Kelty Callisto 30 Review
Cons: Warmth rating may be a little inflated
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Rated at 30-degrees, the Callisto is good for basic camping from late Spring to early Fall. Wider than many more expensive bags we've looked at, the Callisto offers adequate space to find your sweet spot. It then surrounds you in a premium polyester taffeta liner and shell.
We spent chilly evening's in Utah's Rocky Mountains examining this bag for warmth. In the end, we gave it above-average scores, but we feel its 30-degree F rating is a little generous. With nighttime temps at exactly 30-degrees F, this bag was tolerable, but that's about it. However, that doesn't change our overall high opinion of the bag. One thing we noticed about the Callisto is the thickness of its CloudLoft insulation. It adds to the bag's warmth and its overall coziness.
Kelty also went the extra mile with double-layer, offset-quilted construction. Basically, this is a fancier way of saying their quilting is layered and stitches do not go all the way through the bag. In part, this reduces heat loss through hundreds of tiny needle puncture holes. Offset construction is more time-consuming and more expensive, making this bag even more valuable when we consider its price tag. For basic camping, in comfortable to slightly chilly temperatures, this bag is an ideal choice for campers who don't want or need the bulk, weight, or warmth of larger bags. An average, tent-dwelling camper would stay comfortably warm in this bag down to a nighttime temperature of 40 to 45 degrees without putting on extra clothing layers.
We gave the Callisto higher than average comfort scores. This bag is a few inches wider than many other bags, making it easy to move around in. It's also chock full of CloudLoft insulation, creating a thick, cozy environment to snuggle up in.
Overall, it's comfortable and exactly what a basic bag should be — simple, warm, and easy to grab and go. Additionally, we liked the feel of its 190T Polyester Taffeta lining and shell. This fabric is thick and rugged, but soft and silky.
At first glance, you would probably consider the Callisto a basic, no-frills bag — and for the most part, you'd be correct. However, it has enough of the basic features we look for to still score a little above average in this metric. Features include a full-length zipper draft tube, an interior storage pocket, a double zipper, lifetime warranty, and a water-resistant shell. It also has exterior loops for hanging and white stitching that pops against the darker colored shell and liner fabrics.
We shoved our Callisto into its stuff sack more times than we can count, and we can say with confidence that its 190T Polyester Taffeta shell packs up like a dream.
For our packed size scores, we also asked ourselves whether the bag's stored size and weight would allow someone to use it in a pinch as a backpacking bag. The answer is somewhere closer to yes than to no. It doesn't have the smallest packed size, but we feel the Callisto packs up small enough and is relatively light enough to double as backcountry bag in a pinch for a weekender in the backcountry, but we wouldn't choose to use it this way regularly.
The Callisto earned our Best Buy Award. Its quality, general warmth, comfortable fabric, size, weight, and its straightforward utility, make the Callisto an absolute bargain. There are cheaper bags on the market, but there is a moment when cheaper isn't worth it. If you're that price-conscious shopper looking for value — you've reached that moment. Buy a Callisto.
We said it earlier in the review, and we'll say it again: There's not much about the Kelty Callisto 30 that we don't like, and that doesn't happen very often with our discerning testers. Recently re-designed, this newest version of the bag is wider, more stylish, warm, comfortable, and perfect for basic adventures when a basic sleeping bag is needed. It's a near-perfect general purpose camping bag, making it our hands-down winner of the Best Buy Award.
— Jason Wanlass