PHD Mountain Software

Yukon Arctic Ultra

Yukon Arctic Ultra

The Yukon Arctic Ultra race travels the routes of the gold rush era of the mid 1800s, which were first connected by the 1984 Yukon Quest dog sled race. Gold miners, trappers, and mail carriers first opened up these routes back in the day before snowmobiles, airplanes or roads. The race runs on marked packed snow; but these are rarely travelled trails and the reality can be soft snow travel. The competitors race on cross-country skis, mountain bikes, and on foot over distances of 100, 300, and 430 miles.

Down Sleeping Bag Selection

In a race of this nature the sleeping bag is a complete back-up/survival system should conditions or energy levels deteriorate, so a bag's warmth--as well as weight--is vital. We recommend the Hispar 1000 and the Xero 1000 down sleeping bags. The Hispar is top of its class for lightness. The Xero is a bigger bag that will accommodate you whilst still wearing expedition down clothing. The Xero sleeping bag has a down filled gusset behind the half length zip, and also has water-resistant fabric at the head and feet area. A third option is to consider the Xero 1000 filled with PHDs superb 900 down which raises the Typical Operating Temperature (TOT) to 46c.

The basic figures for the standard models:

S-bag TOT (Min Temp) Weight Packed size
Hght x Diam (cm)
C F gm oz
Hispar 1000 -46 -51 1470 52 27 x 49 783
Xero 1000 -38 -36 1860 66 25 x 44 602

Additional points:

  1. TEMPERATURE RATING: Put simply these are the temperatures at which you should be able to get a night's sleep in normal circumstances. For fuller details about the TOT rating see this Technical Briefing.
  2. LINERS: To maintain your sleeping bags performance a Vapour Barrier Liner (VBL) should be considered.
  3. CLOTHING: Down clothing is an excellent way to improve insulation by layering up while asleep. The Yukon Jacket or the Hispar Jacket are both ideal lightweight items to sleep in.
  4. DOWN OPTIONS: The Xero 1000 sleeping bags can also be filled with 900 fill power down (European scale). The same amount of down is put in but the TOT increases significantly.
  5. ZIPS: Full-length zips extend the use of these bags at different temperatures and altitudes. The full-length zip on the Xero bag has double down filled baffles, replacing the down filled gusset on the half length zipped version.
  6. PACKED SIZE: PHD stuff sacs tend to be on the loose side. All these bags can be compressed further in your sac.

Figures for Down options:

S-bag TOT (Min Temp) Weight Packed size
Hght x Diam (cm)
C F gm oz
Xero 1000 (900 down) -46 -51 1860 66 25 x 44 844

Down Clothing selection

The two down jackets of real interest for the Yukon Arctic Ultra are the Yukon Jacket and the Hispar Jacket. Both are ultra lightweight. The Yukon is specifically designed for racers moving light. The Svalbard Jacket from our Design-Your-Own clothing website is also worth considering. The Svalbard can be customised as a very light racing Jacket.

Other items to consider for you kit list are our Xero Mitts and Omega Mitts. The Xero mitts are very light, the Omegas more durable and taped for waterproofing. Likewise the Xero boots and Omega boots are extremely lightweight and useful at overnight stops. Minimus down trousers and Kappa trousers will add considerably to insulation at night time.

Jacket TOT (Min Temp) Weight Packed size
Hght x Diam (cm)
C F gm oz
Hispar Jacket -25 -13 700 24 20 x 34 479
Yukon Jacket -15 5 450 16 17 x 28 284
Yukon Pullover -15 5 420 15 17 x 28 272
Svalbard Jacket -25 -13 627 22 17 x 28 454
Omega Mitts 250 9 13 x 21 114
Xero Mitts 190 7 10 x 18 104
Omega boots 250 9 13 x 21 110
Xero Mitts 180 6 10 x 18 104
Minimus Trousers -5 23 230 8 10 x 18 166
Kappa Trousers -10 14 475 21 17 x 28 190
VBL 280 10 10 x 18 58

The next Yukon Arctic Ultra takes place 8th - 21st February, 2015.