Thanks for the report, and very well done, especially with all the pictures and attention to detail. I am horrible at documenting my trips and most of the time rely on friends taking pictures and posting them on FB or sending them to me afterwards. I focus on trying to (I hate this cliqué phrase, so forgive me, but for the sake of brevity) "be in the moment" and don't like fiddling around with a camera while I am out in nature. So kudos to you for taking the time to add lots of pics to the report!
I also laud your honesty about what worked and (more importantly) what did not work. I am not a cold sleeper (I have even done trips without a sleeping mat at all), but I still would not do SUL outside of my 2-season (late May to mid September) personal limits of my SUL system, when I only use a trimmed 2/3 foam mat for example. For 3 season my new mat of choice is the reg size Xlite, and for cold winter temps I will use that plus a reg size foam mat.
A low of 27F (-2.7C) and only a thin foam mat is just not going to work well for most people. I am going out on a trip this weekend and temps are forecasted to be about the same, and there is no way I would use a thin foam mat! I find R value of about 3 is good until about -6C or so.
Good to hear the new pack did well. I came close to buying the 2012 Murmur, but then I saw in its description that it is not build for bushwacking, so I went with a custom Zpacks Zero in hybrid fabric for toughness, which I now eagerly await.
Keep up the good work.