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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Kelty Light Year 25 Down Bag > Owner Review by Sophie Pearson
Kelty Women's Light Year 25 Down Sleeping Bag
| ||Manufacturer||My bag|
|Minimum temperature||20 F (-7 C)||25 F (-4 C)|
|Length||80 in (2.03 m)||79 in (2.00 m)|
|Width at shoulder||59 in (1.50 m)||50 in (1.27 m)|
|Width at foot|| ||13 in (0.33 m)|
|Weight||2 lb 9 oz (1.20 kg)||2lb 1 oz (0.94 kg)|
|Weight in stuff sack|| ||2 lb 2 oz (0.96 kg)|
|Stuff sack diameter||7 in (0.18 m)||7 in (0.18 m)|
|Stuff sack length||14 in (0.36 m)||14 in (0.36 m)|
|Storage bag diameter|| ||12.5 in (0.32 m)|
|Storage bag height|| ||20 in (0.51 m)|
I first got this bag for a 10-day trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in summer 2006. The temperatures averaged around 45 F (7 C) at night but dropped to about 30 F (-1 C) when we hiked up to higher elevation, where there was snow on the ground. I have also taken it on numerous trips around Florida, backpacking and car camping, where temperatures have reached 90 F (32 C) and rarely drop below 50 F (10 C). I used the bag during a four-day trip to Georgia in the fall, where it was consistently damp and drizzly and temperatures were around 45 F (7 C) at night. I have used it in my 2-person backpacking tent on my own and sharing, and in my bivy bag.
The first thing I noticed about this bag is how light it is. Compared to my synthetic, 4+ season bag the difference is incredible. It also packs really small, without having to fight with the stuff sack or use compression straps. I like the fact that it came in a large bag for storage too, so that the down doesn't lose its fluffiness.
The bag is rated for 3 seasons, down to 25 F (-4 C). I have used it in temperatures from 90 F (32 C) to about 30 F (-1 C). With my feet sticking out of the zip at the end I have not found it too hot, even in Florida in the summer. I have however had some problems with getting cold. Because it is designed for women, there is extra padding at the feet and this really has made a difference. The problem for me is my bottom - I tend to sleep on my side and my bottom ends up touching the bag near the bottom of the zip and has got so cold it has gone numb in the past! This happened one night in the Grand Tetons, when I was sharing a tent and temperatures got down to 30 F (-1 C), and a couple of times when I have been sleeping on my own in my 2-person backpacking tent in Floridian winter, at temperatures of around 40 F (4 C). I haven't noticed it when I am sleeping in my bivy bag. I don't know if this is a problem with the sleeping bag, or a peculiarity of mine, but I have not found it with other bags, and I have plenty of padding in that area! For me it's an acceptable trade-off because my feet have always got really cold really quickly until I bought this bag, and I find it easier to warm up my bottom than my feet.
I'm not sure how much difference the half-zip makes in weight but it actually suits me really well because I have a habit of catching zips and there is less zip to catch, plus less draft tube that can let air in. I don't use a mummy style sleeping bag as a quilt because of the footbox, so the half zip is not a problem there. The bag has ground-level seams and slant-baffle construction that are supposed to increase heat retention, but I can't really tell if they help.
I initially thought that the number of loops was a bit over-kill, but I found I have used them more than I realized. I initially used the loops 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down to strap my bag to my pad, until I realized that the shell of the bag is much less slippery than my old one and doesn't need it. The foot loops are great for hanging up the bag to air when I get back from a trip. Kelty says that some of the loops are designed to allow the bag to be used as a liner, but I haven't tested that. One complaint I have is that the hood cordlock is attached to an outside loop and I have not found a way to pull the hood tight without my hand sticking out. This is a bit awkward, and leaves a gap where cold can get in.
The bag is really soft and feels fairly padded. Over the 2 years I have had it the down does not seem to have lost much loft. The shell of the bag rustles much less than my old synthetic bag, which I really like because I tend to be the last to bed and move around a lot in my sleep. I initially worried about getting a down bag because of how long it takes to dry off and become usable again if it gets wet. I have kept the bag in the stuff sack in a plastic bag whenever I am outside, and have not noticed any moisture issues even in damp, drizzly fog. I (reluctantly because of the moisture issue) took the bag on a 3 day kayaking trip but the dry bag did its job perfectly. I have therefore not tested the performance when wet yet (and hopefully never will!) but my tent has ended up with quite a lot of moisture in it during rain storms and the moisture-wicking synthetic shell seems to have kept all of the damp out of the down.
The Kelty Women's Light Year Down sleeping bag is a small, light-weight 3 season sleeping bag that appears to have suffered little from 2 years of use and many outings. The right-opening half-zip has kept weight down and warmth in while a foot zip has kept me cool in hotter weather. Extra padding at the foot and torso really keeps me warm, although when the temperatures drop below 40 F (4 C) my bottom sometimes gets cold. My only other complaint is that the hood cordlock is on the outside which means that the tightest the hood can be pulled is with a hand sticking out. Overall a really nice backpacking sleeping bag, but not quite warm enough for me at the lower end of the rated temperature range.
Foot zip for ventilation
My bottom gets cold in this bag at low temperatures
Cannot pull the hood as tight as I would like