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Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag AUD$330

PostPosted: Tue 15 May, 2018 2:59 pm
by Mark CH
So, 2 mates and I went on a jaunt up Mount Bogong recently which gave me the excuse to buy and subsequently try out some new gear including a Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag.
I have a number of synthetic sleeping bags but no down ones so this presented a great opportunity to upgrade to a lighter and warmer bag for hiking in those shoulder season temperatures with the added benefit that my wife can use it on our car camping trips as she sleeps a lot colder than I do.
I undertook a huge amount of internet research on this bag and couldn’t find many bad reviews of it and I must admit I was a bit intrigued by the stretch baffles. As it was rated to a comfort level of about -7C I figured that there wouldn’t be too any times in the near future when I would need a warmer bag.
My next task was to find the best possible price. Long story short, I fortuitously ended up walking into Rays Outdoors just when they had a 25% off sale which meant that, with a $20 gift card the store had given me, the price came down from $330 to $227. This was only about $10 more expensive than the best price I could get it online from overseas and provided a lot more confidence if there were any issues with the bag and I needed to return it.
I didn’t get a chance to try it out before the trip but with overnight temperatures predicted to be between 5C and 9C I figured I would be fine.
First night at Mountain Creek was the first test and I can say the bag passed with flying colours.
The bag lofts extremely well, particularly since it packed down pretty small to fit in the bottom pocket of my 50 litre ruck with enough room for a silk liner and a stove and cooking pots. After about 30 minutes it is at close to full loft and ready to climb into. It wasn’t particularly cold that night (maybe 7C-8C) and I did have a liner but on the other hand, my self-inflating mat is old and doesn’t provide much in insulation. I was very warm overnight and at times had to completely unzip the bag to let some airflow through.
The stretch baffles were great. I was a bit worried it would take a bit to get used to them but I simply didn’t notice them. The elastic is stretchy enough that they don’t restrict movement at all but cinch in to reduce cold sports around your legs and feet. I suspect that they allow Klymit to use a little less down but still achieve good insulation?
Next night was spent at Michell Hut on Eskdale Spur having hiked up The Staircase and down Eskdale to the hut. It was colder this night and with the elevation we think it got down to around 5C. Again, the bag was great. We foolishly hadn’t packed mats because we were hoping to get into Cleve Cole Hut, which has mattresses, but on the climb we found out that Cleve Cole was fully occupied so we diverted to Michell. We were sleeping directly on the plywood benches with just some clothing providing some padding. Again, no issues at all; toasty warm all night long, if a bit stiff and sore from the lack of padding underneath! Lesson learned!
In conclusion, I highly recommend the KSB 20. I don’t think there is a better bang for your buck bag (try saying that fast 3 times in a row!) out there particularly if you pick it up when they are on sale. I’d be very confident that you could take this bag under the -7C rating with a liner and a better mat and I can’t wait to get back out on the trail so I can use it again!
Cost, warm for amount of down, pretty light compared to my previous bags
None that I have identified after one trip
Once I've had the opportunity to try it out a few more times I'll post some follow up comments.
Mark CH

Re: Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag AUD$330

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun, 2018 8:47 am
by Dieselpower
Looking at this exact bag after spending a night in the backyard testing my Mountain Designs bag. It didn't fail, but it didn't win either. Have you used this bag anymore since you got it? I'm super keen on grabbing one. Pack down ok? How's the room inside the bag? (my current bag doesn't allow me to stretch out at all and is somewhat restrictive when I sleep)

Re: Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag AUD$330

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun, 2018 10:34 am
by Mark CH
G'day Dieselpower,
Sorry I didn't see your post. I haven't had the chance to get back into it, unfortunately! It packs down very well, particularly in relation to my synthetic ones! In the relatively small bottom compartment of my 50 litre rucksack I still had room for my Trangia, silk liner and I could have stuffed some other items in too. From memory it was about 20 x 23 cm maximum. I cannibalised a stuff sack I had form another bag but with a better one it might compress a bit more.
The bag is much roomier than I expected. The stretch baffles weren't constricting at all and I moved around a lot, particularly as I was on bare wood on the second night I slept in it! I sometimes sleep on my back with one of my feet nestled up against the opposite knee (weird, I know :shock: ) and I could do that in the bag. I'm about 178cm tall and it was plenty long enough for me. My advice in that respect is to get in one at a store. Won't help with temperature but I'm happy so far. I've a mate who was on the trip and he picked one up afterwards so I'll check if he has used his in colder conditions.

Re: Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag AUD$330

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun, 2018 1:57 pm
by Mark CH
Heard back form my mate quicker than I expected, his comments below;
I christened it over the long weekend in the Grampians. I think the first night was forecast to 4 degrees. I just slept natural no thermal in the silk liner and sleeping bag. And I was comfortable. However I was expecting to get hot as it’s a -6 sleeping bag. There was a lot of dew and the tent was very went and had come through to the inside of the tent. As the corners of my pillow were wet. So this may have made it colder.

I also might have gotten colder than 4 degrees and others said they were wearing thermals & beanies. One girl said she has a -18 sleeping bag and didn’t get hot!

The next night (I don’t remember what the overnight forecast was) I woke up in the middle of the night in a sweat and had to zip it open while remaining in the silk liner.

I’m happy with it. If I ever do go snow camping I’ll just buy a thermal liner and wear thermals to bed.

Hope this helps.

Re: Klymit KSB 20 sleeping bag AUD$330

PostPosted: Wed 06 Mar, 2019 6:16 pm
by danman
I was lucky enough to get one of these a couple of years ago from campsaver on a runout special of around $90US. At that price it is an absolute steal.

Funnily enough, the coldest night I've had was the first time I tested it out, in the backyard, which by chance was the coldest night of the winter at -3 and was below freezing from 11pm until late morning. I wasn't super toasty but it did the job reasonably well.

I've used it a bunch since then and it's performed well. The bottom baffle thing (where your feet go) on mine seems to have a bit of a dodgy seam so it's always shedding a few feathers. Hasn't had any noticeable impact yet though.

I'm confident it'll go on for quite a few more years, so I've been pretty happy with it. If it's above 8-10 degrees you'll get waaaaay too hot and probably end up soaked in sweat, which unfortunately has happened a number of times.