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Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Stock Quilt Review

Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt Review
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

Down Insulation

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.

Sustainable Down Source

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.

Neck Closure

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.

A drawstring closes the top of the quilt around your shoulders and neck.
A drawstring closes the top of the quilt around your shoulders and neck.

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.

You can create a poor-mans draft collar by wrapping a coat or sweater around your neck and upper chest. You’ll quickly notice an appreciable increase in interior warmth after doing this. It works great in sleeping bags too.

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.

There’s still a hole in the footbox even when the drawstring is pulled closed
There’s still a hole in the footbox even when the drawstring is pulled closed

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.

You can create a poor-mans footbox plug by stuffing a piece of clothing into the footbox hole to prevent cold air from leaking in and warm air from leaking out. This is quite effective. 

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.

Enlightened Equipment straps have a wafer-style buckle which is easy to reattach in the dark.
Enlightened Equipment straps have a wafer-style buckle which is easy to reattach in the dark.

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.

The Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quiult has U-shaped baffles to keep the down properly positioned over your feet and torso.
The Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt has U-shaped baffles to keep the down properly positioned over your feet and torso.

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.

Temperature Rating

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 / ModelDown Fill PowerTemp Rating (F)Price
Enlightened Equipment Stock Revelation850`20$300
Enlightened Equipment Stock Enigma85020$315
Enlightened Equipment Stock Convert85020$375
Enlightened Equipment Stock Conundrum85020$360
MassDrop X Enlightened Equipment Revelation80020$220
UGQ Outdoor Fast Track Bandit800, 85020$215-$265
Hammock Gear Economy Burrow80020$200
Zpacks Solo Quilt95020$339
Cedar Ridge Outdoors Instock Fontana80020$230
Warbonnet Diamondback Stock Quilt85020$315

Recommendation

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.

About the author

Carl Nelson developed his interest in the outdoors on childhood family road trips that included many National Parks. He was introduced to backpacking through Boy Scouts in the 1980s. He refined his interest and skills in college as a trip leader for the Vanderbilt University Outdoor Recreation program, culminating in leading a week-long backpack in the Grand Canyon three times. He is an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster, frequently serving as the adult advisor for his troop’s outdoor activities. His backpacking experience ranges from his home state of Tennessee to the Appalachians, the Rockies, the Cascades, Philmont Scout Ranch, and China. Carl is an avid photographer and reader, a self-proclaimed gear nerd, and an unabashed lover of maps.

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12 comments

  1. That’s interesting that they are finally ditching the treated down after so many years sticking to their guns that it was “better”. I’m curious where you see that Notice posted, though. Looking over their website and support hub and Facebook page there is no mention at all of this although both insulation articles I could find appear to have been updated just hours before I looked. No mention on the Revelation and Enigma product pages that I could see.

    A side note that I hope is not seen too critically: several recent reviews seem to include an extra amount of “category explanation” information as if attempting to write a broader informative article to readers (especially, perhaps, beginners or those with no experience), rather than pointed details and information for the product being reviewed. It’s a little irritating for those of us who have read Philip for many years and are used to his much appreciated approach and style which often cuts to the chase in a good way. Maybe not bona fide irritating, just extra verbiage and fluff to skim through and distract. Sometimes a comparison blurb is helpful but the focus should always remain on the review product and that’s why I click on a header – when the content drifts, often so do I.

    • They don’t go out of their way to tell people that the stock quilts use duck down and the custom quilts use goose. When I inquired about it what they use, they volunteered the info about the down switch.

      • They seem to have scrubbed a lot of helpful information – some of that recently but over the last two years the tech info and content has been dumbed down a lot. They do (under)state this in both of their insulation articles but I’m pretty sure it used to be on the product pages as well. I don’t like the way they have gone the Mainstream/REI route of late with their simplistic comparison of down products with the sole focus being fill power and not in so many words stating that duck is the same as goose (it is not, as I’m sure you know). I’m sure that makes it easier for them when it comes to returns what with so many inexperienced people choosing or being pressured into quilts these days. This is a very important change, though (and a good one, IMHO), and they should make that information public as there is a certain percentage of people for whom it might matter. Thank you for sharing that information with us.

  2. Quilts intrigue me, and i wish i could switch to one, but i hike in dreary conditions where even during a 30c day, nights can drop to 5 or 6c. to stay warm when you need to, there just seems like too many small little steps i have to take vs my western mountaineering ultralite. when i am tired, and everything is cold enough to feel cold, i feel like hopping into a mummy bag and zipping myself up and having to real comfort worries is worth the pain of getting twisted up if i roll around during the night. i feel like if i got a quilt, the only use would be in mild spring and summer nights, when keeping warm doesnt even matter. am i wrong?

    • There’s something to be said for a regular sleeping bag that you just get into and zip up (if you’re a ground sleeper). I always use a quilt in a hammock, and on the ground in warmer weather, usually above freezing. For colder ground use, I usually switch to a hoodless, zipperless sleeping bag that combines the best elements of a quilt (no hood) with the best elements of a quilt (lightweight) without ever having to worry about drafts or sleeping pad straps.
      https://featheredfriends.com/products/tanager-cfl-20-ultralight-down-sleeping-bag

      • Does anyone make a roomier/non-mummy-shaped (a la Nemo’s “spoon shaped”), hoodless bag in the 10–20º range?

    • Jeremy, I switched to OF(-17C) EE Enigma(sewn footbox) quilt about 5 years ago and I absolutely won’t go back to a Mummy. It sounds like a lot of steps involved, but it’s super simple: I keep the pad straps attached to my pad all the time so all I have to do is clip the bag to it when I set up camp.
      I toss a lot and used to get turned around in my mummy bag and always had a hard time unzipping myself. I just sleep much better in a quilt.
      ALAS!…
      EE actually makes 2 quilts for people that are weary of going “full Quilt”..
      https://enlightenedequipment.com/convert-stock/
      -https://enlightenedequipment.com/conundrum-stock/

      I borrowed a friend of mines before I committed to a quilt. Good luck!

  3. I thru hiked the AT in 2018 with the EE Revelation quilt. I loved its roominess and saving weight. But as the author suggests, any temperatures below freezing were uncomfortable for me, even with a Sea to Summit Reactor liner which claimed to increase warmth. Those nights between 10 and 25, I had every stitch of clothing on and was miserable. I like the quilt concept well enough that when things became warm in New Jersey by early June, I bought a 40 degree EE quilt. I think the recommendation to treat the temp rating as optimistic is right on. I wish I had started with a zero or 10 degree quilt!

  4. The only duck down fill I’m interested in is Eider duck down.

    • The only duck down I’m interested in is ethically sourced. I’ve been using a 10 deg Revelation for five years now, which is quite unusual for someone based in the UK. Found it a brilliant and versatile piece of kit, although I had reservations about a quilt to start with.

  5. The footbox will close all the way if you follow the instructions in this post. https://support.enlightenedequipment.com/hc/en-us/articles/360015974732-How-to-close-your-EE-footbox

    I have one of their quilts, and it works perfectly.

  6. Not a fan of the EE Enigma. I bought the 10 degree Quilt for $345.00 and it Will Not Keep you warm at night. They stuff it with 850 Duck Down , even though it is their 10 degree Quilt, and they should use the Superior 950 Goose Down.
    I would not buy anything from EE. There Night wearing hat also sucks.

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