1. Fred Brockman
    Fred Brockman September 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Nice appetizer of the many little guy manufacturers out there. FWIW, Borah Gear also has a nice sub-7 ounce bivy (3 choices of fabric) that is the same price or slightly cheaper that TiGoat’s bivys. I used it extensively this year and really liked it. It should be noted that neither TiGoat or Borah Gear bivys are waterproof on the top so need to be paired with a tarp (for example, 5 ounces in cuben) — still quite lightweight at 12 ounces total for a flexible shelter system. fred

    1. Fred Brockman
      Fred Brockman September 25, 2014 at 3:52 am

      To be fair, the full weight of the cuben tarp with stakes, lines, line locks, and sack is 9 oz. So, if one is into such a bivy and tarp setup, it can be done at 16 oz.

  2. Mike
    Mike September 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Hey Ray!

    Great post and topic, these manufacturers are amazing and deserve all the promotion they can get!

    I actually have put together a pretty comprehensive list of as many of these cottage manufacturers here (https://lwhiker.com/brands) and hope to start highlighting them in similar blog posts!

    I <3 my Six Moon Designs Starlite!

  3. martin
    martin September 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Not only have I heard of all of them, I’ve bought stuff from all of them.

    What do I win?

  4. Bob Welch
    Bob Welch September 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Enjoyed your post, Ray. My brother-in-law and I are a couple of old farts who have done Oregon’s segment of the PCT and, in August, the JMT. We both have Six Moons Design Lunar Solo tents and love them. A 30-ounce tent that’s all you need — and handled that JMT rain well in early August. Only in Oregon do you run into the head of the Portland company who makes your tent … while you’re on the PCT. (Mentioned him in my book, “Cascade Summer.”) Keep writing. Enjoy your stuff.

  5. geekgirl
    geekgirl September 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    I actually am familiar with all these cottage industry manufacturers. Although I never purchased anything from Hyperlight, (I ended up going with a different tent), I can give some feedback on the others.

    I have a pair of Goose Feet down slippers from Titanium Goat, and they are superb! Just a couple of ounces will keep your feet toasty warm, even in the 20’s.

    I have a very old Minibulldesign stove, from way back when he first started. I have switched to the Flat Cat Gear system (LOVE being able to truly dry bake on the trail), but I still watch some of Tinny’s YouTube videos. He has some good dehydrating videos on there.

    I have owned a couple of “poncho” shelters, and in my opinion, the Gatewood Cape, (named after Grandma Gatewood) is the only one that is really usable in a storm, and the only one I would bring on the JMT. I love mine, and intend to get the bug netting too!

    I have a couple of pieces of clothing from Rail Riders. They have very minimal selection for women, (their catalog is 90% male clothing) and I definitely like the pants better than the shirts. I have the Sun Tech and Hydro Zip shirts, and both snagged very, very badly, just brushing past bushes on a trail, but the pants are bomb proof.

  6. Arla Hile
    Arla Hile September 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Great to get the word out, it’s important to point out that not all of the cottage makers will empty your bank account (ULA backpacks come to mind). Lots of discussion about many of these resources on the backpackinglight.com site, although Mike’s list above really takes the cake for comprehensiveness and – darn it! – now I have more surfing to do.

    FWIW my Rail Riders shirt lasted several trips including this year’s JMT thru, although it’s really ugly now and I can’t get the stains out from where it rubbed against my pack. I love how it protects from the heat on hot days, and if there’s something better out there I’d love to hear about it!

  7. Arla Hile
    Arla Hile September 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

    PS Don’t forget that Goosefeet makes wonderful little down pillows in a range of sizes and weights. Mine is 1.5 oz of ahhhhhh…

  8. SeanW
    SeanW December 23, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Great article thanks for writing it.

    I’d also like to add Lightheart Gear for a gear maker you might not have heard of. Their Solong 6 clocks in at 2lbs 1 ounce for me and is cavernous for my 6’4 frame. It’s also generally cheaper at around 300 dollars than most larger label solutions that weigh 1-2 pounds more.

    And if I can keep plugging away at solutions I like, Enlightened Equipment makes a fantastic down quilt that’s fairly affordable (300 dollar range) and very light.

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