How to wash a down sleeping bag
The best way to care for your down sleeping bag? Keep it clean.
Wet down is heavy and can tear if you're not careful. When it's finally time to wash your sleeping bag, follow Daan's step-by-step instructions:
Handwashing your down sleeping bag
Before washing your sleeping bag, ensure all zippers and velcro tabs are secured.
Fill your bath with 150mm of warm water and add a pure, mild soap, or detergent or Grangers down wash.
Place your bag in the tub and gently massage the water into the bag by adding pressure from above with your open hands until the bag is saturated. When your bag is laden with water, do not attempt to lift it out because the heavy, wet down may tear the baffles.
Leave to soak for 1-4 hours, depending on how dirty your bag is.
Drain the water and then add fresh water, and massage the water into the bag again. Repeat this process until no suds are visible in the water.
Press the water out of the bag and express as much water as possible.
Fold the ends of the semi-dry bag in towards its centre and press firmly until all water is expelled.
Once all the excess water has been released, the bundled sleeping bag can be put in a tumble dryer set on a low setting or air-dried. To air-dry the bag, lay out flat on towels over two portable clothes racks.
Dry in a shaded area out of direct sunlight, as excessive exposure to UV will degrade the shell fabric. A hot dry windy day provides the perfect conditions for air drying your sleeping bag.
To care for your sleeping bag
When new, Kathmandu's down sleeping bags have excellent lofting properties. To help maintain the high performance of your sleeping bag and prolong its life, store your sleeping bag in the large cotton storage sack provided.
Only use the smaller stuff sack or compression sack while on the move. Never roll or fold your sleeping bag, always force the bag into the stuff sack or storage sack with your fist.
To stuff the bag into the small stuff sac, pack it firmly from the bottom. For bags with an e-proof or Pertex® fabric shell, first turn the sleeping bag inside out.
While on your adventure, lay out your sleeping bag as soon as you arrive at your destination to allow the bag to fully loft. A fully lofted bag will provide better insulation.
It is important to keep your sleeping bag as dry as possible. Moisture will affect the insulation capacity of the down by reducing its lofting ability. Take any opportunity to air out your sleeping bag during your trip, and always ensure it is completely dry before storing.
Other important tips:
Don't dry-clean your sleeping bag as the solvents they use can damage the down.
More from the Summit Journal...
How to choose a sleeping bag
It's one of the most important outdoor investments you can make.
Understanding the EN Standard for sleeping bags
The coldest time of the day is said to be just before sunrise – when you’ll need a warm sleeping bag.
How to wash a down sleeping bag
Extend the life of your down sleeping bag by properly caring for it.
How to wash a synthetic sleeping bag
Kathmandu's sleeping bags are durable and easy to care for.