Final Update: 4/21/18
I have been able to use the Kelty Cosmic 20 sleeping bag twice on overnight trips since my last update. These trips were what I like to call “more is more” (as opposed to “less is more.” Essentially, comfy car camping at some family property in the woods of Upstate South Carolina.
Before this trip, I broke one of the cardinal rules of storing a sleeping bag: never store it compressed. I left the Cosmic 20 in a compression sack for about a month. I was concerned that I had damaged the loft and dispersion of the fill by doing so. I was relieved and pleased to see that the DriDown fill puffed back up nicely after my month of negligence.
Trip one: I slept in my tent for this trip. Temps hovered in the low 40s that night, well above the temperature rating for the bag. I usually use an inflatable sleeping pad as a part of my sleep system. This offers an extra layer of insulation between my body and the cold ground, which means a warmer sleeping bag and also creates fewer compression points between my body and my sleeping bag, meaning better heat retention.
Ease of use: I was comfortable the entire night temperature-wise, having to zip and unzip throughout the night to help regulate my body temperature. I won’t say that the zipper or pulls on the sleeping bag excel in this department. Sometimes I found myself fighting and tugging to get some movement on the zippers. It wasn’t anything especially terrible (I’ve struggled with my fair share of sleeping bag zippers in the middle of the night half asleep), but something that could be improved upon.
I found that I had to use two hands to get the draw cords to cinch the hood. The design used is simple and easy to understand, but at 2 am and half asleep, exposing two hands to the cold to make yourself warmer can be a bit tedious.
Roominess: I am a stomach and slide sleeper who often fidgets and moves around at night. I’ve used sleeping bags that are so narrow, they constrict movement and make it nearly impossible for me to move around like I prefer to do. The Cosmic 20 is nice and wide in the shoulders all the way down to the knees, which was more than enough for me to turn and roll around in order to get comfortable.
Trip two: As I mentioned above; I am a side and stomach sleeper which, in the past has not made sleeping in a hammock very enjoyable for me. But, for the sake of testing (and the fact that the rest of my crew was using hammocks on this specific trip), I decided to give it a whirl for a night.
I used the Cosmic 20 with no additional gear other than my basic ENO hammock. Temps hovered in the mid 40s that night, and I started out hot (which is usually what happens to me with all sleeping bags) and soon zipped all the way up after about 30 minutes in the bag. I woke up a few hours later with what I later learned many call “cold butt syndrome.” Even though the bag is rated at 20 degrees, the compression of the down where my derriere rested at the bottom of the hammock reduced the insulation qualities of the bag. This made for some inconsistent hot zones in the bag where my upper and lower body were hot and my butt and core were cold. More on hammock camping here, but for the sake of this review, consider some additional insulation underneath you when using the Kelty Cosmic 20 and a hammock.
The Kelty Cosmic 20 is a great value, and I’m not sure if there is a better bang for the buck out there. To find a down bag for this price, with this weight, and this compressibility would be a difficult task. I found it to be warm when I needed it to be, and easy enough to adjust when I was too hot. It will be my three-season go to bag for these reasons. I have already started recommending it to friends who are on the backpacking search.
Thanks again to Kelty and 4AllOutdoors for the chance to review this sleeping bag!
Initial Update: 2/9/18
I was able to test out the limits of the Cosmic 20 on a backpacking trip on the Black Mountain Crest Trail. We spent 2 nights on the ridgeline that connects some of the East Coast’s highest peaks.
This was my first use of the Cosmic 20, and because the forecast called for temperatures in the teens, I brought along a liner as well as another zero degree bag in case it got too cold for the Cosmic’s rating.
The temps hovered in the high twenties and if anything, the Cosmic 20 was too hot to have entirely zipped up. To compensate, I partially unzipped the bag and slept comfortably throughout the night.
This was the night that I brought 0 degree down bag for in case the Cosmic wasn’t able to handle the temps.
A steady rain turned to freezing rain which then led to snow as the temps plummeted into the teens. I was comfortable until the temps dropped down below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I was able to use the sleeping bag liner to add a few extra degrees of insulation and slept comfortably the rest of the night (and realized the the extra down sleeping bag was a 5 lb burden I didn’t need).
We slept on a slight decline, so the bottom of my sleeping bag was wet with the condensation that had leeched into the tent where I had slid down in the tent. I was concerned that with the heavy rain, my toes would be damp, but the bag repelled enough of the water to prevent the moisture from leeching all the way inside. What moisture did hit the bag from the tent, quickly dried out as we ate breakfast.
Rather than using the stuff sack that comes with the bag, I opted to use a much smaller compression sack (15L) to pack the Cosmic 20. I was able to compress the bag down to roughly 8 x 7 x 11 in. which makes packing the Cosmic 20 in my back very manageable, only taking up about half of the sleeping bag compartment.
I was able to test the bag in temps above (mid 30s) and below (mid teens) its 20 degree rating.
Temps above rating: I was toasty and had to unzip the bag halfway down to cool off a little
Temps below rating: Once the temperature dropped below 20, even with the zipped completely secured, I was still cold and had to slip into my sleeping bag liner which offered the few extra degrees needed to stay warm.
Check back in about a month for my final review of the Cosmic 20.
Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag
This 20 degree down bag by Kelty that has been recently updated to offer some new features and specs.
Things to consider when choosing a sleeping bag:
Sleeping bags are one of the most important pieces of gear taken into the backcountry. There are a number of things to take into consideration when selecting/evaluating a sleeping bag and I will address them all during my review of this bag:
- Temperature Rating
- Fill Type
- Compression Size
Temperature Rating: 20° / -7°C
A 20 degree rating means this is a 3-season sleeping bag (maybe 4-season depending on where you are using it) that should keep those using it comfortable down to temperatures of 20 degrees. I will make sure to test the bag out in conditions that are at or below this temp range.
Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz / 1.266 kg
I am testing out the “Regular” sized Cosmic 20. At 2 lbs 13 oz, I wouldn’t place this bag in the lightweight category, but it is a respectable weight (especially at it’s price point).
Fill Type: 600 fill DriDown™
Natural down fill is “treated with a molecular level polymer, creating a hydrophobic finish on individual down plumes. The result: DriDown™ stays dry longer, lofts better, and dries faster than untreated down.”
To learn more about DriDown, click here.
Ethical sourcing of of down is a big concern for many consumers. Kelty utilizes the services of trackmydown.com in order to determine where the down in their bags is sourced. It just so happens that the down in my bag, was sourced from a facility in Anhui, China utilizing grey duck down.
Mummy style sleeping bags are made to be more narrow around the shoulders and hips, but this can sometimes cause the bag to be restrictive and even uncomfortable. I got in the bag and found it to be rather spacious for a mummy style bag, giving more space to fidget and move.
Compression Size: 8 x 14 in / 20 x 36 cm*
Compression size can be a big deal when it comes to sleeping bags. The smaller the bag can compress, the less space it takes up in the backpack. The bag comes with it’s own compression bag which has a compression size of 8 x 14 in / 20 x 36 cm. I plan on using a different compression sack that decreases the compression size of the sleeping bag to 8 x 10 in.
Cost: $159.95 MSRP
For the weight, down fill, and temperature rating, this price is going to be very hard to beat with other bags out on the market.
With the combination of down fill, weight, compressibility, and temperature rating at a price-point of $159.95, this bag appears to be an incredible value at first glance.
I plan on testing out the bag on a few backpacking trips over the next three months. Check back in about a month to see my next update on the Cosmic 20 sleeping bag.
Thanks to Kelty and 4AllOutdoors for the chance to review this bag.