If you’re staying in fine hotels with fluffy duvets, you probably don’t need a sleep sheet, but if you’re sleeping in cheapo places on a budget—or sleeping in a hammock—they can be an essential item to pack. Cocoon has a whole line of these things out, all meant to be stuffed into their own sack, but this new one I’ve been trying out is made of silk and treated with InsectShield.
A sleep sack, also known as a travel sheet or “mummy liner,” can be a useful piece of gear to have on the road. It protects you from whatever nastiness is in or on the mattress you’re subjected to in cheap guesthouses, hostels, and second-class sleeping berths in trains. It allows you to use that blanket with a questionable laundry history and gives you something less scratchy to put next to your body.
If you sleep in a hammock in the wilderness, a travel sheet also provides a layer of warmth and protection. In either case, the Insect Shield treatment will help keep the mosquitoes away without you dousing your whole body in DEET. In North America, that means fewer bites on your body. In much of the world, it can mean another layer of protection against malaria or dengue fever.
This sleep sack can technically be washed 35 times before it loses its effectiveness. Really though, these things have to have a specification lower than clothing, even though both go through the same rigors. So assume that’s the minimum number of wash cycles and it’s probably more akin to what they can advertise for pants: 75 washings. Who washes a sleep sack that many times before they wear it out? Nobody I know.
The sack this goes into for packing is about 1/2 the size of the warmer safari bag one I reviewed two years ago. It’s about the size of a small bottle of bottled water. It weighs in at just 160 grams.
Unfortunately, the Cocoon brand is based in Austria and the company is rather shy about telling you where can find their products. Pulling up the USA/Canada selection gets you just an e-mail address. You can find it at Amazon Japan, but not at the U.S. or Canadian site. Paragon Sports and Backcountry carry the version without InsectShield, but not the one with it. So try back on those if you’re reading this later. For now, if you see a Cocoon display at your local outdoor retailer, see if they have this version or can get it.