The enLIGHTened Way

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Curling up with Mom and the enLIGHTened Equipment Revelation Quilt.

When I stumbled on enLIGHTened Equipment’s website for the first time, the concept of using a quilt instead of a sleeping bag was an altogether new to me. (That was right at the beginning, when I first dipped my big toe into the ultralight world, before I knew that there was a difference between ultralight and super ultralight).

The idea behind a quilt, as I found out, is that the fill used on the floor of a sleeping bag is more or less unnecessary extra weight, since as your body lays on top of it, the compressed fill doesn’t add much warmth. The warmth for your underside mostly comes from your sleeping pad.

Ingenious? Obvious? I’d say a little bit of both.

But what I discovered in my trial run of an enLIGHTened Equipment Revelation Quilt is that a compact, lightweight sleep system is just one of several reasons to switch to a quilt:

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Almost as small as a spoon — the enLIGHTened Equipment Revelation Quilt, 10 degrees, 6 foot, regular width, in a compression sack.

Quilts are incredibly versatile. If you’re too hot, it’s easy to let in air. If you’re too cold, it’s easy to zip up the foot box and cinch the quilt’s straps around your sleeping pad. If you want to snuggle up with your significant other – whether for romantic or weight-saving reasons – you can lay it out flat over both of you. If you want to sleep in a hammock, that works too.

And here’s the real untold secret: it makes breastfeeding while camping SO much easier. My baby girl could curl up next to me under the quilt much easier than she ever could with my sleeping bag.

Also, quilts are also well-suited for those who toss and turn in their sleep, such as myself. Sleeping bags tend twist around me, almost as if wringing me out. My quilt stayed put.

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The strapping mechanism that comes with enLIGHTened quilts to keep the quilt close and securely synched on cold nights.

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The toe box zipped up and synched close for when your feet need that extra warmth.

Now that I’ve told you why I’m sold on quilts, let me now tell you why I’m sold on enLIGHTened Equipment quilts:

EnLIGHTened Equipment quilts are anything but a mass-produced, one-size-fits all piece of outdoor equipment. On the contrary, they’re custom and handmade – and get this – also incredibly affordable. Pricing is in the vicinity of $200 to $300.

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Rolls of fabric ready to be turned into quilts

Why can’t I write down a specific number? Because of that part about your quilt being custom-made, just for you. You get to pick your temperature rating. (I chose a 10 degree bag so that I can use it during the shoulder seasons and also because I generally just sleep cold). You get to pick your length and your width. And you get to pick your color.

The website lists a few standard colors, but after a phone conversation with the company’s owner, Tim Marshall, I managed to get a bright pink quilt! (I LOVE bright colors, but my hidden motivation here was so that my husband wouldn’t steal it from me).

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enLIGHTened Equipment quilts are made in Tim Marshall’s Minnesota basement and in his sewers’ homes.

Marshall and his team make all enLIGHTened Equipment quilts in the basement of his Winona, Minnesota home (with his sewers also often working on the quilts out of their own homes). His kids play upstairs to the hum of the machines filling quilts with down. On some days it may be too easy for Marshsall to get distracted from work by family happenings, but then again that’s what it’s all about: being there as his kids grow up and being there for customers who are as passionate about using his products as he is about making them.

enLIGHTened Equipment’s commitment to personalized service and an excellent product is so fundamental to the company’s philosophy that it offers a powerful guarantee:

“It is simple, you will be happy.”

 

THE STATS (manufacturer specs)

 enLIGHTened Equipment Revelation 10°, 6’, REGULAR width, bright pink

Cost: $300

Baffle height: 2.5”

Length: 78”

Top Width: 54”

Foot Width: 40”

Fill Weight: 16.7 oz

Loft: 3”

Estimated Weight: 25 oz

Shell and Liner Fabric: High quality nylon

Down Fill: 850 Fill Power Goose Down overfilled by 20%

 

FEATURES (from manufacturer website)

Removable Under-strap System – Elastic webbing and flat buckles secure the quilt around you,  your pad or easily un-clip to leave at home.  One below the shoulder and a second mid back.

Additional Pad attachment straps– Comes with removable webbing straps that secure the quilt on top of any sleeping pad. (used in place of the elastic straps)

KARO Step Baffles – KARO baffles have gaps in each corner of the box allowing you to move the down from box to box.  The down can easily be moved by massaging it around within the quilt to anywhere you want it, but once there the box shape of the KARO STEP baffles keeps it where you put it. Space between baffles has been dramatically reduced for 2013 which greatly increases down control and reduces shifting.

Adjustable Neck closure – A snap secures the quilt around you and the center draw cord is easily adjusted by pulling it inside the quilt.  This closure can be opened when the sleeper gets warm and closed tight when needed to seal drafts.

Zippered Foot Box – A 20″ zipper and draw cord allow the foot box to close tightly keeping the heat in but can easily be opened flat or anywhere in the middle to vent when needed.  Snaps 6″ and 12″ above the zipper pull the quilt in tight under the thighs when needed or lets you stretch out when it isn’t.

Dual use as Hammock UnderQuilt – Corner hang loops allow the quilts to be used with your own suspension to keep your backside warm in a hammock. (check out our new UnderQuilts for the lightest in dedicated underquilts)

Made in Winona MN– We are proud to build quality products locally in our homes.

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2 Comments on "The enLIGHTened Way"

  1. Very cool idea, I am a Hammock camper and need an under quilt. Most l’ve seen are too expensive.

    • Steve,

      Thanks for leaving your thoughts. EE definitely has amazing prices esp. given that it’s so high quality and custom made!

      Amy

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