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0 F Sleeping Bag for Denali


Original Post
Parker Cunneen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 26

So I was just camping in the Adirondacks. It got down to -20 F. I was using a Feathered Friends Ibis (rated at 0F) with a liner. I was in just my baselater and I was hot inside that thing. Given that I run hot and made it through no problem do you think I could get away with the same system on Denali opposed to buying a new $600 -20F bag?

Andrew Blease · · Bartlett, NH · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 480

I've been wondering the same thing. Who has answers? 

ChrisMurphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

when I was on Denali we have several nights that were in the -40 range, not sure exactly how cold it was because -40 was the bottom of our thermometer so it was at least that cold

TK C · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 0

No it will not work. 

Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Parker Cunneen wrote:

So I was just camping in the Adirondacks. It got down to -20 F. I was using a Feathered Friends Ibis (rated at 0F) with a liner. I was in just my baselater and I was hot inside that thing. Given that I run hot and made it through no problem do you think I could get away with the same system on Denali opposed to buying a new $600 -20F bag?

Depends on when you go. Early season. Take a -20F bag. Late season, you will probably be ok with the zero if you also use your big puffy jacket and pants as a backup. However, sleeping like that sucks and you need to ensure optimal sleep. The other thing to keep in mind is that you will be slogging it out with very long days, so the added element of dehydration, fatigue, etc., means you will be colder than normal, even if you run hot. 17 camp can be brutally cold.

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

Sadly no

Greg Shea · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

Later season maybe a -15 or so if you run warm, depends when you go

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 661

Is it worth having to cancel your trip because your bag isn't warm enough? Denali is COLD.  Peter Habeler said Denali was colder than anything he climbed in the Himalaya.

Mike Storeim · · Evergreen, CO · Joined Sep 2002 · Points: 30

It's been nearly 35 years since I did Denali, and sleeping bags have probably improved a bit, but a -20 bag inside a bivy sack was adequate, even at high camp. Decent weather though. 

The next year, on Mt. Hunter, it wasn't nearly warm enough.

No way would I go up there with a 0 degree bag.

PosiDave · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65

borrow a bag? I scored a good -20 bag off here for $400

the Adirondacks are brutal, but they are still a helicopter ride or snow machine ride to safety. If you are stuck on Denali is it worth $500 to save your toes?

Amy Krull · · Oregon · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 45

I've had friends who have successfully used a double bag sleeping system. E.g. 0 and a -10/15 together. Great in that you don't sweat buckets at basecamp and can be cheaper.  However, definitely heavier and bulkier. 

Parker Cunneen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 26
PosiDave wrote:

borrow a bag? I scored a good -20 bag off here for $400

the Adirondacks are brutal, but they are still a helicopter ride or snow machine ride to safety. If you are stuck on Denali is it worth $500 to save your toes?

So true on a safety ride away. 


Sounds like the general consensus’s is its worth the money for the comfort. Thanks for the input everyone. 

Sam Sala · · Denver · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 40

We were in base camp this past May (we were climbing up in the SE fork so I don't have 1st hand from up higher) and a Polish team we flew out with said it hit -61F while they were up there. NPS told them they were the first team to summit for the season without some form of frostbite. Again, not first hand, but eff that noise. I'd be packing the minus-est minus bag I could get my hands on...

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,423
Parker Cunneen wrote:

So I was just camping in the Adirondacks. It got down to -20 F. I was using a Feathered Friends Ibis (rated at 0F) with a liner. I was in just my baselater and I was hot inside that thing. Given that I run hot and made it through no problem do you think I could get away with the same system on Denali opposed to buying a new $600 -20F bag?

How sustained was the -20F?  All night long from start to finish, or, was that just the lowest of the low?  

The 17k camp can be sustained cold.  And, with high winds and bad weather, you could be stuck there for a night or more.  Its sustained cold.  

My bag was -30F and we spent several nights in the first/second week of June at 17k due to bad weather.  Was cold at 17k.  And, I could supplement with a pretty burly down parka too.  A piece of mind was that I knew my bag was warm enough.  I never had to worry about getting cold.

You can do things to maximize the 0F bag, but, you're really making up for shortcomings in warmth and loose the margin you might need should you get stuck, or, you have something go sideways (accidently spilling a full water bottle in your bag, having your tent collapse under high winds, etc).

You might run hot but, do you run hot after a climb from 14k to 17k?  Say, you're low on calories, slow because the pack and altitude are crushing you, wet because you've sweated out your layers but you can't take off your shell due to high wind and blowing snow, dehydrated...and now you have to pitch a tent, build snow walls, get a brew on...

My advice would be, if you don't have experience at this type of latitude and altitude with a lighter-than-recommended bag, then, don't do it.

clint helander · · anchorage, alaska · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 611

I’ve climbed it three times and I bring a zero and 20 and have never been cold. If you go in June and don’t sleep at 17, you will likely be ok, but why push it? Bring some separate bag.

PosiDave · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65


For sure man! I love not carrying extra weight, but some things are worth It.


When are you going? Guided? Do you have a group? West Buttress your route? 


Parker Cunneen wrote:

So true on a safety ride away. 


Sounds like the general consensus’s is its worth the money for the comfort. Thanks for the input everyone. 


Parker Cunneen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 26
PosiDave wrote:


For sure man! I love not carrying extra weight, but some things are worth It.


When are you going? Guided? Do you have a group? West Buttress your route? 



The current timeline is the 2019 season. So a ways off but I am a planner so I like to think long term, 


Definitely guided. One of the big names. I have strong alpinist skill set but feel the guide service is worth it. 

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

Doesn't Feathered Friends rent sleeping bags ... would that be a possibility for you? Not sure if a stop in Seattle is feasible on your way to Alaska though.  I know The Mountaineer in Keene Valley sells Western Mountaineering bags rated for severe, Adirondack cold.  I wonder if they rent them?  Might be a good idea to give them a call & find out. The Mountaineer also sells Rab's Expedition line - down jackets, pants, mitts, etc. designed for high-altitude climbing.

Robert Cort · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 800

I took a -20F bag last season and was warm most nights. But my advice is that you are better off unzipped on “warm” nights than being too cold.

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

Maybe if you supplimented the 0 degree bag with a 15 or 10 degree quilt.  The quilt could be nice for sleeping during the day down low with the sun on the tent. Then use the 0 degree bag till you need to supplement the quilt over the top.  A quilt strapped over the top of a bag is way more comfortable than doing double bags and more versatile than a single -40 bag.  Probably a bit heavier too though.  Just make sure the quilt is somewhat oversized so it doesn't compress the sleeping bag


Steve Williams · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 235
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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