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Refurbishing Ruined Sleeping Bags - Ideas or Suggestions?

Expensive lesson learned about how NOT to wash sleeping bags.  However, I do not want to throw the ruined ones away.  I'm thinking about opening a seam, removing the guts, and then either using the outer shells as a light blanket/sheet, or something else.  Has anyone else ever done this or have any suggestions??  I have 2 Kelty Galactic Sleeping Bags to repurpose.  I'm not SUPER crafty, but can work my sewing machine for basic stuff.

2 Replies


Thanks for reaching out, although we're sorry to hear that you had this experience with your sleeping bags. Can we ask for more detail about the damage to the fill? Before you cut open the sleeping bag we want to make sure it isn't simply that the down clumped up in the wash, which is normal when washing a sleeping bag. If that is what happened, we recommend using dryer balls or tennis balls in the dryer, which helps break up the clumps of down so it lofts again when you're finished. You can find the whole process lined out in detail in this Expert Advice article, How to Wash A Sleeping Bag. If the clumping of the down is not the issue, we urge caution before attempting to remove the down, as down sleeping bags have lots of baffles and it could be a very time consuming process to open and remove down from each baffle. You'll also want to be careful as down is light and can create quite a mess!

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

whoa just a sec!  like @REI-JohnJ says!

what happened when you say it's ruined?  what are the signs?  would you mind taking a few photos?

If the outside is salvageable, as you indicate, the down fill may not be ruined either!  ....just....temporarily discombobulated.

REI Member Since 1979