A great piece of gear that helped solve my side sleeping issue.
I have the 4oz. APEX Minion, and it is one of my favorite pieces of gear. The 10D side of the minion is super soft and the insulation combined makes it great to cuddle up with. When hiking or backpacking I bring it, along with a piece of polycro for it, to use as a sit pad on the cold ground. Haven't used it as a pot cozy, yet, but I've read it works great for that. It has helped me when I wasn't expecting bad weather to slow me down or stop me, and I didn't bring a dedicated hat for warmth. This can be folded/zipped/snapped together in a multitude of ways to make a great insulated hat or balaclava. It may not be the most fashionable thing out there, but that's one reason I go backpacking, to get away from some those societal norms you adhere to in everyday life. This piece of gear is definitely all function. The biggest issue that the Minion helped solve for me was a good pillow. I am a side sleeper and my shoulders aren't the slimmest, and most backpacking pillows don't provide enough height or they're too bulky and heavy and don't serve multiple functions. I got this to use originally as a stuff sack for my 10 degree Revelation Quilt, which worked fine. Then I would stuff a jacket into it for filling to use as a pillow. That wasn't the best solution, but it certainly helped a lot in terms of a pillow. However, I recently started stuffing my quilt into a dry bag so I could compress it really small and have it fit better into my pack. The dry bag worked so well in keeping the quilt form lofting back up in my pack and was very air tight I decided to loft up the dry bag at camp and stuff that into the Minion, making the Minion a very plush pillow case for an air bladder. The dry bag provided plenty of vertical support for my neck and the Minion, with the 10D fabric side facing out, made a nice plush covering that my ear didn't suction cup to at all. The insulation also helped it not feel like I was just resting on an air bladder, but made it feel more like an actual pillow. It worked so well it completely solved my main comfort complaint when trying to sleep in the backcountry. I have never slept so well and woken up with no sore neck or a dead arm trying to support my neck. It was the closest I've ever felt to waking up in my own bed at home when camping. This alone makes this worth 5 stars. Everything else this can be used for is just icing on the cake. And I bet many people have come up with more creative ways to use the Minion. And I wish I could rank it another star higher, because it made me figure out how to make the dry bag for my quilt multipurpose, too.