Winter and cold-weather camping is still far from over in most parts of the country. So if you’re done being stuck in the house and are ready to spend a few nights out of doors, then don’t be afraid of a little cold! Grab a winter camping tent, a warm synthetic sleeping bag, and one of these cozy sleeping bag liners to give that bag’s temperature rating a much needed boost!
Why Use a Sleeping Bag Liner?
Right about now, you might be wondering why you’d want to bother buying a sleeping bag liner when you could just buy a warmer bag. Fair question. And if you spend a lot of time winter camping, buying a 0ºF bag or warmer in addition to a warmer-weather bag like one in the 35º-50º range might be your best bet. After all, a good night’s sleep is vital to enjoying time in the outdoors.
But if you’re only an infrequent winter camper, a sleeping bag meant for extreme temps might be overkill. In addition to taking up space in your gear closet, cold weather bags also tend to be more expensive than less insulating bags, so you’re gonna end up dropping a lot of cash to outfit yourself with all the different bags you need.
A better solution? Buy a bag liner. They’re cheaper, they take up less space, and they extend the usability of the sleeping bag you already have! Some can even increase your bag’s temperature rating by over 30º! BTW, if you haven’t read our post demystifying sleeping bag temperature ratings, you definitely should. It’s craziness.
So here are a few sleeping bag liners that will help you sleep warm on your next winter camping excursion whether it’s close to home or miles into the backcountry.
Sleeping Bag Liners
Need the most warmth in the shortest amount of time? Ignik has you covered with this electric sleeping bag liner. That’s right, this bag has heating elements at the chest and feet so that when you plug it into a 12V power source or 5V battery pack with a USB adapter and push power, electric heat warms you up without being hot to the touch. It’s capable of warming your sleeping bag by 20ºF.
It’s best for car camping as opposed to ultralight backpacking since it weighs a bit more at 1.2 lbs, but as long as you have a way to power it (might we recommend the baller Goal Zero Yeti 500X), you can stay cozy all night long. Order the Ignik Heated Sleeping Bag Liner from REI here.
Sea To Summit
Sea To Summit has a full line of sleeping bag liners to suit whatever your camping needs might be! The Thermolite Reactor Liner adds around 14ºF to your sleep setup, the Thermolite Reactor Compact Plus adds 20ºF while the Extreme version adds and extra 5ºF. The Thermolite Reactor Fleece Liner takes the cake, however, by adding up to 32ºF of warmth to your sleeping bag.
These liners are designed for camping or backpacking and are on the lighter side. The heaviest and warmest weighs 14.8 oz and the lightest only 8.7 oz. Find them all on Seas to Summit’s site here (just avoid any with silk if you’re vegan).
Big Agnes Sleeping Bag Liner
It makes sense that this quality outdoor gear brand would make a liner to accompany their bags. And this quilted, insulated liner is no joke. It adds 10-15ºF to any bag (not just Big Agnes bags) and packs up into a tidy little bundle. Plus, it only weighs 9 oz, so it’s useful for camping or backpacking.
Find the Big Agnes Liner on Backcountry here.
Other Sleeping Bag Liners
Of course, there are other sleeping bag liners out there like this Therm-a-Rest or Alps Mountaineering liner or Klymit Nest, but if the product doesn’t state how much warmer it makes your bag, or it does but the temperature boost is only 5ºF, well, we don’t really see the point. Not if you’re trying to stay warm, that is.
You don’t always have to go out and buy a new sleeping bag for winter camping; sometimes all it takes is a liner to extend the range of the sleeping bag you already have. Plus, a liner makes an excellent lightweight warm-weather bag for those hot summer nights. And multi-taskers are always a win! Now get out there, sleep warm, and wander on!
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Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. alishamcdarris.com