When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag liner for camping, backpacking, travel, and mountain sports the most important factors to consider are its material, brand, and comfort.
What is a sleeping bag liner and why do you need one? In this article, I am going to answer all these questions and help you choose the right one for your specific needs.
A sleeping bag liner is a thin layer of cloth that encloses your body inside the sleeping bag. It is a barrier between your skin and the sleeping bag.
The sleeping bag liner absorbs debris, skin oils, and body sweat and prevents them from going into the sleeping bag.
When you return home, it is easier to wash a liner as compared to the bag itself which takes much effort and energy to clean.
Not only does it provide additional comfort but also protects your expensive sleeping bag.
How Much Warmth Will a Sleeping Bag Liner Add?
Manufacturers are claiming that their liners can add up to 25 degrees F warmth to your sleeping bag.
However, the truth is that you should expect around 5 to 7 degrees F extra warmth when using a liner along with the bag.
On a warm summer night, you can ditch a sleeping bag altogether and use a liner on its own. Whereas on a chilly winter night, an extra 7 degrees can make or break your trip.
What Are The Different Sizes Of Sleeping Bag Liners?
The average size of a sleeping bag liner is 86’’ long by 32’’ wide at the top. The XL size can go all the way to 7 feet long. Its stuff sack is 19cm by 10cm.
What Is The Best Material For a Sleeping Bag Liner?
Sleeping bag liners mainly come in 6 different materials. These are cotton, silk, fleece, wool, insulated, and synthetics.
There is no one fit for all your needs and circumstances. For example, I can’t say that Feece is the best material of all. Every material has its own pros and cons.
If you are on a budget, cotton is the material you should look for. It is a great option for travel but not good for backpacking as it packs large and can also be heavy.
Silk is extremely soft, lightweight, compact, and breathable. Works in hot and cold climates. It is breathable and brings moisture off of the skin allowing it to evaporate.
For lightweight summer backpacking, and bike packing silk is by far the best material of all. Although it is a little expensive but covers a wide range of climates.
Super soft and comfortable on the skin. It is bulky and heavy. Not great for summer trips unless you’re using it as a stand-alone blanket.
It offers the most warmth during cold weather. Therefore it is the best option for high elevations. Among all the materials this is the most expensive and bulkier one. Not good for summer.
This is a versatile material that is good for both warm and cold weather. It is breathable and packs down smaller and lighter. A great option for fall camping trips.
Softer on the skin. It brings moisture off of the skin. Bulkier and expensive.
What Is The Best Sleeping Bag Liner Brand?
Sea To Summit and Alps Mountaineering is the best sleeping bag liner brand.
Do I Need a Sleeping Bag Liner?
It is an essential part of your sleep system. Whether you are camping, traveling, or bike packing include this in your gear list.
Most of the body heat loss occurs from the head and feet. The liner has a draw cord that can be cinched to prevent heat loss from your head. It also keeps your feet and toes warm.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to comfort. If it can add an extra 7 degrees of comfort go for it. You sleep comfortably and wake up fresh and energetic.
You should make this item part of your sleep system. For the price under $70, It’s completely worth it. The sleeping bag liner increases your comfort and extends the life of your bag.