CAMPING & HIKING

DIY Sleeping Bag Liner: Make It Yours to Sleep Better

DIY Sleeping Bag Liner
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Do you like camping and outdoor adventures? Sleeping outside and spending time in nature is one of the most interesting times during a camping trip. But in order to enjoy your time outside, you need to make sure that you are using the most appropriate gear to ensure the success of your trip and your safety and comfort. But your trip can be even more interesting if you know how to make your own DIY sleeping bag liner. Of course, you can find cheap sleeping bag liners at different stores but making your own camping gear is something else.

We live in a world where we are always trying to make the best of everything. Do you really trust the products sold in stores? Of course, there are some high-quality products sold and offered and different price ranges and sometimes making your own gear is not even an option. But why not save some money, have fun and make your own sleeping bag liner using the materials that you prefer?

Making your DIY sleeping bag liner is not really tough. It is quite easy if you know how to use the right steps and materials.

Why Do You Need a Sleeping Bag Liner

A sleeping bag liner is one of the least valued items in your camping gear although it is one of the most important things to pack. A lot of people think of the sleeping bag liner as an unimportant accessory but this not true.

Sleeping Bags with Liners

A sleeping bag liner is highly packable and extremely light. It will not add weight to your camping bag and practically fit anywhere. You can easily add it to any packing bag.

Temperature

At the same time, a sleeping bag liner can add a lot of warmth to your night outside. Sleeping directly in your sleeping bag will not give you the warmth you need for a cold night in the mountains or the park. But since there is no room for blankets or duvets in your camping bag, a sleeping liner will be a must have. This means that you will not have to worry about carrying different covers or sheets to keep you warm on a night outside.

Hygiene

A liner also has a great hygiene benefit. Sleeping directly in the sleeping bag is like sleeping in a bed directly on the mattress without any sheets or covers for some time. As we sleep sweat and dead skin cells get rubbed against the insides of our sleeping bags. Over time these substances can smell and cause a lot of skin and respiratory related problems when they stay in touch with our skin.

Sleeping bag liners protect the insides of your sleeping bag against perspiration, condensation, and contamination. You can easily remove the liner after each trip to wash it and dry it in no time.

Do you love camping but not interesting in some nasty bites? A sleeping bag liner can help you. It will protect you against crawling and biting insects. You can easily secure it to protect your body and the insides of the bag as well.

Alps liner

A liner can be easily removed and washed, unlike the entire sleeping bag. In the case of a drink spill or some nasty squashed insect, it will be very easy to remove the liner and clean it. It can also give you that extra warmth or cool while sleeping outside, depending on the fabric you are using. The liner can also be used instead of an ordinary sleeping bag when it is really hot. You can even wash it in the morning if it gets dirty and hang it to dry so that it is ready to use before night.

As a matter of fact, because your sleeping bag liner can protect your sleeping bag and lengthen its life. Because your skin will never get in touch with your sleeping bag fabric, it will always stay safe and healthy.

This is why you need to make sure that you have a high-quality sleeping bag liner that can be easily washed and cleaned so that it stays healthy and safe to use.

Do I Need To Buy A Sleeping Bag Liner Or Better Make My Own?

It is not all rainbow and butterflies when you are considering buying a sleeping bag. When you are shopping for a certain item, like a sleeping bag liner, you actually have no power over whatever is available for purchase. You will have the chance to research and search the market but at the end of the day, you will buy the fabric and the pattern that is available for sale.

Sleeping Bag Liner

Image credit: dadvswild.com

This means that you can’t really make sure that your sleeping bag liner is made the way you want it to be. You will have no power over the quality of the item you bought. The only way to make sure that you have bought a durable product is to actually test it.

You will not be the only one who has ever bought a faulty product. A lot of people buy things that prove to be a failure when they start to use them. For example, you might buy a very good looking sleeping bag liner that is not designed to be washed. If your sleeping bag liner is very hard to clean or maintain, it will be the least hygienic product ever.

Imagine having all the sweat, dead skin cells and whatever microorganisms that might slip into your sleeping bag from the dust or the air. All this is kept in a closed area for until you decide to use your sleeping bag again. It is not a pretty sight. Bacteria, fungi, and mold need moisture to grow. Unless your sleeping bag liner is very easy to remove and clean, it will be useless and a big waste of money.

Best sleeping bag liner

Image credit: greenbelly.co

For all these reasons and so much more, a lot of people think about making their own sleeping bag liner instead of buying one. You will have full control over the budget, the fabric and even the pattern you will choose.

What to Consider When You Decide To Make Your Own Sleeping Bag Liner?

Making your own sleeping bag liner versus buying one has its pros and cons. DIY projects are great of course, but before making such a decision there are a few things that you should take into consideration before deciding to make your own sleeping bag liner.

Temperature

Do you usually go camping in the summer or in winter? This will have an effect on the materials used to make your DIY sleeping bag liner. Micro fleece or standard fleece is great to keep you warm on those cold nights in the mountain. Using such warm fabrics as your sleeping bag liner can keep you warm during the night and even prevent the need to use multiple covers. It can also keep you cool at night, or even be used instead of a sleeping bag altogether.

Winter Camping

If you usually tend to go camping in summer, you can use silk or other cold fabric that will keep you cool during sweaty hot nights and would still protect you against the elements.

Budget

To make your DIY sleeping bag liner, you will have to some cash to get the needed materials and tools. Does the price of these items exceed the price you pay for a ready-made sleeping bag liner? This is something that you will have to decide upon comparing the prices of different items and the fabric you are most likely to use in your DIY project.

As a rule of thumb, your DIY sleeping bag liner will probably cost way less than what you will pay for a product you bought at the store. At the same time, you can control the quality of the fabric and choose one the better suits your needs.

Your Skills

Making your own sleeping bag liner is relatively easy but not something that you can finish in a couple of minutes. Do you really have the time and skills needed to finish such a project? Doing a DIY project can be really fun but if you don’t really have the time or the skills to finish it, it will be a frustrating waste of time.

Making your own sleeping bag liner will take about an hour to finish and a lot less if you are going to use a sewing machine. This is probably the time that you will need to hit the store and buy a ready-made one.

You should have the time, the patience and the sensitive hand in order to make a good and useful sleeping bag liner. Make sure that you have a sharp pair of scissors and the careful eye to cut your fabric precisely where you need it to be cut. You don’t need to have a sewing machine, although it will save your time and effort big time. You can always borrow one or stick to the old needle and thread. The choice is all yours.

How to make your own DIY sleeping bag liner

Making your own DIY sleeping bag liner is quite easy. Here are the materials and tools you need to make a wonderful liner:

  • 2 meters of fiber, you can choose micro fleece fiber because is light weight and compact or silk to keep you feeling cool. Choose a solid pattern or a funky pattern; this is one of the perks of making your own sleeping bag liner.
  • Sewing machine or a manual sewing kit if you don’t have a machine.
  • Pins to stabilize your fabric.
  • Plastic zipper, open or close ended.
  • Fabric pencil.

Making your DIY sleeping bag liner allows you to pick up the pattern, thickness and nature of the fabric.

Handmade Sleeping Bag Liner

Here are the easy steps to make your sleeping liner bag.

  1. You need to fold the fabric length wise with the pattern of the fabric facing the inside so that you can fit it into your sleeping bag.
  2. Trace the outlines of your sleeping bag using a fabric pencil or a marker that won’t bleed through the fabric. Leave 2 or 3 inches on each side for the seams.
  3. Now cut the folded side. This will be so much easier to sew it together to line your sleeping bag.
  4. Pin one side of the fabric and then stitch using a loose stitch. You can either use a sewing machine or your needle because you will be removing the thread later on.
  5. After securing one side, open your fabric and butterfly the seam along the full length of the fabric.
  6. At this point, it is time to attach the zipper. You can decide where you want to place the zipper and its length.
  7. Place the zipper 6 or 7 inches away from the top of the fabric.
  8. Spread the seam and place the zipper face down along the butterfly seam that you have previously created.
  9. Pin it and then sew it in place along both sides of the seam.
  10. Now you can remove the loose stitch from Step 4. Use a pair of sharp scissors, a seam ripper or a Swiss knife if you don’t have access to such tools.
  11. Make the right side of the liner facing in and pin the open edges from the side and bottom of the liner.
  12. Sew these seams as well. You sleeping bag liner is almost ready to use.
  13. You can add a drawstring at the top of the sleeping bag liner to keep the cold away at night. You can do this by folding enough material to insert the drawstring but this is entirely optional.
  14. When you are done, pull the pattern so that is facing out and you are done.

Conclusion

You can easily make your own DIY sleeping bag liner to save money and choose the pattern that you find most appropriate. The steps are relatively easy and this can turn to be a fun group project. Make matching or really funky liners that will stand out from the generic products available for sale. Just give it an hour of your time and you’ll be good to go.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.