Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $160 - $190 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros: Excellent value, draft collar seals in warm air, differential pull cords make hood easy to adjust and comfortable when cinched fully.
Cons: 550-fill down is not as compressible or light as higher fill powers, low quality fabrics, not as warm as other 20 degree bags.
Best Uses: budget car camping and summer backpacking
The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 offers budget conscious campers and hikers a screaming deal of a sleeping bag. Of the 70+ bags we've tested, in all categories across down and synthetic insulation, no other bag provides as much value as the Cosmic Down 20. At 42 ounces the bag isn't particularly lightweight, nor is it made of the best materials, but it is only $100!!
This 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 Cosmic Down 20 is the best way to get started. See how this bag compares to others in our Backpacking Sleeping Bag Review.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The average price of the three-season down bags we've tested is $369. Available for around $100, the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 offers entry level hikers and campers an incredible value. Although this bag is not as light, as comfortable, or as compact as top-of-the-line down bags, its price tag offers value conscious campers a great deal.
The Cosmic Down has a three-quarter length zipper, a reasonably comfortable hood, and a draft collar that drapes over your neck to seal out cold air. These features are nothing to write home about, but they're effective.
The Cosmic Down 20 uses low quality 550-fill down. Fill power measures the number of cubic inches one ounce of down displaces. The more displacement, i.e. loft, the warmer the sleeping bag. Higher fill power downs, therefore, achieve more warmth for their weight, and the finer down particles are usually more compressible and more durable, too. Lower fill powers, such as the Comic Down's 550, need to add more down to get the same amount of loft. So the Cosmic Down 20 is heavier and less compressible than its $400-$500 competitors. The lightest fully featured three-season down bag we've tested (Feathered Friends Hummingbird) weighs 17 ounces, or 40%, less than the Cosmic Down. If you do a lot of backpacking that weight savings is likely worth paying the extra cash for, but if you're like most people that go on a few backpacking trips per year, the Cosmic Down does the job well and leaves you with extra cash for other things.
The Cosmic Down 20 has less loft than other 15 and 20 degree bags (the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 has 16,000 cubic inches and the Cosmic Down has 11,000). This means the bag is not as warm as others. A 30 degree rating would be more accurate. Implications for you: have a good dinner, a hot drink, and thrown on another layer when the temps drop below forty.
This bag is a screaming deal for entry level campers or for people that want to lighten their load from a super heavy synthetic camping sleeping bag. Choosing the Cosmic Down over a top-of-the-line bag could save you $300, which could then be used to upgrade to a lighter tent- thereby lifting several pounds from your pack.
The Cosmic Down weighs a few ounces less than the lightest synthetic bags, which are comparably priced, but the Cosmic is a better buy (unless you expect to get soaking wet) because down is more durable and more compressible than synthetic insulation, and it's also much more comfortable. All-in-all, this is an excellent value.
Explore other good value sleeping bag with our Price vs Value Chart. Specifically consider the Enlightened Equipment Revelation found in our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review.
— Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 14, 2013
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