What makes Enlightened Equipment so good?
I’m glad you asked. Here are a few ways in which Enlightened Equipment has earned the support of me and many other experienced lightweight backpackers:
- Made in USA. Founder Tim Marshall started Enlightened Equipment in the basement of his Winona, MN home in 2007. Today, the company has more than 50 employees but still manufacturers every item by hand in Minnesota. What’s more, their gear is extremely well made and lasts many years.
- Early Adopter. Enlightened Equipment was one of the first companies to make ultralight quilts, which capitalize on the assets of a sleeping bag while stripping away unnecessary weight and features, resulting in a warm, versatile, and lightweight sleep system. They consistently tweak and adapt their designs to keep up with emerging technologies and are always using top-notch materials.
- Custom Comfort and Service. Not only are most of Enlightened Equipment’s offerings customizable, but the customer service is excellent. In an age of fast-fashion and long hold times, it’s extremely comforting to know that you can talk to someone directly about your order and rest assured it will have a favorable outcome.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top picks from their offerings.
Top Picks for Enlightened Equipment’s Holiday Sale
Enlightened Equipment manufactures top notch quilts, but also insulated jackets, rain gear, and quite a bit more. Things are already selling out fast, so here are the top three items you should strongly consider picking up during this sale.
The Revelation is a staple among lightweight thru-hikers on long distance trails in America, and for good reason. I used a 10 degree version on my 2018 Appalachian Trail thru-hike and it worked great. In fact, I still use the quilt today more than two years later and have put thousands of miles on it. A true workhorse, this quilt is versatile, bulletproof, and lightweight at only 22oz for the 20 degree model. My colleague and friend Adventure Alan wrote an excellent review on this quilt – check it out for more detailed information about what makes this piece so special.
Get the Revelation Quilt here!
If I had to pick one singular piece of gear that is my absolute favorite, it would be the Copperfield wind pants. In my opinion, no other piece is as useful and functional as these – they instantly add warmth by insulating heat and blocking wind, making them an ideal layer whether worn actively or in camp. In fact, they are so comfortable I often sleep in them. They have an elastic waistband and snap buttons on the leg openings, meaning they can be form fitting and also open up so that you can take them off over your shoes. At only 1.3oz, I never go on a trip without them. They are definitely pricey, but boy are they worth it!
Get the Copperfield Wind Pants here!
I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a cold sleeper, and there is nothing worse than trying to get some rest when your feet aren’t warm. I’ve endured many a restless night in the fetal position trying to get my toes as close to my core as possible in a slow, and often futile, attempt to rewarm them. The solution? Down booties. These are made of Enlightened Equipment’s APEX synthetic insulation, meaning they retain their loft and repel water better than traditional feather down. At under 2oz per pair you won’t even notice them in your pack, and your feet will thank you.
Get the Sidekicks here!
Lightweight backpacking gear rarely goes on sale, and when it does it’s practically unheard of for those savings to also apply to custom orders. Enlightened Equipment makes some of the highest quality and lightest items on the market which has made them ubiquitous among long-distance and ultralight backpackers.
Although I only highlighted three of my favorite items from the company, they make a ton of excellent gear for nearly all weather types. If you’ve been holding off on picking up a new quilt or any other gear for next season, now is the time to pull the trigger – you won’t see prices like this again any time soon!
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances.