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Reviews: Sleeping bags

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Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: *****   (Average: ***__  from 5 votes)
By Chris Zacho on Sat 15 Oct 2011 17:30 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (8)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report

REVIEW ~ Cocoon 100% silk Mummy bag liner, Initial impressions

The Cocoon silk liner is intended as an accessory for a sleeping bag, but I would consider a liner to be a necessity, especifically if you are using an expensive down bag. it is also a lot easier to clean the liner.

The Cocoon liner is just that, a shaped bag; in this case made of 100% silk. It is incredibly thin, your S.O.'s lingerie probably has more mass. The seams are double lapped, meaning they are overlapped, then the overlap is itself folded over and sewn with two lines of stitches along each edge. To see an example of this type of seam, just look at a pair of Levi jeans, they are sewn together the same way.

There is no zipper. velcro or buttons. No fasteners of any type. You enter it by sliding in. I find it easiest to slip it on the same way I would a sock, then slide into my sleeping bag. I sleep on my side and turn over from time to time anyway, so the lack of zippers or other fasteners that would likely end up being crunched up betwixt me and my pad is no real loss AFAIC. I find the liner very roomy, especially for a mummy shaped bag. Larger in fact than the sleeping bag it is intended to be used in (see the review for the Marmot Hydrogen for my own measurements if you need a reference). There is a hood with tie cords to keep the hood of your bag clean as well.

As for the seemingly delicate appearence of the fabric, silk is an incredibly strong fiber, more so than an equivalent fabric made from steel. So despite the gossamer feel of this liner, I am hoping it will hold up. I gave it a few tugs and it didn't seem to want to fall apart. Even if it does it's relative low cost is worth the protection it should provide the bag.

A further review will be added after I have actually used it in RL conditions

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#2: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By [deleted] on Sun 16 Oct 2011 16:59 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I agree a great liner, really durable and a good price compared to some other brands...had mine for a few years now.

      
#3: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Michael Vogt on Tue 15 Nov 2011 09:21 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I agree,aI used mine once and love it. packs up very small also

      
#4: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Anne Cowan on Mon 21 Nov 2011 14:56 Edit Delete in reply to #3     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
As a long distance hiker turned long distance cyclist, I have been using a cocoon silk liner for years. I especially like that it packs up so small that I can pack it in the top of our sleeping bag stuff sack, ready for the next night in the tent! It held up very well but finally got a rip along the overlapped seam. I sew, so repaired it, but it wasn't long before it was tearing again along the seam. My husband used one on the Southern Tier in 2010 and it was finished, torn, unrepairable after 58 nights of use. The company replaced both his and mine when we wrote about the issues we were having at the seams. I am guessing that we had well over 150 nights in them before they were really showing signs of wear. They are not huge around the girth, so if you tend to be large, then you might find the fit too tight.

They wash beautifully, though I always hung them to dry. I really feel that these are a very necessary part of our sleep system and would not hesitate to buy another one when time time comes. However, right now, we are using the ones that cocoon sent to us to replace the first two. Very nice of them, I thought.

      
#5: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Jerry Witherspoon on Tue 22 Nov 2011 05:44 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (3)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I have one but never used it. Tell me;under what conditions do you use it? Is it for additional warmth? Just to keep the bag clean? By itself in hot weather? What?

Spoon

      
#6: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Pete Staehling on Tue 22 Nov 2011 06:02 Edit Delete in reply to #5     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I use mine for the extra warmth when cold and also plan to use it alone in warm weather (it hasn't been that warm on any of my trips since I got it).

I find it adds just enough warmth to let me take an otherwise marginal for the conditions sleeping bag. That way I manage to take a bag that is lighter, so the combined weight of the bag and liner are less than the next heavier bag.

Some folks use it to protect their sleeping bags from body oils. I do not coddle my equipment so I do not use it unless I need it for extra warmth.

      
#7: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: ***** 
By Chris Zacho on Thu 24 Nov 2011 15:46 Edit Delete in reply to #5     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report

Jerry, your timing is perfect.

Performance in use ~ test run

On my test run, a short, overnight tour, this liner worked wonderfully! As I noted before, getting in and out was absolutely no problem; just slip it on like you would a pair of pajama bottoms that go up to your shoulders, slide into the sleeping bag and zip it up. I find that lying on the "far" side of the bag makes it less likely the liner will get caught in the zipper.

I bought the liner mainly to keep the bag clean, as it's easier to wash a $20 liner than the $300+ bag! And as the campground was actually closed (see my diary), I had to go to bed with the days sweat still on me. So I was glad I had the liner! When I got home I filled the sink with cold water and a little Woolite, worked it through to wash away any bodily residue, then squeezed it out under running water a few times to rinse. Five minutes total. I didn't try line drying it, but five minutes in the dryer on low heat and it was as good as new.

If it kept me any warmer I don't know, as I haven't tried sleeping in the bag alone. I did notice one thing though: Usually when I'm in a mummy bag I tend to "wear" it, as it will turn with me, even if the hood isn't tightened. But with the liner this doesn't happen. Even though the hood was loose I could turn inside the bag just as easily as if I were in my bed a home. The silk slid around inside the bag with no resistance whatsoever, and the bag remained "upright". IOW, I didn't end up in the middle of the night with the hood lying on top of my head! And at no time did it tend to wind itself up around me, nor did I find the liner to be any more "cramped" than the bag itself. I could move my arms around inside it as easily as if it wern't there at all. However, I am only 5' 10" and 165 pounds, so that may have played a role.

Anyway, as it has performed so admirably under actual use, I am upgrading my original rating to 5 stars.

      
#8: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: **___ 
By Douglas Coulter on Tue 27 Dec 2011 10:35 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I rip mine to shreds quickly as a very active sleeper. I do use a rectangular bedroll system and have found the Coolmax liner to be far more comfortable and durable.

      
#9: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Joyce Riecker on Thu 29 Dec 2011 16:16 Edit Delete in reply to #8     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Doug, how does the Coolmax liner compare in compact size/weight to the Silk liner?

      
#10: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: ***__ 
By Chris Zacho on Tue 25 Sep 2012 15:52 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report

Final comments

Alas, the liner is not as long lasting as I had hoped; it started ripping at the seam, as had happened with other posters about halfway along the return trip In Kansas. I was able to re-stitch it, but just a night later another rip appeared in the seam opposite, then a third, this time the rip also included some of the fabric. Tired of mending seams I bought a CoolMax liner in Missouri.

In answer to the question, the Coolmax liner (ThermoLite), which is a stretchy knit tucks into its stuff sack at about twice the diameter and same length of the stuffed silk liner. However the CoolMax, being stretchy is less likely to tear IMO becuse the stresses are spread across the fabric as it stretches, rather than concentrated at the seams. The Thermolight is also a warmer liner. Why the mid range bag is shorter than the cooler and warmer onesthough I don't know.

However, what I am thinking of doing is simply buying some knit fabric, either a quality wool or wool blend and sewing up my own liner/hostel bag.That way I can include the ideas inspired by my experiences on the road.

      
#11: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: **___ 
By Anne Cowan on Thu 27 Sep 2012 15:47 Edit Delete in reply to #10     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
After the company replaced our two silk liners, we did not camp again for a few months. We just finished an 8 day ride on the Alleghany Mountain Loop in Virginia and West VA and my liner is in shreds after only these 8 nights. It ripped down the entire length of the main seam. I am thinking that I will also have to go to the cool-max liner. Since I have a new Thermarest Neo-air, I definitely need something to cover it and a liner is what I have always used, as my husband and I carry only one sleeping bag to put over the top of both of us. I guess that I cannot recommend the silk liner anymore, as it is very fragile, and is very prone to ripping along the seams.

      
#12: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Sherman Dunnam on Mon 1 Oct 2012 06:29 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I recently bought one of these and have had the chance to use it on a short tour, sleeping in it for 7 nights.

My impressions-

1- It really does add warmth. For three nights I used it with a 55 degree sleep sack in 45 degree temps and was perfectly warm.

2- I am a big guy at 6'4" and 235 pounds and while it isn't roomy it was adequate for me.

3- I like that I can just throw it in the washer. I don't dry in a dryer, just hang it up and it dries quickly.

4- It keeps my sleeping bag cleaner, no doubt about it.

With only a few nights use I can't comment on the durability but for the other points it is top notch.

--Sherman

      
#13: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: ***** 
By Brad Whorton on Tue 30 Oct 2012 09:51 Edit Delete in reply to #12     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I used this product nearly every day during my 4 month tour of the Himalaya and Southeast Asia, and I'd readily take it along on my next tour. I used it camping where it provided a bit more warmth in the mountains and protected my sleeping bag from getting gross especially when I had to go days without a shower. I frequently used it in cheap guesthouses where the sheets looked a bit iffy. This liner even has a pillow case cover built into it which was needed in the worst places I stayed. For camping in warmer weather, I'd start out just in it and would gradually pull up the sleeping bag as it got cooler in the night.

The liner got pretty gross, itself, after weeks of continuous use but came reasonably clean after hand or machine washing. I used the same liner on two previous tours of shorter duration. I experienced no problems with it--only with it's little stuff sack (seam split) but this was fixed with a needle and thread--not bad given how much use I've gotten out of it.

      
#14: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Keith Adams on Sat 10 Nov 2012 05:23 Edit Delete in reply to #5     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I've had one for several years and use it whenever I tour, but that doesn't mean it has seen a lot of use since I only manage one or at most two weeks of touring a year. It's still in great condition.

According to the manufacturer it adds ~ 10 degrees to the rating of the bag, and although I'd quibble with the number there's no doubt that it does add some extra warmth. I have been known to start a night in just the liner, and burrow into my bag in the wee hours after the temperature has dropped.

It does also keep my bag itself cleaner.

I fully agree with the comments of those who appreciate the fact that it packs down so small that it can be inserted into the top of the sleeping bag's stuff sack-- makes it easy to find and to keep track of.

      
#15: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
By Jordan Sanford on Wed 14 Nov 2012 21:49 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I agree with the others here that this silk liner offers a remarkably light and useful addition to the kit, but I have to say that I much prefer the cotton option. For me, the silk is much too clingy against the skin. Cotton feels cooler, especially at the height of summer.

      
#16: Re: Cocoon Silk Sleeping bag liner (thread)
Rating: ***__ 
By Matt Thyer on Thu 15 Nov 2012 07:28 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I've used mine in the summer when I've taken a ticker bag than I can stand to sleep in in the heat, but I can't seem to get over that bound feeling if I use it inside my bag. Nothing really that cocoon can do about this, I just don't like that feeling of being stuck.


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