Gear Review: Enlightened Equiptment’s Backcountry Quilts for Kids

As our kids get older, we have gotten bolder. Our adventures have migrated from family car camping to multiple backpacking trips a summer. But always the gear… sleeping bags that are heavy and bulky. So we jumped at the opportunity to try out backcountry quilts by Enlightened Equipment. And I must say, we’ve been won over. If you wonder what we refer all our friends too, look no further.

Tested in: Camping, Cabins, sleep overs, 45 degrees+
Cost: $90-$145
Best Use: Backpacking with kids, camping, travel, EVERYTHING

Hiking in the Wasatch, Utah

Selling Points:

Lightweight: Not lightweight as in “only use in warm weather” but light as in these quilts reduced our backpacking weight by 3-4 lbs. for our three kids. This is HUGE, especially at our stage, where the parent is still carrying most the gear or the kids are just starting to shoulder their own gear. Either way, lighter is better. We were originally using Deuter and Big Agnes youth sleeping bags, the lightest we’d found on the market with out costing a ton, with similar degree ratings (the Big Agnes is slightly warmer, going down to 15 degrees.) These quilts are 1-1.5 lbs. lighter each and pack down much smaller.

Kid’s stay in them: Below is a video of how the quilts strap onto a sleeping pad or how the bungie straps work if on a larger mattress. I have not found a better way to keep small children inside their sleeping bags and on top of their sleeping pad. We love this system and will refer everyone to it.

Ultimately Versatile: These backcountry quilts are the most versatile outdoor sleeping product out there. They can be unzipped and used as a toss over quilt if you are inside or in a warm climate. The are the best option for backpacking with kids, but also work well for car camping or trailers. They pack small and keep the kids warm.

Significant Stats:

Prodigy Junior 30 degree:

Insulation: 6.0 APEX
Weight: 20.95 oz.
Packed size: 7.5×12 inches

Protege 30 degree:

Insulation: 6.0 APEX
Weight: 12.67 oz.
Packed size: 7×12 inches

Protege Quilt in Yosemite camping

Protege/Prodigy Quilts in Yosemite camping in Housekeeping Camp

Desired Improvements:

 Simple instruction manual for first time users when strapping on to a camping pad. It isn’t hard at all. But it took me a few to figure it out the first time.

The Bottom Line: I would invest in a Junior down quilt for my kids, knowing it is lightweight, versatile, and will last them for many many years. If your kids toss and turn, this is a great option for keeping them warm and centered over their sleeping pad. The synthetic options are fantastic if you are worried about the quilt getting wet and needing to retain warmth or if you want to spend a little less. Overall a fantastic product. We’ve been won over to the backcountry quilt movement!


8 comments on “Gear Review: Enlightened Equiptment’s Backcountry Quilts for Kids
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  2. I love this, what an awesome alternative to mummy bags (always disliked them being a stomach sleeper). The kids’ ones are awesome as well. Glad you shared!

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  4. Any thoughts on the best size to buy? My kids are approaching 4′ and so the best choice would be to do the junior size, which should last them until they are 5′ or so, or 4-5 years I assume, and then would require a larger quilt. Or Get the standard revelation in a standard women’s length of 5’6″ which might last them… Forever. But of course the larger size would require folding them over and may not cinch down as well.

    • Sorry for the late response! We’ve been traveling alot… I agree with your reasoning on all accounts and I think it will just come to your preference in the end. Our kids have the Junior and still have room for at least 2 more years in them. They started using them around age 6 and 48″ and are now 8 and 10 respectively and about 53″. Still, our Junior quilts aren’t as warm (synthetic) so they have borrowed my husband and my own down quilts from time to time. We have the Enigma Regular and Revelation Short. And while they are long, I wouldn’t say it hampers them in any way and only gives them more quilt to pull over their heads. Going this route would ensure they last a long long time. However, after my son threw up all over his in Glacier NP last month… I was sort of glad we had synthetic for him due to washing issues. So sorry I don’t have a ton of thoughts! Good luck!

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