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What is the best cold weather sleeping bag for Denali?

What cold weather sleeping bag would you recommend best for climbing Denali? Should I go with a -20, -25, -30 or -40 degree sleeping bag when climbing Denali?

1 Answer


Here are some of the most popular sleeping bags for climbing the West Buttress route on Denali:

Expeditions from late-April thru end-of May sleeping bags should be rated to at least -30F (-34C) to -40F:

Expeditions in June sleeping bags should be rated to at least -20F (-28C):

A sleeping bag suitable for climbing Denali should be:

  • Down Only. Synthetic bags are not acceptable due to their size and weight.
  • Sleeping bag needs to be a mummy-style down bag rated between minus -20°F and -40°F.
  • Rated to -30F (-34C) for the early and mid-May expeditions; to at least -20F (-28C) for expeditions in June.
  • Up until high camp, a -40 bag may be too warm.
  • Many people are happy with a -20°F bag, but if you sleep cold you'll want a warmer bag.
  • The temperature rating system for sleeping bags is arbitrary and is not a guarantee of warmth.
  • Base your selection on how well you do in the cold. If you tend to sleep on the cold side, choose a bag rated on the lower end of the temperature range.
  • Unless you are shorter than 5’ 8”, the long version is better to accommodate all the items you need to sleep with: 2 water bottles, liner boots, any thing else that needs to dry out.
  • At High Camp, if you need extra insulation to sleep warm, you can wear your overpants and drape your parka over your sleeping bag.
  • Using two sleeping bags together is not recommended.


Also you can see the current weather forcast on Denali at various elevations on the mountain at

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