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Enlightened Equipment Prodigy Review

   

Ultralight Sleeping Bags

  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: May 30, 2013
Street Price:   $215
Pros:  Lightweight for synthetic insulation, highly versatile.
Cons:  Not as comfortable or as warm as traditional style synthetic bags.
Best Uses:  Backpacking in very wet conditions.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Enlightened Equipment
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 31, 2013  
Overview
The Enlightened Equipment Prodigy is the lightest synthetic sleeping bag we've tested. However, ordering it is not very convenient, since it is not available from major retailers, and only directly from the small manufacturer in MN (made-to-order, involving long delays in delivery). But, if you can get past the idea of ordering a custom-made bag, you might find this bag a contender. The 15-degree version weighs 31.7 ounces on our scale. This is our top rated bag for wet weather backpacking in warmer temperatures. It is much more versatile than traditional style sleeping bags and it uses top quality insulation that's more durable than most others. For colder temperatures and soaking wet conditions we prefer the heavier and warmer Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15 which is available from most major online retailers.

See how this bag compares to the others tested at our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Introduction
The Prodigy is the only synthetic quilt we've tested. It uses the same basic design as the company's Revelation down quilt, except it has top quality synthetic insulation that keeps you warm when wet.

Warmth
The 15 degree version of the Prodigy is roughly as warm as the 20-degree traditional style synthetic bags we've tested; in dry conditions the bag is cozy into the thirties.

The Prodigy is limited to some degree by its lack of hood. Hooded bags are warmer and, unfortunately, quilts don't have hoods. We also don't know of anyone that makes a separate synthetic insulated hood. Thus, the synthetic quilt is not ideal for the coldest wet conditions or for hanging around in a tent for days at a time. This author, who has spent over three months soaking wet in Patagonia in synthetic bags, prefers a hooded synthetic bag for extended mountaineering trips in wet conditions where you might be tent bound for one or more days. For backpacking the Prodigy is more than than warm enough. The synthetic quilt is the best tool for lightweight trips where reliability is paramount to success, enjoyment, or safety.

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Enlightened Equipment Prodigy bottom.
Credit: Enlightened Equipment
Weight and Packed Size
Synthetic insulation nominally compressible compared to down, but the Prodigy offers the lowest weight and greatest compressibility of any synthetic bag we've tested.

Versatility
Quilts are the most versatile type of sleeping bag. A synthetic quilt offers several advantages for wet weather travel: they can be draped around your body and can be opened up flat, which allows them to dry faster. This latter point is particularly useful on long trips. Unzip the Prodigy and hang it up in the sun or the wind and it dries remarkably fast.

Comfort
The Prodigy is as comfortable as the company's Revelation quilt minus the super soft and cozy benefits of down insulation.

Other Versions
Choose from three temperature ratings, three sizes, three widths, and three fabrics! This is a tremendous advantage over synthetic bags from major companies that have fixed girths and are only available in two cuts. In many ways, the ability to get the best fit for your body type and intended clothing system offsets the Prodigy's missing hood.
The Enlightened Equipment Revelation was awarded as the Best Buy for Ultralight Sleeping Bags.

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Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab
Value
The Prodigy is a good value for weight and conscious wet weather adventurers. The Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15 can be found for up to $50 less, but it weighs 12 ounces more.

How To Get It
Enlightened Equipment quilts are not sold by major online or commercial retailers. Order online at http://www.enlightenedequipment.com. Read an interview transcript with Enlightened Equipment's founder, Tim Marshall, here.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 30, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   May 30, 2013 - 12:52pm
whoofit · Backpacker · new england
After spending a lot of time deliberating sleeping bag versus quilt and down versus synthetic I chose the Prodigy 40f quilt. After receiving itwas impressed by the flawless quality. I also received it a full week early.
So far my experience using this quilt has been wonderful. First time out was in 35f weather. I slept under the stars really digging the loose wide fit and long length, even though I am only 5'11" 205lb. I was toasty on the ground with only a light base layer and a Ridgerest pad.
On a recent hike I decided to test the synth vs down decision. At 52f I slept in an open hammock. Around 2am it began to rain. It rained for 3 hours and dropped .4". This quilt not only kept me totally warm when soaked, it also kept me mostly dry. It was only when the hammock filled with water puddles that I was uncomfortable. I was impressed. Best part was it dried in no time that day.
So far my decision was good. It provides synth summertime capability for less weight than my marmot hydrogen, more room, as insulative as, and Is more bomb proof too.
Now, I get a 20f Revelation in reg wide as as lower temp bag and also use combined with the Prodigy for dead of winter warmth. Using the Prodigy as the outer bag for condensation protection of the down filled Revelation.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Enlightened Equipment Prodigy top.
Credit: Enlightened Equipment
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