How to Layer for Kilimanjaro


Staying warm and dry is imperative for a successful trek, but you can achieve it easily if you know how to properly layer. Each layer has a specific and important purpose, so make sure not to leave any out when packing your duffle. Let’s start with your top half:

Base Layer: (pack both a medium and heavy weight option) Synthetics or Merino wool manage moisture and  help  regulate your body temperature
–> Staff Picks: SmartWool Midweight Long Underwear and Patagonia Capilene 4

Mid Layer 1: Fleece insulates by trapping air close to your body. Translation: as the temperatures drop, you’ll stay warm!
–> Staff Picks: Mammut Aconcagua Hoodie or  Patagonia Better Sweater

Mid Layer 2: Add a layer of synthetic down or wind-resistent fleece to keep you warm as the temperatures drop.
For the coldest temperatures (on the trail or at camp), substitute your mid-layer 2 climbing jacket with your down parka for optimal insulation.
–> Staff Picks: First Ascent Igniter Jacket or Arc-teryx Gamma MX Hoodie Jacket

Outer Layer: When the weather gets wet, waterproof fabrics with breathability (found in fabrics like Gore-tex or eVent) are necessary as an outer layer. (Learn how to wash your Gore-Tex fabrics.)
–> Staff Picks: Arc’teryx Alpha SL Jacket or Outdoor Research Foray Rain Jacket

Don’t let the changing temperatures on Kilimanjaro stump you – be prepared for any weather condition with our pants and socks recommendations…


Base Layer (Warm Weather): Wear quick-dry, convertible hiking pants alone in warmer weather or layer them over base/mid layers in colder weather
–> Staff Picks: Marmot Lobo Convertible Pant OR Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 Pant

Base Layer 1 (Cold Weather):  Medium weight synthetics or Merino wool
–> Staff Picks: SmartWool Midweight Long Underwear

Base Layer 2 (Cold Weather): Heavy weight synthetics or Merino wool
–> Staff Picks: REI Grand Teton Fleece Tights or Mammut Denali Pant

Mid Layer (Cold Weather): Wind-resistant fleece or synthetic down (climbing pant)
–> Staff Picks: First Ascent Igniter Pant or Marmot Orion Pant

Outer Layer (Cold Weather): Waterproof technology, like Gore-Tex or eVent, to keep you warm and dry in the snow or rain
–> Staff Picks: Arc’teryx Beta SL Rain Pant or Arc’teryx Alpha SL Full Zip Rain Pant