Down Sleeping Bag Care and Maintenance

By the time you read this article, where is your sleeping bag? In an attic in the making nibbling by mice? Always in your hiking bag with a few bars of stale cereal?

And what state is it? Dirty and smelly to the point that you do not go out of its compression bag?Always wet your last night in?

It is perhaps time to take care of this couchag bag e on which you rely so much on cold nights between two days of hiking. It is perhaps the same time of washing.

Even if you bought a good down sleeping bag, there will not be great long if you do not make a good interview!

Down Sleeping Bag Care and Maintenance

Why maintain down sleeping bag?

Maintain his sleeping bag, for what? We already have enough to do with the house and the car … Here are 2 main reasons:

  • For your sleeping bag keeps its performance.
  • So that it has a longer service life.

Proper maintenance depends on a good storage and sometimes also a good wash .

How to properly store a down sleeping bag?

The filling is down or synthetic, the recommendations are the same.


Here’s the best way to store your sleeping bag in the small compression bag provided. It requires finesse and careful not folding, but rather strength and jam.

If you always fold your sleeping bag and roll it before putting it in its compression bag, the liner will deteriorate the folds.

The best way is to open down sleeping bag to loosen all clamping and fill your fist with your sleeping bag loose in the compression bag. In this way, the folds will never be the same place and your sleeping bag will no cold spots through a well distributed packing.

At your house

To return to the first question of this article: do your down sleeping bag is right now “stored” in its compression bag? If this is the case, it is time to get out of there because it damages its lining and reduces the swelling (and thus its heat).

Before storing your sleeping bag, air it after every ride to get rid of the moisture that is trapped inside. You can even take the time to leave the packing to avoid the formation of cold spots.

The ideal is to store your flat sleeping bag (with nothing on it) but it is not very convenient because a lot of space. It must not hang because the lining is tasserait and would not be well distributed. The best compromise is the e put in a large mesh bag or a large airy bag-which is often supplied with the sleeping bag when you buy it.

How to wash a down sleeping bag?

If your sleeping bag is fat or it smells bad, it is perhaps time to wash it . First try to air your sleeping bag for a day out to give it a bit of freshness. Sometimes that is enough.But sometimes not.

Be careful not to wash your sleeping bag too often-which uses tissue and lose the swelling of linings made of synthetic fibers.For sleeping bags down, a good wash can give back by blowing against the duvet and thus make it regain its thermal capacity and more cleaning. I have long been a part of people who thought that it absolutely should never wash a sleeping bag – I held 7 years …

You can only clean a certain area of your sleeping bag. This avoids too use the rest. This is common with the collar and hood that are dirty because constant contact with the fat of our hair and our face.

The washing procedure depends on whether the packing is down or synthetic fibers. This procedure is much easier with linings made of synthetic fibers.

Filling Down

According to Pima Sleeping Bags, wash a sleeping bag down is delicate and should not be done anyhow if you want to prevent your sleeping bag becomes unusable. If you are afraid to do it yourself, it is possible to do this professionally.


First, read the label to see if a machine washing is possible.

With a washing machine
  • If the down is very dirty, you cansoak it in warm water (20-30 ° C) with a little special detergent for several hours. You can even gently brush the dirtiest parts.
  • For machine washing,turn your sleeping bag and wash at 30 ° C using the “delicate” program.
  • Add tennis ballsin the machine so that the down does not make too much of agglomerates.
  • Use a special down detergentas possible or a mild detergent.
  • Do not wring the washing machine. Stop the washing machine after the (s) rinsing (s).
By hand
  • Turn down to soak in warm water(20-30 ° C) with a little special detergent for several hours.You can even gently brush the dirtiest parts.
  • Rub the wash waterin the pressing it down with the palm of your hands.
  • Use a special down detergentas possible or a mild detergent.


  • Rinse the down-at least twice until no more detergent in the down.


This is the most critical step and must be done carefully.

With dryer
  • Dry at low temperature down( “wool” program for example) with tennis balls.
  • Finish the line dry and outdoors(outside if possible).
  • Flip the sleeping bag occasionallyto dry both sides.
  • Wring disintegrate andoccasionally down the agglomerates during drying.
A l’air libre
  • Dry the sleeping bag open flat and outdoors(outside if possible).
  • Flip the sleeping bag occasionallyto dry both sides.
  • Wring disintegrate andoccasionally down the packets during drying

Warning: the drying can be very long (1-2 days). Make sure your sleeping bag is completely dry before storing.

Filling in synthetic fibers

Follow the same procedure for filling of down . It is sometimes possible to wash at a higher temperature (40 ° C) – to check the label. Drying is faster and synthetic fibers do not form packs.Generally, it is thus not necessary to disaggregate the packet as to the down. It may be necessary against by the rinsing much more than 2 times.

Some additional tips for finish

  • The best maintenance is prevention: avoid dirty and wet sleeping bag This will save you tedious cleaning and maintenance will prolong its life and warmth.
  • It is possibleto use a sleeping bag for less mess your sleeping bag with your filth and the surrounding dirt. Otherwise you can always lie down in it with clean business . Personally, I really have trouble doing that.
  • Air your sleeping bagfor your hike as soon as possible. No, not hanging your sleeping bag in your backpack while walking. But if you have time for breakfast or before bed, do it. However, avoid leaving too long sunny. UV can degrade the tissue.
  • The outer fabric of some sleeping bags is water repellent.It is possible to restore the waterproof thereof with specialty products.
  • For sleeping bags down, it isnormal to lose the plumules smaller because the fabric has to be breathable. Make sure there are no holes if the sleeping bag loses much. If you spot a hole in the outer fabric for hiking, fix it temporarily with a piece of adhesive tape (duct tape to type).