I just got back from a multi-day trek into a California piece of the Pacific Coast Range, and while the details aren't important for the purposes of this thread, it will suffice to say that this will have been the absolute LAST trip wherein I slept on the ground. (I'll spare the frustrated, expletive-laced rant another time.)
I was hoping I might avail myself of your collective experiences to help select a new sleep system. I have read the official "newbie recommendations" thread, and likewise I have used the search function to seek out similar advice. However, even with these assets, I'm still having a bit of trouble making a decision based on my individual needs. This is where, I was hoping, you folks come in.
1. Weight is a major factor. Not only am I making an earnest effort to move into the realm of ultralight hiking, I usually hike with a fishing pole and often hike with a pistol (for small game)*, so my pack is already heavier than it needs to be.
2. Weatherproof properties are of high importance, too. I live in the very wet and rainy Pacific Northwest, so my sleep system needs to be able to handy nasty weather.
3. I currently have no sleeping bag; my old one has finally given up the ghost, and i need to buy a new one. As such, I am completely open to the possibility using an underquilt. In fact, because I have read in many threads about the hassle of using a sleeping pad with a hammock (not to mention the fact that my Thermarest-style REI pad weighs a ton), I'm even favoring the notion.
4. (edit: I should have mentioned that I'm about 5'11" and weigh, depending on the season, anywhere from 165-180.)
So there ya go. Suggestions? Truth be told, when I first learned about hiking/camping-specific (I had "car camped" with a netting hammock and a big, bulky Coleman sleeping bag with I was a kid), the choice seemed easy; a HH Explorer Ultralight! But once I started reading about other manufacturers, other configurations, bridge hammocks, sleeping pad problems, underquilts, overquilts, blah blah blah...! Well, I'm now thoroughly confused and unsure; help!
Many, many thanks.
*Before anybody gets all riled up, don't worry: I'm the good, sportsmanlike, ethical, conservationist kind of hunter, not the bad, dog-using, beer-can-littering, cliche redneck kind of hunter.