The Complete Denali Equipment List

Blake P
The Complete Denali Equipment List

Different environments and mountains require different equipment. Whether you are trekking in hot and rocky terrain, climbing on icy cliffs, or ascending to high altitudes, you need to have the right gear for each situation.

This is the first article in our 'Equipment List Series', where we give you detailed and specific recommendations for all the gear required on various expeditions. We start with Denali, the highest peak in North America and one of the most challenging climbs in The Seven Summits. It was also one of this author's favourite expeditions.

To climb Denali, you need to be well prepared and equipped. Here is a list of the personal gear that you will need for a safe and successful ascent. We have selected some of the best products on the market that will help you face the harsh conditions of Denai.

Some of these products have links to the best deals we've found in the US as we understand how expensive expeditions can be. So any savings on the web should be taken advantage of!

We receive a small commission on any puchases made through these links. These small commissions keep our business running. We appreciate all and any support. 🙏🏼

Clothing and Apparel

Layering is key to staying warm and comfortable in the ever-changing Denali climate.

Required Item Description Top three products (US)
Base Layers

Moisture-wicking, quick-drying base layers are essential for comfort and temperature regulation

Icebreaker 200 Oasis

Smartwool Merino 250

Patagonia Capilene Midweight

Light Down Jacket

For colder weather, ideal for colder days or even a mid-layer

The North Face Summit L3

Arc'teryx Atom LT

Rab Microlight Alpine

Hardshell Jacket

For severe weather, a waterproof and windproof hardshell is a must

Outdoor Research Hemispheres

Black Diamond Helio Active

Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 GORE-TEX

Extreme Down Jacket

Vital for extreme cold, these jackets provide excellent warmth-to-weight ratio

Patagonia Grade VII

Arc'teryx Alpha Parka

Montane Alpine 850

Softshell Pants

Lightweight and breathable pants for the trekking portion of the climb

Mammut Runbold,

Outdoor Research Ferrosi

Arc'teryx Sentinel LT Bib

Hardshell Pants

These pants are waterproof and windproof for severe weather

Arc'teryx Beta AR

Black Diamond Boundary Line Shell Pant

Patagonia Men's Torrentshell 3L Pants



Keeping your feet dry and supported is essential to maintaining your mobility and comfort during the climb.

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
Mountaineering Boots These are essential for high-altitude and extreme cold conditions. There can be two lines of thought here. One is big 8000m boots with everything included or the second is lighter boots for 6000m peaks or even plastic boots with an insulated overboot. There are pros and cons to each. For simplicity we have selected single higher altitude boots here.

La Sportiva Olympus Mons

Scarpa Phantom 6000

Lowa Expedition 8000 EVO RD

Gaiters Gaiters keep snow and debris out of your boots

Outdoor Research Crocodile

Black Diamond Apex

Rab Latok Extreme


Headgear and Eyewear

Protecting your head and eyes from harsh weather conditions is crucial on Denali.

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
Climbing Helmet

Protective headgear designed to shield a climber from falling debris, impact forces, and sharp objects.

Petzl Sirocco

Black Diamond Vision MIPS

Mammut Wall Rider Mammut Wall Rider Climbing Helmet Surf 56-61cm

Balaclava Provides full-face coverage in extreme conditions

Outdoor Research Ninjaclava

Outdoor Research Tundra Aerogel Gore-Tex Infinium Balaclava

Outdoor Research Option Balaclava

Goggles Specialized eyewear designed to protect a climber's eyes from intense UV rays, glare, wind, and snow at high altitudes. Most ski or snowboarding googles with Medium-dark double lens to prevent fogging will suffice

Smith 4D Mag Goggle ChromaPop

Smith I/O Mag

Oakley Flight Deck

Glacier Glasses Sunglasses specifically designed to protect the eyes from intense UV radiation, glare, and wind in high-altitude and glaciated environments

Julbo Vermont Classic

Julbo Cham

Oakley Clifden


Climbing Essentials

The right tools and gear are crucial for safe and efficient climbing.

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
Ice Axe Essential for certain sections of the climb, especially the steeper gradients. 

Black Diamond Raven Pro

Petzl Summit Evo

Grivel Air Tech Evolution

Crampons For better traction on ice and hard-packed snow

Petzl Vasak

Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro

Grivel G12

Harness A lightweight alpine harness is necessary for roped sections

Arc'teryx AR-395a

Black Diamond Solution Harness Alex Honnold Edition

Petzl Sitta

Carabiners Locking carabiners are essential for roped sections and securing gear

Black Diamond Positron

Petzl Spirit Straight Grey

DMM Alpha Light

Climbing Rope Usually provided by the guiding service, but good to know for knowledge's sake.

Mammut Genesis

Sterling Fusion Nano IX

Beal Opera


Sleeping Gear

Rest and recovery are essential for a successful summit push

Required Item Description Top three product recommendations
Sleeping Bag Should be a high-quality, down-insulated bag rated for extreme cold temperatures, as low as -40°F (-40°C), to provide maximum warmth and comfort in the harsh, sub-zero conditions of North America's highest peak

Marmot Col Membrane

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0

Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF

Sleeping Pad An insulating cushion between you and the ground, designed to offer comfort and thermal insulation during overnight outdoor activities

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm

Exped DownMat XP 9

NEMO Tensor Insulated

Compression Sack Specialized stuff sack designed to reduce the volume of compressible items like sleeping bags or down jackets, making it easier to pack them in a backpack.

Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack

Outdoor Research Ultralight Compression Sack

Granite Gear eVent


Technical Gear

Essential tools for navigating crevasses, ice, and rocky terrain

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
Prusik Cord A loop of strong, flexible rope used for creating friction hitches that can slide or lock in place, commonly employed in climbing and rescue situations for tasks like ascending or securing loads

Bluewater 6.5mm Prusik Cord

Sterling 8mm AZ Bound Loop Prusik Black Long

Metolius Prusik Cord Set Assorted

Ascenders Ascenders are mechanical devices used for ascending a rope, featuring a locking mechanism that grips the rope when weight is applied, and allows easy upward movement while preventing downward sliding

Petzl Ascension

Black Diamond Index

C.A.M.P. Turbohand Pro Ascenders


Personal Items

Items that provide comfort and convenience during the expedition.

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
Headlamp A headlamp is a light source affixed to a strap or harness, worn on the head, to provide hands-free illumination during various activities like hiking, climbing, or camping. You probably wont use this much on Denali as it is so close to the Artic cirlce and climbing season is usually in spring which means it never really gets dark. But here just in case.

Black Diamond Spot

Petzl Actik

Fenix HL60R

Multitool Compact, handheld device that combines various functional tools, such as knives, pliers, and screwdrivers, into a single unit for performing a wide range of tasks

Leatherman Signal

Gerber Center-Drive,

Victorinox SwissTool

Water Bottles A durable, often insulated container designed to safely store and provide easy access to drinking water in rugged, high-altitude environments. Wide mouth always recommended, especially in freezing envrionments as it reduces the change for the neck of the bottle and opening to freeze solid. Here we list three bottles for different purposes. 1) Drinking water 2) Hot beverages 3) Pee bottle (necessary)

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth

Nalgene Wide Mouth

Nalgene Wide Mouth 96 oz. Canteen

Insulated Mug A thermally insulated container designed to keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for extended periods of time, often featuring a lid for spill prevention

Yeti Rambler 14oz

Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Mug

Stanley Classic Trigger-Action Travel Mug


Communication and Safety

Staying connected and prepared for emergencies is vital.

Required Item Description  Top three product recommendations
GPS Communicator GPS messengers are portable devices that use satellite technology to enable two-way text messaging, location tracking, and SOS emergency functions, even in remote or high-altitude environments where traditional cell service is unavailable

Garmin inReach Mini 2

Garmin inReach Explorer+

Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) A small, battery-operated emergency device that uses satellite technology to transmit a distress signal and your location to search and rescue services in case of a life-threatening situation. Usually not required on guided expeditions to Denali but here for your information

Black Diamond Guide BT Avalanche Beacon


Garmin inReach Mini

First Aid Kit A compact, portable set of medical supplies designed to address common injuries and emergencies encountered during high-altitude and remote expeditions, often including items like bandages, antiseptics, and medications for altitude sickness

Adventure Medical Kit Mountain Series Hiker 2 Day 2 Person

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Custom Medical Kit Bag

Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Backpacker First Aid Kit



Equipping yourself with the right gear is a fundamental aspect of a successful guided expedition to Mount Denali. The items mentioned above form the backbone of your gear list, ensuring your safety, comfort, and ability to navigate the challenging terrain. Remember that while some items can be shared among the group, having your own set of personal equipment is crucial for personal hygiene and efficiency.

Prioritize high-quality products that are well-suited to Denali's extreme conditions. Your gear can significantly impact your overall experience and the success of your climb, so invest in reliable equipment that will support you every step of the way.

These are general recommendations, and they may not necessarily represent the latest or most suitable options for every climber. Please consult with your guide company before embarking on your expedition. 

We will expand on this list as we learn about the latest and greatest equipment for the outdoors so keep your eyes peeled for updates.


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Location :
 6,190 m / 20,308 ft

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