Hands-on Gear Review

Enlightened Equipment Prodigy Review

Enlightened Equipment Prodigy top.
By: Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  Apr 1, 2013
Price:  $215 List
Pros:  Lightweight for synthetic insulation, highly versatile.
Cons:  Not as comfortable or as warm as traditional style synthetic bags.
Manufacturer:   Enlightened Equipment
39
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 20% 3
  • Weight - 40% 2
  • Comfort - 5% 7
  • Packed Size - 15% 5
  • Features - 5% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 7
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Our Verdict

This is one of the lightest synthetic sleeping bags we've tested. Ordering it is not very convenient, as this bag is not available from major retailers, and only directly from the small manufacturer in MN (made-to-order, involving long delays in delivery). If you can get past the idea of ordering a custom-made bag, you might find this bag a contender. 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.

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.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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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.

Enlightened Equipment Prodigy bottom.
Enlightened Equipment Prodigy bottom.

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.

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 https://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)
Backpacker

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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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