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How can I get my sleeping bag to fit in the sleeping back compartment of my pack?

I have a Gregory Zulu 55 & Nemo Forte 20. The sleeping bag doesn't fit into the lower compartment of my backpack (not even close), so I tired removing the divider and putting it in vertically. When I did this the sleeping bag took at least half the back if not more. I wondering if the backpack has an unusually small sleeping bag compartment or if this sleeping bag doesn't compress well. Either way I'm guessing one of them has to be exchanged. Any experience is appreciated.

6 Replies

I am not an REi employee and I imagine they are away fromt heir computers, so let me jump in.  How is your sleping bag packaged - just rolled up or in a stuff sack?  I note that the specs for your bag specify that it goes with a 12 liter stuff sack.  using one of those might help with your problem.

Nontheless, your pack is on the small side for a multi-day excursion.  they recommend it for overnight and long weekends.  Something around 5,000 cu in would be a bit better for longer trips.

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@TimJ thanks for reaching out! We'd have the same first question as @hikermor - what do you have your sleeping bag stuffed in? Ideally you'll have a compression sack that will compress the sleeping bag significantly and allow it to fit in the sleeping bag compartment. 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I am using the compression stuff sack that came with the bag. I know my pack is one the smaller side, but 99% of my tripS will be 2 nights with the occasional 3 night. I don’t mind getting a larger pack if that’s what I have to do. I just wanted to consult with some more knowledgeable folks first. 


This may help...

The nemo site say it can compress to 9L and the packed size is 11.5 x 9.0 in dia which is ~12L

Follow along as NEMO Customer Service team member, Charles Huston, walks through the easiest way to pack your bag into the included compression stuff sack.Sh...

@TimJ Thanks for reaching out!

With its roomier 'spoon' shape, the Nemo Forte 20 is definitely on the bigger side in terms of sleeping bags, at 9 liters of compressed volume (for the regular). As an example, the REI Co-op Zephyr 20 synthetic sleeping bag weighs 10 ounces less and compresses to less than 5 liters. If you're looking for a little bit more room, the REI Radiant 19 Sleeping bag is a good choice, compresses to just over 6 liters, and gives you 2 more inches of shoulder and hip girth than the Zephyr (still 2 inches less than the Nemo, however).

Sleeping well in the backcountry is a critical part of a successful trip, so if you like the style of Nemo Forte 20 then you'll likely need to increase your pack volume. Fortunately, the Gregory Zulu comes in a 65 liter version, which may give you just the room you need to make your backpacking kit fit. With the Zulu 65 you're gaining 10 liters of volume for less than 2 ounces of added weight, so the trade off is fairly minimal. 

Hopefully this helps and you can get out on the trail soon!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

this was very helpful, thanks John