Oct 312009

We often get asked for recommendations on gear items. There are a myriad of quality brands and products, so what you ultimately find visually appealing, functional and economical is a personal choice. However, we would like to point out specific products that we find outstanding.

When it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro, one of the first questions people usually ask is,”how cold does it get?”

The highest camps that most sleep at are about 15,000 to 16,000 feet high, in the alpine desert zone.  Nightime temperatures here hover around freezing, but can easily be much colder than that, as Kilimanjaro’s weather is volatile and unpredictable.  So when choosing a sleeping bag, you want a warm, four season bag.

We recommend getting a bag with a temperature rating of 0F or warmer.  Some people tend to sleep “warm” or “cold” – meaning that some get hot at night while others, in the same conditions, get cold.  Someone who sleeps warm can use a bag with a higher temperature rating than someone who sleeps cold.  However, we recommend the warmer bags because the temperature can always be regulated by wearing less clothing while inside the bag, unzipping the bag partially or all the way, using the bag as a sheet, or not using the mummy hood.

Sleeping bags are constructed of feathers (down bag) or foam (synthetic bag).  A down bag is lighter, has a warmer warmth to weight ratio, and is more compressible, while a synthetic bag is heavier and more voluminous.  Down’s warmth efficiency comes at a price premium to synthetics.

We recommend the Mountain Hardwear Lamina -30 Sleeping Bag. High-loft synthetic insulation provides massive warmth that fights off the bitter cold of deep winter nights, and an external DWR coating helps the shell material resist moisture that’s inevitable when you’re camping in the snow. Climb inside this sleeping bag and you’ll immediately notice that you have more room to move around because Mountain Hardwear’s designers shaped this bag with the additional width you need to sleep with extra layers on–now that’s thinking.

Mountain Hardwear Lamina -30F Sleeping Bag – Regular

Mountain Hardwear Lamina -15F Sleeping Bag – Regular

Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0F Sleeping Bag – Regular