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Hands-on Gear Review

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Review

Enlightened Equipment Revelation DT850
Best Buy Award
Price:   $250 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, versatile, opens into flat blanket, warm and stable baffle system, many custom options
Cons:  Pad attachment method isn't as comfortable or warm as the Palisade, relatively heavy
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Enlightened Equipment

Our Verdict

The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 delivers both versatility and excellent performance at an affordable price, easily earning our Best Buy Award. Bags that open into full quilts like the Revelation offer much more versatility than the other types of ultralight sleeping bags in our review. Zip and cinch the footbox closed on top of your pad, and our Best Buy Award winner functions much like the Editors' Choice winning Katabatic Gear Palisade 30. Fully opened, the Revelation can be used as a blanket for one or two folks in warm weather or as a nice body wrap for cold weather camp tasks.

The Revelation's design has been improved since our last round of testing; the most notable improvement is an advanced down baffling system. Like many bags from small manufacturers, the Revelation comes in lots of sizes and down fill options, which allow you to achieve the best fit and warmth for you. This quilt is available in six temperature ratings, three lengths, and four widths. In addition, you can choose your inside and outside fabric, quality of down, and add weather-resistant fabric at the head and foot. If you want to shave several ounces from the Revelation, you can do it, but it will increase the price.

New Version — April 2017
There have been some recent updates to the Revelation. The photo above represents the new version of this sleeping bag. Read on below to find out what's new!

If you're seeking the highest performing ultralight sleeping bag, and have the budget, the Katabatic Gear Palisade is our Editors' Choice winner.


RELATED REVIEW: Uncovering the Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags for Backpacking and Thru-Hiking

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Style Nominal Rating Weight (bag only)
84
$460
Editors' Choice Award
Quilt - Closed Foot 30F 18.8 oz
81
$390
Hoodless Mummy 20F 17.2 oz
75
$250
Best Buy Award
Quilt - Fully Opening 20F 21.9 oz
74
$309
Top Pick Award
Mummy - 3/4 Length 45F/25F 13.9 oz
71
$350
Top Pick Award
Quilt - Closed Foot 45F 20.5 oz
70
$219
Quilt - Fully Opening 40F 14.8 oz
70
$390
Hooded Mummy 32F 18.3 oz
70
$339
Quilt - Fully Opening 40F 18.7 oz
65
$480
Hooded Mummy 32F 16 oz
64
$300
Quilt - Closed Foot 30F 28.5 oz

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Brandon Lampley
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
April 11, 2017

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The New Revelation 20 Vs. the Old Revelation 20


The Revelation 20 has undergone a few changes since we initially tested it. All of Enlightened Equipment's down is now DownTek treated, and the lowest down fill available on their products is now 850 fill. Nothing has changed in the design of the bag, but there are some new color combinations available. As always, you have the option to customize your colors, fill, and shell material for an upcharge.

The photo comparison below shows the updated version on the left and the older version that we reviewed on the right.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation DT850
 

The key differences between the new 2017 version and the version we tested are outlined below.
  • Treated Down — All the down used in Enlightened Equipment's bags is now DownTek treated down, designed to repel water and stay lofted even if it gets wet.
  • High-Loft Down — The lowest-fill down available now is 850 fill power, whereas the version we tested used 800 fill.

While we haven't tested the newest version of the Revelation, we expect it to perform similarly or perhaps even better than the older version - all for the same $270 list price!

Hands-On Review


The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is exactly what ultralight backpackers on a budget are looking for…excellent performance and versatility at an affordable price. This fully-opening quilt earned the highest versatility score we awarded, and high scores in both warmth and comfort as well. With myriad options to customize this quilt to the size and warmth rating best suited for you, we give the Revelation our highest recommendation.

How to Get It:
Enlightened Equipment products are custom made in Minnesota and are not available from retail outlets. Instead they are ordered direct from the manufacturer. While the majority of their products are made to order, several versions of the Revelation 20 are often in stock for immediate shipment.

Get it online at: EnlightenedEquipment.com.

This quilt fully opens into a flat blanket  creating many additional use modes like a cover for two folks in warm weather or a warm body wrap around camp in the morning and evening.
This quilt fully opens into a flat blanket, creating many additional use modes like a cover for two folks in warm weather or a warm body wrap around camp in the morning and evening.

Performance Comparison


Check out the chart below to see where the rest of the ultralight bags in our review ranked compared to our Best Buy winner, the Revelation 20.


Warmth


The Revelation 20 degree bag was the third warmest product we tested. The Katabatic Gear Palisade 30, which has a superior pad attachment system, is warmer when temperatures are below freezing. Meanwhile, the hoodless mummy design of the ZPacks 20 Degree is just a little warmer than the Revelation, especially for active sleepers or in contorted sleep positions. However, both of these bags cost considerably more.


The Revelation 20 easily delivers the best warmth-to-price ratio. The key to this quilt's warmth is the combination of vertical and horizontal baffles that contain 13.8 ounces of 800 fill power down. Enlightened Equipment explains it best:

Our unique Shiftless Baffle design combines the strengths of both horizontal and vertical baffles that are typically found in other quilts and sleeping bags. The vertical baffles along the length of the quilt prevent down falling to the sides (a problem especially for side sleepers), but by turning the baffles horizontally at the feet, the down is given a much smaller area in which it can move and keeps the footbox fully lofted and reduces the amount of down that can shift away from the feet during packing and unpacking your quilt.

The Revelation has the girth to place your pad inside or attached underneath. We have found placing this quilt on top of a pad and tucking the edges underneath our body the warmest option.
The Revelation has the girth to place your pad inside or attached underneath. We have found placing this quilt on top of a pad and tucking the edges underneath our body the warmest option.

The cut of the Revelation also plays a role in its warmth. You can place your sleeping pad inside the footbox and tuck the sides of the quilt underneath it or you can have the entire quilt on top of the pad tucked underneath your torso at the sides. Experienced ultralight quilt users often have strong preferences, but we find the on top of the pad configuration delivers the most warmth. Finally, the Revelation uses a #3 YKK zipper to close the footbox, while other quilt manufacturers use a few small snaps here. Through our testing, we found the added warmth created by the Revelation's zipper is worth the minor weight increase over snaps. When used near its lower temperature limit, this zipper sealed more heat into the footbox.

We think the 20 degree version of the Revelation is the best option for most thru-hikers and backpackers who want one bag to use throughout spring, summer, and fall. When used with warm clothing, this quilt is warm enough for most folks down into the mid teens. However, if you're a cold sleeper, consider customizing your purchase by choosing a version with a lower temperature rating.


Weight & Packed Size


We tested the 20-degree Revelation, which is insulated with 800 fill power down and weighed in at 21.9 ounces on our scale. The included stuff sacks weighs .5 ounces and the two elastic straps weigh .7 ounces. While this makes it one of the heavier models in our ultralight review, that's only by a few ounces. This quilt still weighs in at about half the weight of the average three-season hooded mummy bag. The option to use a lighter (and more expensive) higher fill down can shave as much as two and a half ounces off the weight of this model for the same temperature rating, but adds $140 to the price.


Stuffed into the included SilNylon stuff sack, this quilt measures 7 x 12 inches. It is one of the larger stuff sacks, and the Revelation can compress much smaller. We recommend using a smaller stuff sack if you have space constraints. The relative large stuff sack does mean this quilt achieves its full loft more quickly than others after unpacking.

Our test model weighed in at 22 ounces  and the included stuff sack is large. Choosing a smaller stuff sack will compress it much further if you need to save space in your pack.
Our test model weighed in at 22 ounces, and the included stuff sack is large. Choosing a smaller stuff sack will compress it much further if you need to save space in your pack.

The Revelation is available with the following shell fabrics: 10D 0.6oz ripstop (version we tested), 15D 1.05oz ripstop, or 30D 1.1oz ripstop. We recommend the 10D but the best fabric will depend on your intended use. The lighter Denier fabrics save some weight, and we found them durable enough for our heavy use. Adding heavier, water-resistant strips of fabric at the head and foot of this quilt is a popular option that only adds .75 ounces. These help protect the foot of your bag from condensation that may form on your shelter and from your breath.

Versatility


If you're seeking the most bang for your buck from an ultralight sleeping quilt  you can't beat the fully opening Enlightened Equipment Revelation. Brandon is packing away the Revelation in his running pack after a windy breakfast break below the Continental Divide.
If you're seeking the most bang for your buck from an ultralight sleeping quilt, you can't beat the fully opening Enlightened Equipment Revelation. Brandon is packing away the Revelation in his running pack after a windy breakfast break below the Continental Divide.

This quilt earned the highest versatility score we awarded. In addition to the option to attach your pad underneath or inside the closed quilt, you can use the bag as a flat blanket on warm nights. Fully opened, wrap it around your body as a jacket around camp or during break time when the weather is cold. Fully-opening quilts like this one are the most versatile type of sleeping bag and are the best type of bag for backpacking in a very wide range of temperatures. If you love the fully open flat blanket option, but also want the option to close your quilt completely up like a mummy, check out the Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL. This hoodless mummy has a full length separating zipper backed by a draft tube, allowing flat blanket use.


The Revelation is also our favorite of this bunch used as a hammock top quilt. The Hammock Gear Burrow 40 also makes an excellent top quilt, but we feel Enlightened Equipment's baffling and other small features are superior.

For hammock hangers, both Enlightened Equipment and Hammock Gear make complete lines of top quilts and under quilts.

Comfort


The Revelation transforms from a blanket into a closed footbox quilt 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 compared to a footbox like the Palisade's. We believe this type of closure is best for moderate three-season use.


A permanently closed footbox like the Katabatic Gear Palisade's is more comfortable, warmer, and lighter, but doesn't allow the bag to open flat, which means it's not as versatile for summer nights, two folks snuggling, or to wear around camp.

Once opened up into a flat blanket  you have lots of options for wrapping up in camp and during breaks.
Once opened up into a flat blanket, you have lots of options for wrapping up in camp and during breaks.

Features


This fully-opening quilt has a #3 YKK zipper that begins at the foot and ends 20" from the bottom of the bag to close the footbox. Two snaps at either end of the zipper secure it. A bungee cord with free floating cord that locks on both sides of the zipper cinches the foot box completely closed. Another snap 6" higher gives the option to further close the bottom of the quilt.


Two buckles that mate with the flat elastic pad straps are spaced up the bag at hip and chest level. The mating half of the buckle on the elastic straps can be placed at the very edge of your pad, or slide it further in to reduce the girth of the quilt in cooler weather. At the top of the bag, one additional snap closes the neck opening and a non-stretchy small cord provides the cinching, passing through one free-floating cord lock right at the chin.

Our test model uses 10D nylon ripstop and this quilt has the fanciest system of baffles. They run vertically up the body of the bag, but turn horizontal at the foot. There are no dedicated hang loops on the Revelation, but the snaps at all four corners are installed into small loops of light grosgrain webbing that will work.

We find a zipper is the warmest option for closing the footbox of a fully-opening quilt. An additional snap on this model further closes it near knee level.
We find a zipper is the warmest option for closing the footbox of a fully-opening quilt. An additional snap on this model further closes it near knee level.

Best Applications


The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is a very versatile, do everything, three-season quilt. With warm clothes, it can keep you cozy into the teens, or it can open completely for warmer summer nights. This quilt is a great choice for three-season backpacking and thru-hiking, and playing in the mountains during summertime. It is also our top recommendation of the bunch for use as a hammock top quilt.

Value


The Revelation is an exceptional value for a top quality quilt. It costs around $200 less than our highest rated down quilt, the Katabatic Gear Palisade and is only slightly less warm and less comfortable.

Conclusion


The Revelation 20 continues its run as our Best Buy winner. Among the products we tested, it is easily the best ultralight sleeping bag relative to price. While it isn't the warmest, lightest, or most comfortable model we tested, it is the most versatile and has the most affordable price. If you're putting together your ultralight backpacking kit on a budget, you can't beat the Revelation.

If your looking for a great ultralight quilt for three-season backpacking  this is a great choice. Warm enough for most into the teens and versatile enough for warm weather. Zipping up the footbox for a cool night in the Colorado mountains.
If your looking for a great ultralight quilt for three-season backpacking, this is a great choice. Warm enough for most into the teens and versatile enough for warm weather. Zipping up the footbox for a cool night in the Colorado mountains.

Sizing, Accessories, & Other Versions


This bag is available in 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 degree versions, as well as short, regular, and long models and slim, regular, wide, and x-wide. In addition, you can choose an inside and outside fabric and you can add an optional weather-resistant strip at the foot and head (+0.75oz on 10D shell) for $20.

The Revelation is one of many fine and relatively affordable quilts from Enlightened Equipment:

Enigma
Enlightened Equipment Enigma
  • Cost - $250 (same as the Revelation)
  • Weight - 19.79 oz (same as the Revelation)
  • Sewn-shut footbox
  • Ideal minimalist quilt
  • Choose from six temperature ratings, three lengths, four widths, and two down types

Accomplice
Accomplice
  • Cost - $375 ($125 more than the Revelation)
  • Weight - 32.31 oz (12.52 oz more than the Revelation)
  • Two person quilt
  • Fill power - 800, 850,900
  • Sewn closed footbox
  • Choose from five temperature ratings, four lengths and two down types

Prodigy
  • Cost - $175 ($75 less than the Revelation)
  • Weight - 31.87 oz (12.08 oz more than the Revelation)
  • Synthetic insulation
  • Partially zippered/drawcord footbox
  • Ideal quilt for summer
  • Choose from 4 temperature ratings, five lengths, and three different widths

Convert
  • Cost - $290 ($40 more than the Revelation)
  • Weight - 25.13 oz (5.43 oz more than the Revelation)
  • full length zipper
  • Ideal for someone not ready to make the change just yet to a quilt
  • Choose from two different down types and 3 different fills, six temperature ratings, two widths and lengths
Brandon Lampley

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 11, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.3)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 20%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 20%  (1)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Apr 26, 2016 - 03:07am
 
David Morris · Mountain Biker · Missoula
I am a new user of the quilt style sleeping system, and after a month in the springtime desert I am totally converted. I have an enlightened gear revelation which I was able to custom design and order through their great website. I got the 800 fill drydown and tougher panels at top and bottom of the bag, and a great color pattern. I feel that I got a truly custom high-tech bag for a very good price!

The bag did great on both cold (in the teens with a down jacket inside the bag) and the hot nights. Fine loft and adjustable insulation even in prolonged cold. Nice to wrap around myself on cold mornings while getting stoves going as well.

The Revelation is very easy to set up and use, especially in that it stays attached to the pad and doesn't rotate with my frequent tossing and turning in the night. Of course it is simply a joy to pack and carry such a light and compressible bag!

So glad I found and bought this sleeping bag! Will probably layer it over my 3 season bag for a very warm winter backcountry sleeping system, and even on the bed at home to save on heating bills in January.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Apr 16, 2016 - 01:33pm
HoosierHiker · Backpacker · Carmel
I love this web site. With this product, though - I am curious as to if they have the details quite correct on weight. I have the wide version and it hits my scale at just over 20oz. Is it possible you reviewed the 20d version instead of the 10d? A standard 20 degree in 10d will be just over 19oz. Aslo the color they reviewed (aegean blue it looks like) only comes in 20d and better matches the weight posted. To me it seems like weight is downgraded when it probably is a strength of this bag.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 13, 2017 - 11:23am
I bought a 850 fill, 20 degree revelation and am not happy with the quality. The very first night I used it the zipper got caught and tore a sizable rip in the fabric (picture uploaded). Contacted EE about this but they said it's not covered under warranty so they sent me a patch to repair the tear. The fabric is very, very delicate and sensitive so if you are planning to use this for backpacking or a multi-day camping trip I highly recommend you bring a repair kit as tears will inevitably happen which could lead to a dangerous situation if you're not prepared.

Other complaint is this quilt runs ~10-15 degrees cooler in my opinion than a similar temp rated sleeping bag. The first night I used this was in early November in Colorado with temperatures right around 20 degrees and after the quilt tore I switched to my 20 degree sleeping bag and was much warmer.

Other things I'm not happy about but are mostly my fault for picking wrong sizes:
-If you are 5'10" or taller definitely size up in length. I'm 6`1" and regular is a few inches shorter than I would like
-If you have anything other than slender build size up on width. I'm 6`1" 177lbs and shoulders barely fit inside quilt with all the buttons and straps snapped on.
-It would be nice if the quilt came with a compression bag by default
-Runs cold. If I were you I get at least a 10 degree warmer rated quilt for temperatures you'll actually be using it for.
-According to my emails it looked like a 6 week lead time but to be fair I think it said 4-6 weeks but this is still something to consider.

To pay >$300 for this product and have it tear first night, be colder than rated temperature (IMO) and not be able to return it to get a proper fitting quilt is disappointing to say the least. Sure this is probably bad luck and poor sizing on my end but I still think buyer should beware.


Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 10, 2017 - 02:37am
mikeskisandflies · Skier · The world
I just spent $420 on a custom made Convert 10. I received the product in February 2017. The quilt reviewed on the Gear Lab is a 20 Revelation. I am offering review on the more detailed Convert.

As background, I am a very experienced outdoorsman and alpinist.

EE state that for my custom made back (Short and Slim with 900 Downtek) there should be 3 inches of loft. I have about 1.5-2", when indoors, in the warm!!!!!!

I have laid for hours with the quilt fully cinched and zipped up and I am getting nowhere near the loft they are claiming. Bare in mind this is a 10 Deg quilt. I should be baking in this thing indoors. Literally, I shouldn't be able to stay in it but for a few minutes.

Last week I contacted EE and they rev details of my custom made bag and stated that it was actually heavier (slightly) than the target weight indicating that the manufacturing element - from EE's point of view - was more than satisfactory. They got really defensive about it actually, but offered a refund with expenses and shipping at my cost. They said they would add more insulation at my expense to 0 Deg but that was the limit for the baffles, so alternatively I could return my bag and have a -10 Quilt made to order instead.

To those new to the outdoors, be very clear about this…. a -10 bag should keep you warm enough for summer Denali. I think, in comparison with the +10 quilt they sent me, a -10 would be suitable for summer use only the lower 48. Maybe at -10 I would overheat indoors in HK!!!!

I am after a thru-hiking quilt suitable for the high sierras and maybe occasional unexpected use in the should seasons. A 10 Deg quilt should be AMPLE!!!!!! I think a -10 EE quilt would be more like 15-20 compared to Z Packs. Check out some videos of both and look at the lack of Lofting in comparison.

The bottom line is that this quilt is lofting nowhere near 3 inches and is nowhere near the 10 Deg rating. I have slept in warmer 30 quilts (Feathered Friends).

Be very careful about spending your money here.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 4, 2015 - 12:04pm
Giver · Backpacker · Altadena
As a big guy and a sleeper who turns and twists a lot at night, this quilt was a godsend. Clip to the pad, fluff out the sides, and say goodbye to drafts. Just make sure to order with a big time-safety cushion - mine took 7 weeks to get to me in the middle of the high summer season, luckily the day before I left for the Sierras. Incredible value, not be passed idly by.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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