If there is one item you want among your kit when you are on a walking holiday, it’s a sleeping bag. However, if the weather is likely to be warm, you also want to have a suitable sleeping bag liner. (Or consider a summer sleeping bag)
It’s fair to say that many people overlook this when packing, either for the Camino or for any other destination where the weather may be hotter, but once you’ve tried a sleeping bag liner, you will see the benefits.
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 you can choose from the right selection.
There is also one other major 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, it is softer, and it is also more protective against bed bugs, which you certainly don’t want to be bringing home.
Later in the review I have a brief guide on how to choose the best liner, but before we get there, here is my selection of the best examples on the market, and to help you further I have split them into two groups – silk, and other materials.
- 1 Silk Sleeping Bag Liners
- 2 1: Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
- 3 2: Kingdom Outdoor Gear Mulberry Silk Rectangular
- 4 3: Browint Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
- 5 4: Exploren Extra Long Silk
- 6 5: Sea to Summit Premium Silk
- 7 Non-Silk Sleeping Bag Liners
- 8 1: Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner
- 9 2: Cocoon Mummy Liner
- 10 3: Sea to Summit Reactor Thermalite
- 11 4: The Friendly Swede Sleeping Bag Liner
- 12 How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bag Liner
- 13 My Choice
Silk Sleeping Bag Liners
1: Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
My first selection is this very nice, simple mummy-design liner. With these, you slide in feet first and they are all-enveloping in terms of comfort. This one is made from Ripstop silk, which is stronger than the usual kind and therefore more durable and tear-resistant, and it is 4x8x8 inches when packed, so nice and compact. It is 95” x 22”, and weighs under 200g, and is a high quality item in every way. This is one you should look at, and it’s a decent price.
Key Features – ripstop silk, 95” long, mummy design, 200g weight, compact when packed
2: Kingdom Outdoor Gear Mulberry Silk Rectangular
This silk sleeping bag liner is the standard rectangular design, so you have side openings. It’s made from very soft, 100% mulberry silk which is excellent for allergies, and is hostel-approved as it should be resistant to bed bugs. You have a three-side zip to secure the liner, and it is 85” long by 37” wide – not the longest, but should be fine for a liner. It weighs somewhere in the region of 300g, and is very compact when packed. Great quality, but a little pricier than some.
Key Features – mulberry silk, envelope style, 85” long, 300g weight, zips, carry bag
3: Browint Silk Sleeping Bag Liner
Another one of the envelope style liners, this one is from a well-known brand that has a reputation for great products. It measures 87×43”, and is made from 100% natural AA grade mulberry silk for the best anti-allergenic performance and bug repellent. This is a material that will also keep you drier on hot nights. It can be compacted down to a very small size and weighs – with the bag – just 180g, and is a slip-in version with no zips, and comes with a handy pillow pocket.
Key Features – 100% silk, no zips, 180g, 87” deep, very compact, pillow pocket
4: Exploren Extra Long Silk
This one is a similar design to the above, in that it is a rectangular liner that has no zips, and has a side opening that is easy to use. It differs to many though in that it is deliberately large: it measures 6’ 11” in length, and 3’ 7” is width, and yet folds down to a package of 7” x 5” for carriage, and weighs in at just 200g, so is very light. It’s made from 100% mulberry silk, is a quality item and while it’s one of the more expensive items here, it’s still worth a second look.
Key Features – 100% silk, 6’11”, 7×5” when packed, 200g, quality
5: Sea to Summit Premium Silk
The Sea to Summit brand has a reputation for excellent products at sensible prices, and this very nice mummy-style liner is easily among the best here. It is, as are all, made from 100% silk – Ripstop in this case – and is neatly made with top quality materials. It measures 6’ 10”, so is suitable for taller users, yet packs down into a tiny 4.5x4x2.5” case, and weighs an amazing 140g. With many satisfied customers, this one must be among the top choices you can made, and while not a bargain basement price, it’s worth it.
Key Features – Ripstop silk, good size, very small when packed, 140g, quality item
Non-Silk Sleeping Bag Liners
1: Sea to Summit Coolmax Adaptor Liner
Carrying on with another Sea to Summit liner, this one is made from ‘Coolmax Fabric’ which is a specially developed blend designed to attend to moisture wicking and to keep the user as dry as possible and comfortable at the same time. 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”, and weighs just 240g, and at the price is certainly worth looking at.
Key Features – Coolmax brand, 240g, very compact, moisture wicking, insect protection
2: Cocoon Mummy Liner
Another liner that uses Coolmax material – to make it clear, it’s mainly polyester and has been developed by DuPont as one of the most effective materials of its kind, so is a proven fabric – and is a full mummy design with no side opening. It is 87 inches long – that’s well over 6ft so should accommodate all – and packs to a size of 3x8x10 inches and weighs just 180g, so is very light in transit. A good mummy liner, at a very competitive price.
Key Features – Coolmax, 87” long, mummy – no zips, 180g, great price
3: Sea to Summit Reactor Thermalite
Another one from the Sea to Summit range is this design, which is a 100% ‘Thermolite’ polyester material and – as you would expect, nicely made. This one is a mummy design, so there are no zips, and it has a foot box for added comfort, and it measures 7’ in length. It packs down to an amazing 3×5”, and weighs just 225g so is suitably light, and is favorably scored by many satisfied users. It’s not expensive either, so is certainly worth considering, especially given it’s from a top line brand.
Key Features – Thermolite fabric, 7’ long, brand name, light, very compact, no zips
4: The Friendly Swede Sleeping Bag Liner
My final choice comes from The Friendly Swede, a brand with some very nice products of this type, and it’s a side-opening rectangular design, rather than the mummy form. It is 41×86”, so a 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 good and very affordable.
Key Features – polyester, 237g, 86” long, side opening, Velcro, very affordable
That’s my list of the best sleeping bag liners, in both silk and other materials, so is there one here for you? Given the fact 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, but before I try and give you a verdict, here’s a reminder of some of the factors you need to consider.
How to Choose the Best Sleeping Bag Liner
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:
Liners come in a variety of 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 need to make sure that the liner can accommodate your height if you are particularly tall.
The cost of the sleeping bag liner can vary quite notably due to various factors, including the material. It helps if you have a budget in mind when you draw up a short list.
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. All of the items on this list are easily folded into packages measuring just a few inches.
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, as you want it to last a long time.
Male and Female
All of the liners featured on my list are suitable for both men and women, so the only consideration here is size.
For the sake of transport, the lighter the better, but don’t compromise comfort for less weight. None of the liners on my list weigh more than 250g, so you are talking very minor weight differences.
This is an important factor as it determines the level of warmth your liner will add to the sleeping bag.
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 for many reasons, although it remains a personal choice.
Mummy or Quilt
As with your choice of sleeping bag, the type of liner you choose will also be influenced by your own preferences.
Length and Width
This is decided by your size and your preferred way of sleeping. Some prefer longer and wider, some prefer snug fit, it’s up to the user.
This goes hand in hand with how compact the item is, as you want it to be as small as possible when not in use.
That’s my list of things to look out for when you are choosing one of these, so which is for you? Let’s see if I can give you any help choosing the right one.
With something such as a sleeping bag liner, it may be difficult 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 – it naturally repels insects, and is very soft and comfortable – so here’s what I say.
If you want a mummy-type bag, 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 Kingdom Outdoor, is also a very good choice at a sensible price.