How To Dry Wet Down Sleeping Bag?

Once you have removed as much water as possible, it is time to start the drying process. The first step is to open the sleeping bag and lay it flat. Hang the sleeping bag from a clothesline or other similar object, so air can circulate it. If hanging the sleeping bag is not an option, lay it flat in a well-ventilated area.

Once the sleeping bag is flat, fluff it up so that air can circulate through the material. Once the sleeping bag is dry to the touch, you can pack it away and store it until it is needed again.

With proper care and storage, your sleeping bag will provide you with many years of comfortable use.

What Is A Down Sleeping Bag?

A Down Sleeping Bag is made of feathers, usually goose feathers, that are used to keep a person warm while sleeping. The feathers are insulating, which traps heat and prevents it from escaping. Down sleeping bags are typically lighter and more compact than other types of sleeping bags, making them ideal for backpacking and other outdoor activities

Can A Down Sleeping Bag Become Wet?

Yes, a down sleeping bag can become wet if exposed to rain or other water sources. When this happens, it is vital to dry the sleeping bag as quickly as possible to prevent the down from becoming damaged.

Why Is It Such a Problem if Your Down Bag Gets Wet?

The main issue with a wet down sleeping bag is that the down feathers will no longer be able to insulate properly. Down is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. However, once it becomes wet, it loses this ability and can absorb water.

Wet down is more challenging to dry, so it can take a long time for your sleeping bag to recover if it gets soaked.

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How To Dry At Home

Here are a few tips on how to dry your wet sleeping bag:

Air-Drying A Down Sleeping Bag:

  1. Find a warm, dry place to air-dry your sleeping bag. An attic or garage works well for this.
  2. Use large metal clips or hangers to hang your sleeping bag from a clothesline or drying rack.
  3. Fluff your sleeping bag periodically as it dries to help the down loft and retain its insulating properties.
  4. Once the sleeping bag is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place.

Machine-Drying A Down Sleeping Bag: 

  1. Place your sleeping bag in a large pillowcase or mesh laundry bag.
  2. Tie off the end of the pillowcase or mesh bag to secure the sleeping bag.
  3. Set your dryer to the “low” setting and add a couple of tennis balls to the load.
  4. Dry the sleeping bag for 20-30 minutes, then check it to ensure it is not getting too hot.
  5. Remove your sleeping bag from the dryer and check that it is scorched before storing it.
  6. If your sleeping bag is still damp, repeat the drying process on a lower heat setting until it is scorched.

Note: it’s better to use a commercial-size dryer.

Sun -Drying A Down Sleeping Bag:

  1. Hang your sleeping bag from a clothesline or other similar object, so air can circulate it.
  2. Place the sleeping bag in sunlight and allow it to dry for several hours.
  3. Once the sleeping bag is dry, you can pack it away and store it until it is needed again.

Warning: don’t leave in direct sunlight for too long as it may damage the sleeping bag.

How To Dry While Camping:

It’s always a bummer when your sleeping bag gets wet. Whether you were caught in a rainstorm or had an accident, it’s essential to know how to dry your sleeping bag properly so that it doesn’t get ruined.

Dry By Keeping In A Tent:

If you’re camping, set up your tent and put your wet sleeping bag inside. Hang the bag from the top of the tent so air can circulate it.

Dry On Your Backpack:

Open up your sleeping bag and lay it flat on top of your backpack. Then, open up your pack, so the sleeping bag faces upwards. Next, prop open your pack with something like a book or a stick so that air can circulate. Finally, set your backpack near another heat source until the sleeping bag is completely dry.

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Dry With Internal Body Heat:

Dry a wet sleeping bag by using your body heat. First, take off any wet clothing and put on dry clothes. Then, get into your sleeping bag and zip it up. If your sleeping bag has a hood, put the hood up. Try to move around as much as possible so your body heat can circulate and dry the inside of the sleeping bag. If you have a friend, they can help by getting into the sleeping bag with you and huddling close.

Extra Care Tips

Avoid Dry Cleaning:

Dry cleaning a sleeping bag is not recommended as it can damage the down filling. If you must dry clean your sleeping bag, take it to a specialist who handles delicate outdoor gear.

Avoid Direct Sunlight:

Direct sunlight can damage the fabric of your sleeping bag and cause the down filling to lose its insulating properties. If you need to dry your sleeping bag quickly, use a fan or hair dryer on the lowest setting.

Use A Stuff Sack:

Once your sleeping bag is dry, store it in a stuff sack to keep it clean and protected. You can use a pillowcase or a garbage bag if you don’t have a stuff sack. Just make sure to remove any wet clothing from the inside of the bag before storing it.


Drying a wet sleeping bag can be a challenge, but it’s essential to do it properly so that your sleeping bag will stay in good condition. The best way to dry a wet sleeping bag is by using your body heat. But be careful not to damage the fabric or down filling. Once your sleeping bag is dry, please store it.


Should you unzip a sleeping bag to dry it?

You can unzip your sleeping bag to help it dry more quickly, but be careful not to damage the fabric or down filling.

Should You Use A Down Sleeping Bag?

Down sleeping bags are an excellent choice for people who want a light, warm bag that is easy to compress. However, they are more expensive than synthetic bags and can be more challenging to dry if they get wet.

How Do You Get The Musty Smell Out Of A Sleeping Bag?

If your sleeping bag has a musty smell, you can try airing it in the sun. 

Can You Dry A Down Sleeping Bag In The Wild?

Yes, it is possible to dry a down sleeping bag in the wild if you take the necessary precautions. 

Can You Recommend To Put A Sleeping Bag In The Machine Dryer?

It is not recommended to put a sleeping bag in the machine dryer. The dryer’s high heat can damage the down feathers, causing them to lose their insulating properties. If you must dry your sleeping bag in a machine, use the lowest heat setting possible and remove it from the dryer as soon as it is dry.

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