Gear Review: Revelation X from Enlightened Equipment…

  • Rating:
  • Reviewed by: David Creech
  • Price (MSRP): $165-$230
  • Category:
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Testing Location: Arizona
  • Testing Environment: 35-45 degree nights

I have been out doing a lot more hammock camping this past year.  I’ve camped in a hammock on a few trips before this year, but never with a real focus on doing it right.  I had managed to get my overnight pack weight down pretty low and manageable in a fairly small pack.  The only problem was my sleeping bag.  I was still using an old Andora mummy bag I got when I was probably 18.  Back then, it was a top of the line bag with the latest synthetic fill and compactability.  But being nearly 20 years old it was still heavy, and not nearly as compactable as I wanted it to be.  Not to mention the fact that I had been storing it all those years in the compaction bag (I now know that is a big no-no).

 

So I wanted something smaller, lighter, easier to pack and that would work with my hammock setup.  I started looking at some of the new sleep systems out that had no down fill on the underside of the bag.  The idea being that the down under your body is not insulating anything when it’s crushed so why carry the extra weight.  Let your sleeping pad do the insulating on the bottom, all you need is the top.  Sounds good, right?

 

Then I came across Derek Hanson’s book, The Ultimate Hang, and read about using top-quilts and bottom-quilts when hammock camping.  This spurred me to research the different companies making down top-quilts.  It turns out that it’s mostly small cottage-industry shops making these things.  They are made to order, for the most part, and custom fit to the individual.  They provide plenty of downy comfort to keep you warm and toasty while not being as bulky, heavy or expensive as full sleeping bags.

my hammock sleep system with sleeping pad and top quilt

I settled on a company called Enlightened Equipment for my top-quilt and found they were offering a version of their Revelation top-quilt made with cosmetic seconds of their 30D ripstop nylon called the Revelation X.  The material is little cheaper because somewhere in the roll of fabric a defect of some kind was discovered and the factory will scrap the whole roll.  Most of the roll has nothing wrong with it and that is used in the “X” series products.  I decided to give it s shot and ordered the quilt to my specifications.

 

A few weeks later my quilt arrived in the tiniest, lightest box ever!  It felt empty.  I opened it up and unfolded this big beautiful down quilt.  All the quilts are made with a 20″ zippered footbox with a drawstring closure at the bottom.  The back then has several tabs above the footbox with snaps to tighten the quilt around you if you need it more secure.  Above that, several elastic under-cords allow you to pull the sides in tight and tuck the edges under you.  At the neck is another snap and draw-cord to secure the quilt on frosty nights.  When all tucked in, it fits like a mummy bag.

the Enlightened Equipment Revelation X backpacking down top-quilt

I ordered the 6′-WIDE sizing which gives me 10.6oz of 850 down fill and comes in at a hair over 20oz.  I got a small Sea-To-Summit waterproof compaction bag for it.  I can easily get it down to about a 6″ ball making it super easy to stuff in to my pack.  Since most of my camping takes place in Arizona, or throughout the southwest, I opted for the 30 degree bag.  Since each one is custom you can order anywhere from a 0 degree bag up to a 40 degree bag.  You can also have them overfill the down to give you even more potential warmth.

 

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The Bottom Line

This quilt is ridiculously comfortable.  The first day I got it I fell asleep on my bed just testing it out.  My wife has asked to use it several times just for naps.  Along with my Exped sleeping pad, it has kept me plenty warm in my hammock on nights dipping just below 40 degrees (usually about as cold as it gets around here).  I would like to get out this Winter and use it in temps closer to 20 degrees to see how it performs.  Overall, I really like the quilt.  I would like to add a bottom quilt to it for Winter camping eventually.  But for the rest of the year it has proven to be a great addition to my backpacking kit.

Dave Creech is a successful business owner and entrepreneur based in Phoenix, Arizona. He shares his personal story and lifelong passion for travel and rugged outdoor adventure through his blog at WildernessDave.com. David’s focus has been on trip stories, gear reviews, Wilderness Medicine and a series of articles aimed at introducing Yoga to hikers and backpackers as a path to staying fit, healthy and injury free.

Comments

  1. A lightweight quilt is much nicer than a sleeping bag. Especially for hammock setup. I’m sure you will enjoy the quilt for many future trips. I have a zero degree tq on its way. Doubt it will get much use in my area of nw GA. Next will be a 50* quilt logically that would get the most use. Where’s your gear list? “what’s in my pack”. For hammock camping? :-) enjoy the quilt!

    • I haven’t compiled a “What’s in my pack” gear list yet. I’ve been working on building the setup I want, until then I won’t post a definitive list. I haven’t even had a chance to use my GT Nano-7 in the field. I’ve just tested it out here at the house with the tarp and whoopie slings.

  2. Guillermo Barron says:

    Hi David,

    Good review. I’m seriously considering buying an EE RevX quilt this spring. Either overstuffed 40 or the regular 30, like yours. Still dithering. And more dithering on colours.

    Just wondered if you’ve had a chance to test the bag below freezing and how it worked? (I’m in Canada).

    • We don’t get below freezing much here in Arizona, so I have not tested it that low. The quilt I have is rated to 20 degrees which means it’s comfortable down to 30-40 degrees which is perfect for me. That said, it performs well for the temperatures it’s designed for so if EE has a 0 degree or sub-zero quilt it should serve you well. Definitely get the overstuffing, it’s worth the extra ounces.

  3. iorder the 10 degree can I use it at -10 sub zero wat is the limit 4 the 10 d thanks

    • It all depends on your personal tolerance for cold and what else you wear to sleep in. The 10 degree rating is not a set limit as sleep comfort and resistance to cold are subjective. Also note, cold ratings on sleeping bags are generally “survival temps” not comfort temps. So a 10 degree bag will keep you warm enough to survive at 10 degrees, but you may not be comfortable at 10 degrees. Most people recommend buying 10-15 degrees below what you expect to use it in. So if you are going to use it in 10 degree weather, get a 0 degree bag.

      That said, it really is all about the rest of your sleeps system and how well you tolerate cold. I would test it out a couple times before you bet your life on it.

  4. sorry imean if ican use it at 10f its -12 c

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