Kelty Ignite DriDown 20 Review

June 22, 2013
Kelty Ignite DriDown 20
Warmth to Weight Ratio

The Good

  • Affordable pricing
  • Very comfortable cut without being overly bulky
  • Down insulation treated for water resistance
  • Good warmth-to-weight rating

The Bad

  • Heavier than most others in class
  • Bulkiest packed size in class

While most bags filled with water-resistant down tend to be on the upper end of the price scale, Kelty offers it in this value-priced 650-fill down version. With a price $100 cheaper than the next bag in this class, it wins our Best Value award for Spring 2013, though it’s not the lightest or most compressible down. Every member of team praised the fit and comfort of the Ignite, and all thought it one of the warmest in this class.


The Ignite DriDown is a bag of compromises. It offers the latest technology in terms of DriDown treatment, but it provides it on 650-fill down to reduce costs. The designers fashioned the bag to be roomy and comfortable, but that adds to bulk and weight.

In the end, though, all our team agreed that the compromises work to create a bag that not only warm and comfortable without adding too much pain on the trail – or in the wallet. Though it’s bulkier and heavier than most other bags we tested in this class, the benefits outweigh those issues. We can see why Outside’s highly-respected Buyer Guide gave this bag the Gear of the Year, though we felt the Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL15 offered a slightly better combination of both value and performance.

The bag stuffs into an 8×15-inch sack and that can be further compressed a bit—as small as about 8×11 inches. That’s certainly smaller than most synthetic-fill bags of this rating, but it was the bulkiest of the down bags in the class.

Warmth and Comfort
The use of 650-fill greatly reduces the retail price of the bag but the trade-off is added weight and bulk. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect warmth. The Ignite DriDown proved very warm – I felt comfortable sleeping in it (wearing just my standard long-sleeved / full-legged base layer garments) in 20ºF conditions. Others reported they needed to wear a thicker mid-layer top in the bag.

The Ignite is generously cut, allowing for plenty of nighttime re-adjustments while you sleep. But it is not so generous that you’ll notice cold air pockets or voids.

The one knock on the fit is the hood. Like the rest of the bag, it is generously sized and I sometimes found myself with my face plastered against the nylon fabric of the inside of the hood. A snugger fit would keep the hood in place during nocturnal twists and turns.

The 30-denier ripstop nylon shell showed no signs of wear or tear after extensive use, and we felt comfortable with its long-term prospects as a stout, durable bag.


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