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Discussion in 'Shelter & Sleeping' started by Sub5mango, Nov 28, 2019.
At £50 are silk liners worth the extra expense over poly cotton at £10?
If it's to give you an extra 5˚C on the warmth of your bag, then yes....depending on the quality of the silk that is.
If it's just to keep your bag clean, then the polycotton's fine.
I don't know how much extra warmth the polycotton will give, again I suspect it depends on the quality of the fabric. £10 of polycotton is a lot of fabric, which suggests that it's not much top knotch stuff. 3m or so for around a tenner, unless you buy from Poundfabrics, but that's sort of the size you'd need to make a liner. Might get away with two, if it's 60" wide, 48, you'd need at least three.
A friend of mine who walks pilgrim trails in Europe and sleeping mainly in hostels swears by silk liners as they repel bed bugs. Apparently it is the slickness they don't like so synthetic materials may be as good for this.
I personally dislike getting tangled in liners and avoid using them in bags, but I do use a polycotton liner on its own in hot weather to keep the bugs off.
Hadn't thought about the bedbug aspect. I admit that I loathed the liner for just the reason you gave. In the end I tack stitched it into my sleeping bag for Winter/Spring, and took it out to use on it's own in Summer.
Biggest problem I found with the silk was that ordinary washing causes it to decay pretty rapidly. One of my friends ended up with hers literally in shreds.
I used to use Silk inner I=summer time. Very nice, but needs to be hand washed.
One aspect I liked is the slipperiness of it. Easy to turn inside the bag. Also nice and cool.
Cotton ( flannel0 innerbag in winter. Mom made me one.
Too tangly and a right hassle gettting in and out. We had cotton versions on our narrowboat hols as kids that were horrible things. Since then I got into hammocking and wanted an extra layer so I bought a JagBag silk liner. It was worse, for me personally, I’d rather up my bag rating than faff about getting into tangly stuff.
Mango, you need to ask yourself what you’re trying to gain. If it’s a down bag hygiene thing, then look to Velcro or pop stud it in. If it’s extra insulation, well, forget it, wear some long johns or whatever. If it’s part of your bivibag setup, you’re gonna pee the bed before you get out.
I’ve just looked at the prices! Jeez, £50 notes. I got my JagBag off the Bay for about £20 thinking it would be a handy upgrade for colder weather. What a hassle, used it once, sold it to my mate @Diamond Dave I think. Hello Dave.
Gotta get him in more, he’s a lovable chap, like a old Labrador that farts all the time and has his own armchair.
Personally I'd rather take a wool blanket to put over the top of me than use a liner. Yes a good set of thermals and socks to sleep in are much better than a pesky tangle toe liner!
Putting a blanket on top of a down s. bag can lower the efficiency. Compresses the down.
The main benefit with a liner is that your s. bag is kept clean.
Washing will lower the efficiency. Specially with a down one.
I do not think a liner does much improving the rating to be frank.
A good silk one does, +5˚C according to the research, but it's still a wriggle and a tangle at times. That's why I sewed mine into the sleeping bag. I basically just joined seam to seam with tacking stitches.
As you said though, down compresses, but there's still a comfort of a blanket over the top of everything, especially one that's warm in itself. Not everyone has, or likes, a down sleeping bag. I know I don't. The smell gets to me. Nowadays feathers always have a miasma of something I find repugnant.
Maybe not over a down bag but it works well with a synthetic one. I have both and only use a blanket on the synthetic bag.
It makes more sense to wear a good set of thermals in a down bag rather than a liner. Merino (if you don't find it itchy as I do) is best, but even a good set of synthetic thermals will work ok.
Weird, I think/feel that silk ‘cools’!
Could it be that the inner fabric is synthetic, and you get the same effect ( smell) as with synthetic clothes?
Yes, WG, I itch too with wool.
In minus I wear cotton longjohns and long sleeved T-shirt, but only cotton boxers and short sleeved cotton t shirt in summer.
My body is fine with cold, but not with heat. Just the way I am. What I wear should not be seen as Gospel as it is not ‘normal’.
I differ about one jumper from the rest of my family.
( hate the heat here. I can only be in shade, and can maximum spend 30-40 minutes outside before I have to go inside where we have AC 24/7, 71 F and humidity of 45%. That is the reason for me spending more and more time in the Arctic)
Put a blanket over your down phart-sack as a wind-cutter.
No, the mass per square meter will not compress the down loft to any serious measure.
If the bag does seem thinned, into the dryer on "air-fluff" with a pair of trainers to poke and prod the compaction.
I had a cotton bag liner = I was forever getting twisted up in the thing.
I've got some old wool blankets (white, with blue trim and name tags sewed in!). They seem so heavy and bulky to carry into the woods.
How do you tell a good silk one from a bad silk one?
Been using a Rab silk liner for about 10 years, can't say I have had any issues with being tangled up. It has been hard wearing, with the silk just starting to give way at the stitching near the top, but that is due to my use rather than the product. Which reminds me, must be on the look out for a replacement.
The talk of tangling has always confused me - it's not my experience at all. I have a silk liner I've used for years, and I wouldn't be without it. It's saved many a cold night, especially with my lightweight summer bag.
I suppose it all depends on how much you move around and what you wear. Try it out on non-silk liner and see if you can live with that. If that works out, I think the silk ones are worth the money.
Thanks. I looked at the rab one but it seemed several cm's narrower at the shoulders/chest than the others.
Thanks. I tried it with a fleece one and didn't get tangled.
Silk comes in many grades, many thicknesses. You don't want one so thin that you can pull at the fabric and the threads spread apart (usually used for ladies fine scarves, the cheap ones. Expensive ones like Liberty are superb and literally last a lifetime but way out of the budget for a sleeping bag liner) and you don't want one so thick and heavy that it just about doubles the weight of your bag.....even if that makes a truly brilliant liner
If the fabric feels sound, if it doesn't pull, distort or look like it'll shred at the seams, then you're onto a good start.
If it feels tacky, sort of, kind of grippy, then it's most likely been sized (not the physical proportions, but a washed, sprayed or brushed on treatment) to give body to the fabric. I'd avoid that.
If it feels gently warm when you wrap it around your fingers, that's a good sign.
If the seams aren't puckered, aren't fraying, that's another good sign.
If it's all those good things and it's twill woven, then that's better yet.
I can't teach someone to recognise 'quality' in a fabric, I can only give guidelines to help on the way.
Recommendations from folks who have actually bought and used them is probably the best way we can help.
For the record, I made my own (got a bargain on the silk, if at normal prices it ought to have cost me around £80) to fit me and my sleeping bag, but I did buy one of the cheap ones from Lidl's, cost me around a tenner, and it was surprisingly good. Not quite as warm as the one I made for myself, but still very sound, especially for the price I paid.
The one I had before that was bought twenty five years ago from Black's in Glasgow and I haven't a clue what make it was. It lasted really well, and ended up going with a friend who was was hitch hiking across southern Europe and around the Adriatic.
You could buy a cheap polyester sheet for under a fiver, make up a bag to fit your sleeping bag and try it out. Might surprise you just how effective it can be. Cheap polyester sheets pill and fade, go thin very quickly (used them at a friend's holiday cottage) but they can be warm.
Thanks for a great in depth reply! The one I am considering is by Rab. £55 reduced to £40. Mountainwarehouse also have one reduced from £120 to £50.