Do I Need a Sleeping Bag Liner?

Everyone always tells you to pack a sleeping bag liner on your backpacking and camping trips, but do you really need one?

Adding Warmth

Sleeping bag liners do add extra warmth to your sleeping bag during colder nights. They can add up to one season to your existing sleeping bag, for example if you currently only a warm sleeping bag a liner can transform your bag into a cool weather sleeping bag. However, with extra warmth comes an extra cost, extra camping gear, and extra weight.

If your only concern is warmth, a sleeping bag liner is not necessary if you purchase the correct sleeping bag for your needs. When you purchase a sleeping bag, ensure that you purchase a bag for the coldest temperature that you will be camping in and if you tend to get cold at night purchase a bag with a 5° to 10° higher rating than you think you will need.

Keeping Your Bag Clean

Sleeping bag liners are also useful for keeping your bag cleaner. The liner acts as a layer between you and your sleeping bag and wicks away moisture and sweat. With a sleeping bag liner, you can remove the liner and throw it in the wash, which means you can wash your sleeping bag less. However, having a removable sleeping bag liner can also be awkward and uncomfortable. Once a liner is set up in a bag, they often move once you crawl into your sleeping bag and during the night.

There are other ways to keep your sleeping bag clean without having to add the extra weight of a sleeping bag liner. Changing into clean clothes before you crawl into your sleeping bag and avoiding sleeping directly on the ground with your bag with eliminate the need for frequent washing of your bag without a liner. However, Coleman sleeping bags are commercial machine washable, which makes washing easy!

Overall, a sleeping bag liner will add to the cost, weight and baggage of your camping trip. There are no disadvantages to not having a sleeping bag liner and the benefits you can receive from a sleeping bag can be achieved in other cost efficient ways!