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Can I Double-Bag My Summer Sleeping Bag?

I am going to summit Kilimanjaro, but I only have summer weight sleeping bags good to 40 degrees. Would it be effective to double bag a couple of my summer bags?

Question:

I am going to summit Kilimanjaro, but I only have summer weight sleeping bags good to 40 degrees. Given the high cost of lightweight, warm bags and that I don’t winter camp, would it be effective to double bag a couple of my summer bags?

Submitted by - Joan Fittery, Lakeville, MN

Answer:

You’re paying a lot of money to make this trip, so don’t skimp on your sleeping bag. Beg, borrow, sell your grandmother’s sterling silverware, but make sure you have a good warm bag rated to at least 10 degrees F. (You don’t want your most vivid memory of your adventure to be freezing your butt off at 15,000 feet.) Overbags, like these made by Big Agnes cost $150 and up and weigh over 2 pounds. Add that weight to your existing 40-degree bag and it’s quite a beast to lug up Kili.

For about 300 bucks, you can get a bag that’s super warm and nice and light, like REI’s Halo (2 lb, 10 oz, $299) or Radiant (2 lbs, 15 oz, $209). Those are just two options; you can go to BACKPACKER’s gearfinder.com, plug in your search criteria (like price and temperature rating), and we’ll point you to many more.


Another option: If you feel like you won’t have use for a 10-degree bag after your big trip, rent one. You’ll have to check your local outdoor shop about their rental programs, but REI stores (your closest one is in Bloomington, about 12 miles away) rent 10 degree bags at a pretty good rate (members pay $10 for the first day, $5 for each additional day). –Kristin

1 Comment

  1. JKromberg

    Just got back from Kili. I have a 15 degree down bag. With a thin liner, long underwear, I was way warm. No need for my fleece blanket/liner. The only time I used the fleece was when my down was to warm. There is really only one partial night where you might get cold. Focus in Africa was my guide service. They rented all kinds of other stuff and I am pretty sure they also have bags. They are ‘focused’ on your success and will make it happen.

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