The Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt is one of the lightest weight backpacking sleep system options available. Quality construction and wise choice of both fill and shell fabrics, combined with its superior sleeping pad attachment system, comfort, and warmth, make for an excellent backpacking quilt that excels in above-freezing temperatures. The Revelation is available in two versions: a stock, off-the-shelf model that’s less expensive with a fixed feature set and a custom-made Revelation, available with a wider variety of premium features.
We review the Stock Revelation 20 Quilt below, which we feel is an excellent value and well featured for 3-season trail use. So-called “stock” or “economy” quilts are often available immediately without long delivery delays, compared to premium custom quilts that can be back-ordered for weeks or months during periods of high demand. Enlightened Equipment’s Stock Revelation Quilts are fully featured and available in a wide range of temperature ratings, widths, lengths that are suitable for most backpacking and camping needs.
Specs at a Glance
- Product: Enlightened Equipment Revelation, Stock (Pre-made)
- Temperature Rating: 20 degrees, F.
- Insulation: 850 fill power duck down, RDS certified
- Weight: 22.5 oz
- Dimensions: Regular/Regular (fits up to 6′ in height with 56″ of girth)
- Footbox: Drawstring/ventable
- Extras: Silnylon stuff sack, cotton storage bag, two sleeping pad attachment straps
- For complete specs: Visit the EE Revelation product page
Our Stock Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt is insulated with 850 fill power DownTek, which is water-resistant down and dries more quickly if it becomes wet. The down is RDS-certified which means it is responsibly-sourced, not taken from live birds or those that have been force-fed. This is quickly becoming the industry standard, but there are many budget companies that still don’t adhere to it.
The 850 fill power down used in the Stock Revelation is duck down, while the 950 fill power down option available on Custom Revelation Quilts is goose down. Regardless, down fill power, which is a measure of the compressibility of down and correlated with insulation value, is a species independent measure…meaning that duck and goose down with the same fill power rating are equally compressible and insulating. The difference between 850 fill power and 950 fill power down is the amount and weight of down required for the same insulation value. For example, a 20-degree Custom Revelation Quilt insulated with 850 fill power down weighs 22.54 oz, while one insulated with 950 fill power weighs 20.88 oz, and costs $85 dollars more.
Notice (November 2019): Enlightened Equipment is in the transition from using water-resistant down to untreated down. Their current stock inventory has 850 fill power Down-Tek down, while current 850 fill power and 950 fill power custom orders are getting untreated Sustainable Down Source (SDS) down. Here’s their rationale for the switch to untreated down in their own words: “While both down types have their pros and cons, ultimately the situations where treated down excels are infrequent. Treated down does perform well when submerged or exposed to extreme wetness, but in the most common encounters with wetness (condensation, damp footbox, wet spots, etc…), we’ve found that treated and untreated down quilts perform similarly. After lots of testing and experimentation, we’ve also noted increased loft, durability and comfort from our new untreated down quilts, and feel untreated down provides a more premium product for our customers. While treated down is quality down, we feel it’s beneficial elements are infrequently encountered, potentially overstated, and overshadowed by some of the aforementioned benefits provided by untreated down.”
Sizing and Dimensions
Our Stock Revelation Quilt is sized as a regular/regular which is the recommended size for users 5’6″ to 6′ in height and fits users with a girth from 48-56″. Enlightened Equipment provides excellent documentation for how to measure both quilt height and girth under the Size Tab on the Revelation’s product page. For example, a girth of 56″ is appropriate for ground use, where you want significantly more width to block drafts along the sides (which is unnecessary in a hammock). The Stock Revelation is available in a wide range of sizes and widths (up to 68″) to accommodate all users’ needs. There’s really no need to upgrade to get a Custom Revelation from a sizing perspective.
I was comfortable in the regular/regular, and I’m a solidly-built guy. I’m generally a rotisserie sleeper, making slow rotations all night long, and I found that the Revelation 20 was pleasantly roomy compared to my usual mummy sleeping bag.
The Revelation neck closes with rear snaps and a front cordlock to tighten the drawcord around the neck. The drawcord is easily reachable from within the quilt and does a pretty good job of closing securing the quilt around your upper chest and neck. When you’re ready to go to sleep, you need to snap the back of the quilt shut, stick your head through the hole, lie back, and then cinch the drawstring closed. It sounds complicated but it quickly becomes second nature.
The Stock Revelation 20 Quilt does not have a draft collar like many cold-weather mummy sleeping bags. A draft collar is a down-filled tube sewn at the head end of a quilt that encircles a user’s neck and upper chest and blocks heat from escaping through the top when a person moves around at night. Having a draft collar on a quilt rated for 20 degrees is a nice luxury but only becomes more of a necessity for colder temperature use. If you want one, Enlightened Equipment has just added the ability to order a draft collar on a Custom Revelation as a customization option.
Ventable, Drawstring Footbox
Stock Revelation Quilts have a foot box that is formed by snapping the bottom of the quilt together. The foot-end has a drawstring that can be cinched tight to retain warmth or left open to vent it in warmer weather. This works well and is a great way to extend the utility of the quilt across a wide range of temperatures.
However, when cinched shut there’s still a small unsealed hole at the end of the footbox where cold air can leak in, which is undesirable in cold weather or if you have cold feet at night. It’s not the end of the world however and there’s an easy workaround for it.
Another more expensive option is to upgrade to a Custom Revelation and order a draft tube for the footbox, which will also plug the hole.
Sleeping Pad Attachment System
While many ultralight quilts can by unzipped, unsnapped, opened up and used like a blanket in warmer weather, most include some sort of sleeping pad attachment system to prevent cold drafts from reaching you (along your sides and back) in cooler weather. This is only required if you plan on sleeping on the ground on a sleeping pad and not in a hammock. While hammock users also need some form of back insulation like an underquilt or a foam pad, they don’t have to be as tightly coupled with a top quilt, because they wrap around your torso naturally like a peapod given the hammock’s shape.
When comparing quilts from different manufacturers for colder weather use, the effectiveness and ease of use of the sleeping pad attachment system is a key concern. The best quilt in the world will suck if it lets cold drafts reach your back at night. Enlightened Equipment has always had one of the best quilt sleeping bag attachment systems on the market in terms of effectiveness and ease of use, although that competitive advantage is fading rapidly as other quilt manufacturers have started to incorporate it into their own products. (Very few quilt makers have taken out patents, so there are few barriers to copying competitive features.)
For ground use, you’ll probably want to start using the pad attachment straps included with the quilt when temperatures dip below 40 or 50 degrees. The Revelation 20 comes with two pad attachment straps, a straight strap and a loop strap that is used to lock the quilt to pad and helps to prevent you from rolling off it at night. The straps can be used with inflatable, self-inflating, or foam pads depending on your preference.
The loop strap is designed to go around the sleeping pad, and keeps the whole system in place when climbing into the quilt. I prefer this attachment to be on the lower pair of clips, which secures the quilt at about the waist level. The fit of the quilt is adjusted by moving the clips in or out on the sleeping pad: move the clips inwards a couple of inches for a closer and warmer fit; slide them towards the edge for more room or to sleep a little cooler. You may also clip only one side of the loop strap if you want to drape the quilt over your body more like a blanket, which makes for maximum roominess and easy entry and exit from the quilt (see the instructional video above).
The straps fasten with a rectangular wafer-style clip. The clip locks positively into place and snaps in readily, and the low profile of the clip’s tongue keeps it from snagging or being accidentally pressed. Unclipping the strap took a bit of practice—especially in the dark—because its low profile means you have to push the clip down in exactly the right place to release it. Reattaching the straps by feel was easier to do than unclipping, and they clicked back into place easily.
Pad Attachment Preferences
There’s a lot of variation in how people can and use the sleeping pad attachment straps, so it’s important that you experiment with the different alternatives discussed in the video above to figure out what you like best. Using sleeping pad attachment straps is VERY different than lying in a mummy bag on a sleeping pad and it takes some time to get used to it.
For example, I prefer to use the straight strap higher up to snug the fit around my shoulders, with the loop strap positioned at my waist. I also prefer having the edges of the quilt under the pad, and the straps readily adjusted to this configuration. Enlightened Equipment cautions that the shell material isn’t abrasion resistant in this configuration, so I’d only recommend doing this when in a shelter with a protective floor or ground cloth. The straps also sit comfortably against the body if you don’t have the straight strap under the pad; they didn’t rub, chafe, or create pressure points. Spending the time to experiment with how the straps are positioned pays back dividends in comfort and usability.
When used with a foam pad, the loop straps do a great job of making a draft-free seal that conforms to my body. The edges of the quilt stay in place even when I roll around at night around. Even when I turn on my side, I’m draft-free with both straps in place. However, turning inside the quilt is easier on an inflatable pad and an inflatable pad stays on the ground more easily. I also have an easier time fastening the strap clips on the less flexible inflatable pad.
The temperature ratings that quilt manufacturers assign to their quilts are not directly comparable to the EN ratings used for sleeping bags because there’s no industry-standard testing methodology for measuring quilt warms that accounts for individual, age, or gender differences. Personally, I found the 20-degree Revelation Quilt reviewed here to be less insulating than a 20-degree mummy sleeping bag and best used for temperatures above freezing. But this is an area with a great deal of personal variability. If you plan to use a Revelation Quilt in temperatures below freezing, I’d suggest getting one that rated at least 10 degrees colder than the lowest temperature you expect to encounter.
Comparable Economy, Stock, and Fast-Track Top Quilts
Here is a list of comparable 20-degree down economy and stock quilts with pre-defined specs from top quilt manufacturers. Unlike custom-made quilts, these have a very limited set of available options, making it possible for manufacturers to make them in advance and deliver them to customers quickly.
|Make / Model||Down Fill Power||Temp Rating (F)||Price|
|Enlightened Equipment Stock Revelation||850`||20||$300|
|Enlightened Equipment Stock Enigma||850||20||$315|
|Enlightened Equipment Stock Convert||850||20||$375|
|Enlightened Equipment Stock Conundrum||850||20||$360|
|MassDrop X Enlightened Equipment Revelation||800||20||$220|
|UGQ Outdoor Fast Track Bandit||800, 850||20||$215-$265|
|Hammock Gear Economy Burrow||800||20||$200|
|Zpacks Solo Quilt||950||20||$339|
|Cedar Ridge Outdoors Instock Fontana||800||20||$230|
|Warbonnet Diamondback Stock Quilt||850||20||$315|
While its $300 price point may give pause, the Stock Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Quilt deserves serious consideration for backpackers seeking a quilt that is toasty warm at a minimum of weight. Its snaps, drawstrings, straps, and footbox zipper allow for the quilt to be used in many configurations ranging from completely unzipped blanket to full cocoon. Together with its effective and easy-to-use pad attachment system, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is a go-to sleeping quilt for above-freezing backpacking thanks to its stellar weight to warmth ratio.
Disclosure: Enlightened Equipment provided SectionHiker with a quilt for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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