Cottage industry manufacturers are an incredible resource. They create equipment that fills a very small very useful niche.
Based on equipment I have, or will have very soon...
He's making my cuben fiber quilt. It allows me to drop a lot of pounds from my pack without giving up cold weather comfort.
Incredible down balaclava. Most head warmth for very little weight.
Anti Gravity Gear
He's making me a ~6 oz vapor barrier suit. Custom sized. This will allow me to wear extra clothing under my vapor barrier quilt, or even hike in that clothing, without sweating into it and making it cold and heavy. Oh yeah, he's making me a freezer bag cozy too...not custom, but close...he introduced it at an even almost right after I emailed him about one.
End2End Trail Supply
Extremely light and compact hand made stoves. Exceptional service.
A very light inflatable pillow that somehow has survived the abuse I've thrown at it.
A very unique design for a tarp tent with full bug protection (Hexamid) that makes other lightweight tarp tents look fat and bloated. I mean it fits in a gallon size freezer bag!
An incredibly light and well priced bivy with custom options...one of the only lightweight side zip bivies I could find.
Who thought a fire starter could be cool?
Light and tough backpack accessory packs that look like they could come from a major manufacturer, except for its weight.
They create a bear resistant food canister that looks like it'd come out of a shop that builds satellites, and I'd know. It's the biggest bear canister, yet weighs less than some of its smaller competitors. I believe it's the most bear resistant canister as well.
While not approved in all areas, they produce a bear resistant fabric bag that's lighter and easier to carry than any canister.
They produce some of the best priced core supplements that I've found anywhere. They beat the poor quality supplements in price while beating most of the top quality stuff in quality as well. Yet instead of putting bold faced lies and graphics in my face, they let the product do the talking. I've expanded the scope of my supplements from them from protein to sources of fat and carbohydrates too. Literally half of my dietary intake will come from this place during my thru hike. All their stuff is grown and processed locally.
Vapor barrier socks. I haven't used them yet, but they should be more durable than bread bags, yet just as effective.
They've come up with a very slick bottle cap that allows me to reuse a soda bottle for carrying fuel, but that's not it, it also has a straw built into it to suck up unburned alcohol.
A carbon fiber & titanium ice axe that only weighs about 5 ounces. As if that's not enough, he's the guy responsible for my cuben fiber quilt.
I probably missed a few. I'll throw in notable mentions for BPL, Ray Jardine, and Thru-hiker.