Gear Review: Kelty Ignite DriDown


$210 CAD

Reviewer: Patrick Hutchison

My Gear Style:
Hand-Me-Down Hero
Best-Bang-for-Your-Buck Buccaneer
Use It ‘Til It Disintegrates


Photo courtesy of Patrick Hutichison


When I heard they had developed a technology to make down waterproof I thought it would be the easiest review I had ever done. Waterproof gear testing in Seattle, what could be more straightforward. So I hiked and I waited and hiked and waited. Three months later, not a single drop of rain in the field. It’s not that Seattle weather is bad, it’s that it hates you and when all you need is rain, all you’ll get is sun, so I took matters into my own hands. After several simulated downpours, I can truthfully say that DriDown is pretty freaking amazing, especially if your hike includes a jerk with a hose.

Kelty is already known for making great bags, so you can expect all the basics to work well. What makes the Ignite 20+ unique is the use of DriDown. DriDown is now used in many of Cascade Designs products, from Sierra Designs Cloud layering system to many of their most popular bags. After thorough soakings, the bags would dutifully return to lofty, evenly distributed bags. If this were real down, I’d have a soggy, lumpy disaster. The technology applies a coating directly to the down so that it can repel water. It’s pretty simple, but also brilliant.

Big Ups: Kelty estimates that the DriDown treatment will last the life of the sleeping bag, so you don’t have to worry about it wearing out.

Downers: The Ignite regular size which I tested is slightly snug in the length department. If you’re 5’10 or taller and want some extra foot room, go for the long version.

Patrick Hutchison

Patrick is from Seattle, but has spent at least 2 of the last 5 years traveling, from living in Patagonia to trekking though China. As a youngster, Patrick fell in love with the wooded outdoors, where he would intentionally get himself lost. Now, he tries not to get lost, but investigates gear that would save him just in case he did. Patrick writes for Seattle Magazine, Seattle Health magazine, and Sea Kayaker.