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Sleeping Gear The Sleeping Gear forum is for the discussion of sleeping gear (bags, mats, quilts...).


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  #1  
Old 03-24-2016, 07:20 AM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 186
Washing the old bag

We've owned our REI Sub-Kilo sleeping bags for about six years now, and that means that we've used them on about 750 miles of backpacking trips. Since we usually hike about 7-8 miles a day, that's about 100 nights in the bag, not counting some of our car camping trips. Ewww.

So as you can imagine, the bags had started to look a little grimy in places. We've meant to wash them for a couple of years, but it's such a major process that we never got around to it. Until now.

A visit to REI got us the NikWax soap for down bags, and Ifilled up the tub and away I went, first washing the bag, then soaking it for a while, washing again, and then seemingly endless cycles of rinse and rinse and rinse and repeat. Then the delicate process of slowing squeezing most of the water out of the bag, and about 3 hours in the dryer on the delicate cycle. But it worked.

What was a grimy old sleeping bag now looks more or less fresh and new. And we were surprised to see how well they filled out their big "pillow case" storage bags once we had washed them. Before washing, they were not nearly so fluffy--although it's possible we could have fluffed them up a bit in the dryer even without washing them. At any rate, they are now clean! I can hardly wait to get mine packed away in its stuff sack and on the trail again.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2016, 10:03 AM
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Grandpa Grandpa is offline
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Backpack: GoLite Pinnacle
Sleeping Gear: Moonstone Lucid 800 w/Neo Air pad
Shelter: Tarptent Sublite Tyvek & Tarptent Double Rainbow
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 430
I'm glad you did a better job than me. A few years ago in late December, my daughter, grandkids, niece, and a couple brothers in law and I canoed the Rio Grande through Boquillas Canyon. There was one involuntary swim and my brand new 850 fill down bag got a bit damp. Like an idiot, I threw it in the dryer at the campground along with some other things. When I opened the door, it looked like it was snowing in there. The Pertex shell had melted and ruined a $300 bag. I guess the unread instruction tag was there for a reason!
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:06 AM
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Balzaccom Balzaccom is offline
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Posts: 186
Yeah--it does say "delicate" fabrics for the dryer cycle...
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:10 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 470
I've had good results washing down sleeping bags at the coin laundromat.
It's easy and effective if you are careful transferring the bag in a wheeled basket between the washer and dryer.
Only use a front loading commercial washing machine set on delicate and a front loading commercial dryer set on low.
Put a few new clean tennis balls in the dryer with the bag to help fluffing.
A clean tennis shoe also works well.
Sounds brutal, but it gets the job done.

Last edited by tonto : 04-01-2016 at 08:14 AM.
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