For bags how about the Enlightened Equipement quilts?
- They are affordable(not cheap): $200, for a 30F 6' regular width, 20.5 oz.
- A quilt is is nicer than a mummy bag in summer here in the midwest. Many nights don't cool off, like it does in the mountains, you now you are stuck at 55F trying to stay comfy zipped up in a 30 mummy bag, ick!
-They are made right here in the midwest, not in China.
For light frame packs, look at the usual suspects:
and a few others i can't think of right now.
For rain gear try the O2 Rainshield, with 3M Propore. (Similar to Dryducks). It's cheap, very light and VERY breathable, more so than many more expensive jackets. it's not durable, but for on trail hiking(most common here in the midwest) and occasional use(it's not that rainy) they are perfect.