When You Should Use A Sleeping Bag Liner & Why

Sleeping bag liners are easy to use and really make a difference to your camping experience, especially if you camp in colder conditions, but you might also be wondering if they are worth using at any other time.

Sleeping bag liners are a great way of adding extra warmth while camping whether in winter or if you are hiking and camping at high altitudes. You should use a sleeping bag liner when you are camping in cold conditions as it gives you another layer to keep the body heat close to your body.

In this article we are going to talk about sleeping bag liners, what they do and when we think it is the best time to use them.

What is a Sleeping Bag Liner?

A sleeping bag liner is a fabric or cloth-like material you wear before using a sleeping bag or worn separately before using any sleeping surface. 

While it can be used by anyone at any time (depending on the intent of usage), it is popular amongst outdoor activity enthusiasts, like campers, hikers, travelers, etc. 

A sleeping bag liner provides additional warmth during cold weather, shields you from bugs and specks of dirt from outdoor sleeping surfaces so you can stay clean. However, most users prefer to insert it into the sleeping bag to help protect the sleeping bag from dirt that is hard to come off. 

Bugs, colds, and sleeping inconvenience can be a turn-off for some individuals who look forward to outdoor activities and exploring. A sleeping bag liner is an incredible addition to your backpack while going on hiking, camping, or traveling. It keeps your sleeping bag neat and curbs the entrance of insects into your sleeping bag. In cold weather, it acts as an additional layer of warmth in a hygienic form. Unlike a sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner is easy to put on, use, and clean. 

Sleeping bag liners can fit into backpacks since the materials they are made of are mostly lightweight, like silk and cotton.

They are normally fitted inside hiking beds, sleeping bags or used alone in an average weather condition to aid outdoor sleeping comfort and protection against bugs. 

Most sleeping bag users opt for it, as it helps to extend the lifespan of a sleeping bag while keeping it clean.  Due to its thin nature, it lies mildly against the sleeper’s skin, adding 5°F warmth to the sleeping bag. What more? It can be handily washed after use and dries immediately in preparation for the next use. 

Advantages of a Sleeping Bag Liner

1. The size and weight of a sleeping bag liner are beneficial to campers and travelers.

Most travellers want anything that can fit into their bag, nothing heavy, nothing extra. A sleeping bag liner can be folded like any regular cloth into traveling bags or backpacks. 

2. Sleeping bag liners are easy to clean.

Purchasing a sleeping bag is a big undertaking, and if you hope to use it for additional adventures in the future while maintaining its quality and neatness, then consider getting a sleeping bag liner. It curbs sweat and dirt from getting into your sleeping bag, just insert it into the sleeping bag. 

3. It also provides comfort and convenience when you find yourself in an uncomfortable environment.

A hotel you lodged in may be tacky, a hostel you intend to use might not have a neat bed for your comfort. In all of these scenarios, a sleeping bag liner is your best bet. 

4. One enormous advantage is that one sleeping bag liner can be used for all seasons, depending on the type you purchase.

In summer, it can be used without a sleeping bag, in Fall, it can be used with the sleeping bag as an extra cover layer in winter, spring, and fall.

For those who love the versatility and the comfort of their sleeping bags, you can always use them and still maintain them, the extra care and caution apply to the sleeping bag liner only, with an easy-peasy cleaning approach. 

5. With a sleeping bag liner, each camping preparation just became easy.

The thought of cleaning sweats and applying extra caution on sleeping bags while on a trip is eliminated. A sleeping bag liner just requires washing(which is easy) and drying, then inserted into your sleeping bag and you are good to go. Likewise, easy unpacking when you come back. Pull it out, wash and dry.

6. It is hygienic.

People who hate to sleep multiple times on the same bedsheets can use the sleeping bag liner as a makeshift while at home. While hiking or camping, it creates a barrier between you and public sheets or any surface you intend to lie on.

Even when using a sleeping bag, it creates a barrier between the sleeping bag and you, so the sleeping bag won’t absorb your sweat, or dirt accumulated during the day’s activities. 

Also, numerous individuals will utilize their sleeping bag numerous times without washing it, which can prompt the collection of body sweat and dirt. Liners eliminate this and keep your sleeping clean all the time.  

7.  It keeps you safe from bugs.

Sleeping bag liners add a layer of safety against bugs. In case you’re going to a place where bugs are dominant,  pick a silk liner as it will give you the best defense against bugs. When camping outdoors, it also safeguards you from crawling and flying insects.

Some of these insects can be infectious, a simple sleeping bag liner can serve as a safety measure. 

8. A sleeping bag liner helps you cut your budget.

While opting for low-cost lodging, there might not be a provision of towels and clean sheets for constant change. A lightweight liner and travel towel can take care of these issues and help you save money. 

Disadvantages of a Sleeping Bag Liner

While a sleeping bag liner helps to protect your sleeping bag and keep you comfortable, it also has its disadvantages, which are enumerated below: 

1. Can Be Fussy

Getting in and out of sleeping bag liners can be a chore, as some users have complained about the seam ripping upon the first usage due to the nature of the fabric. 

2. They take a long time to dry

Some sleeping bag liners are made with cotton and take a long time to dry when camping in average weather conditions.
If it unintentionally gets wet, it will take a while to get dried. 

Remember that a shaded liner will dry quicker than a light-hued one since it consumes a greater amount of the sun’s beams.

3. Can be heavy and thick

While some sleeping bag liners are thin, some come in a portable but heavy form.
This is due to the complaints producers get, they manufactured portable but heavy sleeping bag liners to stand the test of time.
The weight of it with an additional sleeping bag is a turn-off for most campers. 

4. They can be restrictive

Most times, the sleeping bag liner just has an opening at the top so except you lie in a straight log manner, it is extremely close and awkward.
For those who love to roll and spread their legs while sleeping, it might be a no-no, as there is no extra space for comfort upon usage. 

5. They can be hard to fold away again

Upon purchase, it might look simple to unfold, use, fold back, and tuck away,  but some sleeping bag liners are hard to fold and fit back into their brand bags, thereby causing a piece of extra luggage while travelling or worse of camping.

Despite its thin nature, the ones that don’t fit properly into their bags surprisingly occupy a lot of space in backpacks and add some weight too.
Except you are on a luxury journey, camping with a sleeping bag that won’t fold back into its pack is tasking. 

For very thin ones, a little cut while trying to fit into it is damage that cannot be fixed because the seam or fabric will keep ripping off due to the extension of the first cut. Eventually, there will be a need for replacement, even though the first one might not have served its purpose. 

It is also important to know your height and width so you can be on the lookout for an appropriate sleeping bag liner that will meet your needs.
Most sleeping bag liners have no additional space aside from the stated size in the product description. 

When Should You Use a Sleeping Bag Liner?

Aside from the protection of insects, dirt, and the lightweight nature of a sleeping bag, there are important times when a sleeping bag liner is extremely needed. 

First, you need the additional layer of a sleeping bag liner inserted into your sleeping bag in extremely cold weather. A sleeping bag liner can add substantial warmth in excess to your present sleeping bag. 

Like an additional cover on a bed, setting a liner inside your sleeping bag gives a layer of protection to help you stay at a warm temperature in extremely cold weather conditions. It provides a cosy feeling while you are relaxing in your sleeping bag. 

Temperature ratings are part of the product description of most premium sleeping bag liners. It helps you estimate how warm the sleeping bag liner will make you feel when you use it in a regular sleeping bag in cold weather.

For instance, if you have a 35° Fahrenheit sleeping bag that you’d prefer to use for outdoor activities during fall, you can decide to purchase a sleeping bag liner that can give you an additional warmth of about 20°F. This apt preparation will keep you warm and safe in extremely cold weather. 

Secondly, a thin sleeping bag requires a liner for extra warmth. There are cases when hikers just hit the road without sleeping bags, and prefer to rent to avoid carrying big backpacks. Having a sleeping bag liner to use is always how they save the day.

Most of these rented sleeping bags are thin and overused, it is advisable to go with your sleeping bag liner to slip into it before usage. 

Also, if you own a thin sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner is of utmost importance to protect you from cold. 

Why Should You Use a Sleeping Bag Liner

With many camping and travelling gears sold online and offline, including tips offered to outdoor enthusiasts, one of the most underrated terms and gear is the sleeping bag liner.

Below are some top reasons why you should use a sleeping bag liner:

  • Aside from increasing the quality of rest, you get when you use a sleeping bag liner when camping or on the move, it increases the lifespan of your sleeping bag. 
  • It can also be used during summer to keep you cool and safe from bugs when out on an adventure or travelling. 
  • To safeguard your sleeping bag, the liner creates a barrier between your body and the sleeping bag, thereby eliminating the need for your sleeping bag to absorb your sweat. 
  • A sleeping bag can be too warm to use during summer, slipping a liner inside provides coolness. 
  • If you are embarking on a journey to more than two locations, a sleeping bag liner is your guarantee that you will be safe in case a room is bug-ridden.
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