At the end of every year, BPL editors put together a list of three of each of their favorite pieces of gear from the past year. It isn't a formal endorsement or an Editor's Choice award (a la BACKPACKER). Here's my entries, with one additional from my special lady.
Arctic mukluks by Steger Mukluks: My feet were warm and dry in a myriad of conditions with these muks on. For the UL hiker, they're 20 oz per foot of warmth. Try to get that out of any other full-on winter boot. You won't. Now I just need to figure out how to keep the laces from absorbing moisture and freezing at night...
Dixon Double Bivy by Oware (Dave Olson): I bought this for use with an Oware CatTarp 2 for the special lady and I, and we love it. The the Pertex has excellent water-resisting (almost water proof?!) capabilities and it kept us dry during a deluge in a poor camping site.
Z1 by Zpacks.com (Joe Valesko): Simple design with a full features made this frameless pack my go-to when I didn't need to carry a tent. Solo, I could probably go a week with the pack size and more if I didn't cook. The design only gets better with the use of Dyneema in Joe's latest iterations.
Honorable mentions: GossamerGear LightTrek3s; Integral Designs MK1 XL; Integral Designs VB socks; MYOG torso pad (hacked Ridgerest).
And the pick for women, written by my fiancee: the GoGirl. The GoGirl is an FUD (Female Urination Device) offered at the wonderful price of $6.00 a piece! Simply put: women use the GoGirl to pee standing up. No longer do I have to go 1/2 mile off trail to find a suitable tree to drop trou behind. I can stand aside the path just like my fiance. Of course, it takes some practice...and I recommend using it with a skirt. The GoGirl is made out of medical-grade silicone so it reusable and germ resistant. And the best feature for ultra-lite backpacking is it's ability to keep its shape after being shoved, squished, and compressed into the tightest places in my pack.
[edited 1/4/10 for for clarity]