The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Review

Offers the versatility of sleeping under it as a blanket or fully wrapped up, with a huge range of customizable options.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $300 List
Pros:  Very affordable, highly customizable, versatile, lots of features
Cons:  Long wait for product to be custom made and shipped, foot box draw cord still leaves a little hole, lots of buttons and straps
Manufacturer:   Enlightened Equipment
By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2018
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Warmth - 30% 8
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 8
  • Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

For years now, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is the reigning champion of the Best Buy Award. We love the versatility of the quilt, and that it's the warmest quilt among the competition. It isn't the absolute lightest, but it is lightweight for a 20℉ quilt that lives up to the rating. It isn't the cheapest, but it is quite a bit less expensive than most of the models in the review and still made from high-quality materials and craftsmanship and offering top-notch performance. For those that want a solid, customizable quilt, this is an excellent option. If the price isn't within your budget, check out our other Best Buy Award winner, the Hammock Gear Burrow Econ 20, for a real bargain with more modest, but sufficient for most, performance.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $300 List$364.00 at Feathered Friends$410.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$379 List$398.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Very affordable, highly customizable, versatile, lots of featuresHighest scoring ultralight sleeping bag, best features, and most versatileWarmth-to-weight ratio, excellent fabric, Made in the USAWarm for an ultralight bag, simple and versatile design, box baffle construction, waterproof stuff sackWarmer than the fully hooded mummies lighter than it, comfortable liner material, roomy footbox, ¾ length zipper
Cons Long wait for product to be custom made and shipped, foot box draw cord still leaves a little hole, lots of buttons and straps40 degree not as warm as others, neck draw cords loosen over timeTight fit, shallow hood, expensiveA little constricting, small foot box, not the best neck draw cord designMore suitable for 40F temps than 30, no neck baffle, zipper catches on fabric easily
Bottom Line Offers the versatility of sleeping under it as a blanket or fully wrapped up, with a huge range of customizable options.The highest scorer because of its versatile design that allows it to be a fully opened blanket or a fully zipped hoodless mummy.A stellar choice for those looking for a warm, lightweight, fully hooded mummy.A top-scoring bag that's warm and versatile enough for full three-season use, while weighing impressively little.A high-quality hooded mummy bag that is significantly lighter than a standard backpacking bag.
Rating Categories Revelation 20 Flicker 40 UL Summerlite ZPacks Classic Marmot Phase 30
Warmth (30%)
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6
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Weight (25%)
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Comfort (20%)
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7
Versatility (15%)
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Specs Revelation 20 Flicker 40 UL Summerlite ZPacks Classic Marmot Phase 30
Style Quilt Center zip mummy bag or unzipper to be quilt Hooded Mummy Hoodless mummy Hooded Mummy
Manufacturer Stated Temperature Rating 20F 40F 32F 20F 30F (EN Comfort = 42F)
Measured weight, bag only (ounces) 20.9 oz 19.1 oz 19 oz 20.3 oz 18.3 oz
Claimed weight from manufacturer (ounces) 20.19 oz 20 oz 19 oz 19.8 oz 17.6 oz
Stuff Sack Weight (ounces) 0.6 oz 0.8 oz 1 oz 0.9 oz 0.9 oz.
Stuffed Size 7" x 12" 7" x 10" 6" x 12" 6" x 12" 12" x 7"
Fill Weight 13 oz 8.4 oz 10 oz 13.1 oz 8.5 oz
Fill Power 850 Downtek 950+ Goose Down 850+ goose down 900 fill Certified 850 fill with Down Defender treatment
Construction U shaped baffled quilt Continuous baffles Continuous baffle Vertical upper baffles and horizontal lower baffles, box baffle construction Smooth-Curved Baffles
Shell Material 10D nylon fabric Pertex Endurance UL 100% nylon ripstop .70 oz/sqyd (23.7 g/m2) Ventum Ripstop Nylon w/ DWR 10D Pertex (100% nylon ripstop)
Shoulder Girth (inches) 55" 62" 59" 61" 60"
Hip Girth (inches) 55" 48" 51" 61" 58"
Foot Girth (inches) 55" 39" 38" 35" 45"
Zipper Length 1/3 length at bottom Full length center zip Full length 3/4 length Full length two-way
Sizes Short/regular, regular/regular, regular/wide/ long/wide Regular, long, and wide 5'6", 6', and 6'6" Slim, standard, and broad (girth) short, medium, long, x-long and xx-long (length) Regular, long
Temp Options ( degrees Fahrenheit) 10, 20, 30, 40F 20, 30, 40F 32F 10, 20, 30, 40F 30F

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Alan hanging out in the Revelation 20 in The Barracks of southwestern Utah.
Alan hanging out in the Revelation 20 in The Barracks of southwestern Utah.

Warmth


While quilts struggle to match the warmth that mummy bags provide, we found the Revelation to be the warmest quilt. It's noticeably lofty, and the U-shaped baffles keep the down more or less in place. The extra ten percent of down added seemed to make the quilt closer to its 20℉ rating. There are mummy bags in this review and on the market that weigh more and didn't keep us as warm.


The Revelation comes with two pad straps, one being a loop strap, the other straight. We were able to adjust them to be adequately tucked in and felt plenty warm on a night below freezing. There are also two cinch cords, one on each end. Unfortunately, the cinch cord on the bottom didn't close up quite as well as the Feathered Friends Flicker UL 40, although it was much tighter than the Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20. Like any quilt, there is some slight draftiness, and the Revelation wasn't wide enough to fully wrap around ourselves. However, for a lightweight quilt, we are quite impressed with its warmth.

Weight


Not the lightest quilt in the review, nor is it the lightest blanket style quilt in the review. It's a touch heavier than the Flicker UL 40 but is definitely warmer. It does weigh far less than similarly styled quilts like the Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20.


If you like the Revelation, but want to cut down the ounces, consider the very similar Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20. The Enigma is basically the same quilt but with a sewn foot box, saving about three ounces by eliminating the zipper, lower drawcord, and two buttons. We prefer to keep the few ounces for the versatility of turning the Revelation into a blanket, which the Enigma can't do.

Although the quilt is only 21 ounces  the included stuff sack is one of the larger ones. We recommend an aftermarket compression sack to get it as small as it should be.
Although the quilt is only 21 ounces, the included stuff sack is one of the larger ones. We recommend an aftermarket compression sack to get it as small as it should be.

One thing we wish Enlightened Equipment would update is the stuff sack. Even though it weighs less than the Econ Burrow, and nearly the same as the Feathered Friends Flicker, the Revelation didn't pack down nearly as small as either. If we were looking to pack it down as much as possible we'd pair it with an aftermarket compression sack, or nix the sack entirely and smush it into the bottom of our pack.

Comfort


Regarding comfort built into the design, the Revelation definitely feels like it was cut to be ultralight. In a side-by-side comparison with the Econ Burrow (very similar in terms of design), we noticed the Revelation to be narrower, even though they're listed as the same. We felt this difference when in the quilt as well. It fit our 5'8" tester but might feel tight to taller or wider folks without getting the wide cut. We also found it difficult to keep the opening pointed at the pad when rolling around in the middle of the night without strapping it down to be very constricting.


The fabric is a slick and smooth 10D nylon which feels nice on the skin and not particularly crinkly like some ultralight fabrics. You do end up sleeping on top of the buckles, and the top drawcord sometimes ends up on your face because of its centered position.

We like that the Revelation can be strapped down to a quilt or fully opened like a blanket.
We like that the Revelation can be strapped down to a quilt or fully opened like a blanket.

Versatility


Like any quilt worth its weight, the Revelation is quite versatile. We enjoyed being able to fully open it up on hot nights and sleep with it in blanket mode, eschewing the pad straps, buttons, and zipper. On cooler nights, we could zip, snap, and strap it down to the pad and curl up to maximize the warmth in the bag. It also could be used as a top quilt in a hammock, although Enlightened Equipment makes a hammock specific version as well.


We found that it wasn't quite as versatile as the hoodless mummies like the Zpacks Classic or the Flicker UL, which fully zip up and enclose the user.

The pad attachment system ends up under the sleeper  and it can be hard to always keep the opening against the pad when rolling around. However  you can see how much it lofts off the pad to keep you warm.
The pad attachment system ends up under the sleeper, and it can be hard to always keep the opening against the pad when rolling around. However, you can see how much it lofts off the pad to keep you warm.

Features


The Revelation 20 comes with a ton of features to make it so versatile. It has a drawcord and button on the top to seal in heat around your neck. On the bottom, there's an elastic drawcord, a short zipper under the foot box, and two more buttons underneath your legs. In the middle, two pad straps, one looped, one straight, to seal the quilt around the sleeping pad.


We felt that with all these features, a tweak or two could have made the quilt much better. The bottom didn't seal quite as well as the Flicker, as it still left a bit of a hole for warmth to escape. The top drawcord toggle could be moved to one side to eliminate a cord in the face and recessed into a neck baffle to make it comfier and a better seal. The two buttons could have been replaced by a slightly longer zipper to better enclosed the lower body. Lastly, we wish that Enlightened Equipment could find a better solution to sealing up the middle of the quilt, either with three pad straps, or taper the cut differently to keep the middle of the quilt in place around the user. Alas, we are definitely picky. Overall, this model has a solid set of features.

The Revelation seals much better than the Burrow  but not as completely as the Flicker UL.
The Revelation seals much better than the Burrow, but not as completely as the Flicker UL.

Best Applications


The Revelation is the warmest quilt we tested and great for three season use. It would work well for thru-hikers and ultralight backpackers, or where anyone needs to cut down on weight without sacrificing too much for warmth.

Value


At $300, the Revelation 20 remains the Best Buy Award winner for the fourth year in a row. There are cheaper options, but they don't perform nearly as well as the Revelation. Given that any other option with a similar score is at least $40 more, we think that this quilt is an outstanding choice for balancing performance with price. Among high-end quilts, the Revelation represents the best value.

Comparing how comfortable everyone felt in a mummy bag (orange Patagonia 850) versus a quilt (blue Revelation 20) or simply brown fur  camping on the Dolores River in the spring.
Comparing how comfortable everyone felt in a mummy bag (orange Patagonia 850) versus a quilt (blue Revelation 20) or simply brown fur, camping on the Dolores River in the spring.

Conclusion


The Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is a highly versatile quilt that can be spread open for warm summer backpacking or closed down and strapped to a pad for use into the spring and fall. The stock version comes high-quality fabrics and high loft Downtek fill to ensure a quality product for a reasonable price. You can also customize nearly everything on this quilt, from heavier or lighter fabrics, 850 or 950 FP down, and a range of temperatures and sizes to fit your needs. If you do so, just make sure you have plenty of lead time, as custom orders can take up to four weeks to arrive.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Revelation is very customizable, from fabrics of a burly 20D to a lightweight 7D, temperature rations from 50℉ to 0℉, different sizes, and up to a 950 fill power down.


Ethan Newman