Down-filled sleeping bags are known for being warm, lightweight and expensive. Nowadays, it’s hard to come by a high-quality down bag without the premium price tag. And this makes the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag a breath of fresh air. This bag is not only filled with a treated, water-resistant down but also budget-friendly. So, if you’re a backpacking enthusiast looking for a low-priced sleeping gear packed with top-notch features, then read on and find out what else makes the Kelty Cosmic a cut above the rest.
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag is a traditional mummy with a 3-season rating. Its regular bag has a packed size of 40cm x 21cm and is ideal for users up to 183cm tall. Long and women sizes are also available for a better fit. The regular packed size is slightly bulkier than similar bags. However, it does appear roomier despite the usually confining mummy shape. With its high-quality design and construction materials, this Kelty bag can keep you comfortable on hot or cold conditions up to -7°C. And while it comes filled with a lofty, specially treated down, backpackers on a tight budget will be happy to know that this bag is reasonably priced.
Best Features of the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag
The saying you get what you pay for applies even when buying camping gear. And in terms of sleeping bags, hikers and backpackers consider a comfortable, warm and lightweight down-filled bag a luxury. But the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag proves that high quality can also be affordable. With its well-made features and overall performance, users won’t feel they are sleeping on a low-cost alternative.
Spacious, warm and comfortable
Outdoor enthusiasts do not favour mummy sleeping bags as they can be uncomfortable. They take the shape of your body to trap heat, but this can also give a slightly claustrophobic feeling for some. The Kelty Cosmic takes the same sleeping bag shape without making the user feel entombed. It is spacious, with a broad shoulder width so you can still turn and sleep on your side. The foot box also has enough wiggle room.
The extra space makes it easy for air to seep through. But with the draft collar and hood adjusted, this sleeping bag should keep you snug and warm. If you’re a cold sleeper, you can always add clothing layers and a hat for extra insulation. On the other hand, warm sleepers can adjust the draft tube and collar or partially unzip the bag to cool off their bodies. These adjustable features make the bag versatile, depending on your camping conditions, body type and preference.
Treated for water resistance
While down is the best when it comes to sleeping bag insulation, users who frequently hike on wet conditions would often opt for synthetic bags. Down-filled bags can get damp and soggy, then lose its loft and warmth properties. Kelty resolved this issue by filling the Cosmic with 600F DriDown insulation.
Here, each plume of down has a hydrophobic coating, so your bag stays dry better. This fill also makes the sleeping bag more adaptable to moist and humid conditions, keeps it protected from condensation and helps preserve its loft. And should it get wet, DriDown dries up faster by up to 33% compared with untreated down.
As a bonus, the water-resistant coating used is also PFC-free. Perfluorinated compounds, like PFOS and PFOA, are common in water-repellent products like pants, boots, tents and jackets. While these chemicals keep users dry and clean, they degrade slowly once thrown as waste and can release toxins that can harm the environment, cause pollution and enter the food chain. Knowing that you’re sleeping on eco-friendly gear will surely add to your peace of mind.
Kelty is considered a go-to brand for outdoor enthusiasts’ camping needs and known for its quality and durability. And the Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag displays robustness and longevity through its liner, shell and zipper line. Its shell uses a 20D down-proof polyester ripstop for softness and comfort. It also has a sturdy 50D polyester taffeta inner liner, so you can lay the bag directly on the ground without worrying about rips and tears.
There’s also an anti-snag lining next to the zipper area to protect the delicate fabric liner. This burlier nylon weave material has higher denier, which adds stiffness and prevents the fabric from getting caught in the zipper. It’s a minor detail, but it does add protection to your bag and makes it easier to zip and unzip.
While more expensive sleeping bags use a soft 20D fabric for their liner, Kelty opted for a 50D fabric. Although this fabric choice is coarser and stiffer, it also makes the Cosmic 20 more affordable. More importantly, it gives the bag strength to withstand regular use. And unlike other down-filled bags, it’s low maintenance, too.
Useful extra features
The Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag does not have a lot of unique add-ons, but they are surely functional and add convenience. For instance, it has a small stash pocket with zipper on top, so you can store and grab small items like your phone, a lip balm or headlamp with ease. The sleeping bag also includes a stuff sack made of 20D fabric for storage and transport.
Value for money
Kelty Cosmic’s best feature has to be its exceptional price-to-quality ratio. It may not be as soft or light like other down-filled bags, but it promises quality performance that lasts. Also, it offers a great deal to discerning casual hikers that put equal value on comfort and cost. Also, you can use the savings you make from this sleeping bag for buying a lightweight tent and other gear to balance your camping load.
Things to Note
The Kelty Cosmic bag is exceptional overall. It has the features and cost that you probably won’t find elsewhere. However, the price cut also means a few drawbacks to consider.
Bulky and not ultralight
Ultra-compact backpackers and travellers may find this bag’s bulky packed size and weight quite disappointing. Other users who are open to spending a little extra for their sleeping bags may also opt for lighter down-filled gear.
Lacks essential features
The lack of a compression sack contributes to Kelty Cosmic’s bulkiness. You would have to purchase a separate compression sack to make the most of this bag’s minimum volume. Also, while it includes a stuff sack, it does not have a storage or mesh sack that you can use for long-term storage or airing out. To preserve the loft of your bag and avoid unpleasant odour, make sure to hang it at home or buy a third-party storage bag for it. This bag doesn’t have stretchable straps either to keep a sleeping mat or pillow in place.
Cannot be used as a quilt
The dual right-hand zippers only open up to 46cm of the bag on one side. The lack of a full-length zipper means cannot double as comforter or quilt, which could come in handy during summer nights.
Unsuitable for extreme wet conditions
Despite its hydrophobic coating, the Kelty Cosmic is not your best bet for extremely wet activities or conditions. The sleeping bag’s down insulation can still get damp, clump together and lose its warmth. So, if you frequently camp in humid or rainy regions, you might want to consider getting a synthetic bag instead. Also, on colder days, make sure to fluff the bag well to distribute the fill and avoid any cold spots.
As a 3-season bag, the Cosmic is not fit for winter camping either. Warm sleepers may find this gear a lightweight 4-season option. However, for safety and optimum warmth, it’s best to look for a sleeping bag with the proper EN rating fit for camping at snowy regions or higher altitudes.
Pros and Cons
You wouldn’t expect the comfort and frills of an 800F down bag from the Kelty Cosmic given its reasonable price. Aside from the slightly coarse 50D inner liner, extra bulk and lack of proper storage bags, this 3-season gear is not something you will bring while camping in the dead of winter. However, its durable design, moisture-resistance and spacious mummy shape make it reliable for most backpacking adventures. High-end bags may have the extra comfort and benefits, but for car campers and everyone else looking for good quality, low-cost options, the Kelty Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bag is a happy median.