How to Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack? 5 Methods in 2023

Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack

Are you planning to go on a hiking or camping trip? 

If yes, then you might be worried about the management of your gear. Yeah, I know how many objects you need to carry with you. 

The foremost step for carrying your essentials is that you should choose a perfect hiking backpack having various compartments and loops. However, you won’t feel much difficulty in packing your other gear except your sleeping bag. Why is this so? 

Well, this is because your sleeping bag is comparatively large and you require much room to pack it. However, you need not fret as we are here to guide you, on how to attach a sleeping bag to a backpack. 

Yes, you can simply attach your sleeping bag to your backpack after folding it properly so that it covers a small space. How can you do so? You will surely come to know after keenly reading this article. 

So, let’s not waste our time and dive straight in!

Detect the Type of Your Hiking Bag 

Source: Youtube

Make sure to detect the type of your backpack before attaching the sleeping bag as the method for both cases is different. You will come across two kinds of backpacks, internal frame, and external frame backpacks. 

● External frame backpack 

The external frame backpack is the older version of the backpack that contains lesser internal space. However, the external frame comprises many loops and sections to attach different gears. 

You can identify these backpacks from their appearance. They are usually squarish in shape and comprise a metal frame. 

People prefer these bags because they contain a point of attachment for a sleeping bag or a tent at its bottom or top. Therefore, you can easily attach it at that point. How? You will come to know as you read the article further. 

● Internal frame backpack

The second type of hiking bag is an internal frame backpack. Such backpacks are pretty large and spacious. You will observe various compartments for keeping your gear. 

Moreover, you can detect these backpacks from their lightweight and slim appearance. Sometimes, they also feature a lid at the top.

5 Methods to Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack 

Source: Youtube

A sleeping bag is one of the essential components of your camping kit. No doubt, you always prefer to carry it safely with you on your camping trip. 

Usually, there are two basic ways to carry it. Whether you can attach it outside to your backpack or pack it inside, it’s up to you. However, you are always recommended to choose a backpack that suits your camping and hiking requirements best. 

Some beneficial methods are explained below, surely they’ll help you out. 

1Pack the sleeping bag inside the backpack

The most common method that will come to your mind will be to pack it inside your backpack, the same as you put all other gear. 

Of course, it’s not a bad idea!

Especially, if you possess a large-sized internal frame hiking backpack, then you must pack it inside. Packing your sleeping bag inside the backpack is considered the most suitable method. 


This is because it prevents your sleeping bag from being wet and I’m sure you’ll never want to sleep on a damp surface. 

Position of the sleeping bag inside the backpack

Now, let’s discuss the right position of the sleeping bag inside your backpack as it’s quite controversial. 

● At the bottom

The majority agrees with placing the sleeping bag at the bottom, while others consider it wrong. 

According to them, it covers most of the space in your pack, thus you are left with less room for other items. Also, some of them think that you shouldn’t place lighter items at the bottom, rather heavier ones should be placed. Well, this is totally a wrong concept because your heavier items should occupy the middle space. 

However, I don’t think these are big issues. You can easily overcome these issues by packing your sleeping bag correctly. Whenever it comes to packing your sleeping bag or tent, ensure that you fold it as compactly as you can. This will offer you more space for placing other essentials. 

Furthermore, to prevent the sleeping bag from water, ensure that you buy a good-quality waterproof sleeping bag. For extra safety, you may use black garbage paper to roll around it. 

Hope that the issue of placing the sleeping bag at the bottom gets resolved. 

● At the top

You might have observed some hikers packing their sleeping bags at the top of all the gear in their backpacks. They do so, in order to prevent it from being dampened. Fine, no issue! 

But, don’t you think it may prove uneasy for you? Suppose, while traveling you need to fetch something from your backpack. In this case, first, you’ll have to put your backpack down, then outdraw your sleeping bag, and finally, go for the desired item. 

● Separate compartment 

In some backpacks, a separate compartment is designed, usually at the bottom to store your sleeping bag. Mainly, this compartment is made up of water-resistant material. Therefore, you should use it for the purpose it is designed for, as some people pack other items in it. 

2Attach the sleeping bag to an external frame

Usually, people prefer external frame backpacks because they consist of a metal frame that gives shape to your bag and offers various attachment points. Such bags have points for the attachment of the sleeping bags either at the top or at the bottom. But unfortunately, people are not aware of their correct use. 

Also, the straps and loops are there for tying the sleeping bag with the frame. While tying it make sure you secure it properly. Undoubtedly, it will not be good for you if you lost your sleeping bag while hiking. 

Therefore, make correct use of the loops and straps. However, attaching the sleeping bag to the outside of the backpack is pretty risky. There are more chances of the sleeping pack becoming wet and dusty. 

3Use straps and loops for the attachment 

Usually, hiking backpacks possess many straps and loops on their outer surface. These are designed for tying your sleeping bags or tents. 

This method is pretty simple. All you need is to roll your sleeping bag with some rope or strap. Then hold the strap of your backpack and attach it to the sleeping bag. At last, slide the straps through the loops and fasten them. 

Ensure that you tighten it properly to prevent the sleeping bag from swinging.

4Use compression buckles on the sides. 

If you over-pack your backpack and don’t have the space for your sleeping bag then you should use the compression buckles. 

Compression buckles are usually present on the sides of the backpacks. Mostly, backpackers use them for attaching tents, sleeping bags, or mats. You just need to open the buckles, slide in the sleeping and close the buckles. 

You may loosen and tighten the compression buckles in order to fit your sleeping bag well. This method will offer even distribution of the weight, plus, it ensures that your sleeping bag doesn’t swing.

Moreover,  the attachment and removal process is pretty convenient and quick.

5Making use of the top lid

You might have seen that most backpacks feature a lid at the top along with the strings. The purpose of this lid is to tighten the bag once you load all the gear inside. 

However, you can tie your sleeping bag while using the strings of this lid. Wondering, how can you do so?

Again, it’s simple! Place your sleeping bag at the top of your backpack and tighten it along with other gear. Although, after fastening the sleeping bag, you will notice that some gap is created between the pack and the lid. 

Therefore, all you need is to cover this gap in order to protect your gear, especially, from rain. The best solution is to use a nylon cover. 

Where should you prefer to tie your sleeping bag, top or bottom? 

As we have discussed different positions of attaching the sleeping bag to your backpack, now let’s conclude which one is most preferable. When you decide to attach your sleeping bag outside the backpack, usually two options come into your mind;

  • Tie it at the bottom.
  • Attach at the top of the backpack

Among both positions, the top one is considered the most favorable. This is because of the following reasons;

1. When you are traveling for a longer time, often you need to put your backpack down in order to take a rest for some time. The ground may be wet or dusty. In this case, if you have tied your sleeping bag at the bottom it may become wet and dirty. 

Also, if your sleeping bag is wrapped with a nylon cover, it may wear due to constant contact or dragging with the hard ground. Thus, damage your sleeping bag. 

2. Furthermore, if your sleeping bag is quite heavier, tying it at the top may prevent your lower back from pain

However, it is up to you what position you are comfortable with.

Final verdict 

Finally, I hope you’re well aware of the different sleeping bag attachment techniques. All you have to do is to find the perfect method for you. 

However, we always recommend you pack your sleeping bag inside your backpack. It not only ensures the safety of your sleeping bag but also maintains the shape of your backpack. 

No doubt, the outside attachment method is also of great benefit if your sleeping bag is pretty large in size and can’t be managed inside your pack. The only drawback, in this case, is that it may become moisturized and dusty.

Therefore, make sure you nicely pack your sleeping bag in some water-resistant cover. Surely it will benefit you a lot. 

Wishes you a happy and safe journey! 

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