With any outdoors trip, no matter how long or how many people you’re going with, you’re going to end up hauling quite a bit of gear. Whether that’s your bug out bag or just the daily essentials, it can be challenging for even an experienced outdoorsman to comfortably manage it all. And if you’re new to camping, it can be hard to know where to even begin.
Some of the tricks you might have picked up from air travel are applicable to camping, too. For example, packing cubes, which have increasingly become a staple among the travel-savvy, have an outdoor analog in stuff sacks. They have a slightly inelegant name, but stuff sacks are for hauling your outdoor gear. Just like packing cubes, they come in compression and non-compression varieties, as well as a range of different sizes.
The primary function of stuff sacks is to carry sleeping bags. Stuff sacks generally come in a few different sizes to suit the different models of sleeping bags. Of course, the bags can be used for carrying other types of gear, too. Stuff sacks are similar to, but distinct from, dry sacks, which have comparable features but are specifically designed for keeping gear dry. If moisture isn’t likely to be a problem, then a standard stuff sack should do the trick. Whatever your next camping adventure is going to be, these are the stuff sacks to get.
1. ALPS Mountaineering Stuff Sack
This affordable option from ALPS comes in a range of sizes and a couple different colors. It has a top-zippered compartment for storing small essentials, and the main compartment on the medium bag has a 20L capacity. It has straps for compressing the bag, and D-ring loops make it easy to attach to your other gear.
Pros: D-ring loops make it easy to clip to other gear. Boasts compression straps for compact carrying and is available in several sizes. Made from tough ripstop polyester.
Cons: Sizing can be a little small.
2. REDCAMP Nylon Compression Stuff Sack
This sack is made from durable ripstop nylon, and it has multiple straps for compressing the bag. There is a zippered compartment and a drawstring top for easy access to your gear, and the bag comes in sizes between small and XL. The compression straps have buckle clips for easy opening and closing.
Pros: Has a zippered compartment and a drawstring cord, available in either orange or blue.
Cons: Material is thin, which may be a problem for some looking for a more heavy-duty option.
3. Liberty Mountain Stuff Sack
This listing from Liberty Mountain lets you choose the size of the sack you want, but you cannot choose the color. Colors vary, which can be a dealbreaker for some or a pleasant surprise for others. Like the other options, it has a drawstring closure on top. However, this one is not a compression sack, so if you just need a lightweight and no-nonsense bag for hauling gear, this can be the right thing for you.
Pros: Affordable option if you’re looking for a non-compression sack. Has a webbing strap on the bottom for convenient carrying.
Cons: There is no way to know which colors you’ll get, which can be a problem for some.