This 35°F bag approaches a discount-store price, but still delivers legit backpacking performance for mild mountain weather. That’s because the Kotey has features—like an effective hood and included compression sack—that are anything but cut-rate. After camping sans tent on a summer night, one tester reported that the hollow-core synthetic fill held its warmth despite getting soaked with dew. “I hung it in the sun, and it dried before breakfast was over,” he said.
On cooler nights, the hood closes to the diameter of a tennis ball using a one-cord system that doesn’t bunch or stretch, like cheap elastic will do. The brushed polyester lining’s cottony feel is comfortable without being sticky, which is good because the three-quarter-length zipper doesn’t allow for foot venting on warm nights.
Big-and-restless warning: The skinny-guy shape reduces overall weight and bulk—but also roll-around room. A bulky load is often the price for budget bags, but the Kotey squishes down to bowling-ball size.
Downsides: The rating is optimistic by five degrees, and even in the mid-40s testers wanted more insulation in the feet. $85; 2 lbs. 1 oz.; 35°F