Enlightened Equipment offers a wide range of options for made to order sleep systems. This can cause some trouble if you are unsure or if you are between two choices. This article is meant to help smooth out some of those choices and make choosing more enjoyable. Let's break it down by option set.
We offer two types of insulation: down and synthetic. The most obvious difference is price. Synthetic insulation is less expensive than down for those with a tighter budget. It’s also simpler to clean and will lose less warmth when it gets damp or is used in high humidity than down will.
Down is, however, the more popular choice. Down has a longer lifespan than synthetic and compresses smaller. Using down allows these models to weigh less than the synthetic counterparts in a similar size and rating. For more information, check out our Insulation & Loft article.
To choose between the two, you just need to go to each option's product page. If you see the word APEX in the name, it is referring to out Climashield APEX insulation which is the synthetic option. Without the word APEX refers to the down option for the product.
Down Type (DownTek Treated):
Down type is one of the hardest options to choose as most people don't fully understand what they are. You can refer to our Insulation article for more details but, basically, it comes down to weight savings. Each down type is about an ounce different. 850 Down is our heaviest, 900 is about an ounce lighter, and 950 is about 1.5 to 2 ounces lighter. Think of the down type like feather sizes: the larger the number the larger the feather cluster. It takes less of the larger fill numbers to reach the same temperature rating as it would with a smaller number. Down type has nothing to do with temperature, just weight. With each down upgrade you get more compressibility as well, though this is typically less important as even our heaviest down still compresses extremely small.
Temperature ratings are very important. You want to make sure you stay warm enough to be comfortable, but not get to warm. Luckily our sleep systems are easily vented. So the rule of thumb is when in doubt, go warmer. you can always unbuckle from your quilt or sleeping bag and uncinch/unzip the footbox and top to let a breeze in to cool yourself off. It is much harder to create heat than it is to lose.
Something else to consider is men's vs women's ratings. Our sleep systems are men's ratings, which means that the women's rating is ten degrees cooler (a men's 20° is only rated to 30° for women). Women should keep this in mind and cold sleeping women may even need to go 20° warmer. This is all somewhat subjective, however, since everyone sleeps a little differently. It is important to know and understand your body. Just because a rating works for the majority of people does not mean it will work for you. Check out our Temperature article for more info.
The listed lengths are the recommended heights of users, however, they do have a two inch variance (so someone who is 6'2" could fit into a regular length). If you like to pull the sleep system higher than your neck/chin area, or if you want to pull it above your head (keep in mind these are hoodless sleep systems) then you may want to go up in length. The nice thing with too long of a sleep system is you can always use the extra room in the footbox as storage if needed. If you sleep on your stomach, you will have to size up as it outstretches your feet and makes you longer.
Protege - Recommended Height: 4'8" & under - Actual Length: 56"
Junior/XShort - Recommended Height: 5' - Actual Length: 66"
Short - Recommended Height: 5'6" - Actual Length: 72"
Regular - Recommended Height: 6' - Actual Length: 78"
Long - Recommended Height: 6'6" - Actual Length: 84"
XLong - Recommended Height: 7' - Actual Length: 90"
Since you don't fully wrap quilt sleep systems around yourself, you're able to get away with a slimmer sleep system. We break it down by girth, typically using the girth just above your elbows to help you with your decision. Remember that you don't want too get to wide, as your body won't be able to heat the Sleep System chamber, which keeps you warm, if it is too baggy on you. If you sleep on your stomach, you will have to size up as sleeping on your stomach flattens your body out and makes you wider. Our Sleeping bags take into account the need for extra material and room to move, so you can measure yourself the same way and still be comfortable fully enclosed.
Slim/Jr. Regular - Advised Girth: 50” & Under: Well suited to hammock users, back sleepers, very slim side sleepers, and users who have a very slim build.
Regular/Jr. Wide - Advised Girth: 48”-56”: Best suited to users who sleep either in a hammock or on a ground pad on their backs, side sleepers, and slimmer users that toss and turn.
Wide - Advised Girth: 54”-62”: Best suited to larger users who sleep either in a hammock or on a ground pad, larger side sleepers, and users that toss and turn.
XWide - Advised Girth: 60”-68”: Best suited to the largest users who sleep on a ground pad, largest side sleepers, and large users that toss and turn.
We get asked a lot about what color should I choose? Choosing colors is 100% a preference choice, and unfortunately we can't really decide those for you. Go with whatever colors seem awesome! The only thing to watch out for is the two fabric choices between the colors, you can learn more about fabric choices in our fabric article, and learn more about color options in our color article.
After you select these options your all done! Just check out and wait for it to show up so you can get out and find an adventure.