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Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - Women's Review

Inexpensive while offering comfort and warmth, this award winner is unbeatable in its price range.
Cosmic Down 20 - Women
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $160 List | $116.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive for a down bag, improved 600 fill power, two diameters of drawcords on chin and hood
Cons:  Heavy, less compressible than competitors
Manufacturer:   Kelty
By Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 12, 2016
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Packed Size - 15% 7
  • Features - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Kelty Cosmic Down 20 - Women's is the least expensive down bag we tested. It's a great value for a budget conscious lady looking to purchase her first mummy-style down bag for a backpacking trip. Retailing for a mere $160, it wins our Best Buy award. The Cosmic Down has low-quality 600-fill duck down that is heavier than we would have liked, though the newest iteration of this classic bag now has hydrophobic down. It is very similar to other down bags like the Mountain Hardwear Heratio and the Big Agnes Roxy Ann 15, but costs $100 less at the full retail price.

While this earns an award for being a super affordable option, the Sierra Designs Cloud 800 is higher performing for a bit more on the price. While the Cosmic Down is only $160, the Cloud 800 cashes in for about $300. While this is almost twice as much, the Cloud proves to be more lightweight and packable. It also offers a similar level of comfort and warmth. So, if you're looking for a little more in the way of performance, then check out the Cloud. However, if you're happy paying the least you can for a quality down bag, then the Kelty Cosmic Down maybe what you've been in search of.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The latest update for the Cosmic Down is a step in the right direction. In addition to being available in a new color and style, the materials and fabrics changed. The fill power increased from 550 to 600 hydrophobic DriDown, and the list price has decreased to $160 (from $200). The Cosmic Down is giving its competitors a run for their money. Kelty eliminated the very similar Women's Ignite from their lineup and instead transferred over the Ignite's best qualities to the Cosmic Down.

Performance Comparison


The Cosmic Down has remained popular for years  largely due to its incredible value.
The Cosmic Down has remained popular for years, largely due to its incredible value.

Warmth


The bag is EN tested to 25°F, a significant step up from the old Cosmic that was 32°F. We did not experience temperatures that cold while testing this bag, but this new 600 fill power bag feels quite lofty and we think it would do okay close to freezing.


The Cosmic Down is one of the few down bags in this review that incorporates a draft collar to keep warm air in and cold drafts out. We think this feature adds an element of warmth, although the Cosmic's draft collar does not have drawcords to enable you to cinch it down around your neck. We discovered that this bag incorporates synthetic materials into its neck baffle and draft tube, which could potentially be because these areas are more prone to moisture. While this ultimately provides more warmth in the wake of precipitation, it, unfortunately, contributes to its weight and bulk.

The Kelty Cosmic Down - Women's is EN rated to 25F  don't be deceived by the number 20 in its name!
The Kelty Cosmic Down - Women's is EN rated to 25F, don't be deceived by the number 20 in its name!

The women's version of the Cosmic Down has two ounces more down fill included, upping the warmth in a smaller package. All of the Cosmic Down models now come with water repellant treated "DriDown" fill which helps this bag retain its loft when it gets wet.

Kelty has upgraded the Cosmic's fill for a loftier warmer bag.
Kelty has upgraded the Cosmic's fill for a loftier warmer bag.

Weight


The Cosmic Down is by far the heaviest of the down bags tested at almost two pounds. While most down bags boast a great warmth-to-weight ratio, we are a little disappointed by its performance.


The Cosmic uses lower fill power down that is more cumbersome for the amount of warmth it provides, as well as more substantial synthetic fill components (we suspect are in there to cut costs), both of which add weight. It also uses a relatively heavy shell material, which makes it more durable in the long run, but again adds to its weight. A heavier bag is an unseen price you pay for a budget sleeping bag.

Comfort


We think the latest incarnation of the Cosmic Down is quite comfortable. Kelty upgraded their liner materials for a softer hand, and the bag feels lofty and cozy. It fit our 5'5" tester well, and she had enough room to put on additional layers without it feeling too restrictive. We think this bag would be comfortable for ladies up to 5'7" or 5'8".


Packed Size


This bag compresses relatively well because it is down, but does not compress as well as the other down bags we tested.


The synthetically filled draft collar and zipper draft tubes make the bag less compressible as a whole and contribute to it's overall packed size. It comes with a small, lightweight stuff sack, but not a compression sack. We would recommend purchasing a compression sack to keep your pack smaller. While it does fit into a backpack, its not our top choice for those looking to go ultra-light or ultra-compressible.

The Cosmic Down - Women's has synthetic filled draft collar and zipper baffles  we suspect to cut costs. This increases the weight and packed size.
The Cosmic Down - Women's has synthetic filled draft collar and zipper baffles, we suspect to cut costs. This increases the weight and packed size.

Features


The Cosmic Down is a smaller and narrower version of the men's version, and as we mentioned before, has two ounces more fill to add warmth. Kelty has addressed the low-quality zipper that caught on the material of previous models and improved this feature, adding tougher material to the side of the zipper. We like the different thicknesses of drawcords for the hood and chin baffle, so it is easy to tell them apart in the dark.


This bag only comes with a small stuff sack; we think every down sleeping bag should include a storage sack so that the down does not stay compressed when we're not using the bag, as compression contributes to a shorter lifespan for the model. Otherwise, the Cosmic Down does not have any exceptionally unique bells and whistles, which is fine since often extra features add to the weight of the bag.

We wish the Cosmic Down had two different drawcords for the hood and chin so they were easier to operate in the dark.
We wish the Cosmic Down had two different drawcords for the hood and chin so they were easier to operate in the dark.

Best Application


This bag is somewhat versatile. Paired with a high R-Value sleeping pad, it could be stretched from late spring to early fall use in warmer climates. The hydrophobic down allows it to be used in a slightly wider range of conditions, like in humid or rainy climates. It is heavier than the other down sleeping bags we tested, and we would not want to carry this with us on extended backpacking trips. This inexpensive option works best car camping, during sleepovers, and on short backpacking trips.

The Kelty Cosmic Down wins our Best Buy Award and is a versatile bag for camping.
The Kelty Cosmic Down wins our Best Buy Award and is a versatile bag for camping.

Value


At $160 the price tag on this hydrophobic down bag is hard to beat. It is a great value for a budget conscious camper who wants a down sleeping bag and needs a go-to bag for all of her camping needs. The Cosmic Down has taken the Best Buy Award for its upgrades to the fill power and made it a better competitor to the other expensive options in this review.

During our testing period, we ran into a woman on the John Muir Trail who was using this award winner. We polled her for her opinion, and she said: "so far so good, good value for the money."

Conclusion


We commend Kelty on the upgrades to the Cosmic Down line and think this bag is now deserving of our Best Buy Award. It is an excellent choice for someone on a budget or new to backpacking and camping. It is warm, comfortable, and versatile enough to take on backpacking trips, in moist climates or just for camping out in the backyard. If you are looking to get yourself into a down bag that is lighter than any of the synthetics we tested, the Cosmic could be the right choice for you.


Jessica Haist