How To Put Sleeping Bag On a Backpack

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Last Updated: April 26, 2022

If your backpack is packed in the most efficient way possible, it can take many things. People have been making memes of travelers pulling out an infinite number of objects from their backpacks, and it is a bit true to what it says. There are no incorrect or correct ways to fill up your bag, and you need the most effective way to place things.

Are you going on a trip? Then you would need a backpack to hold essential things in one place. A backpack can be safely stored anywhere without having to worry about it getting lost. If you are going on a trip out in the wilderness, your backpack is the first most crucial thing that you should carry as it will hold the essentials you need while making this trip. Food, sleeping bag, or a tent, your backpack can have it all.

Some people stuff their bags with unwanted stuff. In other words, you should only carry things that you need on your trip, or your backpack will have no space for essentials.

The most common item found in a backpack while going out to the wilderness is a sleeping bag. It’s an oversized essential item and as it is also a very important one, you must learn how to strap a sleeping bag to it.

If you are camping out with a group and are the one who carries sleeping bags, then there’s a chance that you may have to attach multiple sleeping bags to your backpack.

sleeping bag strapped on a backpack

Where to put sleeping bag on a backpack?

If any situation like the above arises, then the most effective yet simple way is to carry a bag strap and pack loops. However, they are just essentials and can’t replace all other accessories that your backpack should have.

Put it on the outside

The most common method of packing a sleeping bag is at the outside of your backpack. Many travelers carry heavy loads, and their sleeping bags are attached to the top of the backpack.

One thing could go wrong when packing your sleeping back on the outside. The whole point here is to have a dry sleeping bag whenever you want to use it. The negative point here is that if your sleeping bag is on the outside, then it has a chance of getting wet, and then you would have to spend hours getting it warm enough for use.

Place it inside

The best option here is to buy a backpack that has an internal frame, such as this one from Teton Sports. The sleeping bag can be placed inside the inner frame only if it’s rolled uptight and is compact enough to fit. Make sure there is no moisture in your sleeping bag.

Some backpacks have internal straps to compress things inside even more in-depth. This feature gives you ample space for the stuff you intend to put inside. However, some bags, instead of an internal frame, have an interior compartment for sleeping bags. Many people usually pack their extra footwear inside the compartment, but it’s best to use it for a sleeping bag as it’s crucial to keep it dry.

Use straps or loops

Your backpack must have loops or sack straps. Most of them tend to have loops on the back panel, and people rarely use them, or they probably don’t know what’s the intended usage for it. It’s a pretty simple process; you need to get the straps through the loops in your backpack and pull the straps up.

However, do note that not all backpacks support the features above. If this happens, you need to buy the straps separately or buy a new backpack with straps or loops. Make sure the backpack is waterproof. This way, you won’t have to buy a waterproof case later on.

Tie it to an external frame

External frames are more preferable to some people than internal ones as they believe it gives the backpack a better structure and overall support. This trick is useful as it uses the tie points, which are located at the bottom of your bag. People often see these on their backpacks but are unaware of what it is precisely used for.

The tie points have straps next to them to keep the sleeping bag intact. However, if you see your bag hanging from the backpack, it will cause imbalance when you walk and later lead to aches in your neck and back. Make sure the sleeping bag is tied correctly.

If you currently have a bag you love, but it is getting really old, don’t rush to buy a new one – there are a couple of tricks you could try beforehand.

Use compression buckles

In case your backpack doesn’t have compression buckles and you are not familiar with them, you should know that they are used to secure the gaps and tighten the bag, stopping it from swaying and making it more stable at the back. Most of the time, they are located on each side of the pack. They help with the even distribution of the weight you are carrying.

Use the lid on bags with an internal frame

Many don’t like backpacks that have internal frames since they usually form a cylindrical chamber, and you can only pile items one on top of the other. If you have put your toothbrush in the middle, you will have to put your hand in there and start searching for it blindly. This is frustrating, costs a lot of time, and makes a real mess out of the stuff you are carrying.

Many of the backpacks that have a lid at the top, feature a tightening string. This makes for a very comfortable arrangement.

If you are carrying a sleeping bag, you can put it on top of the backpack by tying it with those same strings. If you put it there, you will create space between the lid and the rest of the backpack. You should know that this gap is vulnerable to moisture, which is why it is nice also to have a nylon cover to protect it.

Does your bag have loops instead of straps?

Many are not aware of using loops when it comes to backpacks and sleeping bags, so they leave them without finding out more about their purpose. However, you should know that those could be very useful. Here is what they are for:

Firstly, you can use the loop to keep the sleeping bag, liner, or sleeping pad in place. The loops are also there to support your bag from rolling out. You might even find that your sleeping bag has pad loops. Those come in handy when you would like it to stay in one place while you are sleeping.

If you find a loop on one side of the bag, this will help you hang it and dry it. If you lay it flat on the ground, it will keep its loft where the insulation is.

Here is how to tie them to your backpack

Get four twine pieces, tie two around your sleeping bag by making a loop and then get the other two twines and connect the bag to the backpack. A great idea is to purchase strap buckles if you would prefer to use those. Take some time to ensure that the backpack doesn’t swing and that the sleeping bag is well-secured.

Should you tie the sleeping bag on the top or the bottom?

The choice is yours. It mainly depends on the type of backpack you own and where the loops are located. Many people would say that it is better to put the sleeping bag on the top. Firstly, this is better if you have to put your backpack down from time to time. If you have secured the sleeping bag on the bottom, it might get dirty by contacting the ground. Secondly, a lot of sleeping bags are made out of thin nylon, which might tear easily. While you are going through a forest, it could get caught in a branch and get damaged.
In case you are carrying a heavier sleeping bag, you should also place it on the top because otherwise, it could cause you back issues.

Is the frame internal or external?

In most cases, you would be able to figure this out by just looking and touching the bag. The ones with an external frame look squarish and allow you to take larger equipment with you. The frames are usually made out of metal, but many brands are replacing them with lighter materials.

Bags with internal frames are more lightweight, include a top lid, and appear slimmer. Nevertheless, once you figure out how to attach the sleeping bag, it wouldn’t matter whether it is secured internally or externally.

How to store your sleeping bag the right way

Once you are back from your camping trip, it is crucial to take care of your sleeping bag. If yours has come with a carry bag, you could use that to store it and carry it from one place to another. However, some of them tend to get loose over time when they are stuffed too tightly.

You should think about getting a mesh bag, which is breathable or avoid putting a cover over the sleeping bag. It is enough to fold it and put it somewhere as if it were a quilt. You shouldn’t put it in the basement or attic. Instead, store it in the closet where you put your clothes.

Final Thoughts

Those were just some of the ways to secure your sleeping bag in your backpack. If it does not come with straps meant to tie the sleeping bag, you could always make use of the strings. Most of the backpacks nowadays have compression buckles that help make everything more compact, and after that, you can attach the sleeping bag to it thanks to the straps.