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Quilt Warfare: Enlightened Equipment Revelation vs Enigma

While there are many makers of quilts the team at Enlightened Equipment has built some masterpieces which continue to be the favorites for thru-hikers and section hikers all around the world.
Written By: Josh Koop
February 18, 2020
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While there are many makers of quilts the team at Enlightened Equipment has built some masterpieces which continue to be the favorites for thru-hikers and section hikers all around the world. The top two quilts that we are discussing today are the hugely popular Enlightened Equipment Revelation vs Enigma quilts.

Why are these two quilts loved by so many in the community? Well, they both are very warm and live up to their heat ratings along with being well built and they have quality construction that makes people want to buy a new one again when they need to retire their old one.

If you are looking for a top tier gear for your thru-hiking or section hiking the quilts and bags from Enlightened Equipment are top of the line. Today we are going to cover the Revelation and the Enigma and the features and drawbacks of both along with reviews from actual customers like yourself to help you know what you are purchasing.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation vs Enigma: An Introduction To Quilts For Backpacking

Quilts are an amazing change for sleepers who toss and turn due to the open back and allows for better freedom of movement. Removing the back also allows for weight reduction since you will be using a pad when you are hiking and backpacking.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt Review

When you watch thru hiker videos on YouTube you will have no doubt heard Enlightened Equipment mentioned numerous times, their quilt the EE Revelation has become a staple of many thru-hikers and section hikers due in large part to the reliability of the gear.

The Revelation quilt is a perfect compliment to a thru-hike or any longer distance hike as it provides the warmth of bags double the cost at half the weight or more. As anyone who hikes will tell you cutting weight can make the experience of the hike better by saving on the wear and tear on your body.

The Revelation Quilt From Enlightened Equipment

The Revelation is a standard quilt style in construction as the footbox is not sewn closed, meaning it can lay out totally flat like a blanket if you need or want it to. It comes with a cinch though which can help pull it closed on those cold nights to help conserve body heat within the quilt for more quality sleep.

Features Of The EE Revelation Quilt

  • Footbox Control - 20” zipper, and drawstring, to open or close the footbox as needed.
  • Pad Attachment System - Using elastic straps, and clips on each side of the quilt, to keep you securely on your pad, and give you the ability to cinch down the sides on those cold nights.
  • Snap and Drawstring Neck Closer - Built to fit securely around your shoulders to fine-tune draft control.
  • High Tech Baffles - U shaped baffles keep the down where you need it, all night long.
  • Half Taper Design - To minimize weight while reflecting the natural shape of the human body.
  • Ethically Sourced Down - Sourced from an RDS certified supplier that verifies that none of the down in the supply chain is acquired through live plucking or forced-feeding.
  • Zero PFC DownTek - Treated down which helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out quicker if it does get wet.
  • 10D Nylon Fabric - Made from a customized, lightweight and durable nylon that offers breathability and comfort.
Orange 10 degree revelation quilt - Enlightened Equipment Revelation vs Enigma
Revelation Quilt (Note the Footbox Area can be strapped together)

Benefits Of The EE Revelation Quilt

Quality Heat Designation - If you purchase a 20 degree bag it will be good to 20 degrees.

Comfortable Outer Fabric - The 10D fabric is smooth and comfortable on the skin and not irritating.

Multiple Styles of Wearing Depending On Weather - You can use this quilt as a fully laid out blanket or cinch everything up to more resemble a sleeping bag with a more enclosed setup.

Drawbacks Of The EE Revelation Quilt

Stuff Sack Lacks Real Compression - The sack that comes to help store the Revelation is a letdown in terms of actual compression and makes the space needed larger. I would suggest finding a better compression sack to make the quilt smaller.

Taller People Should Purchase Wide Cut - The narrow cut can be difficult to wrap around on a normal size man, what you will want if over 5'11" is to purchase the wide version to ensure adequate cover.

Video Review of Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

I don't want to provide only my feelings and research on the Revelation quilt, below I wanted to provide a review from a YouTuber who is giving their opinion after a completed thru-hike which I feel provides much more relatable insight.

Customer Reviews For the Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt

Warm, cozy and plenty of room to move about, this quilt keeps you alive when the weather outside your tent wants to kill you. 10/10 would recommend.

Garage Grown Gear

Both are super comfortable to sleep in and definitely my favorite pieces of UL backpacking gear. They are so light that my best description is they feel like laying under a warm fluffy cloud. Best bang for the buck in UL sleeping gear IMO!

Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt Review

The EE Enigma quilt is the ideal minimalist quilt when weight and simplicity are required. This quilt was designed to decrease overall weight and space in your backpack to the minimum possible.

It was created to help simplify your sleep system and keep you very warm even on cold nights. It features a round sewn-closed footbox to help those who have cold feet or like an enclosed space for their feet. The round design in the footbox provides more room for your feet while reducing dead air space that needs to be heated.

The Enigma Quilt From Enlightened Equipment

With the footbox being sewn closed, it requires no fuss or adjustment, and shedding the zipper shaves even more weight off. The sewn-closed footbox is also perfect for cold weather trips, as it helps reduce drafts and maintains maximum warmth.

The Enigma is the quilt for section hikers, overnight travelers, mountaineers, backpackers, and thru-hikers. Each of which has a specific need for simple gear that takes up little space and is as light as possible.

Features Of The EE Enigma Quilt

  • Sewn Closed Footbox - Poofy sewn-closed footbox for a no-fuss sleeping experience
  • Pad Attachment System - Using elastic straps, and clips on each side of the quilt, to keep you securely on your pad, and give you the ability to cinch down the sides on those cold nights Snap and drawcord neck closure lets you fine-tune draft control
  • High Tech Baffles - U shaped baffles keep the down where you need it, all night long.
  • Ethically Sourced Down - Sourced from an RDS certified supplier that verifies that none of the down in the supply chain is acquired through live plucking or forced-feeding.
  • Zero PFC DownTek - Offers a treated down which helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out quicker if it does get wet.
  • Handmade in Winona, Minnesota.

Benefits To The EE Enigma Quilt

Hoodless Design - One of the standout features of the quilt is one of its greatest benefits that in eliminating the hood it drops excess weight and bulk. 

Shiftless Baffling - The quilt baffling is built to help keep your insulation where it needs to be for maximum warmth from the elements.

Drawbacks Of The EE Enigma Quilt

Stuff Sack Lacks Real Compression - Like its cousin, the Revelation the sack that comes to help store the Enigma is a letdown in terms of actual compression and makes the space needed larger. I would suggest finding a better compression sack to make the quilt smaller.

Taller People Should Purchase Wide Cut - The narrow cut can be difficult to wrap around on a normal size man, what you will want if over 5'11" is to purchase the wide version to ensure adequate cover.

Video Review of Enlightened Equipment Enigma

As with the Revelation Quilt above I don't want this to just be what I believe are benefits and drawbacks, I love to pull in videos from YouTubers who have used them for a long time also who have a perspective which can help you choose the right gear.

Customer Reviews For the Enlightened Equipment Enigma

The Enigma is so simple, it’s genius. That said, don’t let the minimal design fool you, it seems to cross all of the Ts for functionality from a nice strap system, to a comfortably wide design, vertical baffles in the torso, and a thicker baffle at the footbox. I am really happy with this quilt.

Footbox Closed on the Revelation - Enlightened Equipment Revelation vs Enigma
Footbox Closed on the Revelation

Footbox Differences Between a Revelation and Enigma Quilts

The biggest overall difference between the 2 quilts is in the setup and construction of the footbox. One features a sewn closed footbox which can help people who especially have colder feet when sleeping, the other has an open footbox.

Below is a nice video discussing the footbox in detail by Enlightened Equipment Revelation and Enigma creator, Tim.

Bottom Line

I believe everyone should try a quilt for a hike, regardless if it is an overnight or a long-distance hike like an Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail. This is largely due to the decrease in weight but also the comfort that comes with having more freedom in your movements.

I shift around a lot in my sleep and gaining some free movement was perfect to allow me to get immensely better sleep.

Additional Quilt Options

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