Last week I hurt my low back and strained my iliopsoas, making it hard to stand up straight much less hike with a pack. Since then, and with more pressing concern for the lightest pack I can manage, I've popped for some additional gear, all lighter of course. And expensive - but beautiful.
Voila! Behold a Zpacks 10 degree quilt. 19.5 ounces of warmth in a quilt - $420. Everyone, but everyone I have spoken to who has this quilt absolutely loves it and thinks it is the best bag on earth. I don't know about that part yet but when long distance hikers rave about gear, Shelly listens.
Bearing in mind that quilts don't have hoods how will I keep my head and neck warm in big cold? Since a hood isn't necessary everywhere I opted to buy a hat/hood to pack and wear only when I need it. I'll start with it and when I get to Washington in fall I'll have it sent to me again. 1.3 ounces, $65.
To round out the final (to this point) gear choices I decided to sell the tent I had and go with the Zpack Hexamid Solo Plus. Total weight 18.5, including ground cloth, stakes and stuff sack. WOW. Also $475 - double WOW. But it is palatial and better suited to my needs than the other one. Again, great reviews from long distance hikers who've lived in them for months at a time.
So there you have it. The most up-to-date choices I've made and will be going with in less than two months. I only hope my back/iliopsoas trouble clears up soon so I can get back out there and keep walking. Heat, stretch, ice. My new mantra.