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 backup/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 you are 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 PHD’s superb 950 down which raises the Typical Operating Temperature (TOT) to –42C.

The basic figures for the standard models:

F gm oz 
Hispar 1000 -46 -51 1520 54 49 x 27
Xero 1000 -38 -36 1860 66 44 x 25


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 bag's 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 950 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:

F gm oz 
Xero 1000 (950 down) -42 -44 1860 66 44 x 25


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, while the Hispar offers exceptional out-and-out warmth.

Other items to consider for your 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 socks and Omega socks are extremely lightweight and useful at overnight stops. Minimus down trousers and Kappa trousers will add considerably to insulation at night time.

F gm oz 
Hispar Jacket -30 -22 725 26 20 x 34
Yukon Jacket -15 5 460 16 13 x 21
Yukon Pullover -15 5 435 15 13 x 21
Omega Mitts     240 8 13 x 21
Omega Socks     240 8 13 x 21
Xero Mitts     180 6 10 x 18
Xero Socks     170 6 10 x 18
Minimus Trousers -5 23 230 8 10 x 18
Kappa Trousers -10 14 475 17 13 x 21
VBL     280 10 10 x 18


The 2025 Yukon Arctic Ultra will start 14th February 2025: