How to Attach Sleeping Bag to Backpack – Best Ideas

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Last Update: 05.Jan.2021

by Willie Test




Who doesn’t love a handy sleeping bag? They’re warm, cozy, and better than cheap air mattresses. And the best part is their portability.

Many sleeping sacks can be rolled up and stuffed inside a compression sack, ready for traveling. However, hikers are finding it difficult to carry their bedrolls with them.

So what’s the right way to store your bedroll? Should you store it inside or outside your knapsack? And how do you waterproof it?

Read on to learn all about how to attach a sleeping bag to a backpack, along with some frequently asked questions.

How To Pack A Sleeping sack In A Knapsack

When you want to carry your bedroll on your hiking journeys, there are two ways you can do it. Either you store your bedroll inside the knapsack, or outside.

The best way to store your bedroll inside your knapsack is to first roll it up and wrap it using a garbage bag or a tarp. Most plastic bags will do as they are generally waterproof. Tighten the cords of the sleeping sack real tight, and pack it inside your knapsack.

Storing your bedroll inside a knapsack isn’t an easy task. It requires a lot of compressions and brute force. And many times, unpacking can be tedious.

You may also make use of what is known as a compression sack. These sacks have the capacity to shrink majorly in size and can withstand more tension than regular bags. They’re pretty common among campers for storing bedrolls and other compressible items. And can save you up to 50% more space if you fold your bedroll.

How To Attach A Bedroll To The Outside Of A Knapsack – Best Ideas

Use The Knapsack Loops And The Stuffing Sack Straps

The simplest and easiest way to secure your bedroll is to use the built-in loops on your knapsack. Most knapsacks come with hooks and karabiners on the backside to facilitate quick attaching and detaching.

Some also feature sleeping bag straps for backpacks to fasten your bedroll too. However, not all knapsacks feature this, so you may need to look for carabineers or move on to the next step.

Use The Compression Buckles

If can’t figure out how to strap a sleeping bag to a backpack, you can try using the compression buckles. These are the buckles to tighten or loosen your bag and can be found all over it, especially at the sides.

The way to do this however is quite complicated. You can utilize the extra space at the sides of your bag by stuffing a bedroll. Roll your sleeping sack and place it on the side of your knapsack. Then pull the two ends of the compression buckle over and tighten it up.

This may seem like a rough method, but you’ll be surprised to see these compression buckles are extremely durable. But that’s only when you’ve tightened them enough.

There is a downside to this and you need a lot of strength to tighten the buckle up. And you’ll most likely be using it for other purposes, such as compressing your knapsack if you’ve overpacked. So you won’t always be able to find enough space to fit in a bedroll in there.

Tying The Sleeping Bag To An External Frame

If you’re hearing about external frame knapsacks, you’re not alone. These knapsacks have gone out of fashion, owing due to their heavyweight and inconvenience. However, you can still utilize an old external frame for many modern applications, such as carrying a sleeping sack.

External frame backpacks have a composite aluminum frame that keeps them tight and lifts some weight off your shoulders. You may have to build your own, or you can buy some right off the shelves.

In an external frame knapsack, simply tie your compression sack to any point on the frame. Make sure to pull tight so the bag doesn’t sway as you hike.

This is by far the most time-consuming method. It requires you to have an external frame to stuff your bedroll in a compression sack. But it is one of the most secure ways, especially if you have no space on your knapsack’s straps and compression buckles.

Using The Lid On An Internal Frame

Some knapsacks come with an internal frame that keeps the bag flat against your back. These bags are designed to reduce stress and provide a formal shape to your backpack.

Just like with compression buckles, you can use the top tightening strap on your knapsack to keep your sleeping sack close to you. Simply place your bedroll on top of your knapsack and tighten the top compression buckle to fasten the bag to your knapsack.

This technique is quite useful, especially if you use an internal frame backpack. However, one major issue with this is your sleeping bag remains completely open to the elements. And rainwater could very easily get into its fabric.

The other way to do it would be to tighten the bedroll on the bottom buckle. The top will absorb most of the water before it reaches the bedroll. But it may be harder to pull out your bedroll from under your knapsack if it’s too heavy. You could try waterproofing the top using a tarp cloth.

External Frame: Tie Points At The Bottom

This is another way to fasten your bedroll to an external frame knapsack. The technique is to use the compression buckles at the bottom of the frame. Pull tight on the strap to tighten it and keep your bedroll from falling out.

External frame knapsacks are a great way to shape your backpack, which makes handling much better. But as stated, they can be quite heavy and hard to maintain, since the frame will begin to rust if not maintained properly.


Trying to stuff your bedroll in your backpack takes a lot of time and effort. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll be amazed to know how convenient the hooks and straps on your knapsack can be.

So should you store your bag inside or outside your backpack? Looking through the analysis, it becomes clear that outside the bag is more fitting. It will leave a lot of space in your knapsack, you can waterproof it with ease, and unpacking will be as simple as unrolling it.

But like we always say, to each his own. So secure your bedroll to your backpack, and get started on that long-awaited journey.

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