Introduction: How to Roll Up a Sleeping Bag

Hey there!

I wasn't able to find a simple tutorial on how to roll up a sleeping bag for beginners so I decided to make one myself. I hope this helps!

Step 1: Gather Materials

For this activity, you are going to need:

  • 1 - Sleeping Bag
  • 2 - Straps*
  • 1 - Heavy Object (rock, stapler, duct tape, someone's foot, etc.)

*You only need straps if your sleeping bag did not come with these straps attached. Make sure they will fit around your sleeping bag when it's rolled up.

Step 2: Lay Sleeping Bag Out

For this step, you'll need to lay your sleeping bag out flat on the floor. It's important to flatten your sleeping bag as much as possible by running your hands down the length of the bag to ensure that the following steps go smoothly and you end up with a tightly-rolled sleeping bag.

Step 3: Fold Sleeping Bag in Half

For step two, you'll need to fold your sleeping bag in half, lengthwise (also known as "hot dog-style"). Again, you'll need to flatten out your bag by running your hands along it to push out any air bubbles that might have been trapped during the folding process. It's helpful to smooth the bag out from the bottom, where your feet go, to the top, where your head goes, because the air will be pushed out through the opening at the top of the bag.

After flattening your bag, you'll need to align the two long sides of the bag. Matching the sides up helps tremendously for actually rolling the bag up, which is the next step.

Step 4: Roll Up the Sleeping Bag

For this step, you may need a fairly heavy object to place on the top/head section of your sleeping bag to keep the bag from unfolding while you roll.

To roll up your sleeping bag, you'll want to start at the bottom* and roll towards the head area to let the air escape. It's helpful to place your knee(s) on the rolled up section of the bag in between rolling to keep it small and tight. While rolling, the top part of your bag may start to unfold, this is where the heavy object comes in. Place the object on top of the sleeping bag where it's starting to unfold and the bag should stay almost flat. Unfortunately, there will be some movement from the bag while you're rolling it up because of the rolling motion, but the amount of movement depends on the thickness of the bag. Thicker bags tend to move more because there's more material being squeezed into a small roll.

After rolling the entire sleeping bag up as small as you can, grab the straps that are either attached to the bag or separate straps and wrap them around the bag, like the picture shown. These two straps should keep the sleeping bag rolled up tight and make it easier if you want to put your bag into a stuff sack or compression sack like the pictures show.

*If the straps on your sleeping bag are located at the bottom part of your bag (the foot area), roll your bag up the opposite way - from head to toe.