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Women's down pants for Denali: what fill weight should I get?

Original Post
Sara Campbell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

Hi all, thanks so much for your advice the last few times I asked questions!!

I was thinking of getting custom down pants from this site because I'm 5'1" with a 25" inseam lol...…

I'm not sure what fill weight to get. Wondering if women who often get cold butts could chime in on what they used on their legs for Alaska and similar temps. I was planning on wearing these fleece tights as a baselayer higher up on the mountain (… ), under a pair of softshell pants. I have the Marmot precip pants as a hard shell (hard to find fancier hard shells that come in "short"!)

Was hoping with those layers, plus sufficiently warm down pants, I could have a warm butt. Pretty sure my butt (really my butt in particular is what gets quite cold!) always gets way colder my male partners' butts, so I'm especially curious about what other ladies have done.

They say get at least 5.5 oz fill for the baffled option. They give 10F as the temp rating for 5.5 oz and -20F as the temp rating for 8.5 oz. Would the 8.5 oz pants be excessive? I called the company and the guy recommended maybe 5.5-6.5 with a hard shell over them.

I was wondering if I should get a pair of light synthetic pants to wear under my softshells like the Patagonia nano air pants cuz I love that jacket soooo breathable (… )

We were planning on doing the climb in the month of June, but would consider going earlier when it's colder if the weather would be more stable. Still weighing the options there.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 180

I think youre going to have a tough time finding someone who has the same tolerance as you. It varies a lot. When I did Denali, I wore MH compressor pants as my puff pants and only wore them on summit day despite being on the mountain for 22 days. I had a woman in my group who wore down pants that had to have at least double the amount of insulation as my pants and she wore them to bed most nights and when we'd eat in the posh tent.

My suggestion would be to take something on the warmer side, if you already know you run a little cold. It would be better to have to unzip/remove layers cuz youre warm than to be wearing everything and be cold.

Hopefully my response helps even though Im not a woman who often gets a cold butt.

Sara Campbell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

Thanks yeah your response totally helps! It's good to know that there's variance in how much people wear because I've seen a lot of things online saying that you don't need super thick pants. After a cold weekend in CO I ended up going for the highest fill weight.

I found a pair of primaloft shorts that I might try adding to my layers, because it is literally only the skin on my butt that sometimes feels like it's going to freeze off (rest of legs are fine). Like I ended up shoving my alti-mitts down my pants on Saturday because I was worried I would get frost-bitten butt cheeks. It's probably because I have a fat butt/winter's way of telling me to lay off the cheesy poofs... -_-

Still curious to hear from more women about what they do for their lower body in cold temps!

wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

Handwarmers and tape :).

I imagine though that wearing fleece near the skin would help any cold spots. Also if u are wearing a shell over the top of the down pants make sure it doesn't compress the down anywhere which would create cold spots.

sandrock · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115

I have great success with a down skirt when I'm belaying for ice climbing. Size it one size larger to fit over shell pants and harness. And get one that buttons down the side so you can take it off with crampons on. All the guys giggle when I first pull it out of my pack, but as the day gets colder they're all jealous.

I suggest getting those down pants and also a down skirt to wear over the pants. It should help keep your bum warm.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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