Sleeping bag liners are a simple but essential and versatile item and should be at the top of your packing list when you’re going on any kind of an adventure. In hot countries where the nights are warm, they can be used as a sleeping bag in their own right. They are handy for taking with you on a long bus or train journey, or you can use them when you go camping. If you’re in a cooler climate, they can be slipped inside your sleeping bag, both giving you an extra layer to keep you warm, and stopping you from coming into direct contact with your sleeping bag. A sleeping bag is much harder to wash than a sleeping bag liner, and if you’re travelling and camping you might not always be particularly clean when you get into bed.
The best thing about most sleeping bag liners is that they roll up extremely small and are extremely lightweight, a feature which is essential when you’re carrying your world around with you and space is at a premium. There are sleeping bag liners out there that have various added extras, are made of different materials, and are geared towards people with different budgets or who are planning on using them for different purposes. We’ve tried and tested ten of the top-selling sleeping bag liners out there to help you decide which is the best option depending on what you’re going to be using it for.
Our top 10 sleeping bag liner picks
1. The Friendly Swede - Travel and Camping Sleeping Bag Liner
- Velcro fastenings aren’t very strong
- Pillow holder too small
If you’re looking for a durable sleeping bag liner that can be used in hot and cold climates, or even just if you’re sleeping on someone’s sofa, this is a great option.
We like the fact that this sleeping bag liner comes in both silver and cobalt blue, and is a generous size, with dimensions of 105x220cm, giving you plenty of space to stretch your legs out. It is also rectangular in shape, which lots of people prefer as it is less restrictive. Despite its size, it can still be folded down into its 16x20cm bag and easily stowed away in your luggage or backpack.
This sleeping bag liner is machine washable and has a side opening with Velcro fastenings. It doesn’t open out completely into a blanket as some people prefer sleeping bag liners to do, and we think that the Velcro fastenings weren’t particularly sturdy, and would probably come open if the occupant was a restless sleeper. However, people that often get up in the night might the fact it’s easy to get in and out of the liner. Best of all, if you purchase this product you can register for The Friendly Swede’s Lifetime Warranty, and their customer service team is always around to answer any questions and clear up any doubts you might have.
2. Osage River - Zippered Sleeping Bag Liner
- Strong chemical smell (initially)
This sleeping bag liner unzips completely into a cosy blanket, meaning you can get more use out of this product than you would a polyester liner as you can use it to keep you cosy on chilly evenings even when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Its dimensions are 178x79cm when it’s zipped up, so it won’t completely cover taller people, but it’s wide enough to allow for movement.
This is another rectangular sleeping bag liner, which does mean you have more space to stretch your legs,but bear in mind that this can be awkward if used as a liner for a mummy shaped sleeping bag, as the corners will bunch up. Whereas some fleece sleeping bag liners can feel a bit odd against the skin, we found the material used for this liner to be really soft and comfortable, and it’s both breathable for warm nights and cosy on colder nights, adding a few extra degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag.
3. Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner
- No zip or Velcro openings
This is an option for those on a slightly higher budget, but most of us loved it and some thought it wasn’t worth the money. This sleeping bag liner is 210x90cm so there’s plenty of room to stretch out and even taller people should fit into it well.
Thermolite claims to be an extremely lightweight material that provides incredible warmth, and this product is meant to add up to 14 degrees of warmth when used as a sleeping bag liner. Although it might not have been quite 14 degrees of added warmth, we did notice a significant change when we tested this liner out, so it is definitely doing its job. If your priority is a liner that weighs as little as possible, packs down small and still gives you added warmth, this is a good option.
4. Coleman Stratus
- Can’t select a colour
- Special zip
Just like the Osage River fleece liner, this Coleman fleece sleeping bag has a strong chemical smell when it first arrives, but this product is easy to wash and the smell disappears after the first wash. This product is marketed as a sleeping bag in its own right, but just like the other liners it can either be used as a sleeping bag in warm weather or used as a liner in colder weather.
Ideally, it should be used with a rectangular sleeping bag so it doesn’t bunch up around your feet.
Similarly to the Osage River model, this product isn’t just restricted to use on trips but can be used around the house to keep you warm as it zips out into a blanket. One drawback with this sleeping bag is that it is available in various colours, including grey, green and orange, but you can’t select a colour in advance. It has a special zip which is designed to be very easy to move up and down without catching, but this means it can only be zipped to other Coleman sleeping bags to make a double one, rather than any sleeping bag, which could be seen as a positive or negative. If you have multiple Coleman’s product this is a plus, but the fact you can’t zip it to other brands makes it less flexible.
5. ALPS Mountaineering - Mummy Sleeping Bag Liner
- Doesn’t add a lot of warmth
- ‘ALPS’ printed all over liner
Like the Sea to Summit model, this is a mummy sleeping bag liner, something which you’ll need to take into consideration if you already have a sleeping bag that you want to use your liner with. ALPS are a well-known and trusted brand, and one advantage of this product is that you can choose between poly cotton or microfiber, depending on your preference.
We found the microfiber version keeps you cosier and warmer, but the poly cotton is lighter and packs down smaller. It comes with a lifetime guarantee and is very easy to wash, keeping dirt and oil away from your sleeping bag.
The dimensions of this liner are 220cmx81cm, which makes it great for tall people, although if you’re shorter then we think you might find there’s too much material which would bunch up around your legs. What’s more, we found that the side opening isn’t very large so you have to crawl into it. Overall, considering the prices, these two different sleeping bag liners from ALPS are effective and are good value for money.
6. Dimples Excel
- Slippery material
Dimples draws attention to the generous size of this sleeping bag liner, which measures 220x105cm, larger than the standard, so this could be a great option for tall people or those who don’t like the feeling of being hemmed in. We’ve found that some larger sleeping bag liners got all bunched up around our legs as we slept, but this liner didn’t have that problem.
A positive feature of this sleeping bag is that it’s easy to get in and out of and you don’t have to crawl into it, as it has a 60cm side opening, with Velcro fastenings.
We especially like the material that this liner is made of, a soft and silky satin which feels nice against the skin, although it is a little slippery, especially when you’re trying to roll it up tight to pack it away. It’s soft and breathable, and lightweight and very compact, packing down to the size of a water bottle, as most non-fleece liners do. A big positive side to this product is the 90-day money back guarantee that Dimples offer. They’re happy to give you your money back if you have any issues whatsoever with the product.
7. b.m.c - Bundle Monster
This is another fleece option, also very reasonably priced, and the advantage it has over the Coleman model, mentioned above, is that it comes in a variety of colours and you can select which one you’d prefer, rather than being randomly sent one, which is the case with Coleman.
Like some other fleece sleeping bag liners, we did notice a strong chemical smell when this product first arrived and had to wash it a few times to get the smell out, which wasn’t ideal.
The material is extremely soft and pleasant against the skin, but it doesn’t pack down as small as some of the other fleece liners we tested, and the stuff sack doesn’t do much to compress the material. It does zip open into a blanket, and so you can use it around the house or for purposes other than camping, and it can be zipped to other sleeping bags if necessary.
8. Cocoon Silk MummyLiner
- Build quality is not great
Silk is a good option for an ultra-thin liner as it is soft and can keep you either warm or cool. We tested it out both as a liner within another sleeping bag on a cold night and on its own, and we found it did both add warmth and keep us cool when necessary.
This liner by Cocoon is made of Ripstop Silk which, woven in a grid-like structure, is supposed to be more durable and resistant to tearing than normal silk, which does have a tendency to rip.
One thing we did really like, which not many liners have, is the draw string at the top which helped keep us extra warm on cold nights as it stops the wind from getting in. One the other hand, a drawback to this product was that a couple of the liners we used had messy stitching along the seams, which, considering the price, seemed like poor value for money to us.
9. Teton Sports
- Side opening not long enough
- Not machine washable
This rectangular liner comes in both cotton and polyester, with the polyester option being slightly more expensive. It is also available in two different sizes, with a ‘mammoth’ option for taller people, or people that like extra space to move around in, for a few extra dollars.
We had mixed feelings about this product. There is a side opening with Velcro fastenings, and the Velcro isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world to lie on, and the opening isn’t long enough to make getting into the bag any easier, so you still have to wriggle into it. This liner is extremely thin and so does pack down extremely small or can be squeezed into your sleeping bag’s stuff sack, which is a plus. One thing you should be aware of before purchasing this liner is that although the description says it can be machine washed and dried, we found that it had label saying it can only be hand washed, and machine washing voids the warranty.
10. Marycrafts - Mulberry Silk Travel Sleep Sack
- Colours bleed when first washed
- No fastenings
If you’re looking for something a bit brighter, this sleeping bag liner comes in 15 different colours. We think it’s a good idea to wash this liner once you receive it and before you take it off on trips, as the colours do run a little the first time you wash it.
If you go for a silver liner, however, you won’t have this problem, but bear in mind that the silver liner is nearly see-through.
It has an opening that goes about one-quarter of the way down the side, but no fastenings, so there’s no scratchy Velcro which is a plus, but so if you’re a restless sleeper this is something to consider as you could slip out of it during the night. We found that this product is as lightweight as it claims to be, and it packs down to a small square which is very handy for carrying around. As far as silk liners go we thought it seemed fairly hardwearing, as the material can be prone to ripping. Overall, we think this is a very good option if you’re looking for a good quality but reasonably priced silk liner.
All of these sleeping bag liners are good options, and they will all keep your sleeping bag clean, although some do require hand washing, but you need to think carefully about your other needs before making a decision. If your priority is a liner that can double as a blanket and be used around the house as well as packed down to a relatively small size and taken on an adventure, a fleece blanket is a good option. If your priority is having something as light as possible that’s main role is to keep the inside of your sleeping bag clean, then fleece isn’t the right material for you, but you should be looking at silk or polyester. If you’re especially tall or short, don’t forget to look for a liner that’s an appropriate size, so you’re covered completely but not lost in acres of material.
Make sure you do your research and if you make the right decision, your sleeping bag liner could last you for years of travels and adventure. It can both keep you warm and extend the life of your sleeping bag.