A sleeping bag liner is a thin and lightweight cloth sack designed to be slipped inside a sleeping bag. It keeps your sleeping bag clean and free of body oils and thus increases its thermal efficiency. Note that body oils decrease the loft and warmth of a sleeping bag. It can also be used without a sleeping bag – for example for sleeping in mountain huts which typically provide blankets but not bed linen, or when travelling and sleeping in hostels of questionable cleanliness (bedbugs). Those who use a quilt (a super lightweight zipperless sleeping bag which leaves your back in direct contact with the sleeping pad) often pair it with a sleeping bag liner because the liner increases the comfort of this minimalistic sleeping setup. Another benefit is that it allows you to wash your sleeping bag less frequently which increases its lifespan and decreases the degradation of sleeping bag’s insulation. In very warm weather, when you have your sleeping bag partially unzipped, the liner also protects you against bugs and mosquitoes.
A sleeping bag liner can also add warmth to your sleeping bag, depending on its material. However, as it must be thin to fit into a sleeping bag, it is limited how much warmth it can add. Sleeping bag liners made of fleece are for example thermally inefficient (very heavy for the added warmth) and thus it’s better to instead wear a fleece jacket and pants during the night. The same goes for those with synthetic insulation – you’ll be better off sleeping in insulated pants and an insulated jacket.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, we only listed silk and synthetic liners in this selection. These provide very little warmth, but they are super lightweight and pack very small. Furthermore, they are also breathable, quick-drying and moisture-wicking.
1. Buying a Sleeping Bag Liner – What is important?
Sleeping bag liners are usually made of silk, synthetics (microfiber, polyester etc.), cotton or fleece. Some are insulated, meaning that the synthetic insulation is sandwiched between the nylon shell and the lining. Because cotton and insulated liners have multiple downsides, we didn’t list them in this selection. Read more about this in the Questions and Answers section at the bottom.
Silk sleeping bag liners are super lightweight, pleasant to the touch and pack very small. Silk also dries very fast and doesn’t feel clammy against the skin if it gets wet or moist. The material is also naturally antimicrobial and can be knit into very thin fabrics. Those made of synthetic materials are also lightweight, well-packable and quick-drying. However, they are less pleasant to the touch than those made of silk and not naturally antimicrobial.
Sleeping bag liners are usually available in two different shapes – mummy and rectangular. If you are planning to primarily use the liner with a sleeping bag, you should go for the mummy shape so that it will fit well into the sleeping bag. We have only listed mummy shaped sleeping bag liners below, but many of the products are also available in the rectangular shape.
Some sleeping bag liners are available in several sizes which differ by length and rarely in width. Choose the size according to your body height.
We only list top-tier products. Read how our selections of best hiking products differ from others here.
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2. The Best Sleeping Bag Liners Review
The Best Sleeping Bag Liners – List
- Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
- Rab Silk Ascent Hooded Sleeping Bag Liner
- Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner – MicroFiber
- Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax Liner – Insect Shield
- Sea to Summit Premium Silk Travel Liner
|Feature/Product||Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner||Rab Silk Ascent Sleeping Bag Liner||Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner - MicroFiber||Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax Liner - Insect Shield||TSea to Summit Premium Silk Travel Liner|
|Weight||4.8 oz.||4.5 oz.||11 oz.||8.7 oz.||4.9 oz.|
|Weight (Metric)||135 g||130 g||311 g||248 g||140 g|
|Material||Silk||Silk||Synthetic (MicroFiber)||Synthetic (Coolmax)||Silk (Ripstop)|
|Length||95 in.||89 in.||86 in.||83 in.||82 in.|
|Length (Metric)||241 cm||225 cm||218 cm||210 cm||208 cm|
|Width||35 in.||36 in.||32 in.||35 in.||36 in.|
|Width (Metric)||90 cm||92 cm||81 cm||90 cm||91 cm|
1. Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
The Cocoon Silk Mummy liner is due to its durability and low weight very popular among mountaineers and hikers. It’s made of high-quality silk and is available in two models; regular and ripstop. The ripstop model is made of silk which is reinforced with interwoven threads at regular intervals for better tear resistance. The material is well-packable, breathable, moisture-wicking and quick drying. Cocoon claims that this product adds up to 5°C of extra warmth to the sleeping bag. However, it’s important to note that such ratings do not apply to everyone (some people get cold faster than the others). The Cocoon Silk Mummy also features a drawstring hood and packs super small. It fits perfectly into technical (mummy) sleeping bags.
- Durability (for silk)
- Hood with drawstring
Where to buy?
Also available at:
2. Rab Silk Ascent Hooded Sleeping Bag Liner
Rab Silk Ascent Hooded Sleeping Bag Liner is like the Cocoon Silk Mummy made of 100% silk and thus offers similar qualities. However, the Rab Silk Ascent is a bit shorter and measures 88 inches (225 centimeters) in length and 36 inches (92 centimeters) in width. Nevertheless, it comfortably fits most people and is even equipped with a hood. The Rab Silk Ascent is also very light (it weighs merely 4.5 ounces / 130 grams), in spite of the hooded design, and well-packable. The liner comes with a stuff sack for easy storage and is designed for use with technical sleeping bags (mummy). Rab also offers an unhooded version of this product, which is 10 grams lighter but we much prefer the hooded version.
3. Alps Mountaineering Mummy Liner – MicroFiber
The Alps Mountaineering Mummy differs from the liners listed above by material. It is made of a synthetic material (MicroFiber) rather than silk. Therefore, it is heavier (11 ounces / 311 grams) but also much less expensive. Furthermore, it provides better warmth and durability. It is available only in one size and designed for use with a mummy sleeping bag. For easy storage the liner comes with a stuff sack. The Alps Mountaineering also offers a cotton version of this product.
4. Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax Liner – Insect Shield
The Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax is like the Alps Mountaineering Mummy made of a synthetic material. It uses Invista’s Coolmax material which is known for being very moisture-wicking and quick-drying. The Coolmax material is also pleasant to the touch and very stretchy. Furthermore, the Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax also utilizes Insect Shield technology for maximum protection against bugs. It is designed to be used with a mummy sleeping bag and comes with a stuff sack.
5. Sea to Summit Premium Silk Travel Liner
The Sea to Summit Premium Silk Travel is super lightweight (it weighs merely 5 ounces / 140 grams) and provides good durability. It is made of 100% silk and utilizes the ripstop reinforcement technique. The product offers great comfort due to the qualities of silk (moisture-wicking, breathable etc.). Sea to Summit offers this product in several different versions; standard rectangular, long rectangular, traveler with pillow, double and mummy with hood. If you are planning to use it with a mummy sleeping bag you should go for the hooded mummy version.
3. Questions and Answers
Why is a cotton sleeping bag liner not suitable for backpacking?
Cotton liners are not the best option for hiking/backpacking because cotton is much heavier than silk or synthetic materials. Furthermore, it also dries very slowly because it absorbs a lot of moisture.
Is a fleece sleeping bag liner good for backpacking?
Fleece liners are primarily designed to add warmth to sleeping bags. However, polyester fleece is not the most thermally efficient material and thus such sleeping bag liners are typically heavy and bulky. You will probably be better off wearing a fleece jacket and fleece pants during the night.
Is an insulated sleeping bag liner good for backpacking?
Insulated liners look like super thin sleeping bags and feature synthetic insulation such as PrimaLoft. They are more thermally efficient than those made of fleece but still heavy and bulky. Again, you will probably be better off wearing an insulated jacket and insulated pants during the night.