When I go camping, I take two sleeping bags because I don’t have lots of blankets that I allow out into the great blue yonder. I have two more bags in a closet because I accumulated them and ya never know when you need more.
Each of these large, inexpensive bags take up real estate. We are talking a good portion of an acre for each one. Okay, you caught me exaggerating. It just seems that way when I try to manhandle something out of the closet. I’d say one wouldn’t fit in a 5-gallon can.
The backstory: Margo and I, when we were much, much younger, hiked up a long, grueling trail at Big Bend to spend the night. As we panted our way up the mountain, a gorgeous, college age woman was coming down. Blonde hair blowing not from the wind, but from her stride, tanned to perfection, carrying an almost minuscule day pack and dangling from it, a sleeping bag the size of a softball. No wonder she was striding like she owned the world. Her pack must have weighed 12 ounces. I wanted that kind of confidence most assuredly brought on by the tiny size of that sleeping bag. That vision has stayed in my head for 40 years. I wanted that size sleeping bag or better yet, squeeze the bag I have into a smaller space.
I ordered a sleeping bag squisher. Actually, it’s called an XL compression stuffsack.
Let’s see if it really works.
Here it is all laid out. It’s about 22″ long and 11-12 inches across. My job was to stuff the sleeping bag in the tube, close up the end with the draw string, move the top over it, and pull on the straps while squishing with my knees. From the beginning I wasn’t sure I was even going to get the bag in the tube. It went in with not much room to spare.
Then came the squishing and pulling. Almost pulled a chest muscle. The materials are straining, but look good. No seams busting.
Here’s the compressed bag next to an identical sleeping bag. Mine looks like Pacman. Very much unlike the perfectly smooth ones shown in the commercials. I feel my confidence dwindling. Width about the same. About a third shorter. It also has the shape of a basketball and so doesn’t fit well in the closet.
It is also suggested that you can compress heavy jackets and pillows.
Worth $25 or so? Am I the college woman striding down the hill? Errr. No.