There are two types of bags that you need to have on your Kilimanjaro trek – a Kilimanjaro duffle bag and a daypack.
The type of Kilimanjaro duffle bag you choose is important as it will hold all of your gear, including your sleeping bag.
Your Kilimanjaro duffle bag will be carried by your porter who will transport your gear from one camp to the next. Porters carry bags on their head so it is important that the bag is soft and weighs no more than 20kg when fully loaded (some operators limit the weight to 15kg fully-loaded).
Key characteristics to look for in a duffle bag:
Kilimanjaro Duffle Bag Recommendations
The TYTN (pronounced Tytan) is a great quality 90L duffel bag that is just perfect for Kilimanjaro and other multi-day hiking trips. Constructed from tarpaulin material, that is combined with polyester and lined zippers, the TYTN is super durable and decently water resistant.
It comes with loads of storage as well as a separate shoe compartment to keep your clothes clean. There are also a number of different carrying straps, including shoulder straps that allow the bag to be carried like a backpack.
The North Face duffel bag is a quality bag, but it comes at quite a hefty price. The bag will not let you down but one can’t help but feel that a premium is being paid for the North Face brand.
Available in five sizes – XS: 25 liters; S: 42 liters; M: 72 liters; L: 90 liters; XL: 155 liters. Approximative weight: XS: 1050 g; S: 1250 g; M: 1600 g; L: 1820 g; XL: 2240 g
If you decide to go with the North Face duffel we would recommend the Large version. Click here to review colour variants on the North Face Duffle.
In addition to your duffle bag (which is carried by your porter) you will be carrying your own daypack. In your daypack you should keep all important (suncream, sunglasses, snacks, water), personal (money, passport etc.) or small breakable items (camera, phone etc.).
Your daypack should be small and lightweight. The lighter the better.
Key characteristics to look for in a good daypack:
Recommended Kilimanjaro daypacks
The Osprey Talon 22 is a brilliant day pack that will easily fit all your essentials in a comfortable and well-supported bag.
The Talon is definitely a leader in the lightweight market, providing versatility, high performance and quality design in a neat multi-purpose pack. The daypack also features a special compartment to put your hydration bladder.
Two sizes are available: S/M (20L) and M/L (22L) and the bag retails for ~$100/£70. Both sizes are fine for Kilimanjaro.
The North Face Borealis is a multi-purpose day pack. It includes all the key features that are required for climbing Kilimanjaro (including a hydration bladder compartment), as well as useful non-trekking features, such as a laptop compartment.
The Borealis has a 29L capacity and comes in at a cheaper price than the Osprey Talon.
Available in both men and women variants.
Check out the North Face Borealis.
Depending on what time of the year you are hiking, there is a possibility that you will encounter rain on the mountain. You want to avoid getting your daypack wet. A good rain cover is a worthy piece of kit to have as a precaution. If you are going with the Osprey Talon Backpack we would also get the Osprey Daypack Raincover which retails for the standard backpack rain cover price and is super reliable. NB: select the right size cover (i.e. 19-30 litres)
If you decide to go with a daypack which can hold a hydration bladder, then we suggest you purchase the best hydration bladder on the market. There is nothing worse than a leaky bladder!
The Platypus Hydration Bladder is undoubtedly the best product, hands down!. Where Osprey are strong in backpacks, Platypus rock the CamelBak. The Platypus comes in a 2L and 3L version, the latter is ideal for Kilimanjaro.
Travel Bag Organisers
A pro tip that we have used to great effect on Kilimanjaro are travel bag organisers, which can be used to source separate your gear for better backing and access. They also provide a great way to separate wet or dirty gear.
Alternatively, if you want to go completely cheapo then use clear plastic bags to separate your gear.
Encountering rain on your Kilimanjaro trek is always a possibility, especially in the rainforest section of the hike. If you are concerned with the waterproof capability of your duffel or backpack then taking a dry bag or two is always a good idea. These types of bags can fit comfortably inside a duffle, are waterproof and can easily double as a source separator, like the travel cubes mentioned above.
In terms of recommended brands, check out Duc-Kit Pro bags.
Small bag lock for your Kilimanjaro duffle bag
For obvious safety purposes you should be locking your Kilimanjaro duffle bag. Here are some sturdy bag locks.
Overview on all Kilimanjaro clothing requirements, including layered clothing recommendations and the all important outer layer (i.e. jacket).See Clothing
Here we cover useful gear to keep your head out of the sun during the hot and high solar radiation days that you will experience on Kilimanjaro, as well as keep your head warm and cosy on summit night.See Headgear
Gloves and walking / trekking pole requirements. Both are critical. The former is very important as your hands are the first to start freezing on summit night. The latter can reduce the impact on your knees by up to 20%, which is a major win when you are descending from the slopes of Kibo.See Hands & Walking
From hiking boots to socks and gaiters. Your feet are what get you up Mount Kilimanjaro. Don’t fall victim to purchasing bad boots or socks that will give you blisters!See Footwear
Kilimanjaro sleeping bag recommendations and other useful sleeping accessories, like an inflatable pillow. The sleeping bag you choose is important as the nights on Kilimanjaro can get below freezing.See Sleeping Gear
Kilimanjaro accessories including water bottles and medications. You can also find detailed information on Diamox (the high altitude sickness prophylatic medication) here.See Other Accessories
Still have questions about the type of Kilimanjaro bags you need? Feel free to leave a question in the comments below and we will respond within 24 hours.