How Do You Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads attached to a camping backpack

Sleeping pads are extremely useful when you’re in the wild. They keep you off the ground and add an additional layer of insulation to protect you from the elements. If you add a sleeping bag to the mix, you’ll get a great night’s sleep in almost any condition.

Unfortunately, it comes with its own challenges.

Staying on your sleeping pad while in a sleeping bag is not easy. How many times have you rolled over, slipped off, or landed on your face while sleeping in a sleeping bag on a pad? People tie their bag to the pad, bring additional mats and find various ways to meet the challenge. Check out our solutions and rest peacefully.

Attaching your sleeping bag to a sleeping pad will not be as easy as using compression straps to attach gear to your backpack. If you sleep restlessly or you are a roller, you will need to secure your sleeping bag firmly to the pad if you want to prevent it from moving around and avoid accidentally falling off it in the middle of the night.

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Why Do You Slip Off the Sleeping Pad?

There are many reasons this tends to happen when we are sleeping and most of them are treatable. This means that, unless you are an extremely restless sleeper, you’ll have no problems maintaining your sleeping bag on the sleeping pad once you follow our tips and tricks.

The most common reason why your sleeping bag can’t seem to stay on the pad is because of the incline of the ground we’re spelling on.

Even though this doesn’t usually happen to experienced hikers and campers, it is still one of the most common reasons why people fall off their sleeping pads halfway through sleep.

Apart from this, both the pad and the sleeping bag are made from waterproof materials, which are usually very smooth and quite slippery. If you want to preserve the water resistance of our gear, we have to keep it slippery.

Unfortunately, when the two surfaces touch one another, it’s hard to stay in one place. For most campers, it feels like you’re in a skating rink and even the slightest of movements can send you spiraling out of it.

How to Stop Your Sleeping Bag From Slipping off the Pad?

Luckily, you don’t have to be a master woodsman to attach your sleeping bag to a sleeping pad. All you need is a bit of preparation and some resourcefulness and you’ll be good to go.

The first thing you should do is make sure you’re not setting up camp on a slope or on an incline. This will ensure that all the other methods that we’ll talk about will be more effective in preventing your sleeping bag from slipping off the pad.

An Additional Mat Will Keep the Sleeping Bag Stable

The easiest solution to attach your bag to the sleeping pad and keep it from slipping off is to add another non-slippery layer in between. Anything made from foam, cotton, or wool will do. The most effective solution is to use an old yoga mat and place it between your sleeping bag and sleeping pad. This should prevent the slippery fabrics from touching each other and it will keep you on the pad.

If you do not have a yoga mat, and you don’t want to get one just for camping purposes, you can use packing foam to achieve the same effect. Just make sure the foam is in sheets.

Finally, this method will provide you with another layer of insulation, and additional insulation is not always a good idea, especially when camping in high humidity as it will make things even hotter.

Use Clothes to Prevent Your Sleeping Bag From Slipping

This technique, while very effective, is not very popular because of what it does to your clothes. However, if you cant avoid making your camp on a slope, this is the way to go.

Set up your pad and sleeping bag so that your feet are pointing downhill. Them, roll up your clothes (the bulkier ones) and place them under the pad, where your feet should be. And, voila! You will have a leveled sleeping arrangement that will prevent you from slipping off your sleeping pad.

Alternatively, if you’re bivvying in the rain, and don’t have a tent, you can stuff your backpack with clothes to achieve the same effect but avoid getting your clothes dirty.

Attach a Sleeping Bad to a Sleeping Pad With Cordage

If an additional mat won’t help with your specific pad, and leveling your sleeping set up won’t work, then it’s time for the camper’s best friend – rope.

Attaching a sleeping bag to the sleeping pad is easier if you have enough cordage to afford to spend it on your sleeping arrangements. All you need to do is make a couple of loops and tie them around the width of the sleeping pad. Make sure the loops are not completely tight around the pad, as this will prevent you from getting the sleeping bag in. Make sure there are at least three loops to keep you secured to the sleeping pad.

Sleeping Bags With Straps Are More Easily Attached

Tying yourself to the sleeping pad isn’t the ideal solution to the problem. What if you needed to get up at some point at night? Or, what if you needed to disengage from your sleeping arrangement quickly? Then, the mentioned method will bring more issues than solutions.

Luckily, you don’t have to tie yourself down to keep your sleeping bag attached to the pad.

If your bag has straps or tie-off points on it, use them to attach the sleeping bag to the pad. You’ll still need to have some loops tied around the pad you can use to anchor the sleeping bag and keep it from sliding or slipping.

Put Your Pad Inside Your Sleeping Bag

For those who do not carry inflatable sleeping pads, the solution is simple! Place your sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag. This way they’ll never detach from each other.

Understandably, this is not the perfect solution as both sleeping bags and sleeping pads differ in size. You would need to prepare for this method when you’re purchasing your gear and ensure the pad will fit inside the bag. Getting a bigger bag to accommodate your sleeping pad might increase the weight you’ll be forced to carry around.

Use Your Surroundings to Attach Your Sleeping Bag to the Pad

If none of the above-mentioned solutions will work for you, it’s time to embrace your inner woodsman and craft your own solution in the wild.

There are many natural materials that will help you keep your sleeping arrangement level and off the forest floor. Moss is one of the best solutions. Just place it around your sleeping pad, so that you’re tucked away inside the ring of moss. This will help you keep your sleeping arrangement together. In addition to keeping your sleeping bag on your sleeping pad, natural materials like moss are great insulators, especially useful if you’re hunkering down after hiking in very cold weather.

If you’re wild camping or camping without resources like a sleeping pad, you can make a bed out of trees and leaves. Just make sure you’re in an area that allows you to source wood when camping.

A sleeping pad attached to a backpack near the river

Permanent Solutions

While there are a lot of ways you can keep your sleeping bag on the sleeping pad, you will have to do it each time before you go to sleep. While they do work, they can also feel bothersome, especially after a long day of hiking with your gear.

This is exactly why many campers and hikers choose to get a permanent solution to keep their sleeping bag attached to the sleeping pad.

Velcro Tape Your Sleeping Bag to the Pad

Double-sided Velcro tape will help keep your sleeping bag attached to the pad. Just make sure you set up the Velcro tape before you go on your adventure, as that’s something you wouldn’t want to be doing in the dark, after a day of hiking. Before you stick the tape onto the pad and the bag, make sure they are properly aligned and straight.

Duct Tape

There are few things in life that liberal use of duct tape can’t solve. You’ll have to make sure that the duct tape won’t damage the pad or the bag and that you stick it on in such a way that it will be easy to remove later.

Do not rip the tape violently or abruptly as this will cause the fabric to rip. Also, if you don’t use a lot of tape, and stick it only to the ends of both items, you will be able to roll the pad and the bag together without damaging them, which makes for a super easy packing/unpacking solution.

Just Drop It

In some cases, it is better to abandon a sinking ship than trying to fix it. If none of the methods you’ve tried seem to help keep your sleeping bag on the pad, maybe it’s time to consider a different sleeping arrangement.

Most people today opt for hammocks instead of tents, and most hammocks come with liners you can pull over the hammock to get insulation from all sides. In addition to this, hammocks are lighter than tents and will work even with the sleeping pad + sleeping bag arrangement, making the pad slip-free! As long as you’re planning a trip into an area in which you can hammock camp, there should be a problem.

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