Kelty Mistral 0
Synthetic bags retain more heat when wet, dry faster…
Temperature Rating: 0 degrees
Weight: 6 lbs, 3oz
Price Paid: Pro deal from Kelty
Synthetic bags retain more heat when wet, dry faster and they’re easier to clean and the Kelty Mistral zero-degree bag is ideal for campers who have less than $70 to spend.
Inside, the Kelty Mistral has CloudLoft insulation over the chest and ground-level side seams to prevent heat from escaping. The Mistral can even be unzipped and opened flat for use as blanket and it has a zippered foot box for ventilation.
This is a good bag for the price. It retails for $69 but you really need to think about when and where you plan to use it because it’s big. It stuffs down to the size of a beer keg (a slight exaggeration but you get the point), making it not the ideal bag for a backpacking trip. It’s also fairly heavy at six pounds, three ounces. For car camping though, the Mistral works fine.
When I tested this bag this winter, the nighttime temperatures plunged to the mid-teens. I didn’t freeze, but I wasn’t comfortable either. The hood cinches around the face but I had to put muscle into it. Even fully cinched, too much of my face was exposed and I had a few gaps between my neck that let in the cold air. The Mistral has a draw cord on the baffle that helped, but it didn’t entirely seal the bag.
One key to a sleeping bag’s warmth lies in its size. If it’s too roomy, you’ll lose much of the heat you generate in the excess air. The Mistral was a little too roomy for me. If you have at least 160 pounds of girth, the Mistral will definitely work better.
I ended up pulling my down bag out and stuffing it inside the Mistral. The next morning, the top of the bag was saturated with condensation—but fully dried after an hour of sitting in the open air the next day. Therein lays the beauty of the synthetic bag.
For the price, it’s a great bag for car camping in the spring, summer and fall. If you plan to take it winter camping, I recommend bringing a warm fleece bag liner and your warmest sleeping jammies.