Benefits of a Sleeping Bag Liner

Blue sleeping bag with red and black liner inside

If you have a sleeping bag, you can benefit from a sleeping bag liner. Liners are simple in their design – so simple, in fact, that some people underrate their importance. The benefits of a sleeping bag liner include:

The material of a bag liner determines its weight, comfort and cost. Liners also come in different shapes to fit different needs


Depending on the material, a liner can add as much as 15 degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag. Insulated liners promise to increase your bag’s abilities by up to 25 degrees. In this way, a liner gives you versatility by allowing you to use your bag in a wider range of conditions than the temperature rating might suggest.


Liner materials often feel more comfortable against the skin than the nylon interior of some sleeping bags. Because liners are available in different materials, you can choose which one feels best to you.


Silk – renowned for comfort, silk makes luxurious and lightweight liners. It breathes well in warm conditions. Silk liners range from moderately priced to costly.

Cotton – cotton is soft, lightweight and comfortable, especially in warmer conditions. Its absorbent nature helps manage moisture inside the bag. Cotton is not recommended for cold or wet conditions. Cotton liners are very affordable.

Wool – wool was the preferred fiber for outdoor activities for many years due to its superior ability to insulate, even when wet. Wool also breathes in warmer temperatures. Wool liners can be expensive.

Synthetic fibers – synthetic (fleece, microfiber, insulated) liners can have moisture-wicking, stretchy, breathable or insulating properties. They range in price depending on the specific characteristics of the fibers.

Life expectancy

A liner protects the interior of your sleeping bag from sweat, sunscreen, body oils, dirt and mud. With this protection in place, you can launder your bag less, which means that it will last longer.

Traveling Companion

Savvy travelers use sleeping bag liners for warmth but also to maintain cleanliness in unpredictable conditions and locations. 


Liners come in several shapes to fit common sleeping bag configurations.

Mummy – these liners are constructed to be compatible with the classic shape of many backpacking sleeping bags. They taper from the shoulders to the footbox.

Rectangular – these liners are versatile. They fit camping-style, rectangular sleeping bags but this roomy shape is also the standard choice for travelers who want to use them for hotel or hostel beds.

Double-wide – these liners are designed to fit two-person sleeping bags.

The Takeaway

Liners provide a range of benefits including more warmth, more comfort and a cleaner, longer-lasting sleeping bag. They can also be used on their own to give you peace of mind when sleeping in adventurous locations. Recognizing the value of liners, many sleeping bags feature interior loops to hold a liner in place.

After all the time and money you invested in your sleeping bag, it’s certainly worth the easy step of adding a bag liner.

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Questions? Talk to a gear specialist.