We are all familiar with the down verses synthetic sleeping bag debate. Each fill has its advantage and its disadvantage. So which to choose? Down sleeping bags are often go-to choices for backpackers because the fill offers more insulation for the weight, and is far more compressible than synthetic fill. Unfortunately, those of us who live in damp climates can often find themselves shortchanged by down sleeping bags. Once down gets wet, it loses much of its insulation power and—well, you may find yourself wishing you had bought a different bag.
Kelty Ignite 0° DriDown sleeping bag combats this notorious foible by offering a unique solution. This bag is stuffed with 600-fill DriDown, down that is specially treated with polymer at the molecular level. The result: each individual down feather has a hydrophobic finish that allows it to stay dry longer and dry faster than conventional down, keeping you warm in wet weather or humid climates. DriDown allows the down to stay dry up to seven times longer than untreated down, to dry 33% faster and to retain 34% more loft. For this test, I was able to compare the Kelty Ignite 0° DriDown sleeping bag to my conventional Brand X untreated, basic 20 degree down bag.
- DriDown. This product was tested in the Olympic rainforest. Despite the rain, high humidity and low night time temperatures, this bag kept me warm and comfortable throughout the night. While the outside of the bag was slightly wet in the morning due to tent humidity, I felt no negative insulation impact. Brand X, unfortunately, was bogged down by tent humidity, resulting in an estimated loss of 10 degrees in comfort.
- Amenities. The bag features a full hood and draft collar, which offers extra insulation on chilly nights. However, these creature comforts can be a disadvantage (mentioned below) when it comes to weight. As a cold sleeper, I found the draft collar to be an insulating amenity. Brand X has no draft collar, meaning a less comfortable night.
- Fit. If you’re a woman with large shoulders you’ll love the shape of the bag. The sleeping bag could easily accommodate my broad shoulders, which typically feel constrained by most bags. While I typically feel constricted by my Brand X sleeping bag, I enjoyed the extra shoulder room in the Kelty Ignite DriDown bag.
- Rating. The EN Comfort limit is 20 degrees, meaning that 20 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature in which a woman can be expected to comfortably sleep. The EN Lower limit is 7 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that this is the lowest comfortable sleeping temperature for men. The name can be a bit misleading if you’re a woman and are expecting to sleep comfortably in 0-degree weather. If you’re planning to camp in 0-degree weather, bring a liner. However, if you purchase the Kelly Ignite DriDown bag expecting a 20 degree bag, you won’t be disappointed.
- Compression. Due to the 600 fill and the bells and whistles (draft collar, shoulder girth) this bag was not as compressible as other Brand X down sleeping bags in the same price range and comfort rating. A separately purchased stuff sack is a must for this bag.
When I first got Kelty Ignite 0° DriDown sleeping bag, I’ll admit, I was listing the cons in my head. I’d expected a 0-degree down bag and was discouraged to discover that it had a 20 degree EN Comfort. However, once I took the bag into the field, I had quite a different experience. I was absolutely astonished by the effectiveness of the DriDown insulation. After a night in the rainforest, I was delighted to find that the down fill was still fluffy and bone dry. I highly recommend this bag for anyone who is planning to backpack in humid, wet or rainy climates, as it is truly a product that can stand up to the elements.
Temp Rating: 0° / -18°C
EN Comfort Limit: 20oF / -7oC
EN Lower Limit: 7oF / -14oC
Size Regular (tested)
- Fits to: 6 ft / 183 cm
- Length: 78 in / 198 cm
- Shoulder girth: 62 in / 157 cm
- Fill weight: 2 lbs 3 oz / 0.98 kg
- Total weight: 3 lbs 9 oz / 1.60 kg
- Stuffed diameter: 10 in / 25 cm
- Stuffed length: 15 in / 38 cm
Insulation: 600 Fill DriDown™
Shell material: 30D Nylon Ripstop
Liner material: 50D Polyester Micro Pongee
- Box baffle construction
- Efficient, form-fitting hood
- Full draft collar
- 58 inch dual-slider locking zipper
- Zipper draft tube with anti-snag design
- Internal liner loops
- Sleeping pad security loops
- Hang loops for storage
- Ground-level side seams and differential cut for maximum warmth
- Stuff sack included
- FatMan and Ribbon™ drawcords
- Captured cordlock