Travel can take us to many places. Sometimes it takes us to places with hygiene standards different from our own. If you’ve ever wondered about crawling in between those supposedly “clean” sheets, then a sleeping bag liner may be for you. Sleeping bag liners, also known as a sleep sacks, are a large sheet sewn up like a sleeping bag. They come in rectangular or mummy shapes. Some come with pillow compartments, and some don’t. They are occasionally required by hostels, but are also useful in any facility where you might not trust the cleanliness of the sheets. They are also a very nice luxury for hotels with pilled or threadbare sheets. In addition, I’ve found that sleep sacks are a superior substitute for blankets on long-haul airplane flights. Not only are they warmer, but they offer more privacy. Sleep sacks are also useful when stranded overnight at an airport. They act as a portable “sleeping bag” when no beds are available.
I have used different types of sleep sacks through the years. Cotton, flannel, fleece, I’ve tried them all. I was unhappy with their bulk and weight. A friend recommended a silk sleeping bag liner – specifically, the Cocoon Silk Travel Sheet. I bought one and have traveled with it for over 5 years. I am thrilled with its performance.
The travel sheet is very thin silk material that is sewn together like a sleeping bag. It has an attached pillow pocket that I’ve found very useful. The pocket keeps the pillow from escaping when sleeping in strange positions, such as airport benches, airplane seats, and even sagging cots. The liner is a rectangular shape to maximize room. It is the same size as a single sized mattress. The thin silk is what really makes this liner work. In typical silk fashion, it is cool in warm conditions and warm in cool conditions. In warm weather I use it alone like a sleeping bag. In cool weather I find that it adds several degrees of warmth to my sleeping bag/blankets. The silk material makes washing the liner easy. Due to the thinness of the material, it dries in just a few hours. The material also allows the liner to roll up very small – about the size of my fist. This is significantly smaller than any other fabric. Lastly, silk is the lightest material out there. The liner and stuff sack weigh less than 6 ounces. Other types of liners can weigh over a pound!
There are few negative things to say about this product. The velcro closure can sometimes stick to you, which is annoying. It is also hard to tell which side is out. The last negative thing about this liner is the price. It is silk, so it is expensive – around $60 US. Fortunately, The liner is a quality item that is used year after year. As I stated previously, mine has survived several years of use. Consider this as an investment piece for your travel gear.
Not everyone needs a sleep sack for their travels. If however, you do need one, I can highly recommend the Cocoon Travel Sheet.