Climbing Kilimanjaro takes months of planning and training. As you begin to acquire your equipment, you may be asking yourself these questions. What gear do I buy? What can I rent? How cold is it? What temperature sleeping bag should I bring?
Sleeping Bag choices
First of all, you have you several options for a sleeping bag.
- You can rent a sleeping bag from us. This takes the guesswork out. We rent the Ferrino Nighttec 800 Sleeping bag. It is comfort rated down to 0° F or -15° C. See here: http://www.ferrino.it/en/catalog/sleeping-gear/86366-sleepingbag-nightec-800. In addition to this sleeping bag, you may want to bring a sleeping bag liner. One, because it adds extra warmth and two, even though we clean our sleeping bags between each climb, you never know who used it last. This sleeping bag weighs 4.73 lbs.
- You can rent a sleeping bag from a company like REI. However, they may not be available in your area and their selection may not fit your needs.
- You can purchase a sleeping bag. If you choose this route, do not skimp on a bag. You get what you pay for. We recommend sleeping bags from companies like Mountain Hardwear, Northface or Marmot. Make sure to read the sleeping bag specs. They may say they are a 0° bag, but the specs may say that is the limit and the comfort temperature is 20°. You want the comfort temperature to be 0°.
The weight of the sleeping bag will be added to your duffle bag. Normally a good 0° degree bag weighs between 3.5 and 5.5 lbs. This weight variation is due to the materials used. Remember, your duffle bag cannot weigh more than 33 lbs. on the mountain.
Sleeping bags come in two varieties of materials-down and synthetic. A good down sleeping bag’s insulation should be 800+ fill goose down. The main material will be ripstop nylon. A synthetic is also made of ripstop nylon but filled with a hybrid polyester like Primaloft or Thermal.Q. Generally, synthetic weighs more than down. However, some people are allergic to down so they will need to go with synthetic.
Other items to consider when choosing a sleeping bag is which side you want your zipper on—left or right. Also, the overall size of the full stuff sack. Basically, how much space it takes up. And the overall size of the bag for your body type. This can be both length, width, and style.
Finally, test your sleeping bag before you leave for your trip. The last thing you want is to be zipped inside a too tight mummy bag at 15,000 plus feet in the dead of night, freezing cold, allergic to down and claustrophobic.