How To Attach A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack (Detailed Guide)

Any camper, backpacker, or outdoorsman will tell you that sleeping bags are essential to any overnight adventure. While they are the second most important item on your packing list, they are often the most challenging to store on the go. Read on to discover how to attach a sleeping bag to your trusty backpack for traveling.

Why you Should Pack a Sleeping Bag for Your Trip

Better sleep and rest

Modern sleeping bags come in a range of sizes and thicknesses. Having the right type for the area and time of year can help you sleep through the night despite not being in a bed.

Temperature ratings and insulation material

Whether you are looking to camp in summer or winter, different thicknesses and insulation types are available to choose from. Getting the right one for the season will keep you comfortable throughout your trip.

Protection from creatures

Being in the great outdoors means getting up close and personal with the local animals and bugs. Having a contained sleeping bag minimizes the chance of you waking up to an unwelcome visitor in your tent when on your backpacking adventure.

Compact and easy to set-up

Unlike camping beds and mats, sleeping bags are a compact and easy-to-set-up piece of equipment. Take it out of the bag and roll it out to have your sleeping spot ready to go.


Having a waterproofed backpack doesn't just stop there during camping. Holes and damp earth are a potential part and parcel of camping in the woods. Having a sleeping bag ensures that you won’t wake up feeling damp and cold should water get in through the floor or ceiling.

How To Attach Sleeping Bag To Backpack

Why Attach a Sleeping Bag to Your Backpack?

While sleeping bags are a compact and lightweight item to take with you, they can also be bulky and take up vital space. You need room for snacks, supplies, and tools in your backpack which is why it is essential to know how to pack your backpack properly

By attaching your sleeping bag to the outside ensures that you have everything in one place without sacrificing space. Connecting your sleeping bag externally also helps distribute its weight evenly between your shoulders for comfort and improved posture.

How to Properly Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack

Having a sleeping bag is crucial to a comfortable and safe backpacking adventure. We would argue that it is the second most vital piece of equipment besides your tent. Knowing how to attach your sleeping bag to your backpack can help you save time and space on your next trip.

1. Connect to the loops and straps

If your backpack has loops on the back, you can slide your sleeping bag’s straps through the loops. Make sure to tighten them enough that the sleeping bag won’t slip out during your trip – keep everything snug and close together.

2. Use the compression buckles

Found on most backpacks, compression buckles are an easy and secure way to keep your sleeping bag attached to the outside of your pack. Simply fully open the compressions straps, slide your sleeping bag in, clip the buckles together, and tighten.

3. Build your own tying system

If your sleeping bag does not have straps, you can cut some rope or twine into four long pieces. Tie two of them around each end of your sleeping bag and loop the other two through the loops on your backpack. Tie the looped strings to the ones on your pack and tighten.

4. Use the tie points at the bottom (external frame)

Similar to the straps and compression buckle methods, simply slide your sleeping bag through and pull the tie points tight

5. Compress the sleeping bag with a lid (internal frame)

Pack your backpack carefully with all your other gear at the bottom. Once done, put your sleeping bag on top and tie the lid’s compression straps around your pack to hold it steady. If you choose this method, we recommend bringing a waterproof backpack cover as water can get in through the gaps on the top.

How To Properly Attach A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is a daisy chain on a backpack?

A daisy chain on a backpack refers to the webbing loops sewn into the sides. These loops are great for attaching gear to your bag externally using carabiners.

Can I put my sleeping bag inside the backpack?

You can, but your sleeping bag will take up extra space due to its size and the trapped air. This vital space could be used to store your safety gear and food; attaching your sleeping bag externally saves time and space.

Can I attach a tent to my backpack?

Depending on the size and weight of your tent when packed away, this is possible. We recommend following the instructions above or taking a look at our comprehensive guide on how to pack a tent in a backpack for a comfortable attachment that provides even weight distribution.


Packing for a trip is almost as exciting as the trip itself. Knowing how to attach a sleeping bag to a hiking backpack is convenient and impressive – save yourself time and effort by following our steps above on your next camping trip.

  • Updated October 31, 2021