I have already decided on my big three items. The big three are shelter, sleeping system and pack. I am working on more specific posts about each of these categories, with the advantages and disadvantages of the various choices within each category. However, I will provide a short discussion of my choices in each category here.
For the shelter, I have settled on carrying my tent in the beginning, switching out to a hammock midway through June and probably back to the tent mid-August. The main reason for this is the hammock tends to sleep cooler, and provides better air flow during the hotter months of the summer and I wish to give it an extended test on a serious backpacking trip.
For the sleeping system, I used to use a down filled mummy sleeping bag, but I hated it as I am a side sleeper and a mummy bag pretty much requires you to sleep on your back. I now carry a sleeping quilt instead. It is similar to a blanket, rather than a confined bag and will allow any sleeping position.
For the pack, I prefer an external frame pack to an internal frame pack for a few reasons. First, I sweat a lot and find the external frame packs a lot cooler on my back than the internal frame. Second, I find it much easier to carry the weight of the pack on my hips with the more solid external frame, than the suspension built into the internal frame packs. Finally, I love the pockets and panel zippers of the external frame packs over the more normal one large pocket of the internal frame packs. I know exactly where everything is and can find my gear much easier.
The Big Three
Tent: Taprtent Double Rainbow with extra poles so that it can be setup free standing. Weight 3 pounds, 4.5 ounces.
Hammock: Hennessy Hammock Hyperlite Asym Zip. I might use this from mid-June through mid-August. Weight 2 pounds, 4.0 ounces.
Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad with Therm-a-Rest Universal Sheet. Weight 1 pound, 2 ounces.
Sleeping Quilt: Enlightened Equipment Revelation. Weight 1 pound, 2 ½ ounces.
Pack: Jansport Carson 90 External Frame pack. No longer available. Weight 4 pounds, 13 ounces.