Options for Sleeping Bag Liners


Photo courtesy of Backpacking Light

Sleeping bag liners… if you don’t know what they are, then you are missing out. Sleeping bag liners are inserted into your normal sleeping bag, to add warmth, and help drop the rating by a few or more degrees, effectively getting your 25 degree sleeping bag down to 15 degrees.

This is a great cost saving measure. For those of us out there, like myself, that do not have a plethora of sleeping bags (my obsession is packs!), this is a great way to extend the use of your 3-season bag into the 4th season of winter, and at a fraction of the price than the cost of a new bag.

So, now that you know what liners are, I’d like to go over some options for sleeping bag liners, maybe giving you some additional ideas for liners that you may not have contemplated before…

  • Traditional Sleeping Bag liner
    • These may be made of fleece, silk, cotton (never use cotton!), polypropylene
    • Some are custom fit to s specific bag, or, others are for general use. Most likely, if you have a decent bag, the manufacturer makes one that fits yours perfectly
  • Bivy Sack
    • You probably already have one of these in your pack anyways, right? Stuff it in your bag, and gain ~10 degrees on your bag rating
  • Mylar Emergency blanket (space blanket)
    • Like the bivy, you probably already have one of these in your bag too, either that, or I just carry WAY too much stuff. This, while noisy and crinkly, can also get the job done. The purpose of these is to trap your body heat.
  • Tarp
    • A “poor mans emergency blanket”
    • This also will trap body heat.
  • Another person
    • Share the wealth of body heat!

And, if it gets really cold, an additional layer, such as combining a fleece liner with a bivy sack should keep you nice and toasty.


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