Gear Review: Enlightened Equipment Revelation 10-Degree Quilt

Enlightened Equipment Revelation

Basic Specs*

*EE quilts are custom made. You choose length, width, fill power, temperature rating, weather-proofing on the footbox, and lining/exterior color. The below specs are for my build: regular size, 950-fill, 10-degrees, and no weather-resistant additions. MSRP will vary based on fill power, temperature rating, and size.

Weight: 21.2 ounces
Temperature rating: 10 degrees
Fill power: 950 fill DownTek (treated down)
Length: Regular, 6 feet
Width: Regular, 54 inches
MSRP: $385

Overview

I thru-hiked the AT with a mummy bag, but I noticed the most weight-conscious hikers carrying ultralight quilts. Quilts weren’t as common during the dark ages of 2015, but our trail buddy Silent Bob raved about his Revelation, and Rocky and I saw them occasionally throughout our hike. We switched to quilts after our thru-hike, choosing the Revelation for its solid reputation, classic design, and Enlightened Equipment’s cottage-industry appeal.

Down quilts are a simple concept: essentially a sleeping bag without the underside. The idea is that when you lie on the down of a classic bag, it compresses so much that it doesn’t insulate. Quilt users save weight by eliminating the full-length zipper and part of the bag, relying on their sleeping pads for insulation. Quilts also afford more freedom of movement by not constricting your arms, letting you kick your knees out to the side, or totally sprawl. The Revelation has a zippered footbox that can be unzipped for a true quilt shape, or the 20-inch zipper can be zipped shut to create more protection and warmth around your feet while maintaining the freedom-of-movement advantages of the quilt. The footbox cinches with a drawstring, and the quilt features elastic straps that can close around a sleeping pad to help everything stay together.

Circumstances of Review

A series of unfortunate facial expressions

I have used this quilt for all of my camping, backpacking, climbing, and general outdoors trips for the past two years. I’ve used it in all four seasons in New England, Montana, Wyoming, California, Utah, and probably other places I’m forgetting. It’s been around the block.

Usage

This took some getting used to. I’ve spent my whole backpacking life swaddled in the tourniquet-like bindings of a mummy bag, so the open sides of the quilt felt off-putting at first. I do wish I’d ordered the “wide” width option. I’m a fairly average size, but I still have to grasp the edges of the quilt and tuck it under myself, and I don’t feel like I can shift comfortably without losing one side or the other. The extreme lightness of this quilt somewhat works against it as well…. I know, I know. You can’t have your UL and eat it too. This piece of gear is so light that it almost floats away. I can get it tucked underneath me, but when I move around at all, the top sails off like a cloud. I also struggled with securing the elastic straps under the sleeping pad. This might be because everything is synthetic and slippery, but my NeoAir slid around so much that I ended up not securing it down with the straps. If you’re new to the quilt life and want reference for securing the straps, this video explains it well. You can also snap the top shut around your sleeping pad, but I still felt like everything was slipping around.

Warmth

I’m sure there will be hearty disagreement about this, but I do not think this quilt is as warm as a mummy bag. It’s not that the bottom needs to be insulated—it’s the drafts that come in from the sides. Like I said, this could be mitigated by getting a wider quilt (more coverage  = less drafts), but I end up wearing a down coat to sleep in for nights below 30 degrees. You’ll also lose the hood of a mummy bag, but I wear a hat at night in cold weather, so that’s not a huge deal. Again, I wish I’d gone with a wider option. I am 5’6″ and weigh 140, and the regular width feels narrow. I can get myself tucked underneath the quilt, but if I shift around at all, I wind up with drafts. Rocky is 5’10” and 175, and he has trouble even getting the sides of the quilt tucked under his shoulders. If in doubt, go wider. This quilt is so lightweight you’ll hardly notice any extra grams, and you’ll be very grateful for the coverage.

Pros

It’s incredibly lightweight, packable, and durable as hell. I’ve used it for two solid years, it shows no signs of wear, and the loft is still incredibly… lofty. The idea of a quilt is terrific too—more natural sleeping positions, less constriction. In 40-degrees-and-up, I do love being able to sprawl out, and this quilt is a cozy dream.

Cons

I thought I would love the freedom of movement afforded by a quilt, but it’s just narrow enough that I find myself still balled up (or sleeping with my arms crossed, holding the edges of the quilt), to keep the material in place. I’ve tried to make it work over the past few seasons, but I’ll probably end up with a mummy bag for any trips where the temperature can hit 30 or below. Again, for reference, Rocky and I both have quilts with a 10-degree rating.

Final Thoughts

I love this quilt for so many reasons. The packability, low weight, quality of construction, the fact that it’s a small company and the quilts are made to order. However, it isn’t quite warm enough or secure enough for me when the temperature dips into the 30s, and I have trouble keeping the material under me to avoid drafts. If you’re considering switching from a traditional bag to a quilt, know that it could take some getting used to, and sizing up in width might be a smart idea. For weight-conscious hikers who like freedom of sleep positions, don’t want to be constricted in a mummy bag, and appreciate the zippered footbox, Enlightened Equipment’s Revelation is a perfect choice.

*This item was not donated for review

Shop the Enlightened Equipment Revelation Here

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Comments 2

  • Smokebeard : Mar 26th

    I’m excited to try my Revelation 20 this year. I find that keeping the footbox connected, and the top snap snapped and under my pad, is a good amount of “swaddle”. Time will tell, however.

    Reply
    • Maggie Slepian : Mar 26th

      You might be smarter than I have been! I’d love to hear how it works for you.

      Reply

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