review of sleeping bag liners

Best Sleeping Bag Liners for Hot and Cold Weather

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A sleeping bag liner is designed to be used on its own or inside your sleeping bag. The best sleeping bag liners can be used all year in different situations. When it’s very hot, backpacking enthusiasts only need to use sleeping bag liners – there’s no need for a sleeping bag itself.

In winter or when it is very cold, a sleeping bag liner helps keep you warmer and can save you from having to wear your clothes while sleeping. In addition, these products keep sleeping bags clean and free of dirt, sweat, and body oils; therefore, you need to wash the sleeping bag less.

If you are hiking or camping (or both) in the offseason with unpredictable weather combining the best summer sleeping bag with a liner provides greater flexibility. Getting a good night’s sleep while multi-day backpacking helps me keep energy levels high during the day; too often, more attention is paid to the gear used during the day.

This is my favorite silk liner, the Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner. Later in the article, I have a brief guide on choosing the best sleeping bag liner, but before we get there, here is my selection of the best sellers on the market, to help you further, I have split them into two groups – silk and other materials.

Best Silk Sleeping Bag Liners Reviews

Cocoon Silk Econmomy Mummy Bag Liner

Cocoon silk sleeping bag liner

Key Features

  • Ripstop silk
  • 88 inches/225 cm length
  • Silk mummy liner
  • 4.4 ounces/125g weight
  • Very compact when packed
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Pros:

  • Increases the bag’s temperature by 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Rip-resistant silk – great for rugged backpacking trips
  • Compact when packed into a stuff sack

Cons:

  • Could be a bit more stretchy

My first selection is this lovely . With these, you slide in feet first. There is no zipper or side opening. Cocoon offers a large range of liners and travel sheets for different weather and sizes, even for kids. Bear in mind that this is the economy version.

This is one of the best silk liners. This model is made from rip-resistant silk, which is stronger than the usual silk, combined with the double stitch making it durable and tear-resistant. It is 6 x 4 x 3 inches when packed into the stuff sack.

The dimensions of the Cocoon Silk Mummy Bag liner measure 95” x 22”, and its weight stands at 4.4 ounces. It’s a high-quality item in every way. This is one you should consider as liners made by Cocoon are rarely a wrong choice, and it is a very reasonable price.

Cocoon silk liners can be cleaned in the washing machine and tumbled dried at a low temperature, so there is no need to hand wash.


Browint Extra Wide Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

Browint Silk Sleeping Bag Liner Extra wide

Key Features

  • 100% silk
  • No zips
  • 6.3 oz/180g
  • 87” x 43″
  • Very compact
  • Pillow pocket
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Pros:

  • Provides warmth during colder backpacking nights
  • Can be compacted down to a very small size
  • Impressive anti-allergenic performance

Cons: 

  • Wrinkles easily
  • Only available on Amazon
  • No temperature rating

Another one of the envelope-style liners for sleeping bags or can be used on its own in hostels/hotels. This liner is made from AA-grade mulberry silk, the smoothest and strongest silk. This results in a more luxurious feel with the best anti-allergenic and bug repellent performance. This material will keep you drier in warm weather while providing added warmth during colder nights.

It can be compacted down to a very small size and weighs, with the bag, just 6.3oz/180g. It is a slip-in version with no zips and comes with a handy pillow pocket.

This extra-wide liner will cause problems if you use it in a tight mummy sleeping bag, but it is great for tall people due to the length. Again this is machine washable but cannot be tumble dried. Browint offers various types of bag liners made from silk and cotton. One I have not tried yet is the Bamboo liners which are also stretchable. But, as I said, I haven’t tried this, but it is an exciting option.


Sea to Summit Premium Silk Bag Liner

Sea to Summit Premium Silk sleeping bag Liner

Key Features

  • Ripstop silk
  • Good size
  • Very small when packed
  • 6.6 oz/187g
  • Quality item
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Pros:

  • Durable liner for demanding backcountry trips
  • Packable yet suitable for taller users
  • Lots of colors and designs to choose from

Cons:

  • Expensive (but worth it!)
  • No temperature rating; they say it adds a couple of degrees of warmth

The Sea to Summit brand has a reputation for excellent products at sensible prices, and this particular product is the best of all the silk sleeping bag liners.

It is, as are all, made from 100% ripstop silk and is very well made with top-quality materials. It measures 6′ 10”, so it is suitable for taller users, yet packs it into a tiny 4.5 x 4 x 2.5” case and weighs an impressive 140g.

In this range, Sea to Summit has various options. There is a traveler at 7ft 1in, a rectangular at 6 ft 1 in, a mummy at 6ft 10 in, an extra-long rectangular at 6ft 10 in, and a double sleeping bag liner. And this is only the silk options, I will have more to say about Sea to Summit below.

With many satisfied customers, this is my top choice, and it’s worth it while not cheap.


Best Non-Silk/Cotten Sleeping Bag Liners Reviews

Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner

Adaptor COOLMAX bag Liner with Insect Shield

Key Features

  • Coolmax brand
  • 8.7 oz | 248g
  • Very compact
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Insect shield

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Pros:

  • The best sleeping bag liner for bug-free sleep
  • Moisture-wicking Coolmax fabric for warm weather
  • Quick-drying & machine-washable

Cons: 

  • Somewhat restrictive

Carrying on analyzing the Sea to Summit brand sleeping bag liners, this one is made from “Coolmax Fabric”, a specially developed polyester blend designed to attend to moisture-wicking and keep you as dry as possible and comfortable at the same time. Coolmax is meant to act as a cooling sleeping bag liner, it is really designed for use in the summer, for hot and humid weather.

It is designed with an insect shield, is durable and soft, and this mummy version is 6′ 4” long. It folds into a packet of 6.5 × 4”, weighs just 240g, and at the price is certainly worth looking at. The Coolmax Adaptor liner is also machine-washable – once your hiking adventure is over, simply throw this liner into your washing machine.

This “insect shield” we’ve mentioned is a permethrin treatment that successfully keeps the nasty bugs at bay. After a long day of hiking/backpacking, the last thing you need is an insect invasion – your camping nights will undoubtedly be much more pleasant with the help of this model’s insect shield feature. However, it is not certified against bed bugs; it uses permethrin for the treatment, so it should work okay. This can be washed normally and dried in a drier on low heat. But, don’t use fabric softener as that will reduce the wicking performance.

I rate this bag as okay. if I was in an outdoor store and this was all they had, and I needed one quickly, I would buy it. Otherwise, I would wait.


Cocoon Mummy Coolmax Sleeping Bag Liner

Cocoon coolmax sleeping bag liner

Key Features

  • Coolmax
  • 87” long
  • Mummy shape liner – no zips
  • 7.9 oz | 225g
  • Great price
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Pros:

  • Uses Coolmax – one of the most effective materials of its kind
  • Accommodates sleepers of shapes & sizes
  • Packs small and wicks well
  • Adds up to 4.7C

Cons: 

  • Thinner than expected

Another liner that uses Coolmax material it’s 100% polyester and has been developed by DuPont as one of the most effective wicking materials, so is a proven fabric – and features a mummy shape with no side opening. Interestingly we are now moving to EcoMade, which is 100% recycled material. I am falling in love already, but hopefully, all materials will go in this direction.

It is 87 inches long – well over 6ft, so should accommodate all, even the most restless sleepers – and packs to a size of 3 x 8 x 10 inches, and weighs just 7.9 oz | 225g.

This Cocoon Silk sleeping bag liner is undoubtedly a phenomenal backpacking mummy liner and one that comes at a very competitive price.


Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite

Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite

Key Features

  • Thermolite fabric
  • 7′ long
  • Brand name
  • Lightweight
  • Very compact
  • No zips
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Pros:

  • Suitably lightweight and packable for thru-hiking
  • Adds up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit to a sleeping bag
  • Soft and stretchy Thermolite fabric

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t provide as much warmth as expected

Another one from the Sea to Summit range is this design, which is a 100% ‘Thermolite’ polyester material and – as you would expect, very nicely made.

This one is a mummy liner – there are no zips here, and it has a foot box for added comfort and measures 7′ in length. It packs down to an impressive 3 × 5”, and weighs just 225g, so it is suitably lightweight and is favorably scored by many satisfied users.

Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite is not expensive either, so is certainly worth considering, especially given it’s from a top-of-the-line brand. Remember that the Reactor Extreme variant is also available – it will add 25 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth to your sleeping bag.


The Friendly Swede Sleeping Bag Liner

The Friendly Swede Sleeping Bag Liner

Key Features

  • Polyester
  • 237g
  • 86” long
  • Side opening
  • Velcro
  • Very affordable
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Pros:

  • Made out of easy-clean & durable polyester
  • Packs down into its 6” × 8” pocket
  • Features a Velcro side opening

Cons: 

  • Not very breathable

My next choice comes from The Friendly Swede, a brand with some very nice products of this type. This model sports a side-opening rectangular shape rather than the mummy form. It is 41 × 86”, standard size in this group and folds down to a handy 6 × 8” when in the supplied pocket.

It is made of polyester for softness, protection, and durability, weighs just 237g, and is nicely made. The side opening makes it easy to get into, and a Velcro closure is more comfortable than zips.

It’s basic, simple, yet reasonable and very affordable.


Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner

Reactor Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner

Key Features

  • Quality fleece as the main material
  • Adds up to 25 degrees of warmth
  • Low weight
  • Extra comfortable
  • Length of 78”
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Pros:

  • Fleece construction for maximum comfort and warmth
  • Great for colder mountaineering trips
  • Helps keep the bag clean

Cons:

  • Bulkier than most synthetic liners

While it bears the same name as the sheep’s wooly coat, fleece is actually a synthetic material. It is breathable, warm, and super soft, and that’s precisely why the fleece liners are so popular with mountaineering and hiking enthusiasts.

This Sea to Summit fleece liner is a heavy-duty product that provides a sufficient amount of warmth and can, therefore, be used on its own. Its weight stands at 420g and its length at 78 inches. Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Fleece sports a mummy shape, just like most of the silk and cotton liners on my list.

The quarter-zip of this fleece liner makes getting in and out of the liner exceptionally easy. I also liked the paneled hood; the model is very easy to wash.


ALPS Mountaineering Microfiber

ALPS Mountaineering Rectangle Sleeping Bag Liner

Key Features:

  • Microfiber fabric
  • 80” long
  • 5 separating zippers
  • Weight of 595 grams
  • Rectangle style
  • Stuff sack included
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Pros:

  • Designed to keep your sleep system warm and comfortable
  • A polyester-cotton version is also available
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • On the heavy side

This phenomenal camping sleeping bag’s liner is bound to amaze you. As the name suggests, the primary material used in its manufacture is microfiber fleece – it is warm, comfortable, and feels great on the skin.

ALPS Mountaineering Microfiber has a weight of 1 pound and 5 ounces, and its total length stands at 80 inches. Besides providing its user with a sufficient amount of warmth, this microfiber liner is also very practical – it comes with a stuff sack, and it’s equipped with five separating zippers.

Another great thing about ALPS Mountaineering Microfiber is that it’s quick-drying and durable – it’s a perfect choice for any serious backpacking adventure. The model is also available in a polyester-cotton variant.


That’s my list of liners for sleeping bags, in both silk and other materials, so is there one here for you?

Given that I have included examples of all available types and from some of the top brands, I believe there will be one suitable for your needs and budget.

However, before I try to give you a verdict, here’s a reminder of some of the factors you need to consider: bag liners come in all shapes and sizes and are made from various materials.

Best Sleeping Bag Liners Buying Guide

It’s fair to say that many people overlook this when packing, either for the Camino or any other hiking destination where the weather may be hotter, but once you’ve tried a sleeping bag liner, you will feel the benefits, and it will always be on your packing list.

There are two main types of liner: those designed for the mummy type of sleeping bag and those that fit the envelope or quilt type. I have examples of each on my list so that you can choose from the proper selection.

There is also one other significant distinction – the material.

Sleeping bag liners are either synthetic or silk, and I make no excuses in advising that the silk option is the better choice in many ways. It makes the skin feel cooler which results in less sweating at night. It is softer and more protective against bed bugs and other insects that you certainly don’t want to be bringing home or deal with during the night.

As you will have already read in my reviews, there are a number of factors that will influence your purchase. Let’s have a quick recap as to what the main points are that you should be looking at:

Bag Fit

Liners come in various sizes, and for maximum comfort and convenience, you want to make sure you choose one that is the right fit for your sleeping bag. Also, you must ensure that the liner can accommodate your height if you are exceptionally tall.

Price

The cost of the sleeping bag liner can vary quite notably due to various factors, including the material. It helps to have a budget in mind when you draw up a shortlist.

As you have probably noticed, some of the liners in my roundup have a high cost listed as their main disadvantage. Remember that their priciness also means that they’re well-made, comfortable, and more than capable of adding extra warmth to your bag.

Compactable

You are going to be carrying your liner with your other kit, you want it to be able to be compacted to a small enough size to be practical. Most items on this list are easily folded into packages measuring just a few inches.

Durability

As with all such products, ensure that the one you buy is made to the highest quality and from the right materials for your budget, whether we’re talking about silk, cotton, fleece, or proprietary synthetic materials such as Coolmax.

Male and Female

Most of the liners on my list are suitable for men and women, so the only consideration here is size.

Weight

For the sake of transport, you should always aim for lightweight liners. Fortunately, these products are rarely bulky – they are made from thin materials, and the extra weight they add to your backpack is not something you are likely to feel.

Warmth/Temperature Rating

This is an essential factor as it determines the level of warmth liners add to the sleeping bags they’re used in.

An important thing to mention here is that many campers don’t care much about insulation – they buy liners only to have a protective barrier that adds extra comfort.

Synthetic vs. Silk

I have talked about the benefits of silk over synthetic elsewhere, so needless to say, it is important to stress that silk is better than a synthetic material for many reasons, although it remains a personal choice.

Liner Length and Width

This is decided by your size and your preferred way of sleeping. Some prefer longer and wider, some prefer a snug fit, it’s up to the user.

Storage

This goes hand in hand with the weight of a particular liner, i.e. how compact it is – you want it to be as small as possible when it’s not in use.

That’s my list of things to look out for when choosing one of these, so which is for you? Let’s see if I can give you any help choosing the right one.

Mummy or Quilt

As with your choice of a sleeping bag, the type of liner you choose will also be influenced by your own preferences.

If you’re planning to use the liner primarily with the sleeping bag you use for hiking, your best bet is to go with a mummy-shaped liner – it’s the easiest way to ensure that it will fit nicely into your bag.

While it’s possible to fit rectangular liners into sleeping bags, many hiking enthusiasts buy these for standalone use.

How to Use a Sleeping Bag Liner

It is worth understanding that a liner keeps you warmer in your sleeping bag due to adding an extra layer. So, if you are using the liner in the summer, I suggest ensuring you have a sleeping bag that can zip completely open and be used as a blanket. This way, you can ensure you don’t get too hot during the night. Alternatively, in the summer, in very hot weather, a sleeping bag liner is often all you need at night. The alternative is an ultra-lightweight sleeping bag as it is often cooler for sleeping and takes up much less space in your backpack.

Often sleeping bag liners are used in hostels just to keep your body off the bed that has had many others sleep on during the season.

If you are using a sleeping bag liner to stay warmer in the off-season or cold weather in the winter, first consider an appropriate sleeping bag for the weather as it is a bit less comfortable using a liner. Know your expected weather and temperature and the current rating of your sleeping bag before buying your liner. For example, if you are using a summer sleeping bag and you are sleeping in a mountain hut and expect the temperature at night to drop considerably, then buy one of the fleece sleeping bag liners, not a silk liner.

To use the liner, un-zip your sleeping bag as much as possible and push the liner right to the bottom and corners. It is much easier to do it this way than to force the liner down with your feet and legs. Using this method makes you less likely to tear the liner.

My Choice of Sleeping Bag Liner

With something such as a sleeping bag liner, it may be challenging to settle on one to recommend. Indeed, if you have a sleeping bag from one of the brands above, it may be worth looking at the liners made by them, as they will likely be optimized for their own products.

With the price of these being very similar – your choice comes down to whether you want a mummy design or side entry and whether you prefer silk or any of the polyester blends.

I have outlined why silk is preferable over materials such as cotton or fleece – it naturally repels insects and is very soft and comfortable – so here’s what I say.

If you want the best sleeping bag liner, you have two choices: for a mummy-type bag liner, have a look at the Sea to Summit Premium model. It’s no.5 in the silk section, is top quality, and you can rely on the brand. If you want a side opening design, no.2 on the silk list, from , is also a very good choice at a sensible price.

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