Thoughts on creating a diy sleeping bag

As the reviewed gear is well out of my price range, I either have what I can afford or make my own. The one I can afford (locally) is rated 8°C, but in winter overnight can go lower. The other option is diy. The filling option are standard polyester, polyester wool blends or pure wool. Outer will be ripstop nylon which can be treated to waterproof it. The polyester and poly blends are what is available for craft work like quilting.  I would appreciate viewpoints on these options.


  • Comments (4)

    • 2

      Good morning LBV,

      I’m guessing you’re preparing for New Zealand nights. Only addressing the cold and not other matters, D-I-Y, as described above, is AOK.

      One way to augment warmth of an 8C rated bag is to carry fresh wool socks and a wool watch cap to wear during sleep.

      Another way is to upgrade the camping “matress”.  Review what you use for a ground cloth. Sometimes just getting a little higher off the ground helps address the cold.

      All kinds of bags are here and not used much since retirement. Now, for current type of emergency matters, I only sleep during daylight hours and up and alert at night. For this night owl work, I’m doing about the same as you described above. One basic objective is to allow for my D-I-Y creations to be expendable. If ruined or in need of repair, will do some field D-I-Y creations.

    • 2

      By making your own sleeping bag system, you will be able to control the quality, materials, features, and temperature rating. Certainly the superior option if done correctly. I can see it being a lot of rewarding work, so do your homework before hand and source the best materials so you only have to do it once. And please share the finished project here as I’ve never heard of anyone making their own sleeping bag before and am very curious.

    • 2

      Provided you’ve done your research about the heat retaining- and water repelling capabilities of the materials and provided sufficient time and sewing machine skills, I can’t really find a solid argument against doing something that is within your budget to do, yourself. 

      It sounds like an opportunity for you to truly tailor this prep to your needs. You can control where zippers are placed, you can add a velcro storage pocket here; maybe a magazine pocket there, or a retaining strap there. Whatever you want. The possibilities are endless.

      Just be sure that when it comes time for you to depend on it -with your life-  it will live up to the task of helping you see another sunrise.

      I’d be interested in hearing more about your project and how it goes -along with the bad, ugly, and challenging parts, too.

    • 2

      One thing – do not waterproof the ripstop nylon.  The bg must breathe and be able send moisture from your body to the outside.  you can keep rain or exterior moisture off your bag with a bivvy sack or similar.

      Will you be backpacking this bag or car camping.  If the  latter, you can get by quite well with blankets and quilts.  Really save money!!

      If you re carrying the bag, you need light and warm which does mean expensive, but it is  a worthwhile investment.  Save up until you can get a bag with the appropriate rating.  A good bag, with decent care will last for decades.  It is an absolute cornerstone of outdoor gear.

      Years ago, as a frugal student, I gulped and spent what was then a lot of money on a good bat ($100).  It gave excellent service and many warm nights until it was stolen twenty years later

      Don’t waste your time with the materials you list.  You want quality down,