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

6 November 2013
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.

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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