How to Waterproof your Sleeping Bag While on the Trail

How to Waterproof your Sleeping Bag While on the Trail

At the end of a long day of hiking, a good sleep is essential. If your sleeping bag is wet, you will likely be cold and uncomfortable, and may not get much sleep. Even if you have used a pack liner and/or rain cover to waterproof your pack, it is always a good idea to provide a second layer of waterproofing for your sleeping bag to guarantee a comfortable and warm night’s sleep.

Option 1:

The cheapest waterproofing method is to simply line your stuff sack with a garbage bag, then stuff your sleeping bag in as normal. Afterwards, manually compress the bag to get as much air out as possible, then twist the top of the garbage bag (similar to a bread bag). Lastly, simply close the stuff sack as normal.

Using a garbage bag is quite an easy option and is mostly waterproof but cannot be sealed properly. Although some garbage bags are made of tough plastic they can still be ripped, forming holes which allow water through. Particularly on long-distance hikes, it is unlikely that a garbage bag will survive the journey. It can be used as a last-minute fix, but due to the disposable nature of garbage bags, they obviously aren’t ideal for the environment. Garbage bags can also trap air inside, making it harder to compress your sleeping bag.

Option 2:

The second option is using a dry sack. In this method simply use a compression or stuff sack to make your sleeping bag as small as possible, then place inside a dry sack. Make sure to push out as much air as possible before sealing it up.

Option 3:

The final waterproofing method is to use a compression dry sack. This option removes the need for carrying two different types of bags, making it lighter and easier to use.

Compression dry sacks are easy to stuff your sleeping bag into. Using a waterproof but breathable membrane allows air to be pushed out, while maintaining its waterproof state. Using a roll top ensures it is easy to seal.

But what if I have a waterproof sleeping bag?

But what if I have a waterproof sleeping bag, you may ask. Even if you have a technically waterproof sleeping bag, depending on the model, moisture can still permeate through the seams. Even if this doesn’t occur with your waterproof sleeping bag, keeping moisture out of where you sleep increases your comfort.

Because of this, we always recommend that it is better to be safe than sorry, to ensure you can have a good night’s sleep on the trail.

As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback. Feel free to write a comment below! If you would like to receive more personalised advice, contact us on (03) 8840 7014 or at


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