Crawling into a cozy silk sleeping bag liner after a long day on the bike is one of the wonderful pleasures of touring. Equally memorable, for all the wrong reasons, is a sleepless, freezing night because your silk sleeping bag liner just wasn’t up to the job.
Every silk sleeping bag liner comes with a temperature rating and you should get one to match your touring destination and the season. If you only plan to tour during the summer, you can go with something relatively light but don’t skimp too much. Cold weather can roll in without warning and summer is also the ideal time to explore cooler mountain areas. Get a silk sleeping bag liner that’s rated for temperatures a few degrees below what you expect to encounter. Some silk sleeping bag liners are regular, others are a ‘mummy’ shape that tapers at the feet. We like the coziness of the ‘mummy’ style silk sleeping bag liner but some people find them too constrictive. Silk sleeping bag liner also comes in different widths and lengths and it can be hard to judge which size you need from the internet. It’s worth going to your local camping shop and trying a few silk sleeping bag liners to get an idea of what feels good to you.
Last, but not least, make sure you have room to pack away your new silk sleeping bag liner in your bike panniers or trailer. All but the silk sleeping bag liner should be compact enough. Ideally, your silk sleeping bag liner will fit easily inside a small front pannier, with space leftover. What you don’t want is some long and bulky thing from your boy scout days that takes up almost as much room as the tent!