Sleeping Bag Repair: Make an Anti-Pill Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner
had done a sleeping bag repair in time on Mike's
first sleeping bag, we would have been able to save the cost of buying
him a second.
But by the time Vicki's sleeping bag also required
repair, Mike's was beyond
repair. That was an expensive lesson to
learn. A decent sleeping bag can cost $75 or more!
Vicki started patching her sleeping bag with
sweat pant material, some of them quite large. There were two problems
associated with this:
- The patches only covered the current holes but
nothing to cover the places where the liner was getting thin (and would
soon become holes); and
- The sweat pant material developed pills.
If you use a sleeping
bag for long periods of time
your bedding of choice in your truck, you may understand the problems
associated with liner tears and holes. Your fingers or toes can get
caught in the holes while you're sleeping and wake you up. It can
result in broken sleep which no professional truck driver needs. Your
goal is to sleep
Sleeping Bag Repair:
What Material Is
Needed or Wanted?
Finally, after putting up with the holes in her
so long, Vicki persuaded Mike to go to a fabric store to see what she
could do about getting a piece of cloth big enough to cover the entire
inner lining of her sleeping bag.
It never occurred to her that there
are such things as fleece sleeping bag liners for sale, but upon
searching online, Vicki actually found them! (One is shown at right.)
She had thought that using more sweat pant
would be okay to make her sleeping bag repair, if the price was right.
Then she found the fabric at the store; the
price was more than $10
per yard! Ouch!
However, not far from the sweat pant material
entire display of fleece
(the same kind of material some bath robes are made from, soft and
There were two kinds of fleece: regular
fleece and anti-pill
fleece. Having had so many pills to deal with previously,
she definitely wanted the anti-pill variety. There were lots of colors
to choose from!
As it turned out, the anti-pill
was on a 50% off sale. Hurray! The regular price was $9.99 per
yard, so the
sale price was $4.99 per yard.
Sleeping Bag Repair:
Making the Repair
illustration shows sleeping bag repair on a 66" wide, 75" long sleeping
bag with a piece of anti-pill fleece that is 58" wide, 2 yards (6 feet
long. The fleece was centered as best as possible from side to side and
top to bottom.
When Vicki actually made the sleeping bag repair,
she unzipped the bag so that it lay as flat as possible. (If you do
this in a truck with an upper bunk, you may want to take advantage of
the height as much as possible.)
The fleece she bought covered all but about 4 inches on
either side and about one to two inches on top and bottom.
She sewed the corners and middle in place around the
edges before sewing the sides in place.
One thing that she determined after a night or
two of use is that it would have been helpful to sew a few stitches
middle (the "crease" when the bag is closed) so that the
sleeping bag liner won't bunch up inside the bag during sleep.
Sleeping Bag Repair:
Benefits of Liner
Repair With Fleece
Three benefits of this sleeping bag repair with a
homemade anti-pill fleece sleeping bag liner are:
- Fleece is a sturdy material that will last a long
time (it takes a lot to tear it);
- Fleece helps you stay warm in the winter, even in a
sleeping bag that isn't rated for colder temperatures;
- The anti-pill variety of fleece doesn't develop the
aggravating little pills (balls of fabric fibers) that sweat pant
material so often does.
Not including thread Vicki already had or the cost of
her time, Vicki's total cost for the material was: $4.99/yard * 2 yards
* 7% tax = $10.68. This sure beats the cost of a brand new sleeping bag!
The difference between the homemade anti-pill fleece
sleeping bag liner
that Vicki put in her bag and the Coleman brand liner shown above is
that Vicki sewed her liner into
her sleeping bag. The one above could
potentially be sewn in, but other photos associated with that product
show people wrapped in just the liner (as if it were a blanket).
Sleeping Bag Repair:
Prevent Other Holes
One other note on repairs to your bagged bedding: if the
comes loose from an edge of your sleeping bag, sew it up as soon as you
can -- especially if you zip your sleeping bag closed when you go to
sleep. As Ben Franklin once quipped: "A stitch in time saves nine."
The stitching doesn't have to look fancy (unless you're
perfectionist), it just has to be functional and keep the cold air out.
Money saving tip:
Consider the pros and cons of using a sleeping
bag as opposed to bed
sheets and blankets for bedding in your truck. Among the
things to consider are your freight lanes. Do you run up north where it
Consider how you will stay warm when you sleep
during cooler (or downright cold) temperatures. Do you have an APU, a
bunk heater, or other means to stay warm apart from your sleeping bag?
Do you need your fleece liner to be permanently
installed or removable? Will just placing the fleece on top of you at
night work better than inside your sleeping bag? (If so, this will save
you the cost of your time to sew it in place. Either that, or if you
have a home
support team member, he/she can sew it in for you when you're
Look for fleece on sale if you can find it. This
kind of material may be on sale seasonally.
If you have the inclination, sign up for
notifications from fabric (or craft)
stores near you. These may or may not include both sales and special
coupons. Some of these stores may have apps that you can check on
certain types of phones or they may have special deals through their
Twitter or Facebook accounts.
If you cannot find a fabric store near you (or
along your route), you may need to order fleece online. Some stores
sell fleece only "by the bolt" (usually about 8 yards' worth). This may
or may not be a good option for you.
Another option is to have someone who lives near a
fabric store buy the fleece for you. There may also be folks selling or
giving away their stockpiles of fleece in unusual places like
If you need to buy fleece online, look for free
shipping or other online discounts, promotional codes or sales. Fleece
is popular in the colder months.
Note that specialty prints of fleece may cost more
than solid colors. We have seen many "kiddie" prints on sale. And, yes,
there is such a thing as camouflage fleece, if that appeals to you.
We list a "mini sewing kit" on one of our packing
However, it is possible that such a kit will not hold enough thread to
completely sew a fleece sleeping bag liner in place. Perhaps you can
make five temporary stitches (ends, middle and two places in between)
down both sides and at the top that will work until you get more thread.
from Sleeping Bag Repair: Make an Anti-Pill Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner to our Packing
List page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips