Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kathmandu Rip Stop Silk Sleeping Bag Liner

I've been in the market for a new sleeping bag for a while now. My current one is getting on a bit, it's nothing fancy, just an Oztrail one from Harris Scarfe. It's probably a good twelve years old now, it was lived out of exclusively for the first two or three years I was in Melbourne and even managed to go through a washing machine once or twice (NOT by me!) which managed to make a bit of a mess of the outer shell. However, even though it's nearly black on the inside, and there's gaping wounds on the outside, it has still served me well.

The thought of shelling out decent dough to get a good bag was a little daunting, I would definitely want to do my research to make sure I got a good one, and then definitely make sure that it lasts a long, long time. through this process I read time and time again about sleeping bag liners. Now, I thought they were just something you used to keep your bag cleaner longer, or to stop you catching nits or something if staying in a hostel. However, I kept reading reports saying that a good liner can add anywhere from 8 to 15 degrees to your sleeping bags comfort rating! Wow! Maybe, instead of spending big bucks on a -15c bag, I could get away with just a 0c bag and a liner, and still be better off in the wallet region. I ran the idea past my brother who travelled a lot through India and Nepal, including Everest base camp and he confirmed the notion.

As fete would have it, Kathmandu was having a sale about the same time as I was coming to this realisation. Usually that would not be my first stop for camping gear, not by a long shot, but their prices were just too good on this particular occasion. I ended up getting one of these rip stop silk liners. I have to say, it's been the best money I've spent in a long time. I usually travel with two sleeping bags (both as filthy and destroyed as each other) so I can put one inside the other if it gets particularly cold. There were a couple nights in the Flinders where I usually would have had to do that, but with this liner in my bag, I was more than comfortable all night. On a night when I would have gone to beg in thermals, I was absolutely fine in just my undies.

So there you go, a sleeping bag liner definitely did add to the comfort rating of my bag, as well as the silky softness being very comfy to sleep in! I've run it through the was a couple times and had absolutely no drama's whatsoever, just remember to turn it inside out so the little bag (its carry bag is attached at the feet) is in the inside, just in case. Oh, and one other thing I learnt, which only one out of five sales people I asked could tell me, the difference between a standard lined and a 'hostel' liner, is that the hostel liners either have an attached pillow slip, or a built in pillow (usually only the cotton ones). So if you're getting a 'hostel' model, make sure you factor that in when you're looking at its length.

Happy travels, and warm nights!

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