Since I've already posted here with some recommendations, I'll ad posts as I see/try out/talk to folks who have tried gear. If I no longer recommend a piece of gear from a previous post, I'll mention that as well. I want to help anyone who is starting to look into ultralight gear.
- Tent -
-Gossamer Gear The One/The Two - Very similar to the Zpacks, but half the price. weighs a bit more, but saving 300$, so pick your poison I suppose. It has a huge vestibule which I really like and is a good option if you want a non-free standing tent to save weight on poles.
--Zpacks duplex - most expensive and not free standing, but far and away the lightest and most people I've heard of swear by it especially if you use tracking poles for hiking anyways.
--Nemo Blaze 2p - It's what I use and it's working great for me. It's a tight fit for two, but having the added stability of using poles makes it pretty worth it for me.
-Previous entries -
Nemo Dagger - After talking with someone who's used it, it doesn't really stand out to me anymore. Go with a hornet elite or blaze if you're really interested in nemo as a brand.
Big Agnes Copper Spur - If we're talking ultralight, then this really isn't a good fit. Is it light for a free standing tent? Absolutely. Would it work great for for most? certainly. It's just not really in an ultralight category for weight. would 200% still recommend for backpacking in general.
**get titanium shepherds hooks as well. They're not super expensive and they are worth the weight saving IMO since they're not super expensive.
-Osprey Exos 48 - Really great quality and big enough for pretty much anything if you're packing ultralight short of camping for more than a week. Often on sale too. This is one of my packs
-Gossamer Gear Mariposa - My other pack that is personally my favorite when it's loaded. More expensive, but super comfy. and under 2 lbs for 60l...just a great combination. On their website, they have old models you can get for cheap; some really great deals. with a back pad you can take out as a sitting pad and a fram you can remove if you want to shed more weight, it's flexible as well. This would be my highest recommended out of any piece of gear.
-Granite Gear Virga 2- a lighter version of the crown. It is frame-less, so having heavy loads wouldn't be comfortable, but for ultralight it's great. Akwward if not fully loaded since the balance would be off without a frame, but if you're fully packed, and light, it's nice.
- Previous entries -
- Granite Gear Crown2 - I've read good things. I haven't tried it, so I'd just look at reviews. I chose the mariposa over this one, but I was close to ordering this.
-Big Agnes AXL insulated- I use it. I love it. I haven't taken it to anything super cold, but it's great for a side sleeper. a bit on the expensive side, but I think it's worth it because there is nothing worse than having a crap night's sleep and hiking in the morning.
-therm-a-rest - tried and true. I have an x-therm, and it's just fine. Not my favorite because of the edges and rolling off, but it's pretty comfy.
-Outdoorsman lab - there are a couple models, but they're all pretty inexpensive. I haven't tried it, but they get amazing reviews.
-closed foam - I can't say I really endorse closed foam any more with how light sleeping pads are. Better to have the bit of added comfort in my opinion. Since you can get short pads to even cut weight on a inflatable pad, I don't see closed foam as being worth it for the bulk.
-Enlightened equipment enigma - What I use when it's cold. It's my 20 degree bag. I can't camp below that, so I don't care about anything warmer than 20 personally.
-AEIGISMAX - I have a 30 degree version and use it like a quilt. for the price....amazing. You really can't get a better deal on a down bag IMO and it's super light. Care for it well and it will last.
-REI Magma - I've had more experience with my AEIGISMAX now, and at this point I can say this bag probably isn't worth the price. Go with the aeigismax on amazon if you want a cheaper bag.