Why You Should Always Use a Sleeping Bag Liner

The simple silk cocoon is a key piece of four-season gear

Ultimately, that liner will help extend the life of your sleeping bag. (ninelutsk/iStock)
sleeping bag

The sleeping bag liner is one of the most underrated pieces of gear. Most hikers don’t even bother adding this extra layer to their sleep system, but a good liner provides added insulation and warmth to your bag while creating a barrier between your dirty body and the difficult to clean synthetic interior of your bag. So while they're great in winter, using an extra thin liner in the summer will actually extend the life of your sleeping bag. As a bonus, you can throw the liner in your pack when you’re traveling and use it as a sheet in hostels, sketchy hotels, or the occasional couch you find yourself surfing.

Here are five highly rated sleeping bag liners for all occasions.

Western Mountaineering Sonora ($40)

sleeping bag
(Courtesy Western Mountaineering)

Western Mountaineering makes some of the most trustworthy, albeit pricey, sleeping bags in the business and the polyester Sonora will help extend the life of those bags. It weighs just five ounces and is soft to the skin and easy to wash.  

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Sea to Summit Reactor Fleece ($85)

sleeping bag
(Courtesy Sea to Summit)

If you’re really looking to boost the warmth of your bag, the Reactor Fleece is the ticket. At 14.8 ounces it's not light, but it will add up to 32 degrees of warmth to your existing bag and it's thick enough to use as a stand-alone bag in the summer.

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Cocoon Silk Travel Sheet ($55)

sleeping bag
(Courtesy Cocoon)

If you’re doing a lot of traveling to warm climates and don't want to bring along a full sleeping bag with you, take this rectangular-shaped silk liner instead. The thin silk fabric will create a barrier between your skin and a hostel bed and it has a Velcro closure on the side and a pocket for a pillow.

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Rab Cotton Mummy ($30)

sleeping bag
(Courtesy Rab)

Rab makes an entire line of high-end silk liners but if you’re looking for quality cotton without breaking the bank, try this one which is soft and easy to clean.

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Sea to Summit Silk Mummy ($80)

sleeping bag
(Courtesy Sea to Summit)

This mummy liner is made from ripstop silk, with spandex panels that stretch, so you get the next-to-skin luxury of silk with the mobility of polyester. It’s machine washable and weighs less than 6 ounces making it ideal for weight watchers.

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Filed To: Mountaineering / Hiking and Backpacking / Travel / Sleeping Bags / Sleep / Gear
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