Avid outdoorsman Asher “Dick” Kelty couldn’t find exactly what he wanted in a hiking backpack, so, in 1952, he created his own in his garage. From those humble origins has grown one of the world’s most trusted and beloved outdoor gear companies, and today the Kelty brand offers everything that an adventurer could need from tents to tarps to trekking poles. Kelty’s sleeping bags have become go-to products for those interested in camping in all conditions, and the Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree Sleeping Bag retains the attention to detail and high quality that consumers have come to expect from this company.
This sleeping bag is light on weight, but not when it comes to to durability and warmth. At only 3 lbs 9 oz for the regular size and 3 lbs 13 oz for the longer one, the Cosmic 0 Degree bag can be rolled compactly for use on any length of camping trip. A well-constructed bag, the Cosmic 0 Degree has a taffeta shell and liner and is filled with Kelty’s proprietary stuffing, called “550 fill power DriDown”. We were excited to see that the bag is offered in two sizes: a standard 6′ length and a longer 6’6″ size for those of us who want (or need) a bit more room, but this bag only comes in one color which is called “Autumn”. It’s a gender-neutral burnt orange color that will transition well throughout the seasons.
When you enter the world of Winter Sleeping Bags, you create a certain expectation for the consumer. After testing this bag in a variety of temperatures, we’re happy to report that this bag lives up to its name. Say goodbye to shivering in the middle of the night! The company suggests usage of this sleeping bag in temperatures that dip to 4 F/ -16 C, so the bag will be ready for whatever you decide to throw at it even if it doesn’t quite encompass the titular “0 Degree.” The Cosmic 0 Degree bag comes with a 58″ dual zipper for ease of entry, as well as a draft tube that runs behind the zipper for maximum warmth. The attached draft collar and thermal hood keeps even more of your body heat where it belongs.
The taffeta lining is smooth and comfortable, and the DriDown blend remains warm even as the temperatures dip into the 20s. The combination of the two ensured that we stayed in that perfect zone of sleeping comfort while testing this bag. While personal comfort varies widely, most consumers will find that this bag is quite comfortable in lower temperatures without needing to sleep in layers of additional comfort. Although the bag is advertised for colder camping conditions, we found that the sleeping bag will easily transition between 80 degree nights and 45 degree nights, which makes it the ideal companion for a long camping trip through varied climates. For example, this bag would work well along the Appalachian trail or backpacking through Europe, where temperatures and conditions can vary greatly from night to night.
We liked that the bag rolls up easily and packs away in the included stuff sack without hassle. Unlike other packs in this price range, the Cosmic 0 Degree sleeping bag can be put in or pulled out of the bag in just a few seconds. The lightweight and compact style ensures that your hiking bag will have plenty of space for other camping necessities beyond the sleeping pack. Additionally, the taffeta exterior is durable and, despite the lighter orange color, resists showing dirt.
At a price that hovers in the mid- to upper- $200 range, this bag is an investment piece for trips that range beyond your eight-year-old’s sleepovers. For a dedicated camper, or a camper who’s seeking serious adventure year-round, this Kelty sleeping bag is well worth the cost, especially when compared to other sleeping bags with the same features. We had hopes that the sleeping bag would be offered in additional colors, as many of the other Kelty sleeping bags are brightly colored and appeal to a variety of consumers.
For consumers who are taller or who like extra sleeping room, the 6’6″ length has the potential to be a lifesaver. However, for those who have a more muscular or stocky build, the bag may still not offer all of the room to ensure a truly comfortable rest, as the sleeping bag is somewhat narrowly cut. We also discovered that the hood feature does not work for all users, especially those who are already near or at the recommended height. This issue with the hood is further exacerbated if you choose to insert a pillow into the hood with you.
While we tested it, there were some complains on the amount of heat that the foot box retained. If you tend to be cold-natured, you make need to wear additional socks or include foot warmers at the bottom of the bag to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your sleep.
This lightweight sleeping bag is excellent for campers and hikers in a variety of situations. Consider purchasing this if you plan on camping at high altitudes, in areas where conditions are varied, or during late fall, winter, or early spring. Since it is easy to carry and compact, this versatile bag would be a welcome addition to any long-term trail hiking expedition.
While the price may cause some beginning hikers to wonder if it’s worth the investment, the Kelty Cosmic 0 Degree sleeping bag performs admirably against more expensive bags with similar features. Overall, this bag will be well-received by campers who often find themselves out in harsher conditions, and, after spending some time with the sleeping bag, we can see why the Cosmic 0 Degree remains one of Kelty’s best selling models. Remember that there are hundreds of cold weather sleeping bags on the market, so you can really choose one that’s best suited to you, even if the decision comes down to color!