How to care for your sleeping bag

How to care for your sleeping bag

  • 19 September 2017
  • |
  • First Ascent

At First Ascent we pride ourselves on producing products that are long-lasting and of excellent quality.   If cared for properly, your First Ascent sleeping bag can last a life time.  Below you will find care instructions on how to wash, store and repair your First Ascent sleeping bag.

How can you prevent your sleeping bag from getting dirty?
There are various ways to prevent your sleeping bag from acquiring dirt. You should sleep in clean clothes to reduce body oils from getting into your sleeping bag.  A sleeping bag liner is a remarkable product for keeping your sleeping bag clean.  Not only does it keep dirt off of your sleeping bag, but also acts as insulation against the cold.  Don’t sleep directly on the ground (never sleep on damp or wet surfaces), wipe off mud immediately if it does get onto your sleeping bag and use a mattress or groundsheet to protect the outside of the sleeping bag from dirt. 

Washing Your Sleeping Bag:
Your sleeping bag does not need to be washed after every trip, only if it acquires dirt marks, odour or loses a significant amount of loft.  Your sleeping bag should be washed according to the type of material it is filled with. Down and synthetic sleeping bags require different types of washing methods.  Please see the difference below.

Down Sleeping bags
Being a natural product, down is the best performing high loft insulation on the market. It is warmer, lighter and more compact than any other insulation on the market. First Ascent promotes the responsible use of down and our sleeping bags are RDS certified.

  • Always check the tag on your sleeping bag to see the washing instructions given by us.
  • Your First Ascent down sleeping bag needs to be cleaned with down-safe detergent. Each down feather is coated with natural oils that assist in protection against bacteria, aiding it to loft out and trap air.  Cleaning your bag with regular detergent causes the down feathers to lose their loft.
  • Hand washing is recommended if you have time using a down safe detergent.
  • Do not use any fabric softener.  Fabric softener can cause damage to your sleeping bag.
  • Gently squeeze out as much water as you can before drying it. Make sure you do not wring or twist the sleeping bag, as this may cause damage to its materials.
  • For machine washing, preferably use a big front loader washing machine as the agitators of top loaders can twist and damage your sleeping bag fibres and materials.
  • Set the washing machine to a delicate / hand wash mode, along with a 30°C water temperature (switch the spin cycle off).
  • When tumble drying your down sleeping bag, use a low heat setting and ensure that there is room for the sleeping bag to move around.   Add 2 or 3 tennis balls into the dryer to break up any feathers that may have clumped together.
  • The best way to air dry your sleeping bag is to lay it flat on a clean surface outside.  In the shade is preferable as the sun damages the outside of the sleeping bag. 

Synthetic Sleeping Bags

  • Hand washing your sleeping bag is recommended if you have time.  Synthetic sleeping bags can be put in a front loader washing machine if necessary. 
  • Use a mild powdered soap, or special synthetic cleaning product to clean your synthetic sleeping bag.
  • Do not use any fabric softener.  It may damage your sleeping bag.
  • Put it on a hand wash / delicate cycle for a warm 30°C machine wash. Do not use spin cycle.
  • Do not dry clean your synthetic sleeping bag. Dry cleaning solution is petroleum-based and will severely damage your sleeping bag.
  • To air-dry your sleeping bag, lay it out flat on towels over two portable clothes racks.  You can also dry in a shaded area out of direct sunlight, as excessive exposure to UV will degrade the nylon shell fabric. 
  • As your synthetic sleeping bag dries, check for even distribution of fill material.  Gently massage the bag if any bunching is detected. 

What is the correct way to store your sleeping bag?
The way you store your sleeping bag affects its lifespan. The longer you compress the insulation, the more loft it loses, along with its warmth. A sleeping bag can be compressed on a trip, but as soon as you get home give it a good shake and air it out in order to fluff up the fill material.  You should store your sleeping bag loosely in a large stash bag - cotton or mesh stash bags are both great for this. By storing your sleeping bag loosely, you allow the material, particularly down material, to breathe.

Repairing Your Sleeping Bag:
All of our products are guaranteed to perform.  We commit to repair or replace your purchase, at our discretion, should the fabric, materials or construction of the item ever let you down.  This excludes wear and tear from normal use of the product, as well as any damage due to improper use or accident. If you have any queries or would like to contact us regarding repairs of your sleeping bag, please email us repairs@performancebrands.co.za or call us at 0211804444.