Winter Gear Lists – Clothing/Sleep?

Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Gear Forums Gear Lists Winter Gear Lists – Clothing/Sleep?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #1215689
    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Just curious what y’all are carrying for clothing and sleep systems, and what kinds of winter environments you are dealing with for those systems. Please spec the # of days you are out with the intended list as well. Most interested in how/if you integrate soft shells into your system, seeing down vs. synthetic insulations, and bivy sack/tarp/tent use.

    I had a recent overnighter on a ridge exposed to 20 mph winds but built up a snow wall around to shield my bivy site some. Snowing, low temps to 6-8 degrees F, high temps while on the ridge 16-18 deg F, humidity about 85%, elevation 9500, above the treeline. Here’s what I took:


    – ID South Col eVENT Bivy – 19 oz
    – Nunatak Expedition Arc Alpinist (microlight shell, 0.85 lining, 3″ loft) – 21 oz
    – Zotte Foams 5mm x 20″ x 60″ pad (with pack under knees and feet) – 5 oz
    – TorsoLite pad – 10 oz

    Torso Clothing:

    – Rab Vapor Trail Smock (worn all the time) – 14 oz
    – Integral Designs eVENT Jacket (worn on ridge traverse) – 10 oz
    – Rab Quantum Endurance Parka (worn at rests/in camp/sleeping, during the day on long level sections or downhills where I wasn’t creating too much heat, and late in the day as the sun went down while still hiking along the ridge) – 22 oz

    Clothing on Legs:

    – Arc’Teryx Gamma MX Pants (worn all the time) – 19 oz
    – Cocoon pants prototype (stay tuned, going to production in 3 wks!) (worn in camp/sleeping) – 9 oz


    – Mt Hardwear Hammer Gloves – 6 oz
    – (prototype) Featherlite Vapor Mitts – 4 oz (available at BPL in < 1 wk)
    – OR WindPro Balaclava – 2 oz


    – smartwool liner socks – 2 oz
    – RBH Designs Vapor Barrier Socks – 3 oz
    – Intuition Liners / Dynafit MLT4 Boots – 4 lb 12 oz

    Conclusions: was a little nippy in the torso and legs unless I was moving pretty quick OR was wearing the down parka while moving, which was actually pretty nice – remember – while on the ridge we had steady winds of 15-25 mph so it was really cold up there. I even added the mitts here and there during the day quite a bit.

    What I’d change: maybe add a fleece vest and some very light wind pants for that touch of extra warmth in the wind.

    Steven Scates MD
    BPL Member


    Hi Ryan,
    I am writing in advance of my trip to the Sierras this next weekend and will update you with my results when I return.
    I am trying hard to move to ultralight backpacking and am glad to see a recent gear list for the winter.
    In some of your articles, you use a synthetic bag for winter, in others a down bag. One problem I am having with my synthetic bag (20 deg primaloft) is physically getting it into a light pack. If I compress it, it is too bulky and hard to fit into my Golite Infinity. It physically won’t get in. For this reason alone, I am ordering an Arc bag.
    Have you moved to synthetics for the snow of early spring/winter as noted in one of your articles or have you come back to down again? The volume of the bag seems to be the limit as to what pack I bring, so it seems a choice between a heavier, roomier pack or a down bag with its winter condensation issues.

    Thanks for your help and I will let you know what happens.


    J R


    In the “blizzard of 05” as the news said… not a blizzard, but you know how accurate the TV news is *rolls eyes*

    (weights are rounded to nearest .25lbs)

    Pack – MountainSmith Ghost – 3lbs

    Shelter – Bibler Hooped Bivy – 1.5lbs
    Sleeping Bag – MontBell #4 – 2.5lbs
    Full Length Sleeping Pad – Full length Blue Foam pad (cut to fit) – approx .5lbs
    Torso Pad – POE Uber Micro – .25lbs

    Hat – Montbell UL Field Cap – 1oz
    Cold Hat – Combined Balaclava/watch cap – .25lbs

    Uninsul. Cagoule – Homemade design – .75oz
    Insul. Jacket – Montbell Thermawrap – .5lbs
    Shirt – UnderArmour ColdGear – .75lbs
    Kilt – SportKilt – 1lbs
    Insulated “chaps” – Homemade design – .75lbs

    Shell gloves – Marmot Trigger Finger Gore Tex – .5lbs
    Insulated Gloves – Marmot “trigger finger” Primaloft – .25lbs
    Liner Gloves – Marmot Evolution
    N2S Gloves – 2oz

    Socks – Smartwool 2 pairs – .5lbs
    Booties – Integral Designs – .25lbs
    Shoes – Merrell Chameleon XCR – 2.5lbs
    Gaiters – Homemade Spandura – .25lbs

    Cook set + Homemade Stove – .5lbs

    Approx 15.75lbs

    It was very snowy, but did not get extremely cold. I was able to keep warm while moving but cooled off when I stopped. However I was able to set up camp in a protected area, snuggled into my bag, and cooked dinner (not bear safe – but no known bears in the area). By bed time I was quite warm and comfortable. I woke cold around 0400, but since I usually get up around 0500, it was no big deal. Boiled water for tea and oatmeal, and was warm by 0430 and on the trail a little earlier than normal.

    If I had the $, Id also include a Montbell “UL Sleeping Bag” which would up the weight about 1.25lbs, but I feel I would have stayed warm for at least the additional hour Im accustomed to.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Get the Newsletter

Get our free Handbook and Receive our weekly newsletter to see what's new at Backpacking Light!

Gear Research & Discovery Tools