New Backpacker.. 15 Degree down bags... SD Ridge Runner, Kelty Cosmic.. Suggest others?

12:45 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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I'm looking to get a 15 Degree down bag. I'm a new backpacker and not looking to spend over 200 on it, though I will if that's what's necessary.

I'm looking at down because of the weight and compression, and my northeast climate wouldn't require synthetic... Correct? My backpack is also highly water resistant. 15 because I want to be able to do some fall/spring trips also.

I've read good reviews about the Kelty Cosmic 20... I'm not only interested because of the low price tag... It's gotten some great reviews, and seems favored over similarly temp'd synthetic bags that cost twice as much...

I'm also interested in the Sierra designs Ridge Runner 15. Price is cool, and it seems like a solid down bag, but I haven't read more than just a couple reviews...

Could anyone else attest to either of these bags or suggest another in this realm? Still open to synthetic if it's the right choice...

1:23 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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The cosmic is a good bag dude. My buddy out in North Cali swears by his. I use a 40 degree myself. We dont get many nights close to freezing down south. But you can scorethe Cosmic for about $100 on Amazon. I buy tons of my stuff from there. The prices are normally better than most stores. Stick tight to looking at the reviews on whatever you end up checking out though. Just by reading them you can useally tell if they are legit.

Be Cool Man

2:54 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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1,630 forum posts

The Kelty Cosmic series is a good budget down bag. I recommend it for those on a budget.

If your interested in a quilt, check out these:

(Hammock Gear is a small cottage industry and everything is handmade by Adam and his wife. They are great people and make amazingly good quality items. Their customer service is awesome too-They once drove from Ohio to NY to fix someones tarp that failed in the field, and fixed it on the spot in a parking lot near the trail)

20F top quilt, $229, best quality money can buy IMO.

I made the switch to quilts a year or so ago and havn't looked back since. I am primarily a hammocker but have used them on the ground many of times also.

Alot of light weight and ultralight backpackers are switching to quilts to save weight, as the insulation on the bottom of a sleeping bag is compressed by you laying on it and offers little to no insulative value. Quilts are not for everyone, but someone people(like myself) like them so much better than a sleeping bag. I just donj't like the confining nature of a sleeping bag.

7:23 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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Great suggestions. I welcome more...

I hadn't yet though of a quilt and will definitely look more into it.

9:46 p.m. on February 7, 2013 (EST)
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As I mentioned in my post today the new DWR treated down from Marmot, LL Bean and soon Patagonia is making down much more resistant to absorbing both body and atmospheric moisture.

That moisture will ruin down's loft ( thus warmth) and add weight to it as well, especially in a sleeping bag that has several night's worth of body moisture in it.

So if I were in the market for a new down bag I'd buy a bag with DWR treated down. Same with down clothing.

But, if your budget permits only synthetic filled bags I highly recommend Climashield Apex as the current best synthetic fill. I recommend it not only for its compressability but its superior ability to maintain loft after repeatedly being put in and out of a stuff sack.

1:53 p.m. on February 8, 2013 (EST)
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I'm quite fond of my Kelty "Light Year" 20 degree down bag.

I managed to find a womens long bag on sale at campmor a few years back, and got it for only a little over a hundred bucks. Fits me like a glove, and I've even come to like to Shocking Yellow color.

The Cosmic seems to be a less expensive bag though, not sure why -

In fact, they got a mens regular 20 degree down Cosmo on sale now for 110 bucks,

and a zero degree bag for 160!

Down is fine - If you can keep it dry - I sleep cold so i use my 20 degree bag as a three season bag, and simply keep it open in the summer, or even just sleep on top of it ( Till I awake cold in the night, then gratfully snuggle inside ).

When camping with my wife though, we use a Ray Way two person quilt my wife made from one of their kits. I highly recomend these kits, and they ain't hard to make. For a couple a synthetic quilt is the way to go, to people in the same bag or under the same quilt just make to much moisture - Uh, especially when you add a little kissing and what-not....











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