Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt Review

enlightened equipment enigma backpacking quilt morning coffee on slickrock

Highlights | Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt

a near perfect blend of high performance & good value

The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt is one of our top backpacking quilt or camping quilt picks. It’s also one of the most popular backpacking quilts in the entire backpacking market and for good reason. In our Guide to the Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags & Backpacking Quilts 2020, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 was near tops for warmth to weight ratio (4.8) and had an equally great rating for value (4.6 warmth/cost). As such, it’s a near perfect blend of high performance and high value — especially considering it is lighter and costs nearly 1/2 the price of many ultralight down sleeping bags with a similar temperature rating.

This Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt has a much broader temperature range than a traditional mummy sleeping bag. It has a zippered foot box, elastic straps to keep it on top of your sleeping pad, and a collar that snaps around your neck to hold the heat in. As such, it can be fully opened up for warmer nights, but closed down and tucked in to be super warm when temperatures drop.

November 2020: The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt is currently in stock. Pick the stock version to see “ships in 1-2 days.”


+20 F for 22 ounces!

Our Revelation Quilt weighed in at a scant 20 ounces for a 20-degree rating (spec is 22 oz on 850 FP down). It’s incredibly compressible thanks to the high-loft down and lack of full-length zipper, and the face fabric is durable, lightweight nylon with a DWR treatment to further protect the insulation.

Field Testing

We field-tested the Revelation for 10 days of guiding in the desert canyons of the Southwest, which is a place of extreme conditions. We love the flexibility of a quilt for trips like these, where we might have temperatures ranging from the 70s to below freezing at night. The Revelation handled these temperature extremes well, being neither too hot nor confining in the warm early evenings, but plenty warm for crisp mornings.


Full Video Review | Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words what is a comprehensive video of the quilt review worth? There’s stuff in here that we can’t begin to cover in words.

Overview | Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt 2020 Quilt

The Enlightened Equipment Revelation is an ultralight, down-insulated quilt from Minnesota-based company Enlightened Equipment. This is Enlightened Equipment’s most popular quilt. It has a quarter-length zipper to keep your feet toasty, and a convenient elastic cinch to tighten and keep the heat in at the bottom of the quilt. It has snaps around the collar and removable elastic straps to help secure it to your sleeping pad. These features, the flexibility of a quilt, the relatively low price point, quality materials, and customizable aspect of the Revelation make it a stalwart for lightweight backpackers.

Also See: our Best Backpacking Sleeping Bags & Backpacking Quilts 2020 for a complete overview of the best backpacking quilt on the market including the competition for the Enlightened Equipment Revelation.

About Enlightened Equipment

Enlightened Equipment came onto the backpacking scene in 2007, and grew in popularity as one of the original makers of backpacking quilts, an alternative to the traditional mummy bags. The Enlightened Equipment Revelation and the Enigma are two of the most popular camping quilts on the market. We are also huge fans of their two person Accomplice Quilt, which we’ve reviewed here. Enlightened Equipment is known for its customization options, quality construction, and excellent customer service. All of their gear is made in Minnesota, and they offer a variety of quilts, sleeping bags, and a few lightweight apparel pieces. We also love their Torrid APEX insulated jacket, which at only 8 ounces competes with down and is more resistant to wet weather.

Why Use a Quilt Instead of a Mummy Bag?

For some backpackers—including us—a quilt offers the best of both worlds for lightweight backpackers. Quilts can be cinched shut for colder weather, or fully opened up to serve the same purpose and sleep style as the quilt you have on your bed at home. Studies of thermal efficiency have shown that the down compressed under your body in a traditional mummy bag doesn’t necessarily keep you any warmer than a sleeping pad will—it’s the lofty down around the rest of you that keeps you warm. Quilts save weight by not having down underneath you, and their open sides are less confining than a mummy bag. Quilts can feel draftier than a mummy bag, so if you sleep cold, consider going for a lower temperature rating, or getting a wider quilt to ensure full coverage without gaps.

enlightened equipment revelation quilt both sides

Key Specs* | Enlightened Equipment Revelation

*These are the specs for the 20-degree stock model, regular size. One of the best parts of this quilt is the amount of customization you can do with the size, fill power, and fill weight

Design: Ultralight down quilt with a zippered foot box and elastic closure

Features: 20-inch zippered foot box, elastic cinch, elastic straps and clips to secure around sleeping pad, high-loft down, snap and drawcord around neck to keep out drafts, nylon-treated DWR face fabric, u-shaped continuous baffles

Weight: Only 22.5 oz (63* g)
Insulation Fill Power: 850 or 950-fill RDS goose down
Temperature Rating: 20 degrees
Length: 78 inches
Shoulder Width: 54 inches F
Foot Width: 40 inches
Face Fabric: Ultralight nylon
Treatment: DWR treatment on face fabric
MSRP: $300

orange and blue Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Quater-Length zipper forms a warm and cozy footbox for cold nights.

What’s Great About the Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Quarter-Length Zipper: This zipper is one of the things that make this quilt so flexible for varied conditions, and make it almost a combination between a quilt and a traditional sleeping bag. When the temperature drops, you can zip the foot box pretty much to your knees and hold heat in the bottom of the bag, while not paying the weight penalty for a full-length zipper and the extra down that gets compressed under your body. These zippers are lightweight but still durable…. just watch for snags in the face fabric.

Continuous Baffles: The Revelation is built with u-shaped “continuous baffles” that help keep the down in place, preventing the fill from clumping and leaving freezing spots in the bag. This also helps keep the temperature even along the entire quilt and doesn’t let cold air in at the stitched-through sewn-through segments.

Foot Box Cinch: Frozen feet are one of the worst feelings at night, and the Revelation’s options for sealing heat help keep that from happening. Along with the zippered foot box, the quilt has an easy-to-use elastic cord cinch you can tighten to keep the cold air out. This can be opened up for venting during warmer weather, and when combined with the unzipped zipper, the whole quilt can be opened into a rectangle for maximum sprawling abilities.

Drawcord and Neck Snap: The top of the quilt has securing options as well. The combination of a drawcord and a snap around the neck can keep the quilt secure and wrapped around you, closer to the style of a traditional mummy bag. This is great for colder nights and opening the drawcord and snap allows air into the quilt for warmer temperatures.

Pad straps: If you are new to quilt camping or are a sleeper who tosses and turns at night you’ll love the Enlightened Equipment Pad Straps. They go around your ground pad and clip to the edges of your quilt to keep it in place. They are elastic, not too confining. and can be easily unsnapped to get out of your quilt at night or stick an arm or a leg out. (Note: more experienced quilt users, and/or folks that are quiet sleepers many not need the straps  — we don’t use them.)

top view of the backpacking quilt enlightened equipment revelation quilt

Water-resistant face fabric:

The ultralight 10D nylon face fabric comes with a DWR treatment, which helps protect the lofty down from getting wet. You’ll want to be careful with keeping this quilt protected, but the treated face fabric can give you peace of mind.

backpacking quilt sideways view partially opened

completely opened backpacking quilt

Foot end unzips and allows you to use your quilt as a flat down blanket on warm nights — super comfortable and non-confining!

Multiple closure options

The multiple closure options—including a quarter-length zipper, neck snap, shock cord around the foot box, and elastic cinch around the collar—means this quilt is almost like a midway style between a full quilt and a mummy bag. Some quilts have sewn-shut footboxes, which doesn’t allow the quilt to be fully opened, but the Revelation has the flexibility to feel comfortable in a range of temperatures. Use all of the closures for colder nights, and open it up when you start feeling warm.

Plenty of customization options

If you can think of the spec, it can probably be customized with this quilt. From down fill power to width and length, to temperature rating, to down treatment, to lining and exterior color, you can build this quilt to your exact sleeping needs. Sleep cold but want a lighter bag? Get more fill, but a higher fill power. Sleep cold but don’t mind carrying a few extra ounces? Get the same temperature rating with a lower fill power and save money. Cold sleepers can also opt for a wider quilt for extra coverage and add a draft collar, and you can build a truly stunning quilt with the crazy variety of color offerings.

Cost-effective

This fully customizable quilt costs less than a comparable mummy bag, thanks in part to the fact that it uses fewer materials than a fully enclosed bag with a full-length zipper. This means you’re getting a custom, high-quality quilt built in the US for the same price (or less) than mass-produced mummy bags.

Save weight and pack space

Overall, quilts are popular with weight-conscious backpackers thanks to their weight savings and pack-space savings. The lack of a hood and a full-length zipper makes the quilt more packable and saves weight in materials. The major weight and space-savings come from not having a bottom and therefore using less material for the three-quarter coverage.

Cons


Novice Quilt Users & Restless Sleepers

If you haven’t slept in a quilt it can take a bit of time to learn how to keep the quilt over you as you turn at night. After a few nights, most people find it isn’t much more difficult than keeping your bed blankets over you at home. But if you don’t keep the quilt over you, then gaping out and creating drafts will make the quilt seem colder than it’s temperature rating. If you fall into this category of sleepers, we recommend a wider quilt to eliminate the chance of drafts and cold spots and/or using a pad attachment system offered by most quilt manufacturers. Another trick is to wear a hat and a jacket in your quilt if you think you’re going to be cold. All of our quilt temperature ratings assume you are wearing a warm hat.

And yes, a sleeping bag will likely keep very restless sleepers warm but will also be a far more confining/claustrophobic sleep experience, and with more weight and significantly more cost than a quilt. Some may still choose this option.

Long lead times for custom quilts

This is a necessary downside, and barely a downside at that. If you want a customized bag, you’re going to wait for it. Depending on the time of year, you might have to allow 8-12 weeks for a custom bag. Don’t want to wait? Choose an off-the-shelf model and it’ll be shipped in just a few days.

November 2020: The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt is currently in stock. (Pick the stock version to see “ships in 1-2 days.”)

Competition for Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Be sure to checkout our:

Hammock Gear Economy Burrow camping quilt

Hammock Gear Premium Burrow

The Hammock Gear Premium Burrow (with zipper footbox) is the Revelation’s competition for weight, performance, and cost. You will not go wrong with either quilt. The Hammock Gear Premium Burrow weighs a smidge more but otherwise has the same level of warmth, function and customization. While the stock models, and basic customizations are very similar between the two quilts, Enlightened Equipment Revelation offers a lighter 7D fabric customization that Hammock Gear does not offer. As such, a tricked out Revelation will be a few ounces lighter than a Premium Burrow albeit more expensive too!

backpacking sleeping bag - zpacks classic sleeping bag 20F

Zpacks 20F “Classic” Sleeping Bag

The crazy light Zpacks 20F “Classic” Sleeping Bag is serious competition for the Revelation. It has a higher warmth to weight ratio and can be fully zipped up to become a hoodless sleeping bag. This solves the draft issues associated with true quilts. As such, it’s a hybrid between a sleeping bag and quilt. High cost is the serious downside of the Zpacks 20F “Classic” Sleeping Bag. It’s $200 more than the Revelation.

Therm-a-Rest Hyperion 20 Down Sleeping Bag

The Thermarest Hyperion 20 F Sleeping Bag. provides the the closest competition for a conventional backpacking sleeping bag. Not surprisingly, it is the lightest traditional sleeping bag in our guide, with highest warmth/weight. But compared to the Revelation it’s a lot more confining and a lot more expensive.

katabatic gear flex 22 backpacking quilt

Katabatic Gear Flex 22

The Katabatic Gear was one of the early players in the quilt market and has a devoted following. They also have a patented pad attachment system for their quilts. The Katabatic Gear Flex Flex 22 on performance specs (warmth to weight ratio and warmth to ratio), does not compete with either the Revelation Quilt or Premium Burrow Quilt. And the Flex 22 is significantly more expensive.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt Review

Conclusion

Again, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is one of the most popular backpacking quilts for a good reason. Along with the very similar Enlightened Equipment Enigma it’s our top pick for a backpacking or camping quilt. This is due to it getting near top marks for warmth to weight ratio (4.8) and had an equally great rating for value (4.6 warmth/cost). In short, you get low weight, great performance all at a quite reasonable cost. In comparison, most UL down sleeping bags for the same temperature rating, are heavier, and far more costly — some nearly double the price of the Revelation. And quilts can easily handle a much broader temperature range than sleeping bags, easily adapting to both warm and cold conditions. Bottom line, the Revelation Quilt is a near perfect blend of low weight, high performance, and high value.

Disclaimer

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on the these links, a portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you. I do not receive compensation from the companies whose products are listed. For product reviews: unless otherwise noted, products are purchased with my own funds. I am never under an obligation to write a review about any product. Finally, this post expresses my own independent opinion.

5 replies
  1. Ben
    Ben says:

    I have and love an EE quilt, but after I got a custom Diamondback made by Warbonnet last year, I found the adjustable side elastics to be so effective at dealing with drafts on cold nights that I want them on all my quilts. I think UGQ offers a similar system, but EE not yet, though they have recently gotten on the draft collar train.

    Reply
  2. John
    John says:

    Nice rundown (as usual), Alan!

    Semi-related: have you used their Uprising underquilt? The 7D option to lower weight and a lower price than a similarly equipped Incubator has me interested.

    Reply
  3. Neil Riemann
    Neil Riemann says:

    I switched from a mummy bag to this about a year ago and have not looked back. It’s awesome, for all the reasons you mention, and more so if you have a down allergy and like to toss and turn a lot.

    Reply

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