AdventureTravelNews

OPL Down Devotee Tests the Synthetic Kelty Ignite 20/ EN 36º

Editor’s Note: This gear review is a guest post by Mallory Ayres, Outdoor Prolink’s Gear Head. You can find out more about Outdoor Prolink’s here.

Our Outdoor Prolink team is united by our complete obsession with outdoor gear. Sure, you can probably label us freaks, but the smell of new hiking boots out of the box, the feeling of running a finger down a brand new, cold, gleaming carabiner, and the joy of sliding on a pair of really sweet sunglasses is what makes us tick. As members of the ATTA and outdoor professionals who use outdoor gear every day, we know how important it is to you too. Our pro purchase program offers deep discounts to outdoor professionals on over 70 top-quality brands like La Sportiva, Scarpa, MSR and Mountain Hardwear, with thousands of products available at 30 – 45 % off MSRP. If you are a paid outdoor professional, you should qualify for our site. To apply, simply go to www.outdoorprolink.com and click ‘Register Today.’ Be sure to send in a piece of supporting documentation like a current paystub or letter from your employer to prove your full-time employment. Gear is our passion, and we want to share it with you. Get on board with OPL and never pay retail for your gear again!

Being a die-hard down fan, I was curious to try out the Kelty Women’s Ignite 20/ EN 36º with recycled ECOPET fibers. Could it possibly be as warm and portable as the classic down? Wasn’t it (sniff) heavier and more bulky (upturned nose)? But I put my doubts aside and ventured up in the Colorado Rockies in late spring to see how it would fair.  Although I found that the bag doesn’t compress as much as down, with a good compression sack, it does compress much smaller than I thought it would. It fit nicely in my 45 liter pack for an overnight jaunt, and although the 3lb weight might keep some fast-and-light purists from packing it, I found that the weight and size wasn’t an issue on the trip we went on. As soon as the sun set, the temperatures began to drop and yawns spread among our group, I pulled out my Ignite. I was pleased to find that it quickly returned to being fully lofted after being compressed much more quickly than most down bags, which was a convenient and comforting discovery on a chilly night. As an average sized female tester (5’5”) I found that the bag fit me nicely, although I would not recommend it for taller women, as there wasn’t much extra room for my body.

As I started to fall asleep in the brisk spring air, I was happy to discover that the synthetic bag kept me quite warm, and the layered, offset quilt construction evenly distributed the insulation, warming me from top to bottom. Plus, the hefty draft collar helped keep out the chill. I slept soundly until I woke up thirsty. I fumbled around for my water bottle and actually ended up spilling on my bag in my sleepy fog. Yet, I was relieved to find that it didn’t leak through the bag due to the high loft of the synthetic material, and it didn’t stay wet as long as down does. I was also pleased with its convenient touches like the hang loops for storage and the liner bag loops.

The Verdict: This warm, reliable bag is perfect for spring, summer and early fall car camping and weekend backpacking trips, and helped me change my preconceptions about synthetic material. Plus, since it’s recycled, it’s better for the environment than down, and you can’t beat the price (it retails for $139.95)!

MSRP: $139.95

OPL Pro Price: $92.00

Kelty Women’s Ignite 20/ EN 36º

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