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MOUNT KILIMANJARO clothing and layering advice

Hi, We are hiking Mt. Kili in June and need some assistance with the layering. We have a basic pack list from the company but I was looking for something more detailed, so I've searched online. With the weight limit i'm trying to bring only what is necessary. I have used your pack list, but there are so many options. Regarding the mid weight down or synthetic parka, I've been reading the difference in the fill and weight with the down. For this layer we bought the Patagonia Down Sweater, which is 800 fill, but is only 80 grams. From what I'm reading, this is too light and won't be warm enough as an insulating layer. Do you have any recommendations for this layer?

Here's what we have so far...any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. 

Top: Base layer (merino wool), fleece layer, Patagonia Down Sweater and hard shell (we bought the 3 in 1 jacket for the hard shell, water-wind proof with vents and it also has a light zip out jacket)

Bottom: Base Layer(merino wool), hiking pant, fleece pant and a hard shell(gortex). (some sites that i visited said that a ski pant would be too much. I'm concerned that we won't be warm enough on summit night with just a the base/fleece/hard shell.) Do you recommend an insulated pant?

Thanks so much.

1 Reply

@Julie-Rawlings Thanks for reaching out and what an amazing adventure!

We spoke with some folks who actually just came off the summit of Kilimanjaro to get their take on what to wear and expect. They said that they were wearing pretty much exactly what you have described above. They did indicate that they had almost perfect weather on their summit day and so the light down jackets they had were exactly right for their conditions (they did not even have to use their waterproof shells). If you tend to run cold, you will likely want to go with a heavier weight down jacket like the REI Co-op Stormhenge 850 Down Jacket. One thing to add is that it was highly recommended that your fleece layer has a hood on it. It provides easy relief from light wind and cold without being bulky or too warm. A couple of examples of this are the Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoodie, the Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Hoodie, or the REI Co-op Hyperaxis Feece Jacket 2.0. You should be good to go with your layering system on the bottom as well. If you're concerned with warmth, go with a heavier fleece like the REI Co-op Teton Fleece Pants which are cut in such a way that they easily fit under other layers.

Lastly, the June time period is at the tail end of the rainy season, make sure you are prepared to keep your gear in dry bags, even inside your backpack with a rain cover on it. Once your gear or clothing gets wet up there it can be nearly impossible to dry out.

Hope this helps, have an amazing adventure!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.