>>"confess the "sins" of weight carried that they prefer to bring along regardless of the weight penalty. "
i carry a small, light weight New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs.
didn't know that it was a "sin"? - please, no offense, i'm just having a little fun at your expense, but i do carry the NT as stated - in my right rear pocket of my trail cargo pants, so...
it doesn't contribute to base pack wt.
[BTW, in case you're interested, there are ceramic cartridge filters (~0.2micron pore size - absolute or nominal??? i'm not sure) that literally weigh half the wt. of the filter you mentioned. cost ~$80 from campmor.com.]
have you tried using your water bottle as a pillow, with your bandana or microfiber towel (or some other cloth mat'l) b/t it & your head? if you did, how comfortable did you find it?