For backpackers, traveling light and packing smart is essential. One of the best ways to manage and pack your gear for a backpacking trip is to use a compression sack for sleeping bag storage. A compression sack can be used for all your gear, but the most important is for your sleeping bag and it is a great addition to your hiking checklist and gear list. Sleeping bags can be easily crammed into a compression sack, which save a lot of space over all in hiking backpacks.
When gear like clothing and a sleeping bag can only be folded so small, a compression sack does the hard work for you by compressing your gear even further. Compression sacks can compact everything you need into less space, so you can learn how to pack a backpack the right way.
Our list of the 10 Best Compression Sacks in 2019 gives you the top rated stuff sacks, as well as a breakdown in what to look for before you purchase. With the best stuff sack, you can hike the happy trails with ease learn how to plan a backpacking trip that’ll make lasting memories.
How To Choose A Compression Sack — Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing the best compression sack, you can be easily overwhelmed by the flooded market. There are a lot of stuff sacks to choose from and many claim to be the best. However, because of different designs and features, you shouldn’t necessarily go for the most popular choice. It is important that you spend the time to find the best compression sack for you and your backpacking needs!
There are different types of compression sacks to choose from. The three most common are high compression sacks, waterproof dry compression sacks, and stuff sacks. All have different features for different advantages.
High compression sacks: These stuff sacks help to really save space. They should have a high quality compression to compact your gear into the smallest size possible. They are generally made of durable materials, like nylon, and can be used to pack clothing and sleeping bags efficiently.
Waterproof Dry Compression Sacks: As hinted at in the name, these stuff sacks are waterproof, which makes them ideal for outdoor travel. Designed especially for the water-based adventurers, these stuff sacks can manage and protect your gear against getting wet. They will often feature a roll-top design, as well as float for added waterproof protection.
Stuff Sacks: These are the most basic option. They are great for storing clothes, however they will not compact as much as a high compression sack. They normally have a drawstring closure and are best used in warmer climates.
Material and Durability
You will want to invest in a high quality stuff sack that is made of durable material. While stuff sacks can be an investment, it is worth it to purchase the best to ensure your gear won’t fall out and have a stuff sack that will last you for years.
You at least want a rip-stop materials to protect your sack from accidental tearing. A waterproof bag could be a good idea too, so you aren’t caught by unexpected weather or are taking a trip down the river. You also want backpacking stuff sacks to be lightweight, so that you aren’t adding unnecessary bulk.
Your stuff sack also needs to be durable, because it will be filled with various items and used over and over again in rugged location. Your stuff sack should last you for years and still be reliable.
Stuff sacks for backpacking should be lightweight. They are meant to help you organize and carry your gear by refusing bulk; not adding to it. Often, the material used for stuff sacks is lightweight and durable. You want your top rated stuff sack to have weight only when it is full of your gear. A good rule of thumb is to have a stuff sack that weighs 20% or less of your gear and its total packing weight.
There are different types of stuff sacks for backpacking and each one has a level to which it compresses your gear. As well, two different closure methods can affect the compression of your bag. Usually, stuff sacks have either a roll-top or drawstring closure. Roll-tops are great for water adventures and drawstrings can give quick access to gear while on the trail.
High compression stuff sacks will commonly have a drawstring closure with a piece of fabric that goes over the top and buckles to the sides. These exterior straps can then be pulled using the tabs to force out any extra air and keep the sack compressed until the straps are released.
Stuff sacks with a drawstring closure tend to be less powerful in their compression. These designs will hold your gear but aren’t great at getting rid of extra air.
Waterproof compression sacks usually have a roll-too closure to help prevent possible leaks. They can be great at compressing your gear because of the roll-top design. However, not all waterproof compression sacks will have the exterior straps to pull and compress the bag. If your waterproof compression sack only has a roll-top, you will have to do the work to compress your gear the best you can and close the sack.
Another system is the air purging system. This system uses an air permeable fabric, which allows extra air to escape while you are packing but is still waterproof. This system often delivers a more compact and reliable compression for your gear.
It is important that you find the compression system that works for you. The different advantages to different designs can really ease your frustration while trying to pack your gear.
Waterproof compression sacks are designed with kayakers, rafters, and boaters in mind. However, they can be useful for hikers too, if they plan to be crossing rivers. You should learn how to cross rivers safely before you attempt a river filled trail, but a waterproof compression sack should keep your gear dry, even if it were fully submerged. You should learn water resistant vs. waterproof and what’s the difference. A compression sack that needs to be submerged, should be waterproof. They are an investment, but an extremely useful one.
However, you may want a waterproof stuff sack just to take with you on the trail, so you aren’t caught off guard by unexpected weather. A waterproof stuff sack would be especially useful for backpacking sleeping bags, which need to stay 100% dry. A waterproof sleeping bag compression sack could be used on the trail and off the water to ensure that you always have a dry place to rest at night.
Backpacking compression bags need to be portable. You are using it to hold all your gear and a bulky design can be even harder to pack. Top rated stuff sacks should be portable enough to be taken anywhere. They should be lightweight and collapsible, so that you can easily bring them along any adventure.
The majority of stuff sacks are measured in liters. They also come in every size imaginable from half liters, a liter, and multiple liters. You should be able to find a stuff sack for any of your gear from a cell phone to one that lines your entire pack.
The best way to determine which capacity you need is to decide how you intend to use it. You may choose to carry multiple stuff sacks of various sizes for an extremely organized backpack system or find one large stuff sack for all of your gear like sleeping bag liners, women’s sleeping bags, winter sleeping bags, and double sleeping bags.
Q: What is a compression sack?
A: A compression sack is a packing and organization system that is designed to compress your gear, so you can fit more in your backpack. Backpacking compression bags are lightweight and have either a roll-top or drawstring closure.
Some sacks have a high compression feature, which means that they have exterior straps that you can use to push out and and compress the bag. By eliminating the dead air space, you can conveniently pack more into your bag.
Q: Why do I need a compression sack for my sleeping bag?
A: A sleeping bag compression sack is ideal for minimizing the space a sleeping bag takes up. A good sleeping bag should be fluffy, but using small air pockets, to keep you warm. However, packing the extra air makes your sleeping bag larger in size and is unnecessary. A sleeping bag compression sack eliminates the extra air and forced your sleeping bag into the smallest size possible. You may even be able to combine and compress a full sized sleeping bag with kids sleeping bags with just one compression sack, which saves you even more space.
If you want to keep your sleeping bag 100% dry, invest in a waterproof sleeping bag compression sack. It can be hard to determine a compression sack for a sleeping bag and what is the right size, but it’s important to get a properly fit compression sack.
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A compression sack is a great system to organize and pack your gear. The best compression sack will be lightweight and durable. A stuff sack should make your gear small and manageable, so you can eliminate the frustration of not enough space and disorganized packing.
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Do you own one of the compression sacks that made it onto our list? Let us know how it has worked for your outdoor needs in the comments section below.
Globo Surf Compression Sacks Reviews