Gear for Rainier
  • Gear for Rainier

  • Gear Guide

Welcome to Rainier!

Climbers know that efficiency is key to enjoying adventures in the mountains. This is true both for movement and for equipment. In addition to all of the training you are doing, part of the preparation for your climb is making sure that you have the proper gear. The right equipment choices provide an added degree of comfort and safety, allowing you to focus on the climb and enjoy the experience.

We know you have many choices when it comes to outdoor products. And because we also know that navigating all the options can be overwhelming, we created this Gear Guide to help simplify the outfitting process. In this post we share our philosophy, tips and advice, and specific functions and features of each equipment item listed for a summit attempt on Rainier. We also identify the products that we believe are the “best in class” and ideal for climbing Rainier.

Our guide was written with input from the RMI guide team, who have been guiding climbers on Mt. Rainier since 1969. As outfitters of RMI for the last few decades, we have a pretty good idea about what works and what doesn’t up on the mountain. All of our gear suggestions can be bought or rented from our store, in person or online.

How This Works:

We've divided our guide into two pages; Gear and Apparel. This is the Gear page.

If you're looking for Apparel please click here.
If you're looking for Guide Pick please click here.

Otherwise, feel free to click on the section you're interested in below, or just start scrolling! 

Backpacks and Bags

Backpacks and Bags

Sleeping System

Your sleep system is dependent on where you plan to sleep. If you are in a hut you will not need a sleeping pad, sleeping in a tent you will. If you're climbing Rainier and staying in a hut, you'll be fine with a closed-cell foam pad, which are provided by RMI Expeditions.

For bags, we recommend a bag rated between 0° to 20° F. Both down and synthetic work well. Use the 0° bag in May, June and September when it colder, and the 20° bag in July and August when it is warmer. 

Sleeping Pads provide cushioning and insulation between your body and the ground. When choosing a pad, consider the terrain and temperatures. The harder or colder the ground, the more cushion and insulation required. If you're climbing Rainier with a guide service and staying at Camp Muir, you'll be fine with a closed-cell foam pad. But if you're planning on staying in a tent, we recommend a combination of an inflatable and a closed cell pad.

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Backpacks & Sleep Systems

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So Good, We Rent this Pack to Our Clients Test your technical mountaineering skills for the weekend with back-up from the AMG™ 75. Designed for high-elevation hauls where the best plan is one that ...
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Customizable Pack for Perfect Fit We love this pack! It is the perfect size for a four or five day Rainier climb. The features are straight forward and not overbuilt.It's suspension system carries ...
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A Staple on Rainier A staple workhorse of our rental program, the Denali 75L is the ideal no-frill mountaineering pack. Super adjustable, this pack fits a wide range of bodies, and the Fusion Flex...
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A Comfortable Load-hauler for Expeditions or Long Backpacking Trips The Ariel Plus 85 is one of Osprey's largest volume women's-specific packs with a stronger LightWire frame for long trips or gear...
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A Configurable Alpine Pack to Suit Any Objective, and the Durability to Last Through Many Seasons Lighter, tougher and more technical than ever, the Alpinisto 50 brings the best in materials, featu...
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A Tried-and-True Blanket for Any Occasion The Original Puffy outdoor blanket is a packable, portable blanket that goes everywhere. With a ripstop shell and insulation made from 100% recycled mat...
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All-season Self-inflating Comfort For journeying into the backcountry with self-inflating support, our ProLite Plus is a camp favorite. The 1.5-inch (3.8 cm) pad boasts a 3.2 R-value for added warm...
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Camp with Lightweight Comfort For lightweight self-inflating support, the ProLite Apex brings packable performance and legendary Therm-a-Rest support. The self-inflating foam measures 2 inches (5...
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Keep Your Bag Cleaner and Provide Extra Warmth Complete your sleep system quiver with the ultra-soft Sleep Liner. This machine-washable liner can be used on its own or partnered with a quilt or bl...
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Our Take The clear favorite among RMI Expeditions' guides, the NeoAir XTherm MAX is our top choice for lightweight mountaineering pursuits. The unrivaled Triangular Core Matrix offers the best war...
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Add Warmth and Keep your Sleeping Bag Cleaner The soft and cozy Synergy™ Sleeping Bag Liner adds warmth, comfort and years of life to any sleeping bag. Contributing up to 5F/3C degrees of warmth to...
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Protects the Tree When Hanging a Hammock Sea to Summit is a proud proponent of Leave No Trace. Their Tree Protector straps will ensure that the trees you hang your hammock from will be there for ma...
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Sleep in Comfort Don’t let the minimal pack size fool you. The Air Head Lite provides the same big comfort as our regular Air Head for a fraction of the weight. The air pillow provides the perfect...
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An undisputed Guide Pick™ champion the last few years in a row, the NeoAir series is the go-to for mountaineering sleeping pads. Ultralight and ultra-packable, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT sle...
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Ultralight and warm, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT sleeping pad is highly durable and boasts a 7.3 R value, giving it a warmth-to-weight ratio suited for extremely cold backcountry pursuits. W...
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Soft Foam your Head will Enjoy Designed to pack small and deliver big comfort away from home, the Compressible Pillow Cinch is a must-have for camping, road trips, airplanes and anywhere else you...
Ice Axes

Ice Axes

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Crampons

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Crampons
Harness

Harness

Shop Harnesses for Rainier
Guide Tip

Locking Carabiners

You'll also need a Triple-Action locking carabiner to go along with your harness. 

A triple action carabiner is a locking carabiner that requires three steps to open: 1) lifting the lock, 2) twisting the lock, and 3) pushing the gate open. It then "auto-locks" when the gate is released. The three-step to open and auto-locking to close actions make them safer than standard screw-gate locking carabiners as they are unlikely to inadvertently move to the open position during the climb. For this reason, we require that all climbers use a triple action locking carabiner to tie into the rope on our climbs.

We recommend the William Tri-act Locking Carabiner as our go-to.

Helmets

Helmets

Glacier Glasses

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A pair of dark-lensed sunglasses with side shields or full wrap- type sunglasses. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much a 20+%. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.

Glacier glasses remove 100% of UV light, and the lenses let a small fraction of visible light through so that the wearer does not have to squint on bright days. They have a large, wrap- around frames for increased coverage, and a closer fit so that reflected light does not leak in from the sides of the frame.

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The Half Dome Has Long Been a Staple for Climbers Worldwide A well-designed helmet should be put on... and then forgotten. You can be wearing a helmet for 10-12 hours at a time while climbing, so ...
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Ultra-lightweight Helmet for Climbing, Mountaineering, and Ski Touring Remarkably lightweight for ambitious climbers and mountaineers. The SIROCCO helmet was designed to give you an exceptional wei...
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A "Guide Pick" For A Reason A well-designed helmet should be put on... and then forgotten. You can be wearing a helmet for 10-12 hours at a time while climbing, so comfort is almost as important a...
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All-day Comfort And Safety Engineered to handle the abuse only its namesake big wall can dish out, the Capitan is Black Diamond’s bomber, ultra-durable helmet, featuring added coverage on both the ...
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Dense Foam for Better Protection Petzl's Boreo Helmet covers your nut so you can focus on the climb at hand. This helmet features denser foam up top to better protect against falling rocks, while t...
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The Julbo Camino is an ideal glacier glass. That's why it's a guide pick, and the reason we've carried it in our rental program for years. Lightweight and designed with a focus on function, Camino...
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Guide Pick for a Reason Faster, higher, stronger: High-alpine mountaineering continues to evolve and so does Julbo's flagship model for climbing in alpine environments. The Explorer 2.0 is more erg...
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Another Guide Pick™ classic, the Julbo Shield Glacier Glasses have been loved by climbers for years, with good reason. Shield will open your field of vision and expand your mind in the mountains. ...
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MONTEROSA 2 is the Perfect Ally for Admiring Stunning Landscapes The lines of this now iconic Julbo model have been completely redefined for a more contemporary look showcasing its dynamic sporti...
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Julbo Reinvents Mountain Glasses with ULTIMATE COVER Combining high protection and ultra-lightness, Ultimate Cover reinvents mountain eyewear. A removable, synthetic nose guard and side shields pro...
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Julbo Has Combined its High-altitude Technical Expertise with a Modern Look Shield M will open your field of vision and expand your mind in the mountains. The sleek, rectangular shape ensures style...
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Cham is an Alpine Classic New generations of mountain travelers nostalgic for earlier times will find their style with the frame worn by the greatest mountaineers of Chamonix. With this re-release,...
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Pursue your THRILL in the Backcountry From skin track to boot pack to full-speed descents, the Smith Pursuit sunglasses can do it all. They blend goggle-like coverage with the airflow and easy-to-w...
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A Classic Look with Polarized Lenses in a Hip Modern Style Chiseled from the archives of time, the STOWE was reinvented based on the VERMONT CLASSIC, our timeless and revolutionizing original glaci...
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Powerful, Rechargeable, and Easy-to-use Headlamp with Red Lighting ACTIK® with a rechargeable battery! The ideal rechargeable headlamp to extend your dynamic outdoor activities. Casting 600 lumens,...
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For midweek dawn patrols, all-night approaches, or just big climbing objectives that push beyond daylight, For a technical user who expects all-around performance and features out of their headlam...
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Compact, Easy-to-use Headlamp with Red Lighting The lamp that started it all! Launched 20 years ago as Petzl’s first LED lamp, the TIKKA® headlamp casts 350 lumens of brightness. It's a necessity ...
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Best and Brightest For the technical consumer who wants the best, brightest, most waterproof, feature-rich headlamp to use for fast-paced, extreme environment activities. This user also has the nee...
3 Glove System

Gloves & Mittens

Step up

Mountaineering Footwear

Footwear is one of the most important parts of your mountaineering gear. The right boot, sock, and gaiter combination can make or break a summit attempt. For our full guide to Mountain Footwear, click here!

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Mountaineering Footwear

Regular price $145.00
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Designed for off-road adventures The women's La Sportiva Wildcat trail-running shoes are designed for your off-road adventures. Thanks to plush cushioning and a comfortable fit, they'll carry you t...
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Step Up your Trail Running Game Featuring an aggressive outsole, burly lugs and an adaptable fit, the Mutant is built for covering serious terrain. Equipped with the stickiest FriXion® XF 2.0 rub...
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Our Guides Love this Boot for Rainier This boot is the Guide Pick™ for mid-season Rainier climbs, or anywhere a single, leather boot is required! The Nepal Cube GTX is a warm and technical mountai...
Regular price $1,199.00
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Our Guides Prefer this Boot for Cold Weather Climbs There are boots that can make it up a peak, and then there are boots that are made for the job. The SCARPA Phantom 6000 falls into the latter cat...
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Technical Single Boot for Mountain Adventures The latest and most innovative version of our best-selling, lightweight ice and mixed climbing boot, the updated Phantom Tech features the same warm, s...
Regular price $649.00
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Our Guides Love This Boot for Rainier This boot is the Guide Pick™ for mid-season Rainier climbs, or anywhere a single, leather boot is required! The Nepal Cube GTX is a warm and technical mountai...
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Regular price from $329.00
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Recommended for Lower Elevation Mountaineering, Ice Climbing, and Heavy Winter Backpacking This versatile, insulated boot’s ankle design has been tweaked to allow for slightly softer, easier ankle ...
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One of Our Favorite Boots for Rainier This versatile, insulated boot’s ankle design has been tweaked to allow for slightly softer, easier ankle flex when traveling uphill, but its best-selling conc...
Regular price $899.00
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Better than Ever The evolution of leading ice and mixed climbing boot continues with the Phantom Tech. The latest version improves fit, protection and warmth while reducing it's eco-impact. Primalo...
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Signature Conrad Anker sock was built to keep up with all your outdoor excursions. The Athlete Edition Mountaineer OTC Socks feature our most advanced Indestructawool technology for enhanced durab...
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Get Out There with the Mountaineer Max Cushion Tall Crew Socks Get out there with the Mountaineer Max Cushion Tall Crew Socks. Featuring our most advanced Indestructawool technology for enh...
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Maximum Cushioning With full, plush cushioning, the Classic Mountaineer Maximum Cushion Crew sock is just right for your long-distance and backpacking hikes. Its elasticized arch brace ...
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Regular price $21.75
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Your Feet Will Thank You Sleet, freezing rain, sub-zero wind chills, snow? More please. Our Mountaineering sock never heads for shelter. If you're out there, this sock wants to be with you.
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Plush Comfort Our fullest, plushest sock offers maximum cushioning for maximum comfort on long hikes or backpacking trips. Plus, with its stay-put arch brace and comfort-driven toe seam, y...
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One of Our Most Popular Socks Our Hike Full Cushion Crew socks, formerly PhD® Outdoor, use cushioning on the entire sock to help maximize warmth and protection. These responsibly sourced, ZQ-certif...
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If you’re out there in the cold, you need the Mountaineering sock with you. Streamlined performance fit. Chock full of Merino Wool warmth. These socks keep you moving up when the rigors of the trai...
Accessories and Food

All The Rest

All the rest

Accessories

There are several other things recommended for a Rainier climb, such as:

Sunscreen We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing. 

Lip Balm SPF 15 or higher

Eating Utensils A bowl, spork or fork, and mug for food and hot drinks. 

Garbage Bags These can be used for lining your backpack or sleeping bag stuff sack.

Ziploc Bags To collect your personal trash from lunches and snacks.

Ear Plugs These are nice to have while in the climbers hut to block out some of the noise of others getting up to use the rest rooms.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush A travel size tube such as Crest Travel Size

Baby Wipes A travel pack size

Hand Sanitizer A personal size of Purell Hand Sanitzer.

Toilet Paper For those high-altitude breaks

Wide Mouth Water Bottle We recommend 2-3 Wide Mouth Nalgene Bottles.

Mask In order to comply with Covid-19 Policies. 

Guide Tip

Water Bottles

2 to 3 liters of capacity is recommended. Screw top, hard-sided water bottles are preferable, to resist freezing and leakage. Hydration systems can be useful to Camp Muir, however they have a greater tendency to freeze and leak on the upper mountain. While the durability of hydration systems has increased significantly in recent years, we continue to see issues with them when used higher on the mountain as the temperatures are quite cold and the hydration systems rest directly beneath the backpad of the pack, and climbers sit on their packs at rest breaks. As a result, the hydration system tubes (even insulated ones) tend to freeze during the climb or the bladders begin leaking. If you would like to use a hydration system, please still plan on bringing two water bottles as a backup. 

Thanks for reading

Still have questions?

Feel free to shoot us a message at info@whittakermountaineering.com, give us a call, or visit our store!