Are Sleeping Bag Liners Worth It?

Sleeping bag liners offer a practical solution to keeping sleeping bags clean and hygienic when camping or backpacking.

Snugpak Sleeping Bag Liners

Sleeping Bag Liners

Whether camping, hiking or bike touring, if you look after your kit then your kit will look after you. Sleeping bag liners fall neatly into this category, protecting your sleeping bag and thus enabling it to last longer.

Sleeping bag liners are lightweight, protective layers designed to be inserted inside a sleeping bag. They serve as a barrier between the sleeper and the sleeping bag itself, offering multiple benefits which vary based on the liner's material and design.

The primary purpose of sleeping bag liners is to enhance the comfort and functionality of sleeping bags. They provide hygiene, additional warmth, and versatility. Moreover, they can prolong the life of the sleeping bag by protecting it from wear and tear.

Why I Use Sleeping Bag Liners For Travel

Most of the travel I do which needs a sleeping bag is to do with camping when bicycle touring. When you have to carry everything on your bike, you have to think hard about what items to take, but one item that never gets left behind is my sleeping bag liner.

I’ve currently got a relatively cheap silk sleeping bag liner from Decathlon, but there are plenty of other types to choose from.

Fleece Liners

Fleece liners are known for their exceptional warmth. They are ideal for colder environments, adding significant insulation to a sleeping bag.

Silk Liners

Silk liners are lightweight, compact, and offer a smooth, luxurious feel. They are perfect for adding a bit of warmth and enhancing the sleeping bag's comfort without much additional bulk.

Cotton Liners

Cotton liners are popular for their affordability and comfort. They are breathable and ideal for use in moderate climates. However, they can be bulkier and heavier compared to silk or fleece options.

Advantages of Using Sleeping Bag Liners

Bag liners are a versatile piece of travel gear, but often overlooked even by experienced travellers. Their primary function, is to act as a separate layer between you and your sleeping bag.

This way, the inside of your sleeping bag will stay clean and odour free. It is also a lot easier to wash and dry a sleeping bag liner as your travel, than the sleeping bag itself.

Their secondary functions include acting as a thin sheet when the temperature is too warm for a full sleeping bag, and to sleep in when staying in hostels or cheap hotels.

If you have ever stayed in a cheap hotel or hostel, you will know just how questionable some beds and mattresses are when it comes to cleanliness!

The sleeping bag liner acts as a protective cocoon, and you can simply wash it before you leave. Check out the video below of a cheap hotel room – I definitely needed my sleeping bag liner here!

Reasons to use sleeping bag liners

Improved Hygiene and Cleanliness

  1. Protection Against Dirt, Sweat, and Body Oils: Liners shield the sleeping bag from direct contact with the body, thereby reducing the accumulation of dirt and oils.
  2. Easy Cleaning and Maintenance: Liners can be easily removed and washed, which is much simpler than cleaning the entire sleeping bag.

Enhanced Insulation and Warmth

  1. Added Layer to Trap Heat Inside the Sleeping Bag: Liners can provide an additional layer of insulation, making a significant difference in warmth.
  2. Suitable for Colder Temperatures or Lightweight Bags: They are especially useful for extending the seasonality of a lighter sleeping bag.

Versatility and Adaptability

  1. Can be Used as Standalone Bedding in Warm Weather: In hot climates, a liner might be all you need for sleeping.
  2. Can Also Serve as a Travel Sheet or Hostel Bedding Option: They are excellent for travelers who need a lightweight and hygienic bedding option on the go.

One final note – Don't be put off by the perceived extra cost or weight of adding a sleeping bag liner to your travel gear. It really will protect your sleeping bag, and extend its use life, saving you money in the long run.

Planning on planning a cycle camping trip? You might also be interested in these other blog posts:


Sleeping bag liners are essential travel and adventure gear for anyone considering sleeping out in the great outdoors. Read the full article to find out why you should add one to your camping gear list now!


Best sleeping bag liners FAQ

Readers who are considering which ultralight sleeping bag liner to include with their travel accessories on a camping trip, often ask questions similar to:

Is it worth getting a sleeping bag liner?

A liner for sleeping bags has many benefits that long term travelers will come to appreciate. These include adding a layer of extra warmth in cold weather, keeping sleeping bags cleaner and less smell, and they are also useful to sleep in by themselves in warm weather.

What is the best fabric for a sleeping bag liner?

Silk sleeping bag liners are considered to be the best in the game. The help add extra insulation in the winter, are breathable in warmer weather, and pack down small with the help of a stuff sack.

Why do people use sleeping bag liners?

Some of the reasons to use silk liners are that they help keep the sleeping bag clean, they are thermally efficient, quick drying, and some can also act as an insect shield.

How many degrees of warmth does a sleeping bag liner add?

Sleeping bag liners can add an extra degree or two of warmth to a sleeping bag, depending on the material that they are made of. Silk sleeping bag liners are considered to be the most thermally efficient.

3 thoughts on “Are Sleeping Bag Liners Worth It?”

  1. A very useful item indeed! I’ve had a silk one for ages – a rectangular one, which offers more leg space. I always carry it, along with a travel towel, when I need to save space and weight.


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