Monday, February 18, 2013

Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 Degree Quilt Review

When it comes to sleeping bags, there are a few things that I look for, such as weight and warmth. I also look for quality products, so my hard earned cash will go towards a product that will last a long time. And of course, I also like to support manufacturers that make their products in the USA. The Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 Degree satisfies all of those points.  And with its light weight, it is a backpackers dream.
Features and Specs:

Shell Fabric: Consmetic 2nds calandered 1.1oz 30D Ripstop Nylon
Linner Fabric: Consmetic 2nds calandered 1.1oz 30D Ripstop Nylon
Down Fill: 850 Fill Power Goose Down overfilled by 20% (up to 20% more loft than specified)
Additional Overfill:
Available by the ounce
Removable Under-strap System – Elastic webbing and flat buckles secure the quilt around you, your pad or easily un-clip to leave at home. One below the shoulder and a second mid back.
Additional Pad attachment straps– Comes with removable webbing straps that secure the quilt on top of any sleeping pad. (used in place of the elastic straps)
KARO Step Baffles – KARO baffles have gaps in each corner of the box allowing you to move the down from box to box. The down can easily be moved by massaging it around within the quilt to anywhere you want it, but once there the box shape of the KARO STEP baffles keeps it where you put it. Space between baffles has been dramatically reduced for 2013 which greatly increases down control and reduces shifting.
Adjustable Neck closure – A snap secures the quilt around you and the center draw cord is easily adjusted by pulling it inside the quilt. This closures can be opened when the sleeper gets warm and closed tight when needed to seal drafts.
Zippered Foot Box – A 20″ zipper and draw cord allow the foot box to close tightly keeping the heat in but can easily be opened flat or anywhere in the middle to vent when needed. Snaps 6″ and 12″ above the zipper pull the quilt in tight under the thighs when needed or lets you stretch out when it isn’t.
Dual use as Hammock UnderQuilt – Corner hang loops allow the quilts to be used with your own suspension to keep your backside warm in a hammock. (check out our new UnderQuilts for the lightest in dedicated underquilts)
Made in Winona MN– We are proud to build quality products locally in our homes.

Included with each quilt:
Silnylon Stuff Sack
Breathable Nylon Storage sack
Elastic under-straps(2)
Pad attachment straps (2)
The bag came shipped in a standard brown box. There are not many pieces to the bag. It is basically just the sleeping bag.  Retail bags come with the quilt, stuff sack, and the storage bag to keep it in when not being used, as well as the straps. The bag was well made with high quality construction. The nylon fabric and stitching were all very good quality. What really stuck out to me as well was the loft, and light weight!

The Enlightened Equipment makes some great sleeping bags. And so far as bags are concerned, they are considered quilts. They do not have a zipper that goes all the way up the side. The bottom of the bag zips up, and you pull the bag around you. Most people sleep on a pad, and it is the loft that provides the warmth. The pad also insulates you. So the upper part of the bag just gets pulled around you like a blanket. But on really cold nights, there are snaps and straps on the sides, so you can pull the bag snug all around you.

This design and the features of the RevelationX provide the best features for cold and warm weather. Since you are not zipped in, it is easy to halfway cover in warm weather. But in cold weather, you can wrap yourself. It also had not only down fill, but the down is high rated 850 Fill Power Goose Down, and overstuffed up to 20%. This means you can have high warmth with less down, which translates into less weight. For backpackers, where you are trying to get lighter items to carry, this feature is key. The bag is listed at 24.9 oz, and actual weight of the bag received was 25.3 oz, which was pretty close.  It also compresses to a very small size! The RevelationX comes with a stuff sack, storage bag, and sleeping pad straps. The mattress pad straps go under your sleeping pad to hold it over your pad, and keep from falling off.
I had high expectations for their wonderful sleeping bag. I liked it’s features, loved the size and weight, and really liked the story behind the company Enlightened Equipment. I liked the way they are made in Minnesota by local families, to help keep costs down. Their website says that they use cosmetic 2nds nylon to help keep the costs down.  The nylon used did not look like cosmetic 2nds to me.  And being able to customize it to you, with colors and sizes, is just icing on the cake!  I was very pleased with the quality of the materials used.  The use of KARO baffles was also a nice feature, so you can move the down around if needed.

When it came to testing the performance, I was ecstatic! Its design and quality of components and construction yielded a synergy of high performance. On their website the company comments on the 20 Degree RevelationX page, that it is a great 3 season quilt.  And on the 10 Degree RevelationX page, the comment states it is a great 4 season quilt in the south. I was able to really put the RevelationX 20 Degree Wide quilt to the test.
My boy scout troop did a winter campout. Living in Arizona, winters are very mild in the Phoenix area. But there are mountain areas in central and northern Arizona where you can get a good amount of snow, and cold winters. The weather was worse than I expected, snowing around seven inches that night, and was colder than expected as well. I was expecting a low temperature in the high teens, and thought the RevelationX 20 Degree Wide would be able to handle it. But in a worst case scenario, I would not be as warm as I usually like. The weather ended up being worse, giving us more snow than I expected and the temps were about 10-15 degrees cooler than I was expecting. The temperatures got down to around 5-10 degrees that night. The Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 Degree Wide, however, actually kept me nice and warm, even though it was 10-15 degrees colder than its rating. The saying....snug as a bug in a rug....that was me that night (minus the rug).  The cinch at the top of the bag came in handy to keep out the cold, as well as the snaps and straps to keep it snug around me.  I received the Wide version of the RevelationX 20 Degree, which was really nice for wrapping it around me, especially since I move around as I sleep.  I was, and still am, amazed at how well the RevelationX 20 Degree Wide performed.  While I was impressed with the warmth, my one concern would be durability of the thin nylon shell and liner. As with most lightweight gear, you need to be a little more careful with it.  Just keep that in mind is all, as you care for the gear, and you should get years of use. I can only imagine if it was their top of the line Epiphany 0 Degree quilt.  The waterproof cuben fiber is amazing!

Another great feature is the warranty!  I thought it was so great, and fair, I thought it should be included from their website:
"It is simple, you will be happy.
·        If you receive your quilt and the sizing isn’t right, we’ll exchange it for one that is
·        If you receive it and you hate the colors, we’ll exchange it for one you will like
·        If you find quilts aren’t for you we can refund your purchase within 60 days of purchase (this limit is imposed by our payment processor)
·        We will repair any damage due to error in production for the life of your quilt or provide a replacement should we see fit
·        We will repair damage due to extended use as long as the material will take it (there may be reasonable fees depending on the damage)
·        If you are unhappy for any reason not specified above contact us and we will do our best to make it right for you
When processing returns or exchanges the customer is responsible for all shipping charges, please contact us before returning merchandise."

When it comes to backpacking sleeping bags, weight is a HUGE factor. A lifetime warranty for the original buyer is a great feature for your hard earned money. While some problems are from our neglect, they will still do what they can for you (with potential fees that would be reasonable).  And I really like them being made in the USA, supporting our local economy. Their customer service was excellent as well, and very responsive!  With an MSRP of $220 for the Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 Degree Wide version, I found that it is worth every penny. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, the Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 Degrees Wide has earned our Highly Recommended Award!  They truly are enlightened!  For more info and complete specs, check out their website at You will be glad you did.