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Choosing and Caring For Liners
Ask Baz

Choosing and Caring For Liners

How do I care for my Sea to Summit Reactor, Adaptor, or Silk Liner?

  • Liners can be washed in a home washing machine using normal detergent (referred to as laundry 'soap'). Please note if using a top-loader washing machine, we would strongly suggest putting the liner inside a pillowcase to prevent the impeller (the spiral plastic rotating column in the drum of the machine) possibly snagging the drawcord.
  • Wash on the delicates or gentle cycle.
  • Do not use fabric softener. It will decrease the wicking performance of the fabric.
  • Air dry the liner. Drying the liner in a dryer will expose it to excessive heat that can damage the fabric.

Can I use the Reactor/Reactor Compact Plus/Reactor Extreme/Reactor Fleece Liner as a stand-alone sleeping bag?

If you are using the Reactor/Reactor Compact Plus/Reactor Extreme Liner/Reactor Fleece Liner as a stand-alone bag outdoors (rather than, say, in a hostel), the principal factor to be aware of is moving air. The knit fabric of the Reactors allows air to pass through quite easily, which in their normal use - inside a sleeping bag - helps ensure a comfortable sleeping environment. However, when used as a stand-alone bag, cooler air passing through from the outside will rob you of the warm layer of air you have generated inside the bag.

If you are inside a tent, this is less of a factor; if not, you may need something to cover the bag (perhaps a poncho, or a lightweight bag cover). As far as temperature is concerned, a rough 'rule of thumb' would still put the minimum air temperature at which you would remain comfortable at around 60F / 15C. If you use a lightweight bag cover over the liner (which prevents heat loss due to moving air) a reasonably comfortable temperature rating would be 50F / 10C. The Reactor Extreme would probably be your best bet for this kind of use.

How much additional temperature performance will a thermal liner add to a sleeping bag?

There is an extensive blog post which deals with the add-on thermal performance you can expect from a liner.

It helps to explain the factors involved in heat loss through different sleeping bag designs and through different sleeping pads - and it encourages you to think of a liner, a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad as a layered system. By doing so, you will have much greater chance of creating the right system for your use - and therefore getting a good night's sleep.


9 thoughts on “Choosing and Caring For Liners

  1. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Michael – Thanks for the positive feedback about the Reactor Extreme!

    Washing any of the Reactors (including the Thermolite Fleece Liner, and also our Toaster Fleece Liner) is very simple.

    Wash on a warm wash (up to 90°F / 30°C) – you don’t need a special laundry soap. Make sure the zipper is zipped up, and put the liner in a pillowcase or delicates bag to prevent the drawcord from snagging (this is more of a factor with top-loader than front-loader washing machines). Do not use a fabric softener in the wash cycle, as this will significantly reduce the wicking performance of the fabric.

    Air drying is the preferred option, but if you do machine-dry the liner, use a cool to warm cycle and do not put dryer sheets in the drum (this will also reduce wicking performance. If you would like more details, drop us an email at

    The Sea to Summit Team

  2. avatar Michael says:

    Hello, what are the washing instructions for the fleece liner? No one seems to have them in the store descriptions…

    By the way I love my reactor extreme and it works…

    Thank you

  3. avatar Adriewash says:

    Looking forward to using my silk/cotton liner soon!!

  4. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Helen –

    Glad to know that you are such a big fan of the Reactor liner! It makes no difference to the knitted fabric of a Reactor whether it is rolled or stuffed into its stuffsack. From our experience, stuffing it is definitely easier.


    The Sea to Summit Team

  5. avatar Helen Rowles says:

    I love my new Sea to Summit Thermal liner, so thank you very much.
    Do you “stuff” or roll the liner into its pouch?
    Thanks Helen


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