A camping sleep system isn’t all about the sleeping bag. It’s the small details that really start to add up making a major difference.
Unfortunately, a lot of us ignore all the benefits of a sleeping bag liner so that we can save a little cash. Liners aren’t just about protecting your sleeping bag from dirt, sweat and body oils. They also add an extra layer of warmth.
We all know that a thermally insulated liner (this is my favorite) is going to add a lot of warmth, but what about lighter options? How much warmth can you actually get from a lightweight silk sleeping bag liner?
Do Silk Sleeping Bag Liners Add Warmth?
Silk sleeping bag liners are used primarily in the fight against bed bugs, mosquitos, ticks, ants, fleas, chiggers, and midges. The fine weave is just too tight for most bugs to get through, but with such a lightweight design do you get any warmth?
Silk sleeping bag liners really don’t add all that much warmth to your sleeping bag. A liner that weighs between 100 to 200 grams and compresses down to the size of your fist isn’t going to offer much insulation. You’ll get about as much warmth as a typical bed sheet(1°-2° F).
That being said, silk does have one major benefit when battling the cold. Unlike cotton and microfiber, silk doesn’t get cold to the touch in freezing weather. It feels cool in the summer and warm in the winter making it the perfect complement to your already optimized sleep system.
Why Should I Buy a Silk Liner if It Doesn’t Add Warmth?
Have you ever slept on silk? There’s a reason why silk is associated with royalty. It’s luxuriously soft, breathable and incredibly lightweight making it perfect for backpacking. Silk is so much lighter than cotton and most of the synthetic fabrics.
The main reason why people choose silk liners is because it offers extra protection against bugs when staying in hotels/hostels with questionable cleanliness. Get bit up by bed bugs once and you’ll be on Amazon looking for silk liners.
You’re going to spend a little bit of money on a real silk sleeping bag liner, but it’s so worth it(close to $60). Make sure you watch out for liners labeled as silk-like because they won’t offer the same level of protection against bugs.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Cocoon Brand Silk MummyLiner (On Amazon). It feels soft against your skin and really responds to changing temperatures. I’ve really put my Cocoon liner through the paces with minimal damage.