Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please
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Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please on 04/02/2013 14:26:46 MDT Print View

Howdy everyone! I am in the market for a summer quilt. This will be my first quilt. My current and only sleeping bag is a Western Mountaineering 20 degree Ultralite. Weight is certainly important, but price is as well. I am trying to decide between Enlightened Equipment and Jacks R Better. I would also like this to double as another layer for my winter system, to go over my Ultralite bag. I also want to go with a totally flat blanket style quilt for better ventilation and I can share with my lady during the summer.

I have heard great things about EE. Their prices are reasonable. For 2-3 more ounces, I can save $65 by going with the EE Revelation X. But if I want the lightest of them all, I need to go with the all 10 denier fabric of the Revelation. I like that EE quilts are a little bit wider than the JRB. I am a side sleeper, and I was concerned about the large karo baffles and down shifting, but they are spaced 5" now, so I am hoping that is okay. And I am from Minnesota, so I would be happy to support someone else from Minnesota.

Jacks R Better are reasonable too. Their only option is a 30 denier fabric. They are a bit narrower. I really like the idea of the head hole and "poncho" mode of the Sierra Stealth. This would save weight in bringing an insulated jacket, if it works well.

Does anyone have any experience with the JRB Sierra Stealth?
Does the "poncho" style work well? I suppose I need a big rain coat to cover it when wet out?
Will either of these be wide enough to adequately layer over my Ultralite bag?
Will either of these be suitable to cover 2 people during the summer?
Should I go with the wide width option on the EE quilt?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for looking and reading all of this!!
- Cody





Here at some stats of the quilts I am interested in:

Enlightened Equipment / Revelation X / 40 degrees / 6'6" regular width / 18.75oz / $190
> good bang for buck
> 54" width at shoulders to 40" at feet



Enlightened Equipment / Revelation / 40 degrees / 6'6" regular width / 17.25oz / $255
> this could be about 15.75oz if I go with all 10denier fabric
> 54" width at shoulders to 40" at feet
> most expensive



Jacks R' Better / Sierra Stealth / 45 degrees / 6'6" / 17.5oz / $200
> 52" width at shoulders, 42" at feet
> head hole to wear as warm "poncho"
> horizontal, continuous baffles
> 30 denier fabric



Jacks R' Better / Shenandoah / 45 degrees / 6'6" / 16oz / $180
> good bang for buck
> is only 48" wide, rectangle
> horizontal, continuous baffles
> 30 denier fabric

Edited by codybartz on 04/02/2013 14:29:04 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please on 04/02/2013 15:22:16 MDT Print View

Cody,

I have the Sierra Sniviler JRB and think that it is a great value quilt.

My 1st quilt, but it is not without its flaws.

It does work nicely in camp for an insulating layer, which I appreciate while having breakfast.

However, I don't think it is a suitable replacement for carrying an insulting layer because it is not really something you could wear while hiking. (If that is important for you...maybe in the shoulder seasons).

The JRB in "poncho" mode is just a bit bulky.

Sitting down on a log or something like that in camp can be problematic because it the quilt can hang lower than your butt, which means you can get it dirty or poke a hole in the quilt.

If you are very tall, then maybe this would not be an issue.

I am 5'6".

The negative for me is that the JRB quilt does not have a way to cinche it around your neck to prevent/limit the draft at the shoulder area, which causes you to lose heat at night.

For this reason alone, I am contemplating moving to a Katabatic 30F or 22F quilt, which is much more expensive.

The JRB has been a great value and a low cost entry into trying out quilts, but it has its limitations.

Hope this helps.

-Tony

Marc Loomis
(th12t33n)
EERevx on 04/02/2013 15:44:47 MDT Print View

I have a EE rev x 10* and it feels so soft and smooth, but to be honest i also wonder about down moving around and how long it will be before i have to massage it back to a proper spot or will i wake up cold because it shifted and have to work at it in the middle of the night? Only time will tell and ill tell you want i sure do love this thing right now, I use it around the house for everything a quilt could be used for. Its MEGA warm.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please on 04/02/2013 15:55:25 MDT Print View

I have the Stealth; Got it in 2008, used it for a year, and then my kids claimed it. They love it. Kept me easily warm to 45F with thin long johns. Mine weighs 16oz. Mine does cinch around the shoulders/neck. I’ve used the poncho hole a couple of times. Poncho mode does keep you warm but you need to be careful around the stove as the poncho sticks out everywhere. Poncho kept me warm at 30F sitting around, but that’s with my hiking clothes on.

I also have the warmer Hudson River at 21oz. Both of these quilts immediately warm me up when I tuck in. I use a neoair with them. Any of these quilts should adequately layer over your ultralight.

At 17oz and 20F, I now use the Zpack quilt.

Good luck in your quilt choice.
-Barry
-The mountains were made for Tevas

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sierra Stealth on 04/02/2013 16:04:10 MDT Print View

I've had the Sierra Stealth for a bit over a year and I've been very happy with it. It was one of my first UL purchases and it's a great value, though I wish they offered a lighter face fabric. I purchased it after reading Alan's article on his XUL adventure (http://goo.gl/vpZUl).

It works very well in camp in 'poncho mode'. I haven't worn it while hiking because if it's cold enough to need hiking it's cold enough to need another insulating layer for sleeping.

It has a cinch cord at the top end, so I'm not sure why the previous poster has had trouble with shoulder drafts.

I'm 6'5" and 240+lbs so I sure couldn't share it with somebody else. A normal or smaller size person might manage if they spooned and didn't move much, but I doubt it. Should be fine to layer with another bag.

It's also come in handy as an underquilt when I hammock camp in the summer months.

Given the price difference, I'd make the same choice again between the options you've got on the table. I couldn't be much happier with the Sierra Stealth or JRB as a manufacturer.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 04/02/2013 16:06:38 MDT.

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: EERevx on 04/02/2013 16:28:37 MDT Print View

Marc, thank you for your reply. I am curious, have you ever tried wearing your EE quilt? Can you put your head through the footbox, snap a couple of the snaps, and sort of let the rest drape over you? Or put your head through the head end with the neck snapped and maybe one of the lower leg snaps shut? If you have time and are able to try these that would be awesome! Thanks!

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Thank you! on 04/02/2013 16:36:39 MDT Print View

Thank you everyone for your insightful information!

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Weight on 04/02/2013 16:59:50 MDT Print View

Keep in mind EE lists the weight of the qut with the heavy straps and maybe stuff sack too. Both are about 2 oz.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please on 04/02/2013 17:34:13 MDT Print View

Have you considered a synthetic quilt for the summer? The big benefit would be for winter if you layered your quilt over top of your bag it would likely put the dew point into the quilt where the synthetic insulation can handle it better than down.

A 40 deg EE prodigy x 6'6 reg is 24 oz and a 50 degree is 18 oz. and you could save another 2oz by going to the prodigy with the lighter fabrics.

Marc Loomis
(th12t33n)
new ee prod in the future? on 04/02/2013 19:41:09 MDT Print View

After seeing the quality of Tims EE quilt Im considering ordering two Prodigys for summer camping. One for my son, and one for me. I canuse the prod for a winter top quilt as well.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please" on 04/03/2013 00:09:47 MDT Print View

I have two Revelation quilts (one is an X), both 40 degree and overstuffed. They were great value and are well made. However,I have always been disappointed with the down control afforded by the Karo baffles. I now use a Zpack's quilt for most trips and keep the EE quilts for summer and car camping.

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please" on 04/03/2013 06:15:50 MDT Print View

Jason thanks for the info. I take it you have pre 2013 EE quilts? I have heard of that issue too with the EE quilts. New EE quilts now only have 5" spaces between baffles instead of 8". I am wondering how much that helps, it must some. How do you like the zpacks? May I ask your height/weight and what size Zpacks bag you have and how it fits?

Edited by codybartz on 04/03/2013 06:21:52 MDT.

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Re: Enlightened Equipment vs Jacks R Better - advice please on 04/03/2013 06:19:16 MDT Print View

Greg, I have thought about a synthetic bag for the summer. Since I do much more summer backpacking than I do winter I am leaning towards getting something that I would really like for summer (lightweight down bag) over the better summer/winter synthetic option. Tempting though as weight is not much different on warmer temperature bags.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Zpacks quilts on 04/03/2013 15:03:31 MDT Print View

Hi Cody. Yep - they are both pre 2013 quilts and changing the baffle gap will probably help.

I am very happy with the Zpacks quilt. For me, as aside sleeper, it is just the right cut. Roomy with out being too big. I am 6 foot tall and 157 lbs. I went with an extra long regular 30 degree bag. I note on Joe's' site that he now recommends sizing up for length as I did. If you want to be able to zip the bag shut I would go for the wide. I use mine as a classic quilt and find the regular to be perfect. I also went with the ResistDown option, but have no idea if this really makes any difference.

The bag seems true to its temp rating for me. I have used it down to 32 F and was nice and warm. One of these nights was without a mat, as I got stuck out away from my tent. I did have all my clothes on though. Temp ratings are all a bit personal, as each individual's physiology varies, as does their definition of what being warm and comfortable feels like. However, I feel pretty sure that the Zpacks bags will compare well to other offerings. If I was a back sleeper I would look carefully at the Katabatic quilts.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Data correction on 04/04/2013 13:53:32 MDT Print View

It is worth noting that the price quoted for the two JRB quilts include activ-dri down at the stated fill power...Regular 800 fp down is actually $10 lower than stated.

Pan

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
EE for me on 04/04/2013 19:46:40 MDT Print View

I can't say enough positive things about Tim's quilts. I have a RevX 20F overstuffed and a Rev 40F 10D/10D. When I first got the 40F Rev I went with standard fill, it only weighed 13.4 ounces in that config. I've since sent it back to Tim for extra down and it now weighs in at a still light 15.1. I haven'y used it this year yet with the overfill, but I'm sure it will easily go down to 35F comfortably. I had the overfill put in to compensate for the larger baffles of the old design, but Tim has addressed this in the updated 2013 quilts with smaller baffles. IMHO you can't go wrong with an EE quilt, the quality is fantastic and the service is even better, I'd buy another without hesitation.

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Data correction on 04/05/2013 07:16:19 MDT Print View

John, thanks for bringing the price of the different down fill to my attention!

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: EE for me on 04/05/2013 07:23:04 MDT Print View

Hi Art,

Thank you for writing here. I am the person from Minnesota that contacted you about your MLD Exodus.

I am curious what size quilt you have for the 40 degree that it weighed 13oz? I will be getting a long/reg width. Maybe even a long/wide. Not sure as I am a side sleeper.

I am really curious about the 10 denier fabric. What are your thoughts on it? How does it compare to the 30 denier of your RevelationX? Do you think it is durable enough as an exterior fabric for backpacking? I would love to get it for the weight saved, but don't want to hinder functionality. I am careful with my gear though.

Since EE is from Winona, Minnesota and I am from Bemidji, Minnesota I am tempted to keep it local.

Thanks Art!
Cody

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: EE for me on 04/05/2013 13:11:57 MDT Print View

I'm a side sleeper too, so went with the 6' Wide in both quilts, the size is nice and roomy for me at 5' 11" 185 lbs. But if I remember, Tim changed his sizes a tad and the new Wide is 2" wider (I think). I was surprised at how light it came in, the new ones will be slightly heavier, but still nice and light in my opinion.

The 10D (was called 8D when I bought) is silky smooth, very soft, I like it a lot. I sleep in a SMD Skyscape, so am fairly protected from the wind if need be and it's a very comfortable quilt, if you're exposed to high winds (open tarp), you may want the heavier nylon. The 30D of my RevX is still plenty soft and if I hadn't gotten the 10D, would have thought it was perfect. The 10D feels like silk.

As for durability, I think the 10D is plenty durable providing you treat it like a piece of ultralight gear and not a flannel bag from Cabela's that the kids take on a sleepover. I have about 25 nights in this quilt and it still looks new, and several of those nights are with an 85 lb German Shepherd in the Skyscape with me.

As an edit to my earlier post, that weight is w/o the elastic straps or stuff sack, just the quilt and what's permanently sewn to it.

Edited by arttyszka on 04/05/2013 13:15:01 MDT.

Dowser Tom
(DaFireMedic) - M

Locale: Southern California
I have both and.... on 04/05/2013 13:52:33 MDT Print View

I have both a JRB Sierra Sniveller and two EE Revelation X 20 degree quilts. I had bought the JRB quilt early last year for myself, and bought the two EE quilts for my sons just before our JMT hike last year in late July. Both are well made, although I did have a seam separate in the Jacks R Better quilt on the JMT and had to field repair it with super glue (holding so far). This with my sons being much tougher on their quilts than I am, often waking up next to their pads, partially on the dirt/rocks when cowboy camping, and in a complete 180 from their original sleeping positions. The EE quilts are built tough yet still very light. I give the EE quilts the edge there.

Regarding the poncho feature of the JRB, I don't hike with it as a poncho, but it is nice on those cold mornings when you have to get up for something. Its nice just to slip your head through the hole and stand up. It keeps you warm until you can get your hiking clothes on, and even for a bit after that until your clothes warm up. As others have mentioned, I wouldn't want to take the chance of damaging the quilt by lounging around in camp with it, but I could see using it for specific ultralight trips where everything is minimalist such as in the Adventure Alan link above. Its also nice to know that you could go to it as an extra insulation layer should things turn out to be a lot colder than expected. The EE quilt could be used like that as a wrap also, but the JRB makes it much easier.

I just bought the regular width/half taper with overfill from EE. One was a long (in case I wanted to use it) and one regular in length. I'm 6'3, 200 lbs and even the regular is long enough for me to use, although I prefer the long. Width wise, both are fine and easy to sleep under, but you might want the wide if using it to augment a sleeping bag.I'm a side sleeper as well, but even at regular width with both the JRB and EE quilts, they conform to my position and the width is fine.

Service was great from both. Tim was quick to answer email questions being that I ordered the quilts barely a month from our hike, and the delivery time on the website said to allow 3-4 weeks. He assured me that the quilts would be delivered in plenty of time and they arrived about 2 weeks after I ordered them. No problems from JRB, they were courteous as well.

If buying another quilt, I would likely buy the EE, mainly because I feel its a better value being the less expensive option. But I do like the Poncho feature of the JRB quilt and do use it as such under the circumstances I just mentioned.

Edited by DaFireMedic on 04/05/2013 14:12:39 MDT.