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Compression Sacks

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Morning all,

Curious as to your compression sack habits.

Do you use them for everything that is compressible in your pack or just certain items?

Also, where do you go for your compression sack needs? I have them from several sources and don't like any of them, but they are all at least 20 years old. Can't imagine there have been many dramatic improvements, but you never know.

Thank you.
 
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Have several Outdoor Research compression sacks. I find them easy to use and durable. I use them for sleeping bags and spare clothing.
 
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I still use a c-sack I bought many years ago for it's original purpose, to stuff and compress 2 sleeping bags together in 1 sack. No idea the brand name as the tag came off long after I'd forgotten the brand.
Clothing tends to be compressed into dry sacks now. Perhaps a wool blanket and pile jackets too. I carry a separate dry bag in case the tent fly is still wet in the morning packing up, otherwise nothing else gets compressed-dry bagged. Items are further protected in a 60L barrel, or a 115L drypack, or lined canvas packs. Sorry to wander a little off thread but compression sacks and dry sacks are one in the same for me now.
 
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I have a compression sack that came with my sleeping bag but I rarely use it. My clothing and sleeping bag are the only items I carry that compress enough to consider using a compression bag . My equipment fits well into my pack and I prefer standard storage or roll top dry bags.
 
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Have made some in the past and did not find them useful for my needs.
Adds weight and the straps get in the way.
I compress when I pack the regular stuff sack or organizer bag into the pack or dry bag.
 
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I use them for my sleeping bag and clothing. I'm using 20+ year old Seattle Sports versions which I like because they have ladder locks on all four straps.

I have great respect for Outdoor Research but their compression bags are overpriced junk in my opinion. Same feeling for many other compression bags that use quick release buckles (usually 1 of the four straps) because the buckles rarely hold when you really stuff the bag (as I do, after all that is the idea).
 
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My down sleeping bag is packed in a Sea to Summit compression dry bag, which I first used on a 6 night river trip last October. Clothing goes in a light weight Outdoor Research compression sack. I have 2 tarps pre set up with 75' of Ridgeline and ties outs; each tarp/line combo is stored in an old Kelty heavier weight, nylon compression sack, but the tarps are only in compression sacks because the sacks became surplus in the search for lighter weight alternatives.
 
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I have great respect for Outdoor Research but their compression bags are overpriced junk in my opinion. Same feeling for many other compression bags that use quick release buckles (usually 1 of the four straps) because the buckles rarely hold when you really stuff the bag (as I do, after all that is the idea).
You have way more experience than I do but, in my experience, I do cinch the OR bags down hard and they have never failed. I have the kind with two ladder locks and two fastex buckles.
 
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My OR compression bag experience is a bit old (10+ years), perhaps they have changed the design of the buckles (the ones I have came with only one buckle strap).

I don't want to drag in the "paddle doctor" but if he hasn't already perhaps he could survey & test the buckles from various sources. I have an old spray deck that uses buckles, they have been cinched to the max and never failed or popped.
 
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“Curious as to your compression sack habits.

Do you use them for everything that is compressible in your pack or just certain items?

Also, where do you go for your compression sack needs? I have them from several sources and don't like any of them, but they are all at least 20 years old. Can't imagine there have been many dramatic improvements, but you never know”


We have a variety of compression stuff sacks. As the name indicates we use them for compressible stuff; sleeping bag and clothes. The volume reduction with a sleeping bag or off season down/wool/fleece clothing is impressive, and the reduced volume is easier to pack inside a dry bag.

I don’t know about “dynamic improvements”, but the design of the bag, cap and straps does matter. The compression bag that came with my giant 0F Wiggies bag is not good. It works, so only so-so. The straps are attached at the very base of the bag and the cap design is poor.

The compression bags I like the most are Sea to Summit.

https://seatosummitusa.com/products/compression-sack

Our Sea to Summit compression bags are old, but the basic design seems unchanged. The straps are attached part way up the bag, which helps with compression, the top “cap” is well designed, and I would guess that the material is the same water-resistant 70D Nylon fabric shown in that link. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra layer of water protection, even for a stuff sack going inside a dry bag.

Those S2S use four tensioning straps, two with ladder locks and two with side release buckles. I got one out for a look-see, thinking I would see ITW/Nexus ladder locks side release buckles. They are instead stamped “National Molding Rock Lockster Duraflex”. I crank down on those webbing tensioners with considerable force, never had a failure.

I must like S2S compression bags, we have every size from the giant 30L, which fits the massive Wiggies bag with room for a pillow. 15L and 20L for smaller/lighter sleeping bags or clothes, and even the little 6L, which gets packed with an off season set of spare dry clothes, long underwear, vest, fleece top & bottom, wool socks and a knit cap. I don’t have to grub through the clothes bag ISO spare warm duds; I just pack it in the fall and can stick it in a small dry bag for day trips in case I take a swim.

Sea to Summit also makes 30D ripstop compression bags.

https://seatosummitusa.com/products/ultra-sil-compression-sack

In stuff bag weight savings I don’t see the point, but YMMV.
 
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I have the eVent bags from Seat to Summit in a couple different sizes and use them to compress and keep clothes organized inside a cavernous Cabela's Boundary Waters Backpack. They have some kind of magic waterproof fabric that still manages to allow air out through the bottom panel as you cinch down the compression straps. They work very well, although sometimes it can seem like an impossible puzzle to get the straps in the proper place.

 
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Interesting. I followed the link to Sea to Summit compression stuff sacks and I looked at the OR website. I don't see anything on the OR site that looks like what I have. The ones I have look just like the Sea to Summit ones.
 
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I use the old army surplus compression sacks pretty well constantly for my bag and sometimes my clothing, I've yet to find a commercial one that's as robust and simple to use- no straps or buckles to use, just a cord running through a series of D-rings like lacing a boot and two simple sliding, tapered sleeves for a cordlock- the harder you pull, the tighter they grab, but can easily be released with just 2 fingers, even while wearing heavy mittens. It also opened up to full size even the mouth when released, making it extremely east to load . They sure stunk though (think the back alley at the local bar) because something was delaminating and eating whatever was used to waterproof them, but a simple wash in hot water and a cup of vinegar solved that issue by stripping all of the coating off.
I also like that unlike most sacks it compresses along the length so you end up with a sausage instead of a baseball, and easily can be stuffed down the side or across the bottom of your loaded pack preventing the wasted space caused by too many bulky items that don't fit side by side.
 
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Morning all,

Curious as to your compression sack habits.

Do you use them for everything that is compressible in your pack or just certain items?

Also, where do you go for your compression sack needs? I have them from several sources and don't like any of them, but they are all at least 20 years old. Can't imagine there have been many dramatic improvements, but you never know.

Thank you.
Snugpack make a few different sizes that are great for hammocks, tents, sleeping pads and bags.
 
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Thank you for the replies everyone.

I use the familiar sleeping bag/clothes process but was wondering if people took it further, i.e one for the tent/tarp/mosquito netting etc.

I will check out some of the companies above.

Thanks again.
 
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“I use the old army surplus compression sacks pretty well constantly for my bag and sometimes my clothing, I've yet to find a commercial one that's as robust and simple to use- no straps or buckles to use, just a cord running through a series of D-rings like lacing a boot and two simple sliding, tapered sleeves for a cordlock- the harder you pull, the tighter they grab, but can easily be released with just 2 fingers, even while wearing heavy mittens. It also opened up to full size even the mouth when released, making it extremely east to load .

I also like that unlike most sacks it compresses along the length so you end up with a sausage instead of a baseball, and easily can be stuffed down the side or across the bottom of your loaded pack preventing the wasted space caused by too many bulky items that don't fit side by side”


I’ve never seen that lacing cord style, and understand the waterproofing delamination stank. I’ll keep an eye out, can’t have too many different shape and style compression bags.

Eh, just in case, just had a look, and this is weird. Coleman Military Supply has a dozen varieties of Mil-spec compression bags, most of them marked “SOLD OUT”. Supply chain issues strike again; it’s probably not worth shipping a container of German or Czech military compression bags and other surplus across the ocean.

https://colemans.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Compression bag

I would stop in at Coleman’s next trip to southern Pennsylvania, but I would be heartbroken if the cupboards were bare.

We have a couple stuff bags with side compression straps, old Campmor’s IIRC. Three webbing straps around the girth with ladder locks. Compressed that way, even kneeling on the bag to help pull webbing slack, I never feel like I am getting the volume reduction achievable with end caps.

Even so, on take-four-of-everything family trips, having a few long, slender compression sacks is beneficial to fill some open side sliver inside a dry bag.

Scoutergriz, got a link, photo or depiction of those surplus compression bags?
 
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I bought an REI compression sack a couple years ago to tame the size of my -25 Western Mountaineering Puma down bag. A few years back I bought a new lighter winter pack, 3.5 lbs. vs. my 8 lb Dana Designs Terraplane. The new pack didn't have quite as much room down at the bottom where the sleeping bag goes. I tried the more expensive Sea to Summit compression sack, but it wasn't as easy to use for some reason, but I can't remember why. I don't have any data on how the REI sack will hold up in the long run, but I don't notice any busted seams yet.

Mark
 
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