8 Best Stuff Sacks

We tested the best stuff sacks for 2022 and this is how they performed.

Updated on November 27th, 2022
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© Hyperlite Mountain Gear

We tested the best stuff sacks and compression bags on the market for 2022. Read on to see what we found and which is best for you along with some buying advice.

Best Stuff Sacks and Compression Bags

The best stuff sacks and compression bags are:

MODEL PRICE Weight Volume Denier Score
1. Zpacks Stuff Sack $18.95-34.95 0.1- 0.4 oz 0.9, 1.7, 3, 4, 5.6, 8.5, 10.7, 12.3 L .55 DCF 9/10
2. Osprey UL Dry Sack $15-28 0.6-2 oz 3, 6, 12, 20, 30 L 40D Nylon RipStop 9/10
3. Yama Mountain Gear DCF $35 0.2 oz 2.5 l N/A 0.8 oz DCF 9/10
4. Granite Gear eVent Sil Dry Sack $22.95-42.95 1.2-2 oz 7, 10, 13, 18, 25 L 30D Cordura Hybrid Sil-Nylon 8/10
5. Therm-a-rest Stuff Sack Pillow $19.95 2.7 oz 12L 20D Polyester 8/10
6. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Drawstring Stuff Sack $29-55 0.1-0.9 oz 0.3, 2, 3, 4, 9, 13 L N/A (DCF8 / DCF11) 8/10
7. Outdoor Research PackOut UL $21-35 0.7-1.9 oz 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 35 L 40D Siliconized Diamond RipStop Nylon 8/10
8. Gobi Gear SegSac $27.99 1.5-3.5 oz 15, 20, 30 L 30D Cordura RipStop Nylon 8/10

Best Overall Stuff Sack:

ZPACKS STUFF SACK

Price: $15-28

SMALL MEDIUM LARGE
Zpacks Stuff Sack

PROS:

✅ Ultralight

✅ Cheapest DCF option

✅ Great weight-to-volume ratio

CONS:

❌ Less durable than other DCF options

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 0.1- 0.4 oz
  • Volume: 0.9, 1.7, 3, 4, 5.6, 8.5, 10.7, 12.3 L
  • Denier: .55 DCF

Like Hyperlite and Yama, ZPacks also offers high-quality, ultralight, Dyneema backpacking stuff sacks. The big difference is the cost, and we can’t help but love that ZPacks stuff sacks are the least expensive DCF option we tested. This makes them our go-to pick for the best overall stuff sack.

From tent stake bags to slim clothing bags to bear-hanging food bags, there is a wide range to choose from, and all feature a great weight-to-volume ratio. Like all DCF stuff sacks, they offer good waterproofing. We love that the clear material lets you see what’s inside.

The one downfall we found in these stuff sacks is their durability. They are less durable than other DCF options, but still just as durable as nylon and polyester options.


Best Budget Stuff Sack:

OSPREY UL DRY SACK

Price: $15-28

See on MOOSEJAW See on OSPREY (20L)
Osprey UL Dry Sack width=

PROS:

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Durable

✅ Lightweight

CONS:

❌ Average weight-to-volume ratio

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 0.6-2 oz
  • Volume: 3, 6, 12, 20, 30 L
  • Denier: 40D Nylon RipStop

We were impressed with the Osprey stuff sack. They are similar to the Outdoor Research stuff sacks in durability, made from 40D Ripstop Nylon, and weight. Similar to Granite Gear, this is shaped like a rectangular prism. We love the shape because it rests flush in the bottom of our packs.

The kicker for us is the lower price point. They are the least expensive stuff sack range on our list, making them our pick for the best budget stuff sack.


Best Sleeping Bag Compression Sack and Most Waterproof Stuff Sack:

GRANITE GEAR EVENT SIL DRY SACK

Price: $22.95-42.95

See on MOOSEJAW See on AMAZON
Granite Gear eVent Sil Dry Sack

PROS:

✅ Very waterproof

CONS:

❌ Low weight-to-volume ratio

❌ Expensive

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 1.2-2 oz
  • Volume: 7, 10, 13, 18, 25 L
  • Denier: 30D Cordura Hybrid Sil-Nylon

The eVent Uberlight Drysack gets our vote for the most waterproof stuff sack. It’s also our pick for the best sleeping bag compression sack. We found the 4 different sizes (7L, 10L, 13L, 18L), to be big enough to be a sleeping bag stuff sack. The larger options could be used for a double sleeping bag if you’re hiking with a partner.

We like that Granite Gear also offers compression straps to turn these into compression bags. The waterproofing and roll-top design does add a bit of weight. While these stuff sacks aren’t heavy by any stretch, we did find them heavier than other options we tested.

The price is the second highest on our list. We found the rectangular shape packs better than more cylindrical sacks, a nice bonus feature.


Most Durable Stuff Sack:

HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR DRAWSTRING STUFF SACK

Price: $29-55

See on HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR See on GARAGE GROWN GEAR
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Drawstring Stuff Sack

PROS:

✅ Ultralight

✅ Durable

✅ Waterproof

CONS:

❌ Expensive

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 0.1-0.9 oz
  • Volume: 0.3, 2, 3, 4, 9, 13 L
  • Denier: N/A (DCF8 / DCF11)

Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes a boatload of ultralight, Dyneema stuff sacks. From small drawstrings pouches up to large roll top pack liners, their stuff sacks are extremely durable and high quality. We love that the Dyneema also makes them highly water resistant. A great choice for a sleeping bag stuff sack.

Because they use a slightly thicker DCF their weight-to-volume ratio is a bit less than other models we tested, but if you need a durable stuff sack this is our top choice. The big drawback is cost. These are the most expensive stuff sacks we tested. We also found HMG’s ultralight fleece-lined pillow sack to be super comfy.


Best Stuff Sack Pillow:

THERM-A-REST STUFF SACK PILLOW

Price: $19.95

See on THERM-A-REST See on AMAZON
Therm-a-rest Stuff Sack Pillow

PROS:

✅ Inexpensive

✅ Doubles as a pillow

CONS:

❌ Low weight-to-volume ratio

❌ Heavy

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 2.7 oz
  • Volume: 12 L
  • Denier: 20D Polyester

The Therm-A-Rest stuff sack pillow is the most popular pillow stuff sack on the market. We found the double-lined fleece and nylon bag make a highly functional waterproof sack and a comfortable pillow. We love the price point of this stuff sack too. At $20 it’s the least expensive on our list.

We found the 2.7 oz and 12-liter storage capacity to have a lower weight-to-volume ratio than other options. And you will sacrifice an extra ounce for the cushioned headrest. But if you want a pillow stuff sack, the Therm-A-Rest is our top pick.


The Other Noteworthy Models

Yama Mountain Gear DCF

Price: $35

See on YAMA MOUNTAIN GEAR
Yama Mountain Gear DCF

PROS:

✅ Durable

✅ Lightweight

CONS:

❌ Expensive

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 0.2 oz
  • Volume: 2.5 L
  • Denier: N/A 0.8 oz DCF

If there ever was an "iconic" emblem for the stuff sack Yama's Penguin would be it. The cute penguin adds personality to these lightweight stuff sacks and will put a smile on your face after a hard or rainy day of hiking.

These are some of the lightest stuff sacks on our list. We found the DCF construction to be extra durable and provides good waterproofing. We don't like that the price is on the higher side overall, but it's right in line with other DCF options.


Outdoor Research PackOut UL

Price: $21-35

See on OUTDOOR RESEARCH (10L) See on AMAZON
Outdoor Research PackOut UL

PROS:

✅ Durable

✅ Lightweight

CONS:

❌ Slightly higher price point

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 0.7-1.9 oz
  • Volume: 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 35 L
  • Denier: 40D Siliconized Diamond RipStop Nylon

We found Outdoor Research’s stuff sacks offer a lightweight bag with a great weight-to-volume ratio. We also love the durability of these stuff sacks. Made of 40D Ripstop Silnylon, these are tough bags offered at a lower price point than most DCF bags. We did find that they run a little more costly than other nylon stuff sacks though. One of our testers noted that they have used one of these stuff sacks for 4+ years and several thousand miles of backpacking and it’s still going strong.


Gobi Gear SegSac

Price: $27.99

See on AMAZON See on GOBI GEAR
Gobi Gear SegSac

PROS:

✅ Low price

CONS:

❌ Heavier

❌ Low weight-to-volume ratio

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 1.5-3.5 oz
  • Volume: 15, 20, 30 L
  • Denier: 30D Cordura RipStop Nylon

Gobi created the unique Segsac as a way to help compartmentalize gear inside their stuff sack. Instead of offering smaller sizes Gobi Gear only comes in 15+ liters sizes making the compartmentalization feature handy for such large bags. The extra material inside does add weight, making these heavier options. We’re not entirely sure when we’d choose this style of stuff over multiple smaller stuff sacks. However, the extra organization might be worth it for a more casual backpacker.


DIY/ ZIP-LOC

Who on earth wants to pay $30 for a simple bag? Yes, a plastic sandwich or gallon bag can also do the trick. Of course, they are less durable and will probably wear out a lot faster. But, they can be ideal for those smaller "extras" mentioned earlier like toiletries, condiments, electronics, etc.

best stuff sacks and compression bags for backpacking gear storage

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing

Price

Inexpensive stuff sacks are heavier and less waterproof. More expensive, premium stuff sacks are ultralight, waterproof, and compressible.

The stuff sacks that provide the greatest value:

Affordable stuff sacks:

Premium stuff sacks (most expensive):

Weight

Stuff sacks can be very light, with the lightest being made of thin, ultralight material like Dyneema. Some stuff sacks double as pillows and weigh more due to a fleece lining. The more waterproofing a bag has, the heavier it can be. Dry bags designed for canoeing and packrafting trips often are the heaviest.

The lightest stuff sacks:

Weight-to-Volume Ratio

As a rule of thumb, for every ounce of stuff sack weight, you should get 10 liters of carrying capacity. Example: a 15-liter stuff sack should weigh about 1.5 oz.

The stuff sacks with the best weight-to-volume ratio:


Other Things to Consider

How Many Stuff Sacks Do I Need?

The number and size of stuff sacks you need vary depending on your gear, weather conditions, pack size, etc. We generally recommend using four or five. Below is our recommended strategy for stuff sacks.

  1. Food. A 15-liter sack can provide up to a week's worth of food storage.
  2. Clothes. Pack away your clothes at night in this one and use it as a pillow. Several companies make fleece-lined stuff sacks for a comfortable headrest.
  3. Sleeping Bag. Your sleeping bag is your safety blanket, literally. It must stay dry at all costs. Use a waterproof stuff sack. If bulk is an issue look for a stuff sack with compression straps.
  4. Extras. You can use separate stuff sacks for your camp kitchen (stove, pot, fuel), toiletries, electronics, or a miscellaneous bag for any loose ends like a headlamp, journal, fire starter, electronics, etc.

yamamountaingear best stuff sacks cuben fiber dyneemacredit: yamamountaingear.com

Volume

How big of a stuff sack do I need? How big of a stuff sack you need varies based on your packed items. We recommend using a medium/large stuff sack for your sleeping bags and another for your clothes. We like smaller stuff sacks for electronics and toiletries. Compression sacks and compression bags help save volume by squeezing your gear down even smaller.

The stuff sacks with the most volume:

No "Manufacturer Sacks"

Durability comes down to the material and how thick that material is. Nylon and polyester materials are commonly used. They are strong and often treated with a DWR to provide protection from water. Dyneema stuff sacks are the most durable and provide superior waterproofing.

Durability

Durability comes down to the material and how thick that material is. Nylon and polyester materials are commonly used. They are strong and often treated with a DWR to provide protection from water. Dyneema stuff sacks are the most durable and provide superior waterproofing.

Compression

Compression sacks are a type of stuff sack used to minimize the volume or space of a particular gear item. Sleeping bag compression sacks are the most common. They are used to reduce the bulk of your sleeping bag. Most come with 3 to 4 lines or straps to cinch down.

Roll Top vs Drawstring

Roll tops are good for gear that need an airtight enclosure - waterproof, bugproof, etc. This airtight enclosure also enables it to be used as a makeshift compression bag without any additional straps.

Drawstrings are lighter. They are also much faster and easier to open and close. Easy access to your gear makes them a much more popular stuff sack option.

Compartmentalize

Proper organization saves a lot of headaches. Stuff sacks will keep your gear segmented into different 'groups'. This makes it easy to grab what you need without “exploding” your pack’s contents everywhere. Especially helpful in rainy conditions.

Water Protection

Yes, your pack should already have some waterproof barrier - a pack cover, liner, etc. However, it is super important to add an extra layer of protection to your gear. You never know when your liner has a leak, until all of your gear is drenched. Stuff sacks will help ensure your most important items (clothes, sleeping bag, electronics, etc) are dry when you reach camp.

Portability

It is much easier to bring a small bag with your food in it to the campfire, instead of your entire pack.

best stuff sacks waterproof sleeping bag

credit: gobigear.com 


FAQs

What is a stuff sack used for?

A stuff sack is used for storing and compartmentalizing gear in your backpack. Stuff sacks also can provide water resistance and protection for your gear.


Is it OK to leave your sleeping bag in the stuff sack?

It's ok to leave your sleeping bag in the stuff sack for a short time, but if your sleeping bag is compressed for a long time it will lose its loft and its insulation ability.


Are sleeping bag stuff sacks waterproof?

Sleeping bag stuff sacks should be waterproof to protect your sleeping bag from getting wet. Make sure the stuff sack you use for your sleeping bag is as waterproof as possible.

Justin Sprecher photo

About Justin Sprecher

Justin is a thru-hiker and writer with a passion for wild backcountry. He's thru-hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail, LASHed the Great Divide Trail and Arizona Trail, and clocked up 1,000s of miles on long-distance trails around the world.

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

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