Re: Sleeping bags and dome tents?
On sleeping bags, the materials are getting lighter and more compressible all the time, both synthetic and natural. Down is still the warmest material per its weight, but it also loses insulative value when wet, much moreso than synthetics. A "Cat's Meow" bag from The North Face is a great bag that isn't all that expensive. Kelty is making good bags for the money, as is Slumberjack.
For Tents, Eureka would be a ideal for a high quality and not too pricey tent. Kelty's offerings are similar. Sierra Designs makes tents that are a step up in quality, durability, lightness and price. One thing to consider is whether the tent has fiberglass or aluminum poles. Both work perfectly well and will last, but aluminum will be a step up in lightness and price. (more of an issue for backpacking than float trips, but worth considering)
Campmor.com has a great selection of both, and some good deals too.