For the third year in a row, the Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 is the reigning champion of the Best Buy Award. We love the versatility of the quilt, and the most recent updates to this model continue to improve on a great design. Specifically, the added 10% of down fill for the 2018 model makes the Revelation the warmest quilt we tested. 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. For those that want a solid, customizable quit, we think this is an excellent option.
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 Review
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
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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 as we could with the unique Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt. However, for a lightweight quilt, we thought the updates improved the warmth score noticeably.
With the addition of 10% more down to the Revelation, the weight did bump up from 18.5 ounces to 20.9. It wasn't the lightest quilt in the review, nor was 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 Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 700 or the Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20.
One thing we wished Enlightened Equipment had updated 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.
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. If you don't want to deal with straps, cords, or dangly bits, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt shines when it comes to the maximum blanket experience.
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, nor as wrappable as the Backcountry Quilt.
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 a picky. Overall, this model has a solid set of features.
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.
At $285, the Revelation 20 remains the Best Buy Award winner for the third 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 $65 more, we think that this quilt is an outstanding choice for balancing performance with price.
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