CAMPING & HIKING

Best Compression Sack for Sleeping Bag: Must-Have Camping Gear

Compression sacks review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

If you’ve gone camping before, then you know how annoying it can be to roll up your sleeping bag and then have nowhere to store it. Sure, you can tie it with string or elastic bands, but that doesn’t keep your sleeping bag safe from the elements. To do that, you need the best compression sack for sleeping bags.

Many people forget the importance of a proper compression sack, however, in actuality, it’s one of the most important pieces of gear you can purchase. Compression sacks help in making your sleeping bag smaller in size. Though you may not think of this as something important, it actually helps create more space for you whether that be in your backpack, canoe, or kayak.

Use A Compression Sack

Compression sacks are perfect if you want to protect your sleeping bag from the elements. The last thing you want is to unroll your sleeping bag and find it damp, dirty and smelling foul. This means it will also keep the sleeping bag from premature aging.

If you’re buying a standard sleeping bag, it’ll usually come with a compression sack. However, most of the compression sacks that come with sleeping bags are of low quality and are simply used to store the sleeping bag. In order to help you find a compression sack that will not only make space for other stuff in your backpack but will also protect anything you put inside it, we’ve put together a summary of today’s top products.

Product nameWeightDimensionsDefining FeaturePrice
Sea to Summit eVent6.4 ounces11 x 5 x 3 inchesUnique air compressionCheck price on Amazon
ALPS Mountaineering8 ouncesSmall 7 x 16 inches, Medium 9 x 20 inches, Large 11 x 23 inches, and XL 12 x 25 inches.Bartacked stress pointsCheck price on Amazon
Osprey StraightJacket2.1 ounces6 x 15 x 8 inchesHorizontal compressionCheck price on Amazon
Granite Gear Air Compressor Sack13 ounces8 x 5 x 2 inchesNew Lineloc lightweight technologyCheck price on Amazon
Outdoor Research Dry Ditty5.6 ounces11 x 4 x 2 inches3-in-1 SackCheck price on Amazon
Lowe Alpine Mesh Stuff Sack13 ounces12 x 4 x 3 inchesSee-through polyesterCheck price on Amazon
Mammut Ambient12.8 ounces10 x 3 x 2 inchesAmbient light sourceCheck price on Amazon

Things to consider before buying

If you’re looking for a compression sack that’ll help preserve your sleeping bag, there are some features you need to look for. So, here are the in’s and out’s of find the best compression sack for sleeping bag:

Compression Sack vs Stuff Sack

You’ve probably heard these two terms, however, they’re not the same thing. Not sure which one to choose? We understand. Here are the difference between a stuff sack and compression sack.

compression sack vs. stuff sack

A stuff sack is similar in appearance to a compression sack. It’s a drawstring bag which allows you to store your personal belongings or camping equipment, however, it’s typically used for sleeping bags. They’re known to be bulky in size and build. In addition, they’re usually not waterproof, but rather are just used for storing items.

Compression sacks are specifically designed for storing sleeping bags in backpacks. It can be designed with or without waterproof features. It has a clothed lid that comes with adjustable straps that can be tightened to compress the size of the bag.

Waterproof

The best compression sacks ensure that your sleeping bag is kept dry. You’ll be able to backpack, camp, canoe–whatever activity it is–and your sleeping gear will be kept dry. Waterproof compression sacks achieve this with sealed seams and a dry bag closure.

Compressions sacks features

Try to avoid purchasing a compression sack that is made of polyurethane-coated fabrics, as these are cheaply made and will not last long. For a proper waterproof compression sack, you’ll need to invest in it and that means paying a bit more.

Since they come in waterproof versions, canoers and kayakers will be able to secure their items while on open bodies of water. However, even if you’re not into the outdoors, business travelers can also use compressions sacks as they can easily fit their clothes into the small compartment.

Lightweight

You don’t need a compression sack that comes with a bunch of gadgets. You want it to be simple and do its duty. So, make sure your compression sack is made of lightweight material and is minimalistic in design.

Compression medium

Sometimes you’ll end up using your compression sack to carry other things, so you will want it to be as light as possible.

Durability

There’s no point in buying a compression sack if it won’t last you through one summer. You want a compression sack that’s durable and can withstand the elements, protecting what’s inside. In this case, durability comes with a price, so you do get what you pay for.

Carrying Straps

If you’re backpacking, you’ll want a compression sack that comes with either carrying or attachment straps. That way, you’ll be able to clip the compression sack onto your backpack. This can be an essential convenience depending on what you’re using your sack for.

Sleeping Bag Compatibility

Most compression sacks are compatible with any type of sleeping bag, however, there is a difference between synthetic and down sleeping bags.

Event compressions sack for sleeping bag

Down sleeping bags are easier to compress than synthetically filled sleeping bags and typically need smaller sacks. You can use basically any dry sack for a down sleeping bag, however, if you’re in colder conditions, you will be needing a compression sack. In cold weather, you’ll need to reduce the volume of your sleeping bag.

Synthetic sleeping bags are known for being difficult to compress, therefore, they need a sack with higher volume. This mean, they’ll always be needing a compression sack; it’ll shrink the sleeping bag and allow for more space in your backpack.

Best products on today’s market

Now that you’re aware of the various features of a compression sack, it’s time to take a look at which products customers are choosing:

Sea to Summit eVentSea to Summit eVent

Price: approximately $30 – $85

Weight: 6.4 ounces

Dimensions: 11 x 5 x 3 inches

Specific features: Size runs from 2L – 6L; Hypalon closure lid with 4 durable compression; straps; waterproof; no valve, allows user to push out air to compress

Best use: all-purpose

Sea To Summit is one of the most reputable brands specializing in outdoor equipment. That being said, the Sea To Summit eVent will certainly keep your gear nice and dry with its waterproof fabric.

What’s different about this compression sack is that it doesn’t come with a valve. Instead, air is pushed out to compress and prevents water from entering the sack due to the air permeable eVent fabric base.

It’s also made with waterproof seams that are double-stitched and tape sealed, so you can ensure that none of your belongings will be drenched in water. It’s very simple to use and you just to fold the Hypalon closure and lock is down with the 4 straps evenly. If you’re planning on putting electronics into the bag, it’s recommended that you double bag the items for maximum security and protection. A truly great compression bag manufactured by an exceptional brand.

PROS:

  • Wonderfully waterproof
  • The compression straps are tough and can handle abuse
  • Durable in general
  • Lightweight
  • Effective compression

CONS:

  • On the expensive side
  • Size runs small, so you might want to take precaution

Related: The Sea To Summit company manufactures a couple different types of compression sacks. The eVent has the most updated technological design, however, their Ultra-Sil compression sack is also a great option, as you’ll be transporting your gear in a siliconized Cordura compression sack.

Check the price on Amazon

ALPS Mountaineering Compression SackALPS Mountaineering Compression Sack

Price: approximately $20

Weight: 8 ounces

Dimensions: comes in four sizes: small to extra-large. Small 7 x 16 inches, Medium 9 x 20 inches, Large 11 x 23 inches, and XL 12 x 25 inches.

Specific features: Polyester ripstop material; double stitched seams; bartacked stress points; bottom handle with D rings; zippered pockets

Best use: all-purpose

The ALPS Mountaineering produces amazing compression sacks as they specialize in outdoor equipment. Made of polyester ripstop, the Compression Sack is highly durable and able to withstand the outdoor elements.

The compression sack feature a top lid with zippered pockets, double stitched seams for extra strength, bartacked stress points for support and bottom handle with D rings. In the zippered pocket, you’ll be able to keep your smaller items inside, while the rest of the bag will be easily able to store your gear.

The straps simply connect the bottom and top of the bag and you have control over how compressed you want your bag to be. It’s available in four different sizes, so you’ll be able to choose the size which suits you the most.

PROS:

  • Very affordable price
  • Adjustable compression size
  • Well-designed bells and whistles such as the D rings
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Tends to run small
  • Not very waterproof

Related: ALPS Mountaineering designed a couple other great sacks such as the ALPS Mountaineering Dry Sack  and the ALPS Mountaineering Cyclone sack. The dry sack is a waterproof compression sack which is ideal for those that’ll be around water and harsh weather conditions. Whereas the cyclone stuff sack is designed to take on a larger load of gear. Both are great options, it depends on what you’re needing a sack for.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey StraightJacketOsprey StraightJacket

Price: approximately $20 – $45

Weight: 2.1 ounces

Dimensions: 6 x 15 x 8 inches

Specific features: horizontal compression with long zip opening; 3 straps compression; size runs from 20L – 32L; nylon wings and buckles

Best use: all-purpose

The Osprey StraightJacket compression sacks are minimalistically designed, while still stylish. You’re not usually looking for a fashionable compression sack, but the Osprey StraightJacket looks quite trendy. It’s designed to fit the width of a backpack while providing horizontal compression.

What makes horizontal compression different is that it allows the compression sack to have a long zip opening. You may not think of it now, but it’ll be much easier to access your gear and carry due to the horizontal compression design.

It’s made of compressible nylon wings and buckles with water resistant fabric that’s coated in a waterproof seal–the zippers are not waterproof, though. The Osprey StraightJacket is built for convenience and efficiency, which is what you need when compressing and carrying your gear.

PROS:

  • Stylish and trendy design
  • Horizontal compression makes for a unique and ingenious product design
  • Very lightweight
  • Affordable price

CONS:

  • Zippers are not waterproof so they may rust or break
  • Water-resistant but not waterproof

Related: Osprey also makes an Ultralight Drysack, however, it’s not a compression sack. Though if you’re not too concerned about the compression aspect, the dry sack is completely waterproof and rectangular in shape–so you’ll be able to fit it into any backpack.

Check the price on Amazon

Granite Gear Air Compressor SackGranite Gear Air Compressor Sack

Price: approximately $20 – $40

Weight: 13 ounces

Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 2 inches

Specific features: Size runs from 8L – 23L; fully-finished seams for better durability; New Lineloc technology for lighter load; See-thru Sil-Nylon fabric

Best use: all-purpose

This is the newest design from Granite Gear, the Air Compressor Sack. This stuff sack is ideal for those who are trying to reduce the weight as much as possible by compressing their gear for a lighter load.

Granite Gear is very well-known for their compression stuff sacks because they’ve been specializing in them since 1986. The technology used to create the air compressor stuff sack is 30% lighter than traditional webbing compression systems. Though that doesn’t mean that this compression sack won’t be able to carry a full load.

The bloc shape adds more efficiency to packing and allows a more snug and proper fit into your backpack. The shape also eliminates dead air, which means you’ll be able to put more items into the stuff sack, providing load stability and easier packing. It has fully finished seams with a durable lid and arch to support your gear.

PROS:

  • Affordable price
  • Compresses small—smaller than a basketball
  • Can hold a lot

CONS:

  • On the heavy side despite the 30% lighter technology
  • Fabric and straps feel flimsy

Related: You won’t be able to find another compression sack that’s designed in that bloc style, but Granite Gear made a great eVent Sil Compression dry sack. It’s ultra-lightweight and made with Lineloc technology. However, it’s in a rectangular shape, that’s longer than the air compressor stuff sack.

Check the price on Amazon

Outdoor Research Dry Ditty SackOutdoor Research Dry Ditty Sack

Price: approximately $30 – $40

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 2 inches

Specific features: 100% nylon; 3 different sizes in 1 package; waterproof; Buckle Lid, D Ring; roll-top closure

Best use: all-purpose

The Outdoor Research Dry Ditty Sack is another great option for storing your gear. It’s made of waterproof material and with taped full seam so your belongings will be kept safe and dry. This is an ideal sack if you’re not wanting to carry a lot of items, as it’s on the smaller side.

Whether you’re doing a day hike or canoeing around the lake, it’ll be able to fit in any backpack. It’s extremely lightweight which is another nice feature and comes with a roll-top closure and a buckle to lock it.

It’s made of 100% nylon and is simply designed. If you’re not looking for anything special, but rather just a sack that’ll protect your belongings, then this a great option. It’ll be able to hold a change of clothes and your electronic equipment. It’s not for multiple day uses.

PROS:

  • Waterproof, good for electronics
  • 3-in-1 compression sack
  • Lightweight
  • Durable and will protect your things properly

CONS:

  • Not for multiple day uses because it’s small
  • On the expensive side

Related: Outdoor Research also has the Outdoor Research Zip Sack for those who prefer zippers rather than roll up openings. It’s completely waterproof, including the zipper, so you’ll be able to store your belongings without worrying about them getting wet. However, it’s smaller than the Dry Ditty sack.

Check the price on Amazon

Lowe Alpine Mesh Stuff SackLowe Alpine Mesh Stuff Sack

Price: approximately $30

Weight: 13 ounces

Dimensions: 12 x 4 x 3 inches

Specific features: see-through polyester mesh exterior; available in forest green, navy blue, and deep red; 210D nylon ripstop; 3 sizes, 155 cu in, 245 cu in, and 425 cu in; lifetime warranty

Best use: recommended for hiking, camping and traveling

Made of mesh and nylon, the Lowe Alpine Mesh Stuff Sack is a good option if you’re hiking, camping or traveling. You’ll be able to keep your gear neatly organized in the stuff sack due to its see-through mesh exterior. So, you’ll know where everything is and will be able to retrieve it easily.

The only thing about this stuff sack is that it’s not waterproof. So, if you’re going canoeing, you may want a waterproof sack instead. However, if you’re going to be using this bag on land, then it’s a great option for keeping your things tidy and in one place. It also comes in three colors: forest green, navy blue, and deep red.

PROS:

  • Many color options
  • Simple and minimalistic design
  • See-through material makes it easier to take out things

CONS:

  • Not waterproof
  • Heavy

Related: The Lowe Alpine Ultralite Dry sack is another option that has the waterproof feature that the mesh sack is missing. If you’re planning on going on open bodies of water or multi-day trips, this is a great option to make sure your things are secure and dry.

Check the price on Amazon

Mammut AmbientMammut Ambient

Price: approximately $25

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: 10 x 3 x 2 inches

Specific features: High-density EVA back padding with 2 layers; can be used to contain a light source to provide an ambient light; waterproof; air-mesh cover

Best use: all-purpose outdoor activities

The Mammut Ambient Light Dry Bag  is very different from your regular dry sack. Actually, Mammut gave this dry bag a great feature that you’ll be happy to use during the evening. Perhaps you’ll be using this sack on a multi-day journey and at night you’ll want to read a book in your tent.

Well, you can actually place a headlamp or really any light source into the Ambient dry bag and have it turn into a soft, pleasing ambient light. It also makes it a great source of light if you’re wanting to remove the harsh headlamp beam from your eyes.

In addition, it’s also waterproof, made with 2-layers of high-density EVA padding, shoulder belts, and an air-mesh cover. It’s very rare that you’ll find a dry sack that’ll be able not only to safely store your gear but also act as a light source. It’s a great option if you’ll be doing a lot of reading in your tent or just want to have the option of having an additional light source with you.

PROS:

  • Can be used as an ambient light source
  • Double-layer EVA padding
  • Waterproof
  • Stylish design
  • Affordable price

CONS:

  • On the heavy side

Related: To complete your outdoor arsenal, why not consider getting the Mountaintop 40 Liter Hiking Backpack. It is a top-rated pack with six adjustable straps, a computer compartment along with other neat features.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Compression sacks are not limited to just hikers and backpackers. Scuba divers, canoers, kayakers, business travelers; they are all able to use compression sacks to protect their valuables. You can use these sacks for sleeping bags but you can also use it for storing clothes and other gear.

Compression sacks aren’t the first things that come to your mind when you think of the outdoors. However, these sacks can provide you with a better outdoor experience. You now know about the types of sacks, the features of sacks and who should be using sacks.

We’ve given you the in’s and out’s of compression sacks, so, now that you know everything you need to know about compression sacks, try out some of the recommendations we reviewed for you. With our review, you’ll be able to find the best compression sack for your sleeping bag.

Pack your compressions sack

Have you tried any of our recommendations? Do you know any other compression sacks that deserve to be in this list? Tell us more about your experience with these compression sacks in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Sabrina Bell

    O.R.’s dry ditty is perfect for a variety of uses, especially hiking/climbing, camping. Keeps your stuff dry! The smallest can hold a wallet and cell phone, the middle one holds a good sized first aid kit, and the largest can hold a good sized camera or an extra layer of clothes.

  • Mark Foster

    As I often say, the smaller, the better. The Outdoor Research Dry Ditty Sack compresses and protects all your valuables. This means you’ll be able to fit the essentials without worrying about the lack of space. But, as I advised from my previous posts, don’t overpack and make sure you only carry what you need. It’s burdensome to be carrying a ton of things on your back AND hike.

  • Luke Carver

    The Sea to Summit eVent bag is one of the best compression sacks on the market. I use a number of them for a variety of purposes, but the best use I get out of them is as a dirty laundry bag when out camping. They’ll comfortably keep water out and yet, at the same time, they will release moisture too. Maybe someone can offer better insight into this, but I’m sure that’s why the smell of dirty clothes doesn’t linger and fester. Anyone know?

  • Mark Foster

    Keeping dirty clothes dry is a must to prevent molds from forming. It also prevents it from smelling so bad. Also I think the fact that the Sea to Summit has air permeable eVent fabric base may be a key why the odor doesn’t seem to stick to the compression sack.

0
0
Total
0
Shares