I bought a lot of gear in 2009 going from around 24 pounds for a 3 day trip to around 18 pounds or less for the same trip so this is tough.
1. Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus – I originally wanted a ULA Circuit, but tried the Mariposa and it carries like it was made for me. It is just as comfortable with 20 pounds as my old Mountainsmith Phantom which was twice the weight. I liked this pack so much I also bought a Gorilla as the Mariposa Plus was a little big for my summer kit.
2. Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter & Alpinelite Bug Shelter 1.25 Combo – I had been using a BA Seedhouse SL1 and although I was very happy with it, I wanted something lighter. This combo gives me the same amount of square footage as my Seedhouse and is a full double wall shelter for a scant 23oz including stakes and guylines. That is lighter than the Tarptent Contrail.
3. BPL Pro 90 Balaclava – I am a side/stomach sleeper that has never used the hood on a sleeping bag, and I have gone through several hats and balaclava’s looking for something that was light, warm, and wouldn’t come off during the night. This is it.
ULA Rain Wrap – This is the rainwear to use in the summertime here in the Southeast.
Other items that I like, but don’t yet have enough experience with to warrant putting them in my Gear for 2009 list
Golite Ultra 20 – This is my first quilt, and it makes since to me because I never use the hood of a bag. I have used this for three nights in the mid twenties and have been plenty warm, but I don’t think three nights is enough to get me to sell off my WM sleeping bags yet, but it is getting there.
Caldera Cone – So far this is making me think of getting rid of my canister stove forever. I only have a month or so with it so we will see how it does in 2010.
Nunatak Skaha Plus with overfill – I picked this up to replace my non hooded Mont-Bell Alpine Jacket and help me push the Golite Ultra 20 down into the single digits. I haven’t gotten a chance to use it yet, but I get the feeling that is going to change here soon. We have had some cold weather here the past few weeks.
Marmot Essence - Full rain jacket protection with a nice hood and good breathability for 6.4oz in a Mens medium. It seems to good to be true, but so far it seems like the real deal.