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Taking care of your sleeping bag

Taking care of your sleeping bag

Entretien d'un sac de couchage

It is important to carefully maintain your sleeping bag if you want it to last for a long time. You must treat your sleeping bag like if it were a baby: you have to wash it regularly, let it sleep in a dry environment and sometimes even nourish it!

Maintaining your sleeping bag

There are several crucial steps in the maintenance of a sleeping bag to ensure that it remains in good condition as long as possible:

1. Washing


2. Drying


3. Storing


4. Applying a waterproof treatment


Other maintenance tips


The first reflex to have before undertaking the cleaning of your sleeping bag is to carefully read the care instructions given by the manufacturer. These are often found on the sleeping bag's tag, or directly written on the storage sack. This will give you valuable information about the composition of your sleeping bag. Depending on the composition of your sleeping bag, the cleaning instructions will not be the same!



Synthetic fibres
Machine washing:
If your sleeping bag is filled with synthetic fibres, turn it completely inside out, close all the zippers and program the machine into a delicate cycle, with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees. A higher temperature could irreversibly damage the synthetic fibres. Here's a little tip: choose a detergent without fabric softener to avoid damaging the insulation of your sleeping bag.

Washing by hand:
It is also possible to wash your synthetic sleeping bag by hand. This solution is much less risky than machine washing but takes considerably longer. Prepare a tray of hot water, about 40 degrees. Add a cap and a half of laundry detergent (this dose may vary depending on the degree of dirt), without fabric softener just like machine washing. Carefully rub the stains with a sponge. Finally, rinse the sleeping bag thoroughly, about five times and make sure that all the laundry is properly rinsed off.

Machine washing:
Make sure that your down sleeping bag is suitable for machine washing, as this may render it unusable. Before starting the washing cycle, add a few (clean) tennis balls into the drum to prevent the down from compressing. Choose a delicate cycle on your washing machine with a maximum temperature of 30 degrees. Do not use the washing machine spin-drying cycle! Try to shut down the washing machine after it has finished rinsing. If possible, use special down detergent to prevent it from damaging the extremely delicate fabric.

Washing by hand:

Soak your sleeping bag in warm, soapy water for a few hours. You can use laundry detergent if your sleeping bag is really dirty, but then again, try using a detergent specially designed for down. Use a sponge or brush on the dirtiest parts. Then squeeze the down with your hands, making sure that the water properly passes through the fabric and that the detergent works in-depth. Finish by rinsing the sleeping bag thoroughly, about five times and making sure that all the laundry has been properly rinsed off.


Faire sécher son sac de couchage



For air drying, open the sleeping bag completely and place it on a flat surface. Turn it over from time to time so that it dries properly on both sides. Be aware, however, that air drying can be very long, about one or two full days.

If you want to speed up the drying process a bit, it is possible to use a tumble dryer. Use a very low temperature program and add tennis balls in the drum. Once the cycle is complete, squeeze out and remove any clumps of down that may have formed in the tumble dryer. Finish drying the sleeping bag in open air, by placing it on a flat surface.


One would think that the best way to store your sleeping bag is to pack it in your storage sack. Quite the opposite, your sleeping bag needs air, you have to let it breathe as much as possible. Rolling your sleeping bag the same way every time results in the formation of repeated folds that damage the lining in the long term. Finally, the optimal storage for a sleeping bag would therefore be to pack it without folding it into a larger storage sack than the one in which it was originally packed. "Stuffing" your sleeping bag is the preferred storing solution, due to the fact that you never make folds in the same places.


This last step only concerns sleeping bags made of a water-repellent / hydrophobic shell fabric. If this is the case, the waterproofing properties of the sleeping bag can be revitalised with dedicated cleaning products..

Impermeabiliser son sac de couchage


Other maintenance tips:

  • Finally, there are some maintenance tips to make sure you have done your best to take care of your sleeping bag. First of all, it is possible — and even advisable — to insert a sleeping bag liner or sheet into your sleeping bag when using it. This will allow you to use your sleeping bag for longer without having to clean it. Similarly, when sleeping on the open air, we advise you to use an overbag to keep your sleeping bag clean (on top of that, cleaning an overbag is a lot easier than cleaning a sleeping bag).
  • When you are faced with the sad discovery of holes in your down, rest assured: it is always possible to patch it! If the bad news is coming in the middle of a hike, it is possible to temporarily repair the holes with Duct Tape. In the long run, the best way to fix the holes in the sleeping bag is to use repair patches, to prevent the synthetic fibres or down from escaping. Take a look at McNett's repair kits on Snowleader.
  • Sleeping bags, especially down sleeping bags, should be ventilated and shaken regularly. This makes the padding more inflatable and prevent it from flattening out in the long run.
  • Finally, when hiking, try hang your sleeping bag or stretch it in a ventilated area. This makes sure that your sleeping bag stays dry on a daily basis.

L'entretien du sac de couchage

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