Sleeping Bag Liner PatternA good sleeping bag liner is an essential piece of camping equipment that should be selected with care.
A liner can add about 15 to 20 degrees of warmth to a sleeping bag liner, but an uncomfortable one can spoil a camping trip. Sleeping bag liner of several different materials are available, and each kind has its pros and cons. Without some background knowledge, a shopper can become hopelessly confused. It helps to know a little bit about the popular materials used in making sleeping bag liner and what each one has to offer.
sleeping bag liner – details
There are a several important factors to be considered in selecting a good sleeping bag liner.
Since this is the part of the sleeping bag liner that actually comes into contact with the sleeper, the dispersal of body moisture during sleep is an important consideration. Ideally, one wants a liner made of a material that will absorb perspiration well while allowing it to evaporate quickly. A sleeping bag liner without these qualities would soak up too much moisture without letting it evaporate efficiently, becoming uncomfortably damp after a few hours.
Some sleeping bag liner are made of polyester, but this material does not absorb moisture. For some people this is not so important, since campers generally wear some sort of clothing while sleeping, anyway. These campers feel that their clothing provides sufficient wicking of perspiration, especially in colder locations. However, this is a minority opinion, and sleeping bag liner of pure polyester have not gotten great reviews. A more popular compromise is a blend of cotton and polyester, which provides some wicking capability along with some of the other advantages of synthetic fibers.
There are sleeping bag liner on the market that are made of pure cotton, which is popular with some campers. However, cotton is really too fond of water, and tends to absorb it and then hold it, allowing only slow evaporation. Because of this, some campers in warm locations have found their sleeping bag liner soaked and uncomfortable by the end of the night. Again, a blend of cotton and polyester may offer a good compromise, offering just the right amount of moisture absorption.
Some of the more expensive sleeping bag liner is made of silk. Since this material will absorb moisture well and allow it to evaporate quickly, some campers consider it the most comfortable of the possibilities. It should be noted that this is definitely a high-end product, and campers who only camp occasionally may want to consider a cheaper material.
Another important factor in selecting a sleeping bag liner is the slickness of the material, and here it becomes a matter of individual preference.
Some people prefer a slick sleeping bag liner because it won’t catch on buttons and other clothing items, a problem that can cause the bag to become twisted around the sleeper. The material that has the slickest texture is silk, but as we have already noted, the price may make this prohibitive for some.
On the other hand, some campers prefer a sleeping bag liner that is less slick because they don’t like to slide around inside the bag. For these people, a rougher material such as cotton or fleece is better.
Something else to consider is the ease of cleaning. Some materials come clean more easily than others, which can be very important after long camping trips. Here again, the material’s ability to let water evaporate becomes an important factor, since it will determine how long the sleeping bag liner must be laid out in order to get completely dry and usable again.
sleeping bag liner
Human-made fibers like polyester and nylon wash well, and since they do not absorb water well, drying time is very short. However, as we have seen, these materials have other disadvantages. Once again, a blend of polyester and cotton may offer the best of both worlds.
Silk tend to hold stains and therefore does not wash as well as some other materials, but it dries more quickly than cotton.
Of all the materials used for sleeping bag liner, cotton is the one that loses water most slowly. Even when the liner is placed in direct sunlight, it may take several hours to dry. Because of this, the washing should be done early in the day to allow sufficient time for drying.
Regardless of the material, a sleeping bag liner of a darker color will dry out more quickly in the sun than one of a lighter color. This is because darker colors tend to absorb more sunlight, therefore warming up and losing their moisture more quickly.
Durability is a factor that will be more important to some than others. Occasional campers might be willing to accept a less durable fabric because it costs less, while a more frequent camper might consider the extra durability worth the price.
While silk is considered the more high-end fabric for sleeping bag liner, it is notoriously prone to ripping. Even a sharp toenail can penetrate a silk liner, so campers are advised to wear socks when sleeping in one. Some people consider the softness of silk to be worth the risk, while others prefer to go with cotton instead. Cotton is not particularly durable either, but at least it can be replaced more cheaply than silk. The most rip-resistant materials are the synthetics, and the blends also rate highly in this category since their synthetic fiber content gives them additional strength.
Another important thing to think about is the bulkiness and weight of the liner material. Some materials need to be thick to achieve sufficient insulation, which adds to the size and weight of a camper’s load. Because of this, lighter and less bulky materials are probably better choices for Sleeping Bag Liner.
For all of its popularity and cheapness, cotton is a relatively bulky fiber. A synthetic material or a blend will give the same degree of insulation with less size and weight. Silk is less bulky and provides great insulation, but still has the disadvantage of being fragile.