If you’re in the market for the best sleeping bag liners for backpacking, this article will help you decide what type will work best for you and give you options for your specific purpose. The liner market can be overwhelming due to all the different options, but we will help narrow down your options with this list of what we consider the best. No need to be confused about what to buy anymore!
Top 10 Best Sleeping Bag Liners for Backpacking
1. Coleman Stratus Fleece Liner
Fleece is a super warm fabric and this liner can give you about 12 degrees of extra warmth in your sleeping bag during cold nights. At an affordable price tag, this liner can turn your regular 3 season sleeping bag into a 4 season one.
The company also claims that you can even sleep in this liner alone in temperatures down to 50 degrees. This liner is easy to clean because it can be machine washed and has a sturdy zip closure.
A great option for families looking to buy sleeping bag liners for each person, this fleece liner is great for overall use and in all different weather conditions. One downside to this product is that it can only fit campers that are shorter than 5’11”. If you’re a taller person, you’ll want to look elsewhere for a sleeping bag liner. Don’t worry if you’re on the taller side, there are still options to finding the best sleeping bag liners for backpacking.
Sample Customer Review…I was able to use a Coleman Stratus bag a few times last year, so I knew what I was getting when I made this purchase. Makes a good indoor or travel fleece bag or throw. Can be used by itself as a warm-weather sleeping bag. Also makes a good bag supplement or blanket in combination with your regular sleeping bag when camping. Accurate and useful product description. Size regular: 75 inches long, 33 inches wide when zipped, so it fits those who are less than 6 feet tall. A 50 degree F minimum temperature rating when used by itself (just don’t expect to be “toasty warm” at that temperature). When used with your primary sleeping bag, it improves your bag’s temperature rating by about 12 degrees F. Can be used as a liner for similar-sized rectangular sleeping bags. Large enough to fit over a mummy-style bag (much easier than trying to use it as a liner); as long as you have good wind protection from a tent, camper shell, trailer, or RV, there will be little or no loss of temperature performance when doing this. The 2-pound weight is consistent with the temperature performance claims. I am skeptical of other similar-sized fleece bags that make the same temperature performance claims while weighing in at only about 1 pound. One of the best zippers I have ever found on a sleeping bag.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme
Looking for some extra warmth for camping on cold, winter nights? The Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme can add up to 25 degrees of extra warmth when sleeping. Weighing around 15 ounces, there are plenty of lighter options out there. But because of the incredible amount of warmth it can bring you, people tend to make an exception in order to get the heat. This is a great choice for an overall cold weather sleeping bag liner.
People do use this liner all year round because even in warmer weather, the nights tend to get cold. Many individuals hold the philosophy that it’s better to have a liner that can provide warmth because you can always remove extra layers if necessary.
When used with a quality 3 season sleeping bag, this liner will ensure you stay warm throughout the night in the winter months. For summer camping, some people even opt to use this liner alone as a lightweight blanket when sleeping because it is breathable when used by itself.
Sample Customer Review… I really took a leap of faith when I ordered this. The reviews were so consistent that I felt comfortable enough to go for it and, I’m very happy that I did. It’s exactly what I needed and does an amazing job. I have a 20-degree zPacks bag that I had hoped would be a good balance between weight and warmth but, needs a little help in the winter. It got down to 21 degrees one night while hiking a section of the AT in Virginia and WOW did this liner prove its worth. Being a skeptic, I even took the liner off for a bit to see if I could tell the difference. That was one short test!!! I’m still amazed at how much of an improvement this makes! Yeah, it adds some weight and that’s hard to handle when winter gear already pushes the scale pretty hard. It’s an 8oz addition that I now consider essential though. It’s super compact and fits inside my drink cup with a bit of a push.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Alps Mountaineering Mummy
Heavier than other options on the market, this sleeping bag liner is made of microfiber material and weighs in at around 11 ounces. It does pack down to just a few inches and is much less expensive than silk liners.
A feature that many people like about this liner is that it’s mummy-shaped and easily fits into mummy-style sleeping bags without any problems. Because of this shape, it becomes narrower towards the feet, so if you know you need more space, this may not be the best choice for you.
The liner comes with a stuff sack which makes for easy packing and is machine-washable. You don’t need to worry about getting this product dirty because of how easy it is to clean. The durability is also top-notch so you can use it over and over without any tears or rips.
Unlike some other liners on this list, this product can provide some slight warmth. Although it won’t make you warm throughout winter nights on its own, paired with a winter sleeping bag, it’ll provide some extra heat throughout the night.
Sample Customer Review…I bought this after freezing in the mountains overnight in my ultralight sleeping bag rated for 42 degrees F when it was probably in the mid to upper 30s overnight. Since I bought this liner, I’ve used it a couple of times when it got down to 30s overnight, and it has kept me very toasty with wearing only leggings and a t-shirt. I’m surprised at how much warmer my bag is with this liner since it’s pretty thin. I tried using it when I slept on my friend’s couch, and I woke up sweating because I wore a sweatshirt in my liner (I was okay once I peeled off the sweatshirt). Great buy and reasonably priced.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Sea to Summit Adaptor Coolmax
This liner is made of a soft synthetic material that is known to be super moisture-wicking, making it perfect for hot summer nights. One downside to this liner is that it’s not recommended to use in the winter months because it doesn’t trap heat very well. But if you plan to only be using this in warmer weather, you won’t have any problems with that.
Another feature that makes this one of the best sleeping bag liners for backpacking is how great it is for summer use and its unique insect shield technology that repels bugs. You can machine wash this product, making for easy and fast cleaning. Backpackers enjoy bringing this liner because it weighs only 9 ounces and is able to pack down to take up just a few inches of space.
The durability of this liner is great because of the synthetic material. It also has a built-in foot box which adds more room for your feet to move around while sleeping. If you know that you’ll be backpacking and camping in summer weather and are worried about sweat and bugs while sleeping, this is an excellent choice for you.
Sample Customer Review…I used it almost every day in India for a month. It was incredibly hot outside, this thing is very sheer, adds almost no heat, yet keeps out all the bugs and mosquitoes. We used them while staying in hotels when we didn’t trust how often the bedsheets were washed, or if we saw bugs or mosquitoes. It packs down super small and lightweight too. Probably the best investment I made out of everything I brought on the trip!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Therm-a-Rest Sleep Liner
This brushed polyester liner is very soft and also machine washable. Not only does it provide up to 5 degrees of heat but sewn-in loops help to keep the liner in place and prevent tangling when extra blankets are added for warmth. The fact that it is a mummy hood also means that it will keep in heat throughout the night. And, if you are camping in a warmer climate, you can use the lightweight liner just by itself. The zipper is three-quarters and allows easier access for getting in and out of the liner. This liner comes in 3 sizes in order to fit a majority of body types.
Sample Customer Review…Great lightweight liner. When it’s hot at night I just use it as a sleeping bag.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Cocoon Silk Mummy Liner
Made of high-quality silk material, this liner is lightweight and compact enough for any backpacker. It comes with a drawstring bag to keep the liner in, which makes packing this product even easier. Because of the 100% silk material, it’s soft and comfortable against the skin and can be used by pretty much anyone in any weather condition. It’s easy to wash and dry so you don’t need to worry about getting it dirty.
This product comes in two different types, ripstop and regular. The ripstop model is made to resist ripping and make for a longer lifespan because of better durability. The moisture-wicking material helps keep the liner dry and the breathability makes for a comfortable night’s sleep on even the hottest summer nights.
The claims state that this liner can add up to 5 degrees Celsius of extra warmth for cooler nights, but most people suggest not using this liner for cold weather because it won’t keep you super warm overnight. Overall, the silk material makes this liner comfortable and breathable while the lightweight design allows backpackers to carry this liner with them even when they’re trying to conserve weight. All of these features are what make this a great choice for the best sleeping bag liners for backpacking.
Sample Customer Review…Great product- this added much needed insulation to my sleeping bag and gave me an extra layer of super soft comfort (which can’t be overlooked as one sleeps on the hard wooden floor of a shelter on the Appalachian Trail) AND it’s pretty too! The bottom is narrow to mimic the style of the cocoon sleeping bag and reduce bulk. The way I found most useful to utilize this was to set up the sleeping bag, partially unzip it, sit next to the sleeping bag, and pull this up over my feet & legs & hips. Then I inserted my freshly cocooned feet into the sleeping bag and wiggled my way down and into the sleeping bag while pulling the liner up and over my back. Throughout the night as I moved around I would periodically wake due to my shoulder being chilled. Why? Because the Cocoon Silk Liner had shifted down exposing my shoulders. As soon as I pulled it back up, I was warm & cozy & ready for more snoozing. TIP: The Mummy Liner has a hood area and I figured out on the second night that I just needed to pull the back ALL the way up and it no longer slid down my shoulders, it stayed put!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Teton Sports Polyester
You don’t have to worry about keeping this basic sleeping bag liner clean since you don’t need to hand wash and hang dry in order to protect any zippers. And, even with a lightweight material created with synthetic fabric and the feeling of silk against your skin, this liner still adds 10 degrees of heat to the inside of your sleeping bag. With this material, it also is extremely light to carry, and depending on the size you get, it can fold into a very small carrying bag so it won’t crowd up your backpack.
The fact that it opens on both sides and is very spacious on the inside makes it easy to get in and out without getting tangled. And, this liner can be good for more than just camping, whether using it as a travel bed sheet or merely as a blanket when you get cold.
Sample Customer Review…What I was pleasantly surprised by is how smooth the fabric was against my skin. Also, I typically get pretty grimy after a few days in the wilderness, and knowing I can take this out and wash it if need be is great insurance.
I am 6’5″ and about 210 lbs and this fits me pretty well. It also packs down to nothing and weighs nothing. I’m not one of those ultra-light backing lunatics and don’t mind carrying a few extra ounces if it’s going to make my time in the backcountry more enjoyable.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. The Friendly Swede
The Friendly Swede is a simple sleeping bag liner that works great for keeping your bag clean. This liner is as basic as it gets. With a satin feel and lightweight design, it is a classic choice for someone who isn’t looking for much more than just a barrier between your sleeping bag and you. You won’t get extra warmth from this liner so if you know you will be camping in cold weather, you’re going to want to look elsewhere. It is good for summer camping because it’s cool and comfortable in warm weather.
One upside that many people look for in sleeping bag liners is room. This liner is spacious and perfect for restless sleepers that may need more room than the other slimmer liners on the market can provide. You can easily get in and out because of the velcro opening on the side and it has a pillow slip. The price point is great if you’re on a budget while still keeping a quality feel. Backpackers don’t have any problems carrying this liner because it can fold up very small and it’s lightweight enough for those conserving weight.
Sample Customer Review…Arrived quickly, nicely packaged. Well made, as described. Appreciate the storage bag, and I will also keep it in a ziplock bag as I bought this to guard against bed bugs for an upcoming trip. I tried it out last night at home. There was plenty of room for me (5’4″) and would certainly hold a much taller person – generous size, longer than my mattress, and about half the width of a queen-size bed. The pillow enclosure works well, comfortable material, and smooth to the touch, not too warm, not too cool. I generally am always cold and this kept me at the right temperature through the night. Also, I am a restless sleeper and I stayed enclosed. Repacks very easily into the travel pouch. I think this will do the trick perfectly for my purposes for my upcoming trip.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Cocoon Cotton
If you hate the feel of man-made materials and don’t want to pay for silk, this cotton liner might be a good choice for you. It’s a great simple option that will keep your sleeping bag clean and give you the comfortable feel of cotton. The material is durable and lightweight which is great for backpackers wanting to preserve their space and weight.
This liner won’t provide you any extra warmth for winter camping and if that’s important to you, you should look into other options. It also will take a long time to dry. But if you just want a simple and comfortable liner for warmer weather and you don’t think it’ll get wet, this one is a great option.
Sample Customer Review… I purchased two of these sleeping bag liners and used them during a two-week camping trip this summer through the Rockies. The liners are well-constructed out of a comfortable cotton material. I washed them once before use, and that removed the small amount of stiffness in the fabric. I’m not sure why, but I was a little surprised that the liner didn’t have a zipper or other opening. It is formed like a large sock with the opening only at the shoulder area. The liners really helped keep us warm and comfortable during a couple of cold nights. The only criticisms I have are related to my peculiarities, rather than the product itself. I’m a stomach sleeper who moves around a lot as I sleep, so a couple of times the liner got a little tangled around my feet. Also, it’s rather awkward getting into it. I found that if you put it on like you would a giant stocking, it is much easier to manage. Just gather the sides of the liner in both hands and put your feet inside, straightening the liner as you bring it up to your body. Of course, you should do this while seated in your sleeping bag! After you have the liner up to your chest, you can zip your bag, and pull the liner over your shoulders, if you wish. Overall, I think this is a good value for a good product. I hope it extends the life of our sleeping bags. We will continue to use the liners and do recommend them. I think people who sleep on their back will have no trouble with the liners.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Sea to Summit Premium Silk Travel Liner
At a measly 5 ounces, this ultra-lightweight liner is made out of silk and polyester. It’s fairly durable because it uses ripstop technology that keeps it from tearing and ripping, which is common in silk liners. It’s also machine washable which makes for super easy cleanup. It features stretchy side panels that allow you to move around easier in your sleep and allows for easy entry and exit.
This sleeping bag liner is double stitched and made with durability in mind. It’s great if you plan to use it often and want something you know you can trust. Although the price tag is on the higher side, there are so many upsides that most people find the price worth it. In warmer weather, you can use this liner alone as a lightweight and breathable blanket or use it as a sleeping bag liner in winter to help improve the warmth of your regular sleeping bag.
Sample Customer Review…I’m a big dude, 6’7″ and around 400 lbs. This is big enough and long enough for me. I recently used this liner on a road trip through the Southern United States. It is awesome! I love this “liner” so much. I love it so much in fact that I am now using it every night at home. It is amazing. It has magical properties that keep you warm and keep you from getting too hot during the night. My feet haven’t been cold since using this item because they are always snuggled at the end of the liner. It’s my new favorite thing. Once I wear this one out I am going to get another one.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing Sleeping Bag Liners for Backpacking
Liners come in many different types of materials that all fit different needs. While silk weighs less and feels soft, it is less durable. Cotton can also be extremely comfortable, but good for nothing if it gets wet. On the other hand, fleece is inexpensive and keeps in heat, but it is hefty and takes up a lot of space. Merino wool has the best balance of weight, heat, and comfort, but is expensive. And finally, there are blends of materials that will range in weight, comfort, and reliability.
After checking the predicted weather that you will be dealing with, you can check the temperature ratings provided by most companies. These ratings will tell you, in degrees, the amount of warmth that the liner will add on. Ratings ranging from 15-25 degrees will be on the warmest side for sleeping bag liners.
When choosing the best liner, consider how important warmth is compared to the actual weight of these liners. The warmer the backpack liner is, the heavier it will probably be. And, if your liner is too heavy, this may slow you down or make backpacking more difficult. A good rule of thumb: you should not buy a liner heavier than one pound.
Consider which liner shape will best accommodate your body. Some will provide more room around the waist while others will be specifically longer or shorter. Choose whether you want a more spacious or tapered fit. If you prefer a more form-fitting sleeping bag, you can get a liner that narrows around your feet and head or even a mummy liner, which uses a drawstring to tighten around your body and face. One benefit of this type of liner fit is its greater ability to trap heat.
If you are planning to backpack somewhere particularly humid or are just worried in general about the bugs that may crawl on you and disrupt your good night’s sleep, consider investing in a bug repellent sleeping bag liner. These contain an odorless bug repellent coating that will keep those mosquitos and unwanted insects away.
If you are worried that sweating inside your sleeping bag will be an issue, you’re not alone. Some companies have taken this issue into account and created sleeping bag liners that absorb this moisture in order to prevent dampness and promote comfortability. Look for liners that specifically mention this breathability feature.
Just like how the weight of a sleeping bag liner may make your backpacking experience more difficult than it needs to be, bulkiness can be a big issue too. Make sure you look for a liner that will fit easily in your backpack and not force you to rearrange or take out supplies.
The best sleeping bag liners for backpacking are always the ones that fulfill your specific needs. There are plenty of choices for sleeping bag liners and it may even seem overwhelming at first. Remember to think ahead and have knowledge about what it is you are looking for in a sleeping bag liner.
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Written by Courtney Ludwig and Isabella Kiene