Kilimanjaro Clothing

On Kilimanjaro you will be trekking through 4 climatic zones. Weather can range from warm and tropical at the base of the mountain to freezing on the summit.

To ensure that you remain perfectly comfortable in each zone it is critical that you understand the concept of layering with your Kilimanjaro Clothing.

Being able to layer up and layer down as the weather changes is important. Layering only works if each layer supports the wicking process (allowing moisture to pass from one layer to the next). Layers should therefore hug the skin (i.e. be not too tight, but equally not too loose) and consist of wickable fabric.

Cotton should be avoided as it is hydrophilic, meaning that moisture struggles to pass through and therefore the wicking process stops.

Here are the layers of Kilimanjaro clothing that you need to take with you


Kilimanjaro Clothing


sports-underwear-hiking-clothingDepending on the length of your trek you should bring 4-5 pairs of sports underwear. Those made by Icebreaker are excellent. Alternatively any sporting brand underwear will work (e.g. Adidas).

For the ladies bring two pairs of sports bras, again we recommend Icebreaker sports bras.

Base Layer

kilimanjaro-base-layerAs you approach the upper reaches of the mountain you will need to wear a lightweight base layer (or next-to-skin layer) over your underwear. You will not need to wear this layer for the first few days on the mountain (unless it is very cold). On summit night this is arguably the most important layer as it is the one that comes in contact with your skin.

We recommend Smartwool Lightweight Base Layers or Icebreaker Oasis Base Layers, both make products from 100% merino wool. Their products are super comfortable, great quality and provide incredible moisture control.

If you are allergic to wool then Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Base Layers are great synthetic alternatives.

For treks less than 8 days, one pair of top and bottom base layers should be sufficient. For treks over 8 days you should get at least 2 pairs to avoid smelling terrible by the end of the hike. You won’t use this layer everyday, but will need it during the cold nights and on summit night.

Trekking Shirts and Trousers

<li><a href="#insulation-layer">Trekking Shirts and Trousers and Insulation Layer</a></li>In terms of trekking shirts we recommend 4 x short sleeve shirts and 1 x long sleeve shirt. Ideal fabric is a breathable, lightweight and quick-drying polyester, merino or nylon. Make sure that your shirts are not cotton.

Great trekking shirts are made by Icebreaker, Craghoppers, Columbia and Patagonia (see their Capilene range).

hiking-clothing-convertible-trousersYour will also need to bring 1-2 x pairs of convertible hiking trousers – 1 is fine for 6 day treks, an additional pair is ideal for treks greater than 6 days. These convertible trousers made by Craghoppers are brilliant.

Insulation Layer

hiking-clothing-helly-hansenFor the colder stretches on the hike and for summit night you should bring one mid-weight fleece jacket or parka top. This is your second layer, or insulation layer, and should be used in your layering system over your base layer, or indeed as a standalone that you wear over your trekking shirt when temperatures start to drop. They also come in great use at night when it can get very cold out.

Fleeces that use Polartec materials are great. Typically Polartec fleeces come in 100s, 200s or 300s. Hundreds are a little light and 300’s too heavy. Two-hundreds provide great warmth and comfort, and are perfect for hiking Kilimanjaro.

Here are some good Polartec-200 Fleece Jackets. Noteworthy brands include North Face, Helly Hansen and Patagonia.

A nice feature to look out for in your fleece jacket is a hoody. This can double as an instant balaclava. See the Patagonia R1 Hoody or the Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody for good examples.

Core Jacket or Third Layer

The core shell layer or third layer consists of a windproof, waterproof and warm jacket and trousers.

Warm jackets are a minefield of complexity but typically split into two main types – down or synthetic (and some are insulated with wool). Down jackets are lighter and generally warmer than synthetic alternatives, but a lot more expensive and not great in wet or moist conditions.

Here are the key factors to consider when selecting an appropriate jacket:

Weight and warmth: The weight of a winter jacket can vary from super light (less than 450 grams) to super heavy (more than 1kg). The lightest winter jackets use a down fill and can weigh as little as 200 grams. Down provides the greatest weight-to-warmth ratio. Generally, the lightest jackets (down or synthetic) provide the least warmth and are therefore ideal for moderately cold environments, but not freezing alpine or high altitude environments. Heavy jackets (down and synthetic) are generally the warmest type of jacket but can be cumbersome to transport and trek in. We suggest a mid-weight winter jacket (~500-700 grams) for Kilimanjaro.

Waterproofing: Despite the dominance of down jackets in terms of weight and warmth, they do have a major flaw – as they are much more susceptible to moisture. When down jackets get wet they lose their loft and insulation capacities. This is not to say that a light downpour or even all day snow is going to destroy the insulating qualities of your down jacket, but in similar conditions or very wet conditions, a synthetic jacket will perform better. The key thing to look for, therefore, is a jacket (down or synthetic) that has an outer fabric that has a high water-resistant capacity. Pertex Shield fabric is the best for down jackets and nylon is great on synthetic jackets.

Versatility: Unless you plan to use your jacket for a particular activity after Kilimanjaro (e.g. ice climbing, snowboarding) we suggest going for a jacket that provides as much versatility as possible (i.e. can be used for many different activities in as many different environments).

kilimanjaro-jacketIn terms of a good and affordable down jacket we recommend the North Face Nuptse Jacket. It retails for a great price, is super-lightweight which makes it easy to travel with and really warm.

Alternatively, if you have a good base and second layer, then the synthetic North Face Resolve Jacket is a great all-year, lightweight and affordable jacket for Kilimanjaro. It’s very durable which is good as Kili can be tough on your gear and performs very well in wet conditions.

hiking-clothing-trousersFor the upper reaches of your Kilimanjaro trek (>4,500 meters) the temperatures can get very cold, particularly at night. Warm trekking trousers are a must.

Here are the key characteristics to look out for: Water resistant, sun protective, and fleece inner material with quick-drying polyester outer for warmth.

Great winter trekking trousers include Craghoppers Kiwi Winter Trousers and Regatta Lined Hiking Trousers

Rain Gear

hiking-rain-clothingIn addition to these items we recommend taking with you lightweight rain gear or a poncho which often comes in handy on the lower reaches. Ponchos that sit over your body and rucksack as seen adjacent are great.

You should not bring:

  • Jeans for obvious reasons – they absorb many time their weight in water, are difficult to trek in, take a long time to dry out, rapidly transfer heat from the body, must we continue …)
  • Cotton. Wearing cotton shirts on the lower reaches is fine but in general we would avoid cotton all together. It absorbs moisture and blocks breathability

Kilimanjaro Kit List Continued

Kilimanjaro Footwear – From hiking boots to socks and gaiters
Headgear – Stuff to keep your head out of the sun and warm on summit night, as well as recommendations on Kilimanjaro headlamps
Bags – From the Kilimanjaro kit bag to your day-pack
Hands and walking – Gloves and walking poll requirements
Sleeping – Kilimanjaro sleeping bag recommendations and other useful sleeping accessories
Other accessories – Useful other Kilimanjaro accessories


If you have any further questions on Kilimanjaro clothing, please leave a comment below and we will respond within 24hours.

82 thoughts on “Kilimanjaro Clothing

    • Hi Sarah, thanks! Most of the gear listed here comes in men and women variants. The link might take you to a male variant but you can then just search for the equivalent women’s version. Hope that helps!

  1. Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list. It’s certainly making the organisation a lot easier. Just one question though, I have a lot of ski clothing – jacket, salopettes, gloves.Do you recommend I take those especially for the higher slopes. Appreciate your reply. Thanks and keep up the great work. Jay

    • Hi Jay, sorry for the slow response. Ski gear can work very well. The key is to ensure that you have your layers sorted and that you are warm and comfortable. Your jacket and gloves are particularly important so as long as you are happy that they will keep you warm at temperatures that drop well below zero then they should be fine. Hope this helps!

  2. Hi — Thanks for putting together this list I’ve found it really useful! It’s just the jacket I’m struggling with… would it be sufficient to wear a good quality down jacket with a lightweight waterproof over the top (obviously with warm under-layers too!) or would I be better off just getting a more durable ski/outdoors style jacket instead of the two? Advice much appreciated! Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Andrea, Choosing a jacket for Kilimanjaro can be a little tricky. Down jackets obviously have the advantage in terms of warmth to weight ratio, but they are generally more expensive than synthetics and it can be damp at the top of Kili which does effect the performance of down. A lightweight waterproof over the top of a down jacket can help prevent damp issues with the down. For me it really depends how often you plan to use the jacket in the future and in what environments. If you spend lots of time in cold but dry environments (i.e. the Alps), then a Down is probably a good investment, but if you plan to spend more time in cold and wet environments (i.e. UK outdoors) then a synthetic will serve you better. A good quality synthetic ski / winter jacket is more than sufficient for Kili. Hope this helps.

  3. Thank you for the guide, I’m climbing Kili in March with a group of women. I have a question about layering. My husband insists that my base layer should be polyester but you suggested wool. It appears I’ve bought plenty of base and long underwear. That problem is that I’m pretty obese, climbing this mountain will be a huge challenge for me, and many of my layers are pretty snug because not many companies make hiking clothes in my size. Would you recommend wearing my wool shirt under my polyester shirts?

    And (in all seriousness) could I skip my insulation layer because I’m fat and I already have a built-in one? 🙂 I’ve got a down jacket but again, it’s snug, and I’m not sure I could fit a fleece jacket underneath it. I plan to rent another larger jacket for summit night.

    • Hi Christa, thanks for getting in touch and good luck with your Kilimanjaro climb! In terms of base layers, merino wool or equivalents are great as they provide good breathability. That being said, most synthetic alternatives today are pretty good, so as longs as you are comfortable then I don’t have too much of a preference for either. Smartwool, Icebreaker and Patagonia make good base layers. The key with Kili is to give yourself options, this means layering so if you are too hot or tool cold you can easily take layers on and off if needs be. Down jackets are great as they are light weight and have brilliant warmth to weight ratios. I would as a minimum have your base layer, a fleece and winter jacket. If it is snowing you may want a shell jacket as well to protect the loft of the down. Hope this helps!

  4. For the second, insulation layer I am trying to decide between the Helly Hansen Women’s Regulate Midlayer Jacket and the Helly Hansen Women’s Zera Fleece Jacket – would the Midlayer Jacket be too heavy, or a better choice because it looks wind resistant as well?

    • Hi Caitlin, for the insulation layer I would go with a fleece material jacket, so the latter sounds more appropriate. That being said, if you go for a heavier insulation layer, then you can go for a lighter out-core layer (something that is more wind and water resistant, and less orientated towards warmth). Hope this helps!

  5. Hi!
    I’m having a hard time finding insulated and waterproof warm pants that aren’t snow pants. And all the snow pants I’ve tried don’t seem like they would be easy to hike in. Besides the base layer, I’ve heard that some people layer fleece pants with waterproof rain pants. Would that still work for warmth on summit night?
    Thanks so much for all your help!

    • Hi Courtney, fleeced trekking trousers would do the job, as long as you have a thermal base layer underneath. I can often trek comfortably down to -10 degree C with just a thermal base layer on my legs and a lightweight waterproof goretex pair of trousers (not insulated), but some people feel the cold more so I would recommend taking a fleeced pair of mid-weight trekking trousers. Hope this helps!

  6. Thank you so much for putting this together . For high altitude , cold weather ,I purchased Moosejaw winter
    Hiking pants which appear to be similar to powder pants , ext nylon with insulation with sippers down the side . Will this suffice or am I better off with fleece pants under regular hiking pants ?
    Thank you

    • Hi Rich, Your Moosejaws will be absolutely fine. When used in conjunction with thermals for the summit night they should be more than warm enough. Cheers!

  7. Thanks for all of this information—it is incredibly helpful. I am hiking Kilimanjaro in early July. I have generally followed your recommendations for base layers, shirts, and pants, but I have two remaining clothing questions:
    1. I have two options for warm trekking trousers: Mountain Hardwear Yumalino or Black Diamond Stance Belay. Which one of these is the better choice for the hike?

    2. Jackets: I have two fleeces (Patagonia R3, North Face Tenacious), as well as a Marmot Quasar and Minimalist. Will they provide sufficient wind protection for my torso?

    • Hi Ed, thanks for getting in touch. In terms of question 1, I have had a quick look at both options online and they both seem more than sufficient. I would recommend going for the warmer of the two though. Question 2, you core layer looks great, I would build your layers as follows: fleece (R3), followed by your Quasar jacket, with your hard shell Minimalist over that. If you get too hot you can always delayer. Best of luck!

  8. Hi.

    Where can I purchase the raingear as shown in the picture that covers the body and daybag. I like this.

    Pat M

    • Hi Pat, you should be able to purchase a poncho like the one in the image from Amazon or at a good outdoor retailer, like REI. All the best!

  9. Hi, thanks for this really helpful guide. I’m doing the Lemosho route in September and like others I have some follow-up questions…
    1. I have my own down jacket already, but I’m going to Tanzania for a month so don’t really want to carry it around the whole time. I’m going with a reputable company, is it generally ok to hire one from the company or would I be better off bringing my own?
    2. The route is 10 days. Do people generally swap their t-shirt every 2 days… meaning I would need to bring 5 tshirts? I don’t want to bring too much stuff but nor do I want to stink! It’s the same question for underwear really, I feel like I would want to bring a clean pair for every day but you’ve only suggested bringing 4-5.
    3. I have a fleece but it’s quite heavy and doesn’t pack down small. I also have a very packable ultra-light down jacket that I have worn before in sub-zero temps as a mid-layer under my proper down jacket. Would this do, or would you still recommend taking the fleece?
    4. With regards to warm trekking trousers, would it be enough to just put fleecy leggings on under my zip-off trousers, or even do that and also put the waterproof trousers over the top, or do I need specific dedicated warm trousers? I have ski trousers, but like the poster above I’m not sure how good they’d be to hike in.

    • Hi Lucy,
      Thanks for getting in touch! Here are quick answers to your questions:
      1. I would confirm with the trekking company that they will be able to either rent you an adequate jacket or take you to a rental store to hire one.
      2. 10 days seems like a really long version of the Lemosho, are you sure it’s not the Northern Circuit, or an 8-day Lemosho with a pre and post in Moshi? In terms of clothing, 4-5 shirts should be fine, with a single base layer. You can wear a shirt of 2 for a few days. I recommend bring merino wool underwear, these breathe very well and can easily be used for 2 days straight.
      3. What you have sounds fine, although a light fleece is always good to have.
      4. A combination of your leggings with standard trekking trousers and your hard shell waterproof trousers should do you fine.
      Hope this help!! Best of luck with your Kilimanjaro adventure!

  10. Hi there,
    In which category (100,200 or 300) would the R2 fleece zip Patagonia be ?
    I was planning on combining it with the TKA 100 glacier from the north face but you mentionned 200…
    I just want to make sure it will be enough… Or maybe should I just go for just one fleece?
    I could also add a sleeveless down jacket, to keep it warmer, then winter jacket on the top of all of that for summit night.

    Thanks !

    • Hi Caro, The R2 is quite a heavy fleece, leaning towards the 300 range. I would say you only need one fleece, ideally a 200 in weight (like a mid-weight fleece). You can combine this with a sleeveless jacket for cold days / nights, and your winter jacket for the summit night. Hope this helps!

      • Hi and thanks for this answer!
        So here would be my combinaison:
        – Fleece jacket (r1 or r2, i cant remember which one i own, but if i understood correctly r1 would be better),
        – sleeveless down jacket, TNF nuptse 2 vest type for night time at the camp,
        – and for summit night, I would add on the top of that my nuptse 700 down jacket and the GTX rain jacket ?!

        Sorry for all those questions.. .just wanna prepare myself as best as I can…

        • On the buzzer, Cara. That will give you enough layer combinations to cater for all weather eventualities. All the best!

  11. Hi there,
    I am looking into sorting out my Summit night bottom gears… would a wool 260 base layer + Craghoppers Kiwi Winter Trousers + goretex rain pants (in case against rain or wind…) work ?!
    Thanks for you help, I m not sure this would suffice or if im in the right direction…

    • What about
      -North Face Women’s Furano Insulated Pants or -North Face Medium Sally pants
      -Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants

      (so many options out there… and I’m not sure what to look for…)
      Thanks for your help!

      • All three pairs would work, but I would go for the North Face Sally pants as they are great quality and not too expensive.

  12. Hi
    My husband and I are both planning to use our ski jackets and bottoms for summit night. Mine is an all-in-one combination, will this be okay or should we consider lighter alternatives.

  13. Hi there and tks in advance for the answer!

    1) I’m worried about the summit day. Should this combination work properly?:

    – Base layer (shirt and trousers)
    – Long sleeve Shirt
    – Fleece (only jacket)
    – Sky cloths (trousers and jacket)

    I’m not sure if I’d need a second layer for the legs…

    2) In addition, do the sky glasses work well in the mountain?

    Tks again and congrats for this helpfull guide!

    • Hi Victor, The layer combination you have set out will work well! Remember to have warm gloves, socks and a beanie as your hands, feet and head will be the first to start feeling the cold. Not sure what you mean by sky glasses. Any pair of high UV glasses will work. Goggle are overkill. All the best!

      • Hi! Tks again for the answer!

        Sorry for the spelling! I meant Ski Goggle….but I got it, the UV glasses should be enough.

        Two more questions:
        1) Is it necessary a balaclava for the summit day?? I feel really unconfortable wearing it since it covers my mouth and nose.

        2) I have an excelent 40L bag for trekking, but I’m not sure if it is too big for this journey. Actually, I think it depends much more on the stuff you put inside the bag than the bag itself, but I want to be sure if the size of the bag won’t be a problem.

        Once again, tks for your help!!


        • Hi Victor,

          A balaclava is not necessary, but I recommend bring a Buff headwear scarf, ideally one with a part fleece section: See examples here.

          40L daypack is slightly on the big size but you are right it is more about what you put into your pack. You should be absolutely fine with a 40L that’s half full!


  14. Hello! Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive gear list. I am thinking of taking a Canada Goose Expedition or Trillium parka for the summit night. Do you think that would be too heavy?

    • HI Vai, personally I think those two options are too heavy. The warmth to weight ratio seems too high in my option. You need to to into account the 15kg weight limit for all your gear and I suspect with a Canada Goose or Trillium jacket you would be sacrificing a lot of weight. In my opinion a light weight but warm synthetic alternative or if you can afford it, down jacket, is best. All the best!

  15. Hi,
    if it’s any help for anybody I used the following on our Lemosho route last year –
    Pair of light-weight trousers for the first 2 days then switched to a pair of Berghaus goretex windproof trousers (including summit night).
    Base layer – North face reaxions (short sleeve) to start and then Helly Hansen long sleeved (inc summit night). Merino wool tights for summit night only.
    Mid layer – 100 weight north face fleece
    Summit night (and cold starts) – North face chimorazzo heavy fleece, Berghaus Ulvettana hybrid down,
    Rainy (only a bit of drizzle) – Berghaus Mera Peak.
    Gloves – Colombia (but forgot to put on liners)
    Socks – Bridgedale from lightweight to summit as required.
    Boots – Scarpa R-Evo GTX
    Sleeping Bag – Moutain Warehouse “everest”
    Sleeping Mat – Exped Synmat 9
    Berghaus 40L Freeflow backpack
    Mountain Equipment 140L duffle
    Beanie hat

    Don’t forget to take your sun-hat for the summit descent (like I did and had to keep my hood up!)

    I’m heading back next year with my daughter so any suggestions for ladies sleeping bags would be appreciated.

    Hope this helps.

  16. Hey I was wondering what size you would recommend for the daypack?

    Also would a North Face Triclimate Parka (with adequate layering underneath) be enough to double as a rain jacket and for getting closer to the summit or would you recommend something even heavier?

    • Hi Ali, for your daypack a 30L is more than sufficient. As for The North Face Triclimate, it should be sufficient for summit night when used in conjunction with yiour other layers. Not sure how well it performs in wet weather so you might want to have a light and cheap poncho or rainsuit to throw over yourself if it rains hard!

  17. Great infomative website… i’ve just bought my outer jacket for kili climb in im panicking its not warm…
    BERGHAUS Women’s Glissade III InterActive GORE-TEX® Jacket
    with layering will this be sufficient.
    also Im considering taking ski pants as a warm layer for legs …is this excessive?

    • Hi Jo, I’m not too familiar with the Glissade. It looks like it is a waterproof jacket first and foremost, but does have a fleeced inner layer, I assume you have that layer in your jacket. I suspect it doesn’t provide the greatest insulation and therefore might not be the warmest choice for Kili, but if you layer up well you should be okay. As for your legs, fleeced trekking trousers with a thermal base layer is sufficient for Kilimanjaro. All the best.

  18. Hiya. Great list of items but I’m now starting to wonder if I’ve just bought the wrong equipment. The trousers I’ve bought are a windproof softshell. Not water proof but supposedly warm for the colder parts of the climb. Is water proof essential or at the very least more important or am I ok?

    • Hi Harinder, no need to panic, windproof softshell trousers for Kili are fine. I would however bring some lightweight waterproof throw over trousers or a poncho should you get rain lower down the mountain or snow near the summit. Cheers!

  19. Hello there!
    I have a pair of insulated Returnia (mountain hardwear) pants for summit night.
    But i am now wondering… Would this be enough on the top of a base layer in 260 merino wool, or should i do wool base layer + craghoppers kiwi winter pants + insulated pants (writting it sound a bit much but maybe it would be better…) ?
    Thanks for you help!

  20. hi guys!

    this is super helpful!

    first of all, as a solo woman how easy do you think is to do it?
    and second, i might have get lost a bit but, what happens with the tent? is it usually provided by the tour guides? wouldn´t be recommended to bring one as well?

    • Hi Teresa, thanks for getting in touch. Kili is a real challenge, like running a marathon, but if you have prepared well, have determination and grit, you can make it to the summit. Of course, reaching the summit is totally dependent on how you fair with the altitude. If you do succumb to altitude sickness then you will have to descend. Generally success rates are over 80% on routes 7 days or longer. Tents and camping gear will be provided by your tour operator and carried by porters. As a solo women I recommend checking out:

  21. Love this page and finding the information exceptionally helpful.
    I am having a slight problem however with finding a suitable sports bra to wear. I am what you would call very well blessed and none of the makers of the merino bras go anywhere near my size. I have found a few products that claim to be be moisture wicking but are made of nylon or polyester. Which would be better in this situation?

    • Hi Vicky, both high wicking nylon or polyester are good options. Just make sure that they are comfortable to wear as that is the main aim.

  22. Hi, would the Marmot Montreal be too big/bulky/heavy? I’m 5’11 and it’s difficult to find a jacket that is long enough, but this one does the trick. I’m just worried about packing and lugging it up the mountain.

    • Hi Cait, The Marmot Montreal would do the job, but it isn’t specifically designed for sport use and cumbersome. It is better suited as a winter jacket to be worn out and about in town. That’s not to say that it won’t work on Kili, but I would rather go for a jacket that is designed for winter activity sports – like winter hiking, skiing etc. Hope this helps!

  23. Hi,

    I dont see any tents or beds in any of the lists. Does this mean that they are always provided by the guides? Or that this list is only suiteble for the route whit the cabins?

    • Hi Maarten, all camping equipment (tents, cooking gear etc.) are supplied by your tour company and carried by porters. All the best!

  24. hello, this is very helpful. i bought a patagonia re-tool pullover fleece as my first mid layer. for my second mid layer i was debating between the patagonia down sweater hoodie or the haglofs essens III down hoodie. both have 800 down fill but the haglofs has a pertex shield fabric vs. the patagonia one which has a “water-resistant shell is made of 100% recycled ripstop polyester with a durable water repellent finish.” i am leaning towards the patagonia one but wanted your thoughts.

    i was going to cover all this with a hard shell rain coat. i’m just worried since i tend to get very cold. thank you so much!

    • Hi Sam, both options are very good. I like Patagonia too so if you like the fit and brand then go for that one. The combination of your base layers with your fleece, down jacket and hard shell should be more than enough to stay warm. Remember the first things to feel the cold are your hands, feet and head so make sure to have good gloves, warm socks and a warm beanie and buff (head/neck scarf). Cheers!

  25. This whole series of articles is very helpful! Thank you!

    My husband and I will be attempting Kilimanjaro in late June next year. We will be doing the Mount Kilimanjaro marathon two days before, so we are hoping to invest in additional light gear that will pack well and keep us from hauling too many bags to store during the hike. We really like the specs of the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer jacket- light, down, very packagble, etc. but it seems too good to be true! Is this a jacket you are familiar with, and if so, is it truly warm enough for what we will need for this climb (Smartwool and Mizzuno breath thermo layers underneath). We do have rain shells to go over the jacket, just in case.

    Oh, we are doing the Northern Circuit, so a day time summit though hopefully followed by a night in the crater, if our bodies have cooperated with the altitude.

    • Hi Christy, Thanks for getting in touch. The MH Ghost Whisperer would work really well on Kili in combination with your base layers and hard shell. All the best with your trek and marathon!

  26. Hi, I plan to borrow an army issue Sleeka jacket ( original) as a down equivalent, and wearing an outer rain jacket, us this sufficient for summit night?

    Also, I intend to borrow army issue sleeping bag, is this sufficient for Kilimanjaro at night?

    • Hi Sukhbir, yes, both should be sufficient. Just make sure the sleeping bag is 4-season, as it can get pretty cold at night on Kilimanjaro!

  27. What a great book, thank you. I am heading to Kili on Feb. 1 and rounding out what I believe will be warm enough for summit night but wanted some additional feedback and reassurances :). (or a swift kick in the butt to get something else) Here is my kit list minus equipment. Thoughts? Thanks so much
    Base Layer
    • 2 – Long Sleeve Shirt, ColdPruf Men’s Platinum Dual Layer Long Sleeve
    • 2 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
    • 1 – ColdPruf Men’s Platinum Dual Layer Bottoms
    • 4 pr.– MicroModal Underwear
    • 1 – Balaclava
    • 1 – Gloves, Under Armour Infrared inserts
    Mid Layer
    • 1 – UA ColdGear ¼ Zip Infrared Fleece Pullover
    • 1 – Chestnut Hill ¼ Zip Polartec 200 Fleece
    • 1- KÖPPEN Tour Noir Fleece Jacket
    • 1 – 4U Cycling Windproof Water Resistant fleece lined pants
    • 5 pr. – People’s Socks 71% Merino Wool Socks
    • 1 – Convertible Hiking Pants
    • 1 – Pair Shorts
    Outer Layer
    • 1 – The North Face Resolve Jacket
    • 1 – Arctix Snow Sport Cargo Pants (Have)
    • 1 – Knit Hat
    • 1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
    • 1 – Hiking Boots Salewa’s
    • 1 – Gym shoes, to wear at camp (Saucony’s)
    • 1 – Gloves (Dakine Scout)

  28. Hi there

    I am climbing Kili in early August on a 7 day Machame route this year and am tying myself in knots trying to get my layering right! I see I am in good company here and this is the best site I have found for advice so thank you so much for creating it!

    So, I will get some merino base layers of various thicknesses for all stages of the mountain but my main concern is as the temperatures drop what I will need in place. (I feel the cold!). currently on top of said base layers I will have a Rab polartec power stretch pro jacket which is warm but feels like it maybe on the thin side for sub 0 temps? and a rab alpine microlight down jacket (650FP), and then a waterproof hardshell on top (thinking maybe from the Berghaus new extreme range?) This keeps me about warm at 0 temperatures if I am active, but my concern is summit night and around camp in the evenings. Perhaps I should get a polartec 200 fleece as a second midlayer? And should I then rent a thicker down jacket for summit night? I don’t really want to buy one at those costs if I am only going to need for it 6 hours of the trip on summit night.

    I was also thinking of wearing thermal leggings like Rab power stretch pro over base layer leggings plus waterproof trousers for summit night, would this be ok? I am much more comfortable walking in leggings than trekking trousers so was going to bring various thicknesses for all parts of the mountain – plus waterproof trousers. Would this work?

    Thank you so much!


    • Hi Hayley, In terms of your torso and legs, your suggested gear should be absolutely fine. A second midlayer is not a bad idea if you are very concerned about the cold. I would recommend you get very good quality thermal gloves and make sure your feet and head are kept warm too, these are the first areas to feel the cold. Beyond that you sound all set. Goof luck!

  29. Thank you for this comprehensive list! The comments and replies are so helpful too! My husband and I will be climbing Kilimanjaro in October and I am starting to think about our equipment. I was thinking about buying the Patagonia Vosque 3-in-1 parka for the climb. I like the idea of being able to use it in our cold Chicago winters after the trip. But do you think it will be too heavy or not technical enough? Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Stephanie, Glad you like the site and it’s proved helpful. I have not seen the Patagonia Vosque before but having looked online it appears that the jacket is more adequately designed for cold Chicago winters as opposed to high altitude mountains. That being said, I think it would actually work on Kili. In principle, if it keeps you nice and warm, and is waterproof then you should be good to go. I would however pop into the shop and discuss it first with a Patagonia employee before you buy it. Hope this helps!

  30. Hey there! Great website, I’ve definitely bookmarked it and will be returning many times to prepare for my climb this May. Question on outer layer. I currently have this:

    It’s a waterproof outer layer that attaches to a mid-weight fleece. I like this jacket a lot actually 🙂

    It seems a bit heavier than your guide recommends. I can either ditch this and get something different, or tweak my inner layers a bit. What do you think?

    • Hi Eliot, this will work well with solid base layers and an additional mid-layer fleece. You may still want a warm synthetic down jacket though for additional warmth.

  31. Hi there,

    Thank for the comprehensive list and all the helpful tips.

    I am climbing Kili in July and was wondering if a down jacket (650 fill) would be enough on the summit night along with a med layer of fleece.

    Thanks in advance.


  32. Hi Mark, I am finally on my final leg of preparation to embark on my teenage years dream of taming these gorgeous mountain. My last question is clothing. You suggest merino wool clothing. I live an active like style and have a lot of under armor products. Since one of their business target is back country hiking and all I was wondering if you recommend their ColdGear outfit as a substitute for the merino wool material you recommend?

  33. Hi, thanks for such an awesome and organised guide!

    I am going to be climbing kilimanjaro in July and also going snowboarding in October.

    As a result I have bought a ski jacket from mountain warehouse

    This jacket is laboratory tested to – 40 degrees C so should be easily warm enough with layers and has armpit zips for if I get too warm which I really like (I burn a little hotter than most).

    However the waterproof rating is 10000mm and breathability is 5000g. Will this be sufficient for Kili, or will water begin to seep through it in heavy downpours? I am particularly worried it might sleep through where my pack applies pressure on my shoulders/waist!

    • Hi Mark, you should be absolutely fine with this jacket. Rain is very unlikely near the summit, snow is possible but generally it is light and not wet. It may be worth having your rain outer shell with you on summit night if the weather is looking dodge. All the best!

      • Wow thanks, that is a relief!
        Just to confirm though, by rain outer shell do you mean a poncho (like the one pictured in the rain gear section of the guide) or just another waterproof jacket that goes over the top of this ski jacket?

        Many thanks


        • Hi Mark, a poncho would work, but if you are taking a rain jacket or hard shell jacket, then this would be the preferred option. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

  34. Hi,
    Great list! I’ve lived most of my life in FL, so purchasing cold weather gear is absolutely new to me. We are hiking Mandara to Summit in July. I’m looking at Outdoor Research for some 3rd layer jackets, would you have a recommendation between the Floodlight Down (its 800+ fill power down is utterly undaunted by wet weather) or the Diode Hooded Jacket (perfect for preserving warmth in cold, damp environments where pure down could wet out, the ingenious Hybrid-Mapped insulation and fabric of the Diode provides functional, water-resistant warmth in variable conditions.) I’m having such a hard time determining which makes more sense!

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    • Hi April, both jackets could work. Given a choice between the two I would go for the Diode, but it is obviously more expensive so it is really up to your budget. Either way both would work on Kilimanjaro. All the best!

  35. Hello,
    Climbing Kili with family beginning of January 2018. Question about bottom layers for summit (daytime summit, leaving 5am). I own a pair of insulated ski pants but they are really not comfortable enough for hiking, not enough give so to speak. Would a pair of smartwool long underwear (maybe even two), a pair of fleece pants and a pair of Columbia Storm Surge waterproof rain pants work? Thank you, and this is a great website!

    • Hi Kristin, you will be absolutely fine with a good base layer and fleeced pants. But as you mention an additional hard shell waterproof layer like the Columbia Storm Surge is a great option! Good luck!

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