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Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Review

Best Buy Award

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 3.2/5
Overall avg rating 3.2 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: May 23, 2015
Street Price:   Varies from $190 - $200 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Affordable, Great value bag, Differential pull cords
Cons:  550 fill down is heavy and not as compressible, Not as warm as other 20 F bags, Low quality fabrics, Roomy cut
Best Uses:  Occasional summer backpacking, Car camping, Budget conscious backpacking
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Kelty
Review by: Mike Phillips ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ May 8, 2015  
This inexpensive down sleeping bag is our top choice for budget backpacking and camping. Whether you're new to the outdoors or you want to lighten up your pack, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is the best way to get started. The Cosmic Down 20 has been awarded our Best Buy Award again. You can see how this bag compares to others in our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review.

If you are looking to spend a little extra for a little more warmth and a whole lot more piece of mind, think about the Kelty Ignite DriDown 20 sleeping bag. Kelty claims that this bag will stay drier 10 times longer, retain 170% more loft when wet, and dry 33% faster than a conventional down bag. This is just something to keep in mind if you get a bunch of condensation forming on the inside of your tent and your foot box is mashed up against the bottom of the tent. You could even decide to sleep under the stars and a storm blows in; raining on your bag while you rush to set up your tent. If none of that matter/applies to you, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 still gets our Best Buy Award!

New Version Update - May 2015
The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 has been updated! Keep reading to find out more!

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

New Version of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 vs. The Older Version

The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 has gotten a few upgrades! This three-season restyled bag is now filled with 550-fill hydrophobic DriDown and now costs $190, which is $30 more than the previous version. In addition, the bag has received a color update, though Kelty has confirmed that there has been no other additions. Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the latest version of the Cosmic Down 20 pictured on the left and the older version on the right.

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Get psyched! Our reviewers are currently testing the newest version of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20! Check back this fall for a brand new review!

Hands-On Review

The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 is not a top-of-the-line backpacking sleeping bag. But, it is an affordable bag that gets the job done.

Performance Comparison

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Chris McNamara with the "world's lightest portaledge" (Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Cot) and the Kelty Cosmic Down 20.
Credit: Max Neale


The Cosmic Down 20 is not as warm as other down bags in the 20 F temperature rating range in our review. This is due to its roomy cut, lower quality 550 fill down, and lower quality fabrics. Without the active draft collar on this bag, we expect that it would be much colder. The bag has a large hood that is not shaped well to the head and shoulders. It did not feel as comfortable and it was colder than a higher loft sleeping bag that has a soft and warm hood.

Warmer three-season bags cost significantly more than the Cosmic Down, so bring extra clothes and save some money with this model.


A size long Cosmic Down 20 weighs 43 ounces. While not lightweight, it is lighter than many bags available for the same price. This bag uses 550 fill down, lower quality fabrics, and has a roomy cut. All of these factors contribute to its heavy weight. The average weight of the sleeping bags in our review is two pounds. Most of those are down and pack smaller, all of them are more expensive, but not all of them are as warm as the Cosmic Down 20.


This bag has a roomy cut, which allows you to roll around in your sleep a bit more. That said, testers reported feeling cold in near freezing temperatures, probably due to the dead air space in the bag. We thought that the hood was comfortable in warm conditions when we weren't wearing it, thanks to the roomy collar. When the hood was on, it felt way too big and like it was lacking the softness and loft that a higher quality bag offers to keep your head warm.

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Kelty Cosmic Down hood. Note the draft collar (green flap above bottom great line).
Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab

A note on fit…The size long felt just about right length-wise on 6'0" testers. The regular size has a 2" smaller shoulder girth. People who are right on the line between the regular and long sizes should consider the slimmer cut of the regular size to increase the warmth of the bag.

Packed Size

The 550 fill down and the lower quality fabrics do not compress as well as higher fill power down and lighter weight fabrics. The Cosmic Down packs similar in size to the Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15, a synthetic sleeping bag.


For an entry level sleeping bag, we were happy to see a down insulation option like this one. Down allows this bag to be lighter, more packable, and more comfortable than many synthetic sleeping bags and many other bags at this price point. It features differential pull cords on the collar that are easy to use by feel in the dark.

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Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab


The Cosmic Down will work well as a summer sleeping bag, but it lacks the warmth, weight, and packability for us to consider it a well rounded three-season sleeping bag.

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The Cosmic Down 20 layed out for a warm summer night's sleep under the stars beneath Mt. Whitney.
Credit: Mike Phillips

Best Application

This bag is best suited for car camping and occasional backpacking. It is a good introductory down sleeping bag for novice or budget backpackers. This bag is warm enough for summer use at low to mid-elevations.


The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 wins our Best Buy Award for its exceptional value. We like the low price, the use of down insulation in a budget bag, and the overall simple design of the bag. At $159 you can not find another sleeping bag that compares in warmth, weight, and packability.

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Mike gets cozy in the Kelty Cosmic Down sleeping bag and the comfortably roomy REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent.
Credit: Jessica Haist


The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 has been awarded our Best Buy Award once again. We feel that it is a good entry level, budget conscious backpacking sleeping bag. It sacrifices weight and packability by using lower quality materials in order to meet its low price-point. This bag is still a good choice for summertime use at low to mid-elevations whether its in your pack or at the campground.

Other Versions

This bag is available in 0 F and 40 F versions in regular and long sizes.

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Cosmic Down 0
  • Weight - 3 lbs 9 oz (1 lb more than the 20)
  • Cost - $290.00 ($100 more than the 20)
  • Shape- Mummy
  • Length- 6ft (long size available- 6' 6")Material- 550-fill hydrophobic DriDown
  • Temperature rating- rated down to zero degrees (20 degrees warmer than the 20)

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Cosmic Down 40
  • Weight - 1 lb 12 oz (13 oz less than the 20)
  • Cost - $140.00 ($50 less than the 20)
  • Shape- Mummy
  • Length- 6ft (long size available- 6' 6")
  • Material- 550-fill hydrophobic DriDown
  • Temperature rating- rated down to 40 degrees (20 degrees cooler than the 20)
  • No top draft collar, like the 20 degree

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Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - Women's
  • Women's version
  • Weight - 2 lb 8 oz (1 oz less than the men's)
  • Cost - $200.00 ($20 more than the men's)
  • Shape- Mummy
  • Length-5ft 8in (4 inches short than the men's)
  • Material- 550-fill hydrophobic DriDown
  • Temperature rating- rated down to 20 degrees

Check out our Women's Sleeping Bag Review to see how the women's specific model compared to other down sleeping bags in that review.

Mike Phillips

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: May 23, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
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1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   May 23, 2015 - 10:25am
Natty Bumppo · Skier · Buffalo, NY
I purchased this sleeping bag for $95 at the Cabela's Bargain Cave. It is very comfortable and packs to a reasonable size. I would say it is good for about 25F without adding a hat and fleece. I purchased my wife the same bag in the women's size and she really loves it too. This is an incredible value. Compared to similarly priced bags, the kelt cosmic 20 blows them away.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Kelty Cosmic Down 20
Credit: Kelty
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
CampSaver $189.95
MooseJaw $189.95
Amazon $199.95
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