more Space. This way the Quilt is only as compressed as necesary and my frameless pack is always full and stabily packed.

  190. I usually do not use a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag/quilt. Like most commenters, I just stuff the bag/quilt into the bottom of my pack that is lined with a trash compactor bag. The reasons are twofold: to better fill out the corners of the pack and to help preserve the loft of the quilt/bag. In the rare cases that I need to use a stuff sack, I favor a Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack.

  191. I use a stuff sack for my sleeping bag, but it is not waterproof. I have a cover for my whole pack. I hike in the sierras and with the drought, I would welcome having the problem of keeping my gear dry! haha

  192. I just use the stuff sack my sleeping bag came with. I usually only do overnights or two nights, and so I plan around the weather accordingly as much as possible. However, I always have a kitchen-size garbage bag along just in case, so the sleeping bag could go in that if necessary.

  193. I dislike feeling fiddly about packing and don’t stuff anything (but I do use careful folding). I rely on waterproofing from a trash bag.

  194. Yes another trash bag. Sleeping bag into a cheap light stuff sack that is lined with a trash bag. AND I line my backpack with a trash bag.

    With this system I have “floated” my backpack in many canyon swims, river crossings etc… always dry!

  195. Hi all,

    Having backpacked in Oregon (a lot) and Arkansas (some now that I live in Texas), I may be familiar with frequent rain while packing :) I do not pack my sleeping bag or quilt in a waterproof bag. I use a trash compactor bag to line my pack and put my quilt and clothes the lightest possible stuff sacks and put them in it. Fold it down and pack my rain gear and water bladder on top of that. I use gallon freezer bags for the items in my top pouch (I know this at the backpack brain). I believe that in an emergency, I can use that bag liner for other things. So the liner serves multiple purposes.

    Also I am not a big fan of these new backpack rain covers all the new back packers seem to have to have. Not as effective as lining the bag (I will explain in a second), and they get damaged if you bushwhack.

    So why is a backpack liner better then a backpack rain cover? Quite simple, bladder leaks. I have been on two different trips where someone’s bladder leaked putting about 2 liters of water throughout the inside of there pack. What a miserable mess…although funny if it isn’t your pack. If all your material goods, stove, etc are in a pack liner, and the bladder is outside of it, all is dry. So why not use the waterproof stuff sacks? First, the liner can have more items in it. Second, waterproof stuff sacks weigh and cost more then the really light stuff sacks. Also, there is something fun about DIY.

  196. I use a Sea to Summit UltraSil roll top for my sleeping bag. The reason is somewhat counter intuitive. Both my hands are mostly crippled with extremely limited ability to grasp, hold, pull, tie or perform many routine tasks in the more usual manner. Ironically, despite this, I find it simpler and easier to manage packing, unpacking and handling when most things are in stuff sacks, which I can manage to fill and compress quite well with limited dexterity. My pack volume is down as a result, and the negligible extra weight is more than compensated by the ability to keep hiking. As with most things in life there is no “one way” to do things; there is often not even a “right” way; and the “best” way will usually change.

  197. I just stuff my Big Agnes Encampment into the bottom of my REI Flash pack, I gave my stuff sack to my son and never got a new one. The bad thing is that I don’t use a pack liner and don’t have a pack cover.

  198. Plastic trash bag is being used, cheap and works all the time.

  199. I do not pack my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack because I use a trash bag to line my pack, and that works well enough to water proof everything.

  200. Since I use a down sleeping bag and have a water bladder in my pack. I do use a waterproof stuff sack to protect it from a water bladder accident or rainy weather. My Zpacks sleeping bag actually came with a waterproof dry bag.

  201. No, my down quilt is just in its stuff sack; however I use a cuben fiber pack which is basically waterproof. Everything stayed dry even on a very wet hike in Newfoundland recently.

  202. I just stuff mine into the bottom of my pack. It compresses really well, and helps provide some structure in my pack as it is frameless and ultralight. A stuff sack would add weight and bulk that I don’t want. I like being able to fill up the empty spaces between gear, and stuff sacks usually create lots of air gaps between my pieces of gear.

  203. I have bought a down sleeping bag to start my A.T. Hike, I know I need to keep it dry at all costs! Sea-to-summit is the stuff bags I use. I know stuff bags add up; but if I just use the one for my sleeping bag, I think I will be ok.

  204. no i dont, thats because none of my equipment is waterproof :( but wraping my cloths in a trash bag has saved me a couple of times

  205. I use an OR ultralight dry bag to carry my down sleeping bag. I’m paranoid about getting the down wet so I take that extra precaution and also use a trash compactor bag as my pack liner for added protection. I used the OR bag because I got a good deal on it and it’s held up great.

  206. I like to use a stuffsack anyway, so I figured a drybag was as good as any. Or maybe even better. I have a set of Exped Ultralite ones.

    I tried the “stuff it on the bottom and it will compress around all your other gear” for a while, but that took up too much space. So a stuffsack (drybag) it is.

  207. I’m a “just-in-case” backpacker, so I use Sea-to-Summit eVent dry compression sack to pack my down sleeping bag and a change of clothes. Despite the fact that I live in Southern California, you just never know when the weather may change!

  208. No, because I don’t have a sleeping bag/quilt yet!

  209. I use the stuff sack that came with my down sleeping bag because I like keeping it protected from the grime that inevitably gets into my pack liner. I am still dialing in my backpack-packing system so one day I could ditch the stuff sack!

  210. Yes. If I am outdoors, it is going to rain. I use an old backpac. But I am cheap so I just use trash compactor bags.

  211. I use a trash bag to line the inside of my backpack. I also have a rain cover that came with my backpack and might use that for the outside of the pack if needed,

  212. I always pack my sleeping bag in a trash compactor plastic bag.

  213. Depends on the trip that I am on. When going on a canoe-hike trip, I always use a sea to summit stuff sack, as there is always the possibility of your backpack ending up in water (esp with a dog involved on the trip). Hence the extra precaution. For regular hiking trips, typically use a big compactor bag, the size of the backpack. For these trips, I don’t use a stuff sack and the sleeping bag goes as is stuffed at the bottom of the back pack.

  214. I use a dry sack inside of a trash compactor bag. Am paranoid about not having a wet bag.

  215. I use the stuff sack that came with the bag and I line my pack with trash compactor bag.

  216. I like to us a stuff sack and then place the stuffed sleeping bag in a plastic trash bag and that goes in the bottom of my pack. The pack is lined with a 30 gallon trash can liner. I hike up here in the “Whites” and a good trip is when the sun comes out one day out of 3.

  217. I have been using a waterprooof stuff sack from zpacks.com, but after reading many of the comments I’m considering using a trash bag. I’ll have to try it out and see how I like it.

  218. I don’t use a waterproof stuff sack, at this point, solely because I day hike only. However, my subscription to section hiker.com is to just one step I’m taking toward deepening my interest in this great pastime and extending my day hikes to include overnights.

    That said, if I were to overnight a I would definitely use a waterproof stuff sack. Furthermore, I’d use a lightweight 30D Ultra-Sil Sea at Summit dry sack, because it’s ample enough to hold gear yet small enough for backpacking and for the other pastime I enjoy: freshwater kayaking.

  219. I’ve only just completed my 1st backpacking trip in August at RMNP for a week. I felt compelled to get a Sea to Summit waterproof compression sack for my down sleeping bag. I couldn’t bear the thought of having to sleep in a wet bag! But, I have to also admit, I loved the extra room I got with the sack. I also tried stuffing the bag in a garbage bag and putting it in the bottom of my Osprey Arial 65 backpack, so I could put the rest of my clothes, etc., in the compression sack to get more room for the bear canister we each had to carry, required by the park services. (It took up so much more room than I anticipated!) That decision was due to us having great weather and my fears of a wet bag relieved.

  220. Yes, I use a waterproof stuffsack for my sleeping bag. I just don’t want to risk having a wet bag. I use a hydration bag inside the pack so i want an extra liner in case this leaks. It also helps to insulate from rain and sweat for inside gear but the sleeping bag is the one piece of gear I want dry. I use a homemade silnylon sack for my sleeping bag, and it doubles as my bear bag.

  221. I just use a plastic trash bag for my sleeping bag and clothes, twist the top a few times and stuff it in the bottom of my pack.

  222. I use to just cram my sleeping bag in the bottom of my pack. Maybe using whatever stuff sack came with it.

    12 years and a lifetime later I just ordered Gossamer’s dry sack to line my Gorilla pack. I wanted a liner that was clear and that would last. I plan on doing some extended hiking trips with my daughter. We want quality light weight equipment. We are hoping to invest in down bags soon to keep us warm year round.

  223. Too be honest, I do not use a waterproof stuff sack. I use a trash compactor bag for the inside of the backpack and put everything in that, then tie it off and close up the bag.

  224. I am planning my first backpack trip so I don’t have supplies at this point. It it interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on he topic. I am someone who won’t risk being wet at night so I will do whatever is needed to ensure a dry bag!

  225. I use the stuff sack that came with the bag I’m using. Some are coated nylon some are not coated. I use a pack cover when it rains and have never got a soaked sleeping bag so I have never felt compelled to buy a waterproof stuff sack.

  226. I pack my BA down sleeping bag in a 15L Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack which I then keep in the bottom of my Osprey Aura AG 65 pack. I do this for several reasons. I use an internal 3L platypus bladder & if it ever leaked/spilled I wouldn’t want the down bag to get soaked. Secondly, living in Maine I ford a lot of waterways and want to keep the sleeping bag as dry as possible. Finally, if I’m caught in heavy rain I quickly put up my tent after which I can remove my sleeping bag without it getting drenched. I opted for a compression sack because it enables me to have more room in my pack. I’ve tried packing UL but since I hike with my dog & I’m a camera buff I always seem to have just a bit more gear. I still line my Osprey with a trash compactor bag because old habits die hard. All in all my system works for me and that’s what matters most.

  227. I just have an old synthetic bag for use on very short trips, and haven’t been worrying about it, I just shove it in.

  228. Yes, I use a waterproof stuff sack – it’s a Sea to Summit medium sized. Lightweight and cheap insurance. Last trip my wife’s water bladder leaked in her pack and she had a wet bag that night. Now she uses one too.

  229. I just protect the entire pack when it rains. That and good luck keep it dry.

    (I am beginning to re-think this approach.)

  230. I stuff my bag into a non-waterproof stuff sack. I rely on the fact that in CO we don’t get tons of rain (well, except for 2013…). If it starts to cloud over big-time, I just put my backpack cover on.

  231. Compression sack (generic) with enlighten quilt and sea to summit liner and sleep clothes. Sack is not water proof but the use plastic liner in pack.

  232. Yes, I use a Zpacks cuben fiber stuff sack to make sure my bag doesn’t get wet. on the inside the stuff sack has a fleece on one side, so at night I can turn it inside out and stuff some clothes into it for a nice comfy pillow.

  233. I have a pack cover that I use which is a protective covering for my sleeping bag. Nothing fancy.

  234. i use a cuban stuff sack and then a small plastic garbage bag, have a down bag so need the extra protection, thanks

  235. I use one all the time, Sea to Summit eVent waterproof compression stuff sack.

  236. I like to keep my stuff compartmentalized in my pack, so into a sea to summit lightweight dry sac I put my bag, some cozy wool sleepy socks, and a space blanket. It squishes down nice and I know that come what may I will have warm dry sleeping gear.

  237. My Feathered Friends sleeping bag goes into its own waterproof stuff sack, and then into a trash compactor bag with the other stuff that needs to stay dry. And then into the water-resistant pack, which itself stays pretty dry under an umbrella or poncho. After an early “learning experience” (which for me was as a teenager solo on a cold wet night in an unexpected snow at 12,000′ in the Rockies in a cotton-covered down bag), I am careful with anything down.

  238. I do not use a waterproof stuff sack or any stuff sack for my quilt. I just use a trash compacter bag as a liner and that’s been good enough for me. I try to stay as ultralight as possible and using a trash bag is one of the ultra cheap ways of staying ultralight.

  239. I do not keep my sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack. Honestly I just haven’t been happy with my sleeping bag and was waiting till I found one I loved to invest in a stuff sack. I have a good cover for my backpack and it seems to do the trick on keeping everything dry but I’ll have to admit, I haven’t run into a lot of rain to worry about it much.

  240. I pack my old Sierra Designs bag, without the stuff sack, in the bottom compartment of my Kelty backpack. I wrap it in a tall kitchen garbage bag and hope that it stays dry. So far, so good. I use the garbage bag because it’s cheaper and lighter than alternatives.

  241. I use a Sea to Summit eVent Compression Sack currently and it works great at keeping my bag dry. In addition to a cuben fiber pack cover the compressing sack keeps my sleeping bag clean and dry especially once its out of my pack in the tent.

  242. We just put our sleeping bags inside our packs with is lined with a compactor trash bags. Our sleeping bags are in compression sacks that they came with. We have limited funds for supplies so waterproof sacks have never been a priority. Are they a good idea- yes!

  243. I put the bag/quilt in a trash compactor bag, but generally not in an secondary waterproof bag.

  244. i use a waterproof compression sack – usually Sea to Summit – both to reduce size and ensure I have a dry place to sleep. I usually rely on a pack cover to keep the rest dry plus a small dry sack for my (turned off) cell phone.

  245. I despise stuff sacks! They are extra weight and tend to make my pack feel lumpy. I much prefer to just stuff all of my gear into my pack. My quilt lives quite happily stuffed inside a trash compactor bag alongside my down jacket and anything else I want to keep dry. For “normal” backpacking conditions, this setup keeps my gear dry and allows my down gear to fill up the extra space in my ultralight pack. For paddling trips or if I expect to be swimming rivers (not just wading), I would use a dry bag.

  246. I do not pack my sleeping bag in a separate stuff sack. I put all my items that need to stay dry (clothes, bag, electronics, etc) in a trash compactor bag within my backpack. Everything else stays outside the tough plastic bag.

  247. I try to avoid rain so I don’t waterproof my bag storage, but if it does rain, I’ll throw on my poncho to keep us all dry.

  248. I use the waterproof silnylon sacks from Walmart for the sleeping bag. I once read a review that the Walmart brand were as good as the Sea to Summit bags but are much cheaper. It has worked for me, and keeps the bag dry even in pouring rain. My backup of course is to line my pack with a trash compactor bag when rain is predicted.

  249. I use the Sea to Summit eVent Compression sack, both for the waterproofing and to save space in the pack. I have a 15 and 20 liter, and usually keep my sleeping bag and some clothes in one, and my tent in the other. It does a great job at compressing my clothes, the waterproofing is really an added bonus, though the seams are coming un-taped so I don’t know how waterproof it is at this point in life…

  250. generic stuff sack for my quilt. My GG pack bag liner.

  251. I use a “xsmall” size Sea to Summit event. I love how small I can compress my down bag and know that it is going to be dry!

  252. My opinion about stuff sacks is not very high. I use a trash compactor to line the inside of my pack and especially for the EE quilt I use, I jam it in the bottom of the bag and it sort of forms around the rest of my gear. I believe that by reducing the number of stuff sacks I have saved almost 5oz in pack weight. This seems to work for me. Cheers!

  253. I am just getting back into backpacking, with my girlfriend, after a long hiatus and trying to make some investments/move initially to lightweight and then to UL as the funds allow. Really enjoy reading the posts on your site. Grew up hiking and backpacking in NH before moving west. My old EMS down sleeping back and Granite Gear compression sack come out to over 4lbs so saving up some money to replace those. But, I was looking to replace the old compression sack with a lighter, dry sack too as I was worried about the down getting wet in our afternoon high country storms. A couple things stopped me from going the dry compression sack route, including cost especially if I am planning to replace that bag (and whatever new bag/quilt would no longer need to also/should not be compressed). And, I did some research and from what I read, the UL dry bags such as out of silnylon weren’t really waterproof like a normal dry bag for boating would be. And the consensus seemed to be that a good trash compactor bag with a properly wrapped topped was a solid, economical solution. The white trash compactor bag also separates the bag (and clothes) from water, fuel and food in the pack, and the white makes it easier to find things inside the bag that I might throw in loose. Two backpacking trips down this summer/early fall with the trash compactor bag but haven’t had enough bad weather to test it out. I haven’t decided that when I get the new bag/quilt whether I will go with a normal stuff sack or a dry one, along with the trash compactor bag as double insurance. It may depend if my girlfriend and I come up with trips where there is risk of submersion such as kayak packing or early season creek wading.

  254. Stuffsack? Depends on where I’m hiking. If I have my warmer down bag, yes I stuff it into a Sea-toSummit h2o-proof compression sack. Only in rainy New Zealand with a lot of river crossings did I double up with a liner as well. I’d rather save the weight of course but the insurance of dry gear when you get to camp is pretty sweet.

  255. Haven’t really decided yet. I am returning to backpacking after a 40-year hiatus. The answers posted have been a huge help, though.

  256. I wanted to do a slight tangent on compactor bags since they show up repeatedly in the topic. I switched to Reynolds Oven Bags-Turkey size. They are smaller then compactor bags so you end up using more than one. That and the fact that they are clear make if easy to organized stuff. Stuff that might be packed wet such as a tent go in one and other things fall into natural groupings.
    “discovering” oven bags came from Sections Hikers discussion of vapor barrier for feet. I do not winter camp but i was surprised how fast my feet can get cold in blowy rain now that I switched to mesh top shoes. So I use the Pot Roast size for anti-hypotheria foot protection. That use led to me trying out the larger size for other purposes.

  257. Things that must stay dry, clothes and sleep gear, go into cheap stuff sacks, then into a garbage bag tied off, then into another stuff sack to protect the garbage bag’s integrity. The weight of 2 extra garbage bags and 2 extra stuff sacks = bone dry. I’ve slept wet… no more.

    • Yes Jimmy Burrito!
      It may seem like overkill but I have spent some time canoe camping in northern Maine as well as trekking places like the Darien Gap and the Guyana Shield….you need a dry sleep system and a dry set of clothes for night time. In the jungles/tropics you wont get hypothermia but you will begin to get rashes, infections, and rot if you cant get dry at night. In the northern woods canoe camping it can mean hypothermia etc. I often double bag my sleeping bag and night clothes, any medicines, fragile electronics, maps. This may mean a dry bag then a contractor garbage bag or just two dry bags. When canoe camping I like to have dry bags inside a tough pvc dry bag that can go in the river if you dump it. A superlight backpacker friend of mine recently told me…..going really light forces you to give up things and sometimes puts you at an almost constant “survival mode”….in other words it doesn’t leave room for much error at all. If things go sideways that extra few ounces could save your life.

  258. I stopped using a compression sack for my sleeping bag. While packing for a recent trip this past summer , I tested a theory I had and just shoved the bag in first and layered the rest of the gear on an as needed first/ most basis as usual. The theory was that I realized that a compressed sleeping bag was akin to putting a rock in the bottom of my pack…it wasn’t going to compress any more…the result was that it was much easier to stow my gear and it all ” settled” in the pack better. Upon repack I installed a trash bag , repacked as before…worked great for me …One less stuff sack to carry and way easier and quicker when it’s time to load up.

  259. I haven’t up until now but i’ve changed my whole setup for 2017 and will be carrying a British Army Bergen for camping so i’ve decided to get the issue liners. Everything will be in dry bags of some sort to keep out the rain. I’ve been lucky so far with just minimal dampness even when camped in torrential rain conditions.

    Aside from keeping moisture out, having everything bagged will help with admin and keeping things together.

    I’m not actually a Section Hiker but I do happen to do a lot of camping. My gear usually rides on the back of my motorcycle. I camp in the Dales and the Moors here in the UK and anybody who knows he UK will tell you it rains ……. A LOT!

    • 3 weeks before my round the country cycle ride (march17) I’ve opted for a waterproof dry bag for my 3season fibre bag I feel with the great UK weather an the fact I’ll be camping every night I’d rather extra weight\bulk an have a dry sleep set up nightly. I’m not a hiker just n avg Joe, but it makes sense to waterproof critical kit.

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