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Nitpicking Zpacks vs. Enlightened Revelation Bags
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Nitpicking Zpacks vs. Enlightened Revelation Bags on 11/15/2012 09:09:05 MST Print View

I want a 0F bag for backpacking in the NE during the Winter. Here are the contenders:

Enlightenened Equipment Revelation:
http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation.html
(not going for their cuben bag as moisture could kill my down booties and puffy jacket)

Model:
0F quilt, 6' long, 56" wide, 30oz overfill, 3" baffle, 4.55" max loft w/ 30% overfill, 28.75oz weight (wide quilts only come in lighter 10d nylon, so shaved 1.5oz), $287.20 shipped.

Zpacks Sleeping bag ($25 off right now):
http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/sleepingbag.shtml,

Model:
10F bag, 5'10" long (fits me perfectly), 62" wide, 30oz overfill (standard), 2.75" baffle, 4.17" est. max loft w/ 30% overfill, 21.7oz weight, $360 shipped.

BPL chart equating loft to temp rating:
http://www.zpacks.com/quilts/down_loft.shtml

Some discussion points:
- Zpacks only rated to 10F rating, Enlightenened goes to 0F.
- Enlightened is definitely a good deal cheaper.
- Forced to use (more fragile and less downproof) the 10D outer shell w/ Enlightened wide models.
- Zpacks is wider...easier to layer puffy stuff underneath?
- Zpacks is lighter that the 0F and 10F Enlightened offerings.
- Zpacks states their bags are 30% overfilled already. I wonder how the Zpacks is rated to 10F? Zpacks is a wider quilt w/ less down than even the Enlightened 10F offerings W/OUT their 30% overfill option.
- I will have the following items to layer with:
Goosefeet Down booties
Goosefeet 0F Down Balaclava
Goosefeet cuben fiber down pants (model after WM flash pants for loft)
down jacket (not sweater)
garbage bag vapor barrier for upper torso (it works!)

Thoughts?

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Nitpicking Zpacks vs. Enlightened Revelation Bags on 11/15/2012 09:30:47 MST Print View

Sorry Bryce no help from me on this one.

Only thing I would point out is that you called the ZPacks bag a "quilt"... it is not, it is a hoodless sleeping bag. You can have it made as a quilt by not having a zipper attached to it, but it is a hoodless sleeping bag and not a quilt. Enlightened last I checked did not even offer zippers as an option. Nitpicking, but hey, you started it :-p

Honestly man, all comes down to if you want a zipper or not. Every single thing you pointed out as cons and pros for each of them are dead-on-legit.

Personally I went with the zpacks hoodless sleeping bag because I like having a zipper. I ordered a 10 degree with an extra-long side zipper and the water resistant down. If I wanted a quilt rather than a bag, it would have been a really hard choice between the Enlightened and a zpacks without a zipper.

I feel for you man, hard choice.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Argh on 11/15/2012 09:36:19 MST Print View

What is interesting is the URL for the Zpacks Sleeping bag is in a dorectory called quilts, haha.

So the biggest deal to be is the amount of down Zpacks puts in their quilts. Their 10F bag has a lot less down than the Enlightened 10F bag/quilt when u consider the Zpacks is a wider quilt and more shell material to fill with down. Zpacks states their bags come 30% overstuffed standard. Enlighteneed offers ANOTHER 30% down on top of their initial offering. Either the Zpacks quilt/bag is overrated, or the Enlightened is underrated. No?

(I am a quilt guy, but I think the zipper might really help in the really cold temps...just a bit of draft at 40F not a big deal, but at 0F....)

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
thoughts of a 'nitpicky' engineer on 11/15/2012 11:05:05 MST Print View

The Zpacks, from the photos, is sort of a hybrid, as the zipper is along the back.
That said, compressed down does not insulate to any significant degree (at that point it's just like having a thicker material down there). I like the idea of a hybrid sub-zero quilt that has just material down there to act more as a wind wall than for any insulative properties. Is the extra weight worth it for that? dunno, but interesting in concept... That said, if you're wearing clothes and down jacket/pants and such, I don't know if you'd feel a draft at that point?

The Enlightened quilt should be plenty wide enough to cover your body+clothes.
remember last winter, Lupus and I both fit under my GoLite quilt.

Has anyone proven that over stuffing without the added volume for extra loft will actually add to the insulation level?
As I understand it, down has a optimum fill volume, following a bell curve of sorts, anything below or above that optimum does not increase the insulation value.
Like many things I see manufacturers do, this is one I have yet to see any hard evidence as to the engineered benefits. This is a call out for someone to enlighten me on the subject!
Grain of salt and all that, as those that know me, I'm as nitpicky of an engineer as they come.

I like the idea of "water resistant" down, but at those temperatures (below freezing), if you get your down wet, you have to hope it's sunny enough to be able to hang it and hope it does not freeze, AND it dries, AND you have to wait for it to do so before packing it away to move on, so as to be able to use it again the next night. So in the end how useful is it really? Does it make sense to try and rely on it?
Just my thoughts on DWR850 vs their standard 900fp.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Size matters on 11/15/2012 11:07:32 MST Print View

One is wider than the other.
A snug bag/quilt is warmer than one with space, within reason of course. Too snug and you compress the loft and your puffy clothing layers.

Calculate how much space you will need with all your puffy layers on to determine how wide you should go.

Of course you already new this?
Making this statement for those that are new.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Overstuffing on 11/15/2012 11:13:41 MST Print View

One reason to overstuff is that when your quilt gets damp, the down will compress. I theorize that it won't compress as much if overstuffed.
That is only a guess though.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 11/15/2012 15:18:09 MST.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
10F on 11/15/2012 11:37:10 MST Print View

But the wider (62") 10F Zpacks bag has less down fill (and that includes their 30% overfill as a standard feature) vs. the Enlightened (56") wide, 10F model....and the Enlightened is not as wide a quilt AND you can add 30% overfill to it. So how can the Zpacks be as warm with less down spread out over a larger area?

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Hrmm... on 11/15/2012 11:39:04 MST Print View

The Zpacks is a shorter bag (5'10" vs 6')... could the 2" less down in bag length (but it's still 6" wideer) take away enough area such that you could put less down into the bag and have it loft up to be just as warm?

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Baffles on 11/15/2012 11:43:37 MST Print View

I think I read on another thread that there are no vertical baffles in (at least) the Zpacks bag so you can shift down to the top before you go to bed to max. warmth and compress a bunch of down underneath you.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Other consideration... on 11/15/2012 12:08:05 MST Print View

With a 10F bag from either manufacturer, would you personally be comfy at 0F (maybe lower?) with the following layers:

Goosefeet Down booties
Goosefeet 0F Down Balaclava
Goosefeet cuben fiber down pants (model after WM flash pants for loft)
down jacket (not sweater)
garbage bag vapor barrier for upper torso (it works!)

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
VBL on 11/15/2012 12:43:19 MST Print View

Just curious why your aren't considering full vbl suit vs just an upper body trash bag. That eliminates the need to worry at all about condensation and from my early tests appears to increase the temperature range. I think skurka estimates about 10 degrees. This would then give you significant flexibity on what you wear over your vbl. No limit as to the flexibility to dial in additional warmth via sleeping bag liners etc.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
VBL on 11/15/2012 13:07:55 MST Print View

I have cuben fiber down pants that act as a VBL for my lower half. The trash bag on top was cheap and effective. Haven't address my feet, but my feet sweet a lot and I prefer for them to dry out at night. I also found there was some discomfort at times with the VBL trash bag while sleeping, but it was minor and my bag stayed nice and lofty throughout the trip.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Nitpicking Zpacks vs. Enlightened Revelation Bags on 11/15/2012 14:08:59 MST Print View

I obviously have tons of opinions that I will keep to myself but will share 2 facts that may help you choose

1) you don't have to use 10d for the shell on my Revelation. The black 15d is too narrow for a wide but the aspen green 15d is just fine. (And looks sick with either charcoal or tan 10d to boot, me I like the tan)

2) fact two is I'm dumb, take that to the bank;)

Hope that helps.

-Tim

Edited by MarshLaw303 on 11/15/2012 14:19:40 MST.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Zpacks quilt on 11/15/2012 14:13:20 MST Print View

I have the 10 degree Zpacks quilt, with zipper, and for me it is very definitely a quilt. I use it with the zipper under me, and I rarely zip it. The zipper spreads out to the sides, so it isn't directly under me. If it starts to get chilly, I will pull the zipper up part way to cut down on side currents, because I am what Franco refers to as a rotisserie sleeper. I probably put in about 2 miles a night just thrashing. The quilt is truly wonderful.

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Taper on ZPacks on 11/15/2012 14:14:17 MST Print View

Tim, did you miss this on the ZPacks web page?
"Girth: Shoulders / Hips / Feet
Wide Width: 62" / 62" / 35" (158 cm / 158 cm / 89 cm)"

Edited by WilliamC3 on 11/15/2012 14:15:03 MST.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Doh on 11/15/2012 14:14:21 MST Print View

Hi Tim,

Thanks for helping me make an apples to apples comparison.

I stand corrected, you can get the 15d like you said for the outer shell... I must of skipped over it as the first option on your drop down list as it is highlighted and I quickly moved down the list.

*hrmm, now I see William's post, thanks for pointing that out. The research continues!*

Edited by bster13 on 11/15/2012 14:17:42 MST.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Taper on ZPacks on 11/15/2012 14:18:28 MST Print View

Did I miss it? Must have. Looks like I'm designing everyone's quilts now;)

Ill go check there's out and see if I can shed some light on why the fill weights vary so much.

-Tim

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Taper on ZPacks on 11/15/2012 14:41:37 MST Print View

Why do we use differant amounts of down?

Ill compare Zpacks 56" long and my 6' wide(actually fits 6'2" so very close)

Zpacks 56/56/30 x ? Long 30% os
2.75" baffles 14.7oz down (900 fill)
Estimated loft 3.575"

Revelation 56/56/42x78" long 10% os
2.5" baffles 15.9oz down (850 fill)
Estimated loft 3.3"

Since they use a sewn round footbox there's can be shorter and their foot is much narrower and the use of 900 down saves some too.

-Tim

Edited by MarshLaw303 on 11/15/2012 17:53:50 MST.

Justin McCabe
(justinmc)

Locale: Southern California
Re: Nitpicking Zpacks vs. Enlightened Revelation Bags on 11/15/2012 16:27:52 MST Print View

I can't comment on the quality yet as my quilt from Enlightened isn't here yet (though if you search the forums, you'll find tons of people who can comment on the quality ,and they rave about it!), but when I was researching for my quilt (first ever), one thing stuck out to me....Tim's attention to his customers and even his helpfulness to non-customers.

I think the quality from both companies is outstanding, and everyone sleeps different, but what attracted me to Enlightened was Tim's reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty!

Happy choosing!

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Based off this thread... on 11/15/2012 17:21:19 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=58369&disable_pagination=1

I am now rethinking things. Tim, I don't think you are putting too much down into your bags. It appears as though given the same baffle height, more down actually increases warmth even if it does not increase loft.

Now only if Tim had 900 fill option. :o