How to Care for Your Sleeping Bag: Preventing, Washing, Drying

washing sleeping bagsIf you spend enough nights in your Grizzly sleeping bag, or just camp with little kids (that always seem to attract every particle of dust in the campsite), you will eventually be faced with how to clean your bag. We’ll look in not only how to clean your sleeping bag, but proper care and maintenance to keep your sleeping bag looking as good, and keeping you as warm, as it did when you first bought it.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

The best way to clean your sleeping bag is to not let it get dirty in the first place. Below are some tips on how to keep your bag clean – so you don’t have to wash it as often:

  1. Go to bed with clean clothes on. If you go to bed with the same clothes on that you wore around the campsite, you’ll be bringing dirt, oil, food and perspiration into the bag with you. All that will continue to accumulate and will take away from your bag’s ability to keep you warm.
  2. Use a sleeping bag liner. Liners keep you warmer, plus it is all you need to wash at the end of your trip, thus extending the life of your sleeping bag.
  3. Take your shoes off. When you enter the tent, make sure you take your shoes off in order to not track dirt on to your sleeping bag.
  4. Air your bag out. You should air your bag out every day. Simply open it all the way up or turn it inside out. Doing this will extend your bags life and continue to keep you warm during the night.
  5. Just use your bag to sleep in. I know it is tempting on a cold morning to use your bag as a blanket around the campfire, but by doing this, your bag will get dirty and you will need to wash it.

Washing Sleeping Bags

When you wash your sleeping bag, your bag is prone to loss a little loft. You should only wash your bag when necessary, and not between every camping trip. When you need to clean one small area on your sleeping bag use a mild soap to spot clean. Ensure that the bag is completely dry before putting it in storage.

When you are going to wash your sleeping bag, go to a laundromat where you can use an industrial sized, front-load washing machine. Do not use a washing machine with a center spindle, as the agitation will damage your sleeping bag. Use warm water, gentle cycle.

Drying Sleeping Bags

When you dry your Grizzly oversized sleeping bag, all you will have to do is hang the bag up by its drying loops. This will allow for an efficient dry that will not damage your bag. Hang your bag outside, but minimal sunlight as UV rays can damage your bag.

If you are going to dry your sleeping bag in a dryer, turn down the heat to the coolest setting (high heat can damage the insulation and shell). Be prepared, it can up to five hours to dry a sleeping bag. To help your bag dry faster, and with more loft, place a few tennis balls inside the bag.

Keeping, and getting, your bag clean is a great way to prolong the life of your bag so it will continue to keep you warm, even on those cold camping nights.


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