Kelty SB-20 Review

May 13, 2014
Kelty SB-20
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
83
Compressibility
5
Warmth to Weight Ratio
6
Comfort
5
Durability
8
Value
9

The Good

  • Water-resistant down
  • Waterproof materials at hood and feet
  • Very lightweight
  • Moderately priced

The Bad

  • Somewhat constrictive fit
  • Not as warm as others in the class
  • Less compressible than some
THE VERDICT

The Kelty SB 20 features top-notch 800-fill DriDown insulation at 25 percent less cost than the other 800-fill bags in the class. It’s also one of the lightest of the bunch. We loved the performance in humid conditions as the DriDown insulation and waterproof head and foot sections ensured the bag’s warmth didn’t diminish even when pressed against tent walls wet with heavy condensation. Unfortunately, to keep the weight down it sacrifices a bit of warmth and comfort. 

FULL REVIEW

Compressibility
The 800-fill down and 20-denier shell compresses reasonably well, stuffing down to a respectable 8- by 14-inch pack. That puts it a little above average but 

Warmth to Weight
The bag felt a bit thin to many of our testers when compared to other bags in this class. That perception was somewhat supported by (or perhaps driven by) the fact the same testers felt the bag was a little cooler than others. We stayed warm when temperatures stay in the 30s but felt a bit chilled as soon as it dropped below freezing. 

Comfort
A narrow taper created a snug fit with little room to wiggle and move. I felt constricted mostly through the shoulders but I’m fairly broad in the shoulders and torso. More slender campers didn’t have the same concerns, though they did say the bag was snugger than they were accustomed to.  I did like the roomy, well-shaped foot section and felt the hood was well designed to stay in place as you shift and move.

Durability
Other than an occasional snagging of material in the zipper, the bag proved well constructed. The snug fit raises some concerns about stress on seams – especially for campers who really twist and turn in bed. But we saw no signs of weakened seams after more than 14 nights of use.

Value
Coming in at price about 25 percent below the other 800-fill bags in the class, the SB 20 meets the needs of budget-conscious consumers. That outweighs the few issues we experienced.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$300.00
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