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Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Review

   
Best Buy Award

Backpacking Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: August 30, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $140 - $170 | Compare prices at 4 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:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Kelty
Review by: Mike Phillips ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 30, 2014  
Overview
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.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' 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

Warmth
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.

Weight
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.

Comfort
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.

Features
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

Versatility
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.

Value
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

Conclusion
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. This bag is also available in a synthetic version, rated from Cosmic Synthetic 0, $115, to Cosmic Synthetic 35, $85. The synthetic bags would be great for anyone on a budget, while the Cosmic Down 0, $250, might be more appropriate for colder temperatures.

Are you looking for the women's version? The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - Women's is a similar version of this bag, rated to the same temperature. 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: August 30, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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Kelty Cosmic Down 20
Credit: Kelty
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $140.14  -  12% off!
CampSaver $159.90
Backcountry $159.95
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