Enlightened Equipment Uprising Hammock Underquilt Review
The Enlightened Equipment Uprising is a 3/4-length underquilt made for experienced long-distance hikers. It provides the comforts of an underquilt while saving weight compared to a traditional full-length offering. Enlightened Equipment is one of the only companies on the market to offer ultralight 7-denier material for the inner and outer quilt shell.
Note: The Uprising is a customizable quilt. This review pertains to the 3/4-length, 7D fabric, 950-fill down version with a draft collar.
Enlightened Equipment Uprising Underquilt At-a-Glance:
The quilt is very customizable. The options I choose for testing are in bold and discussed further below.
- Down Fill Power: 850, 950
- Inner/Outer Shell Fabric: 7D, 10D, 20D
- Temperature Ratings: -10F,0F,10F, 20F,30F, 40F
- Length: Short 53″, Regular 78″
- Draft Collars: No, Yes
- Base Configuration: 850,10D,20F,Short,No Collars $265/14.61 oz* (Price/Weight)
- Tested Configuration: 950,7D,20F,Short, Collars $335/13.72 oz* (Price/Weight)
*This weight is +/-3% per EE, my quilt came in at 14.05 oz
Who is this best for?
For experienced hammock users who want to save weight with a 3/4 length underquilt and prefer the comfort of an underquilt over a pad, the Enlightened Equipment Uprising hammock underquilt has them covered.
Circumstance of Review
This item was used in the Southeast region of the USA. Weather conditions included rain, wind, and nice clear skies. Temperatures dropped down to around 40F during testing and the quilt performed well after adjustment. The quilt was stuffed into my pack liner each time to transport similar to where I store quilts on hikes. The Enlightened Equipment Uprising was warm and comfortable each night tested. I didn’t experience any nights where it was necessary to vent the underquilt due to getting too warm, but this could be easily done with the suspension provided.
Enlightened Equipment Uprising Features
950-fill down (Upgrade from 850-fill | Approx. 1 oz weight savings)
A 950 down upgrade is an option thru hikers would usually want to go with to cut down on the weight of a Big 3 item. Well worth the added expense over thousands of miles of hiking.
7D Nylon Material with DWR treatment (Upgrade from 10D | Approx. 0.8 oz weight savings)
The inner and outer shell of this quilt is made from 7D (0.5 oz per square yard) nylon material instead of the standard 10D (0.65 oz per square yard) material. This reduction in weight corresponds with a material that is slightly less down proof and slightly less durable per EE. I didn’t notice any excessive down leakage or abrasions on the shells after testing. Areas to watch would be the area where the shock cord makes contact with the suspension channel on the sides of the hammock. Using 7D for an underquilt may not present the same durability challenges as a top quilt since you won’t be sandwiching the material between yourself and the ground.
Additionally, the material has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment which helps the fabric shed water and dry faster when wet. Ideally, water never touches the underquilt but water can splash up from the ground depending on tarp pitch. This is useful for folks who choose not to use an underquilt protector.
Draft Collar (Add-on | Approx. 0.8 oz. additional weight)
This underquilt came with an option to include draft collars on each end of the underquilt. Draft collars seal the ends of the hammock between the hammock and the underquilt. They are well worth the extra weight and price for the extra warmth they provide.
Ridgeline Underquilt Hooks
EE offers four plastic hooks on the main suspension shock cord that can be used to snug the under quilt up. They aid in the underquilt adjustment but sometimes fell off my ridgeline. However, for those using a bug net, the hooks go on top of the net and sandwich the net to the ridgeline. This may cause some issues on ultra-lightweight mesh in the neighborhood of half an ounce per square yard. I didn’t notice any damage to my 0.67oz-per-square-yard net, though. The main suspension doesn’t need to be quite as tight to get a good seal between the underquilt and the hammock when using these hooks.
Warmth / Warmth-to-Weight
This quilt was very warm for just coming in at 14.1 oz. I slept toasty each night I used it and didn’t notice any cold spots or down migration on the nights I tested the quilt.
What’s the deal with hammock underquilts?
Hammock underquilts provide a downy alternative to using a pad in a hammock. They insulate the backside of the hammock and surround the user with down for a more comfortable night’s sleep. Underquilts weigh more than pads, so a shorter version benefits hikers to save weight. The 3/4 version of the underquilt only covers the torso area of the user. In order to keep my feet warm, I place the pad from my pack inside my top quilt and sleep on my jacket and pillow.
For its weight, the under-quilt was warm and comfortable on all the trips I was able to take it on. A 3/4 underquilt can be just as warm as a full length underquilt if used in conjunction with the pad for the user’s legs and possibly a jacket for a pillow.
EE makes some very nice backpacking quilts. I used one for close to 5000 miles of backpacking including the AT and PCT. Even after two thru-hikes, it was still in good enough shape to get top dollar on the used gear market. They brought the same attention to detail to this hammock underquilt as they do to their traditional quilts.
Made in the USA
This quilt was hand made in Winona, Minnesota by Enlightened Equipment. Having the equipment made in the USA in conjunction with excellent customer service is a definite pro in my opinion. Every interaction I have had with the EE customer service department has been excellent.
The suspension carabiners being the same color makes it difficult to know which end of the quilt is which. Since the quilt is wider at one end—35 inches at the foot vs. 30.75 inches at the head—it would be preferred to have one being a different color. In my experience, once a 3/4 quilt is adjusted for a certain lay direction in the hammock, that setup can be used every night in the field. Pulling the quilt out of a backpack and knowing exactly which end is the head end saves some set-up time. There is a tag on one end, but contrasting carabiners would make this task very easy. Tape or another marking can easily be used for this.
End Channel Shock Cord
The shock cord on each end to cinch up the ends seemed to be cut a little long on the quilt as received. The cord can be trimmed before shipping or after receiving to save weight.
Suspension Set up
The suspension is a little difficult to figure out at first. Luckily EE has a page to give the user detailed instructions. The suspension’s selling point is that it can be adjusted from inside the hammock. Most hikers will have a netted arrangement making this not possible unless there is a zipper on both sides. Two zippers will be extra weight, which is an option I choose to not go with for my long-distance setup.
The suspension system on the Enlightened Equipment Uprising quilt uses one single piece of elastic shock cord on each long side of the quilt. This connects the side to side adjustment with the up and down adjustment on the quilt if connected per the reference. There can be times when you want to move the quilt left or right but not make it tighter against you. A different approach could have been to have one large loop for the up-down adjustment and then connect the side to side adjustments with a separate section of shock cord. This would allow for more adjustability which is helpful when adjusting a 3/4 underquilt as they can be more difficult than their full-length cousins. Additionally, this would allow for using a smaller diameter shock cord that may translate into additional weight savings.
The Enlightened Equipment Uprising underquilt would be a great choice for those hikers who already have an Enlightened Equipment topquilt and want a matching set. The 950 down fill with the 7D material inner and outer shell make the construction of this quilt lighter than similar quilts. After carrying an EE topquilt for 4800+ miles I have no doubt this quilt will last an entire thru-hike since EE brought the same excellent craftsmanship to this underquilt. However, it is on the higher end of the price point for 3/4 UQs. Similar construction, weight, and performance underquilts are available from other vendors for $40-$70 cheaper.
- Hammock Gear Phoenix 3/4 Underquilt, (I used on entire PCT and it held up excellent)
- Loco Libre Gear Habanero Underquilt
- UGQ Zeppelin 3/4 Underquilt
This product was donated for purpose of review.
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