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Enlightened Equipment Revelation Review

   
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  • Currently 3.9/5
Overall avg rating 3.9 of 5 based on 8 reviews. Most recent review: October 7, 2014
Street Price:   $260
Pros:  Versatile, warm for its weight, Inexpensive!
Cons:  Pat attachment method isn't as comfortable or warm as others, other bags use higher quality fabrics.
Best Uses:  Ultralight anything.
User Rating:     
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 (3.8 of 5) based on 7 reviews
Recommendations:  67% of reviewers (4/6) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Enlightened Equipment
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 31, 2013  
Overview
The Enlightened Equipment Revelation offers top-tier performance at a wholesale price. 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 won't be disappointed. The bag weighs 19 ounces, uses 850-fill down, comes in three lengths, three widths, and can be made with one of three different fabrics. This is a top quality custom sleeping bag for only $260!!

If you're looking for a Top Pick sleeping bag within the same price range, consider the Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 15, $275. The Nemo Siren, $350, will cost you a bit more, but it works well on fast and light warm weather trips. If you are not a serious ultralight backpacker, and just want a bag to get your through a trip or two, we found the Kelty Cosmic Down 40 surprisingly adequate for only $100.

The Revelation is slightly less comfortable and not as warm as quilts that cost at least $100 more. See our Ultralight Sleeping Bag Review for how this bag compares to others.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Introduction
Of the 40+ three-season sleeping bags we've tested, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation offers the most versatility and lowest weight for the lowest price. This is a high performance bag offered at bottom basement prices. It's an exceptional value and is ideal for someone looking to make the move from a heavy and inflexible traditional style sleeping bag to a versatile and lightweight quilt. The Revelation has several small drawbacks that reduce its warmth and comfort slightly, but for the majority of people these drawbacks will easily be offset by the bag's exceptionally low price.

Warmth
The Revelation uses 850-fill down and is available in 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40-degree versions. We tested a 30-degree version and found it to be roughly as warm as the average 30-degree bag we've tested. It keeps you warm into the low forties and depending on your body type, age, metabolism, fitness, shelter, campsite selection, etc. requires clothing or a hood in lower temperatures.

Like many cottage industry bags, the Revelation is available in one of many sizes that allows you to optimize fit and thermal efficiency. The bag comes in 5' 6", 6', and 6' 6" lengths and Slim, Regular, and Wide versions. This is a tremendous advantage over traditional style bags (those with hoods and zippers) from major manufacturers because it lets you get the best fitting bag for your body and intended use. Opt for a wider and/or a longer size if you plan to use the bag in the winter with down clothing.

Click to enlarge
Enlightened Equipment Revelation Specifications
Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab
Weight and Packed Size
The 30-degree Revelation weighs 19.6 ounces on our scale. This establishes it firmly amongst the lighter sleeping bags we've tested. It packs down very small. We give the bag an 8 out of 10 for weight and 9 out of 10 for packed size.

The Revelation is available in a 30D 1.1oz ripstop, a 10D 0.6oz ripstop, or a 15D 1.05oz ripstop. We recommend the 10D but the best fabric will depend on your intended use. See more fabric info here.

Versatility
You can use the bag as a flat blanket on warm nights, wrap it around your body as a jacket for around camp, or close up the bottom of the bag when the temperatures drop. Quilts are the most versatile type of sleeping bag and are by far the best type of bag for backpacking in a wide range of climates. Some fixed girth bags can offer more warmth for their weight but they're limited to a very narrow temperature range and can't accommodate changes in clothing. Thus, the quilt will be the best type of bag for most people. See our Sleeping Bag Buying Advice for more details on their advantages over traditional style bags.

Comfort
The Revelation transforms from a blanket to a bag by closing a zipper, a snap, and a drawcord at the foot of the bag. This is a popular and effective method that maximizes versatility while slightly reducing comfort and warmth. We believe this type of closure is best for moderate three-season use. A permanently closed footbox is more comfortable, warmer, and lighter, but doesn't allow the bag to open flat, which means it's not as effective when used as a jacket.

The Revelation can be closed around your body and used on top of a sleeping pad. The middle elasticized straps can also loop around a sleeping pad. Sleeping still on your back is the warmest method because it minimizes drafts that can come underneath the bag if you turn around or strap the bag to a pad. Our testers have their own preferences for how to use quilts in different temperatures. Flexibility is one of the main advantages of a quilt. You can experiment to see what methods work best for you.

Click to enlarge
Enlightened Equipment Revelation bottom closure.
Credit: Outdoor Gear Lab
Other Versions
Choose from five temperature ratings, three sizes, three widths, and three fabrics.

Value
The Revelation is an exceptional value for a top quality sleeping bag. It costs around $100 less than our highest rated down quilt, the Katabatic Gear Palisade and is only slightly less warm and less comfortable.

The best value in lightweight sleeping bags, by far, is the Revelation X, which has the same design as the Revelation but uses a cosmetic 2nd ripstop. That bag costs less than $200! Although we haven't tested it, other people speak highly of its long-term durability.

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.

Videos


Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 7, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.8)

67% of 6 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (2)
4 star: 50%  (3)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 17%  (1)
Sort 7 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Oct 7, 2014 - 10:35pm
sweerek · Backpacker · OH
BLUF: It rocks!

After reading this review I ordered a 40 degree Revelation off the shelf. A few days (not weeks) later it arrived and upon opening I almost sent it back — NO WAY could this thin, light thing keep me warm.

The kids wanted to backyard camp so out we went, me in my new quilt and 3/4 Neo Xlite and full clothes, them on old Thermo-rest pads and deep inside 30 degree mummies. Lets just say I was the warmest in the tent. I had plenty of room to move and with the straps, didn't slide off the pad.

I'm seriously thinking about getting the 0 degree Enigma so combined w/ the Revelation and more pads I'll have an UL winter sleep system too. (One that's ~5 lbs lighter than my existing setup.) Maybe for Christmas……

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 4, 2014 - 01:32am
Mocai · Backpacker · BROOKLYN
I have used the new version of this product for 3 months, and experienced no down-leakage.

The revised baffle design works well too.

I think the review should also reward points to this quilt because it opens all the way, which means it is more adaptable to temps that are warmer than the rating, and can even be used as a comforter at home.

Also, the options for sizing, down fill, and even fabric color surpass those of other companies.

The specs provided for each option are thorough, and, in my experience, accurate for weight, dimensions, and temp rating.

Side note, about an hour ago, I ordered a second quilt from this company, the Prodigy (synthetic - Climashield Apex) for warm-weather use with a hammock. I had emailed Tim at 10:44PM this evening (a Sunday), asking about current delivery times, to see if I could get the quilt in time for an upcoming trip. Tim answered 29 minutes later with all the info I needed. (FYI, its currently about 2 weeks, and they also have a rush option that is 1 week.)

Product: excellent
Service: excellent
Price: excellent

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 27, 2014 - 05:46pm
Pavelminister · Other · Limerick
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Credit: Pavelminister


Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 27, 2014 - 05:37am
Pavelminister · Other · Limerick
The quilt started to leak down after first usage caused poor quality of inner shell fabric. I felt like a rooster in chicken coop after night spent inside of my tent: down and feathers was everywhere around. Customer service proposed to sent it back for repair or replacement but after getting it back I discovered that they even did not open the item's sack and did zero repairing. What can I say? The worst customer service that I met in my life. Another ripoff "company". DO NOT spend your money for this crap.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 11, 2013 - 04:24pm
I have used the Revelation X (0 Degree, Long length, regular width) on an overnight trip. We awoke to find that it was snowing. The tent was of very poor quality (not the warmest or best tent), but there were other people in the tent to increase warmth. I am 6' nothing, and thinner than average at 160 lbs.

I slept very well, and at one point had to remove all of my layers to just my underwear. This thing can keep a person warm, and I wouldn't be afraid to take it out in Cold Wyoming winters above 10--- feet. The Revelation X uses 750 Power Down fill, while the Revelation uses 850 Power Down fill, which will loft better and overall mean less weight for the same amount of warmth.

This bag uses 30 D ripstop nylon, which, while heavier than the 10 to 15 D ripstop that the Revelation uses, will take years of abuse better as well. Add weight, add some durability.

The pad attachment is kind of a pain in the neck. If your sleeping pad is not in a mummy shape, this sleeping bag can and will constrict you at both the neck and the feet when fully closed. This reduces the loft of the down, and the overall warmth of the bag in these areas. However, it is fairly easy to design your own pad attachment system that reduces or eliminates this issue for those of us who have square-shaped pads. Paracord Power.

For customer service, I have no doubt that it is a top notch company. I was notified that there would be a slight delay in the shipment of my bag by the CEO of the company itself. Here is their full warrenty, from the website itself:


If you receive your quilt and the sizing isn't right, we'll exchange it for one that is (within 60 days)
If you receive it and you hate the colors, we'll exchange it for one you will like (within 60 days)
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


Overall, this is a very light weight bag for its price, though I wouldn't say its the "best thing on the market." There may be better bags on the market for the money, but you will have to find them on sale. Also, this company is doing many new and interesting things. Check out their new Enigma Bag (18 oz for a 20 degree, 850 power Quilt!) They even sell under quilts for the crazy hammock campers.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Mar 27, 2013 - 11:42am
 
harpo · Climber · South Lake Tahoe
I am thinking of getting a EE Revelation but I am not sure what width to get. I will be getting a 30deg or a 40deg and using it in the summer in the Sierra. I am 5'11" with a 42" chest and broad shoulders, pretty skinny elsewhere. I will only be using one thin synthetic or down puffy along with a base layer under it. Tim at EE says I should get a regular width if I don't move much, a wide width if I move a lot or sleep on my side. I do move while I sleep and occasionally sleep on my side but am wondering if I could get away with a regular width?

What width bag did ST review? What width are other people using and what size are you?
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   Mar 20, 2013 - 11:17pm
gabrown19 · Backpacker · Summerville
This was my first experience with an ultralight sleeping bag, and I've been very pleased. I bought the RevelationX 20 degree 6' bag and used it with my hammock and an insulated air pad. It kept me toasty warm with a base layer on and with lows in the high 30s. In fact, I was sweating a bit even though I had no other cover besides the bag.

The 850 fill makes it quite compressible and super light, so there was no problem fitting inside my backpack's sleeping bag compartment. The quilt style will make this bag flexible enough to use for car camping, etc. with my wife.

Customer service was great - Tim sent me an email to make sure this was the style I wanted, and he crafted and delivered it exactly per his estimated time.

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