The KSB 35 is a one size fits all sleeping bag with an enticing price. It's every bit as lightweight and packable as advertised. The longer than full-length zipper also gives you more venting options and the option to unzip it into a quilt. Our testers, however, were less than impressed with its insulation and a temperature rating that seems severely exaggerated. The KSB 35 is still a nice bag, but we can't recommend it for any season besides summer.
Klymit KSB 35 Review
Cons: Colder than its warmth rating, no draft collar or stash pocket, unpleasant smell
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Klymit KSB 35
|Price||$199.95 at Amazon||$199.95 at REI|
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|$159.95 at Backcountry|
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|$169.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Extra-long zipper, lightweight, packs small, unzips into a quilt||Awesome warmth-to-weight ratio for the price, very compressible, tons of venting options, nice compression sack included||Thick synthetic insulation, well-balanced performance, easy to use zipper, included stuff sack||Cheap, anti-snag zipper, sturdy materials, versatile synthetic insulation||Inexpensive, burly, decent warmth, roomy fit|
|Cons||Colder than its warmth rating, no draft collar or stash pocket, unpleasant smell||Not as warm as its temp rating, no draft collar, uncertain durability||Bulkier than expected, mediocre warmth-to-weight ratio||Moderate warmth-to-weight ratio, doesn't compress well, limited extra features||Heavier than average, bulky, no storage sack, no compression sack|
|Bottom Line||Lightweight and packable, but minimal insulation.||An exceptional deal for a lightweight bag that excels in wet conditions.||A simple but effective synthetic mummy bag.||An affordable workhorse with solid all-around performance.||A legit backpacking sleeping bag that won't cost you an arm and a leg.|
|Rating Categories||Klymit KSB 35||NEMO Kyan 35||The North Face Cat's Meow 20||Mountain Hardwear Lamina 30||Kelty Cosmic 20|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Features & Design (10%)|
|Specs||Klymit KSB 35||NEMO Kyan 35||The North Face...||Mountain Hardwear...||Kelty Cosmic 20|
|Measured Weight (size long, in lbs)||3.14||1.89||2.39||2.28||2.63|
|Temperature rating (F)||35||35||20||30||20|
|EN lower limit (rating for men)/ EN Comfort Rating (rating for women)||21 / 32||35 / 46||22 / 33||27 (lower)||19 (lower)|
|Manufacturer claimed weight of size Regular (lbs)||1.90||1.69||2.25||2.17||2.41|
|Compression/Stuff Sack Weight (oz)||0.8||2.4||4.0||3.7||0.8|
|Compressed Volume (L)||7.0||6.6||11.4||8.6||8.7|
|Fill||650FP Down||Synthetic - Primaloft Silver||Synthetic - Heatseeker Guide||Synthetic - Thermal.Q||600FP Down (83%) / Polyester (17%)|
|Fill Weight (Reg oz)||14.1||12||26||Unknown||18.2|
|Shell material||Sil-Nylon||Ripstop nylon (20D)||20D Nylon Ripstop||Ripstop nylon (30D)||20D Nylon taffeta|
|Small organization Pocket||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Zipper||Full-Length+ Side||Full-length / Side||Full-Length Side||Full-lengh / Side||3/4-Length Side|
|Shoulder Girth (Reg)||60 in||62||Unknown||60||64 in|
|Hip Girth (Reg)||60 in||57||Unknown||58||60 in|
|Foot Girth (Reg)||46||Unknown|
|Stuff or compression sack included?||Stuff||Compression||Compression||Compression||Stuff|
|Storage sack included?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Water resistant shell?||DWR||DWR||No||DWR||No|
|Total Weight (Long size, in Pounds)||30.6||30.2||38.2||36.4||42.0|
|Manufacturer claimed weight (Long, oz)||N/A||30||39||Not listed||42.7|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In our detailed review below, we challenge several marketing claims made on the Klymit website, including the KSB 35's temperature rating and advertised features. While we were disappointed with these problems, the team at OutdoorGearLab is in no way suggesting intentional dishonesty on behalf of Klymit. Rather, it's more likely an instance of different sleeping bag versions (0F, 20F, and 35F) mistakenly listed with the same features.
The KSB 35 is advertised with an EN lower limit rating of 21°F. Our reviewers believe this is extremely inaccurate, and its warmth is more comparable to the average bag with a 35F rating. In our warmth test, the lead tester got a chill while sleeping overnight in a 48F room with a great sleeping pad (R = 4.6).
For comparison consider that this bag doesn't have a draft collar and is filled with 14.1 ounces of 650 fill power down. The Rab Mythic 400, in contrast, is a premium sleeping bag with an identical temperature rating, but its 14.1 ounces of down are much higher quality (900 fill power), and it has a draft collar.
This one size fits all bag weighed in at an impressive 1.91 pounds on our scale, making it one of the lightest bags in our budget review. The only problem, however, with this impressive performance is that the KSB 35 doesn't provide enough warmth for us to consider it a true 3-season sleeping bag. It thus exhibits an impressively low weight, but a weight that's unfair to compare with the other bags in this review.
The KSB 35 has average dimensions for a budget sleeping bag. These dimensions will probably feel spacious enough for people that don't mind sleeping in mummy bags, but constrictive for those that do not. Our testers didn't like the hood closure because it uses an inelastic drawstring that can put pressure on your head when closed tightly. Some of our testers also complained that this bag smelled bad for the first few months out of the box.
In our compressed volume test with an after-market compression sack, the KSB 35 packed down to 7.0 liters. This figure would be tiny for a 3-season bag, but we don't consider this bag warm enough for 3-season use. Compared to ultralight summer sleeping bags that provide similar levels of warmth, it doesn't pack particularly small.
Our favorite feature of the KSB 35 is its longer than full-length zipper. This zipper starts near the head of the bag on the left side, wraps around the foot of the bag, and ends near the foot of the bag on the right side. Because it's a two-way zipper, you have the luxurious option to vent only your feet. You can also unzip it all the way and turn the bag into a quilt. This feature greatly extends the upper end of the temperature range in which the bag can be used.
Features and Design
We're big fans of the zipper's extreme length, and also the Y-shaped slide it incorporates to prevent snags. Unfortunately, the KSB 35 is only available in one size that accommodates sleepers up to 6'6". For shorter folks, there are "length locks" near the foot of bag that you can use to shorten the bag temporarily. These are effective but not ideal for long-term use. After all, most bags are available in size short — around 66 inches in length. If you're under 5'6" and settle for one size fits all KSB 35 you'll have to carry around the additional weight of an unnecessary foot of down and nylon for the lifetime of the bag.
We also have a few concerns about the features advertised on the Klymit website where an image of a blue KSB 35 indicates that it includes a "draft collar" and "stash pockets." The model we tested, however, did not have these features.
The KSB 35's light weight and small packed size make it well-suited for longer treks and strenuous uphill travel. We can't recommend using it near its 35°F, but its extra long zipper enhances its usefulness on warmer nights.
This bag is exceptionally light and compressible for its $200 price tag. Its overall value, however, is lessened due to its limited warmth. Nevertheless, if you're able to take full advantage of the ability to also use this sleeping bag as a quilt, it does provide a decent value.
The KSB 35's advertised specs are pretty impressive. Just $200 for a 1.9-pound sleeping bag that's rated down to 21°F? What a deal! Unfortunately, our testers found the bag's insulation was hardly enough to stay warm at 40F. We're still big fans of its extra long zipper, but shoppers should be aware that this bag is better for summer, rather than 3-season use.
— Jack Cramer