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The Only 2 Ways to Wash and Dry your Synthetic Sleeping Bag


by Richard White II September 11, 2018

WOW is Summer over already?  If your kids are anything like ours, their sleeping bags are a bit skunky. All summer they have been in and out of them, often times wearing the same clothes I specifically said to not wear to bed.  I had them take clothing to sleep in. Sleep in your sleep clothing, hike in your hike clothing, I said.  But did they listen NOOOOO, I say, NOOOO. Daddy couldn't possibly know what he's talking about.  To us, the parents of outdoor active kids fall the responsibility of cleaning the sleeping bag (hint, you can use the EDGE method to teach them to wash their own sleeping bag).  Here are some hints on keeping your students sleeping bag as fresh as the day it arrived.

HMWOutdoors' sleeping bags are durable and easy to care for. You can reduce the need to wash your sleeping bag by spot cleaning marks on the outside with a damp cloth, and by using a sleeping mat.

You can machine wash or hand wash your HMWOutdoors' synthetic sleeping bag. We do not recommend bleaching, ironing or dry-cleaning your sleeping bag. The fumes produced from dry-cleaning fluids can be dangerous and can age the sleeping bag prematurely.

Machine Washing Your Sleeping Bag

  • During washing, ensure all zippers and the velcro tab are secured.
  • Use a heavy-duty front loader on a gentle cycle.
  • Set to a water to warm. Add a pure, mild soap, or detergent or Nikwax.
Handwashing Your Sleeping Bag
  • Fill your bath with 6" of warm water and add a pure, mild soap, or detergent or Nikwax.
  • Place your bag into 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.
  • 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 center and press firmly until water is expelled.
Drying Your Sleeping Bag
Once all the excess water has been released, the best method of drying your sleeping bag is to air dry. You can use a dryer on tumble-dry but only on the lowest temperature setting. Please, please, please be careful as excess heat can melt the fabric in any sleeping bag.

To air-dry your sleeping bag, lay it 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 nylon shell fabric found in all sleeping bags. A hot dry windy day provides the perfect conditions for air-drying your sleeping bag.

As always let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Till we see each other through the light of the campfire.


Richard White II
Richard White II

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