First Look: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 1 Shelter System

Posted on 24 Oktober 2010

First of all I want to say that I’m so happy to be one of the first owners of this great shelter system made by Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a new and fantastic manufacturer on the UL outdoor market. I really couldn’t wait for better weather so I spent some hours today with playing around and pitching my new HMG Echo 1 shelter system that you can get some impressions. The Echo 1 shelter system consists of 3 parts (tarp, insert and beak) and every part is individually applicable. Now I would like to illustrate you every part of this shelter system with some technical infos and lots of photos. Let’s start.

Echo 1 Tarp

First of all I want to start with the tarp. The tarp is made with lightweight CF8 cuben fiber and has very similar dimension like other tarps on the market (MLD Grace Solo or BPL Nano). It has a length of 260cm, a width of 214cm at the front and a width of 153cm at the back. All sides have an excellent catenary cut for a good looking and easy pitching.

The catenary curve ridgeline of the Echo 1 isn’t sewn. It is full taped with a wide adhesive tape, bonded and has a sealed feld seam. This kind of production is very strong and gives the ridgeline a well done appearance.

Coming now to the anchor points. All anchor points are reinforced and bonded. The edges are folded over and sewn. The two corner reinforcements on the front have snaps to attach the beak.

Two metal rings on the front and back facilitate the pitching of the HMG Echo 1 with the help of the trekking poles.

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 1 tarp comes along with beautiful looking dyneema guylines and linelocs at every anchor point. These linelocs are not the lightest, but they are easy to handle.
There are also two loops incorporated in the ridgeline to attach the insert.

Last but not least the HMG Echo 1 is a splendid tarp with an excellent processing. There are some other tarps on the market with similar dimensions and everyone must decide for themselves what he wants. I’m personally fascinated of this shelter system and I can’t wait to test it on the trail.

Echo 1 Insert

The second part of the HMG Echo 1 shelter system is about the insert. The insert is a complete freestanding and independent shelter made with cuben fiber und mesh with perfect protection against ground water and midges. It has a seam sealed bathtub floor made with black CF15 cuben fiber. The side and rare panels are made with the same CF8 cuben fiber like the tarp and the beak. Furthermore the ceiling and the front door are made with lightweight mesh and the front door has a duel zipper.

Really big front door. The insert offers you a lot of space. It has a length of 210cm, a front width of 82cm and a rear with of 51cm. The height of the insert at the front is 97cm.

View from the back side

Therefore the HMG Echo 1 insert has 6 straps to secure it to the tent. You have straps for the anchor point on the frontside and two straps for the anchor points at the back. Furthermore there are starps at the front and back side to secure it along the ridgeline. There are also 4 straps at the bathtub floor corners to secure the insert on the ground.

If you want to have a freestanding insert you must add the guylines of the ridgeline and attach them at the lineloc of the insert. Now you can pitch the insert with the trekking poles. It is also helpful to add some guylines instead of using the short straps.

Echo 1 Beak

Coming now to the third part of the HMG Echo 1 Shelter system, the beak. It is not normal to have a sewn or clickable beak at the tarps on the market. This is very special and that is the reason why I like the Echo 1 so much. The beak gives you a good protection against bad weather and windy nights. It is also made with strong and robust CF8 cuben. All corners are double reinforced and the beak has a double-pull waterproof zipper and it is possible to open the beak to the left or the right side.

Waterproof zipper

HMG Echo 1 with open beak


Attaching the beak is very simple, but attaching the beak with a good looking is another story and very tricky. Your Echo 1 tarp really needs a perfect A-frame for an excellent setup of the beak. You have a velcro for the trekking poles and two snaps at the corners of the front side of the tarp. Furthermore you have also a clip on each side to attach the beak to the middle of the anchor points.

View from the side

It took a bit of time to find the right position for the beak. On my first attempt the beak was hanging like a limp sack. In another attempt, he was too tight. After playing around some minutes I found a acceptable set-up for the beak and I was satisfied. Here is a photo of my first attempt.

To attach the guyline of the beak you can use the tent stake of the front trekking pole, but I prefer to use a separate tent stake and it is better to close the zipper of the beak under the front guyline and not over it. With this solution you can reduce the load on the seams. The cuben fiber is sewn together with the zipper and tends to tear out under heavy load.

Final Words

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 1 shelter system is excellent. The processing is superb. Some would say it is too expensive, but it is made with the best fabrics and excellent quality has its price. This shelter system offers you a lot protection in every season. I would say that is an optimal system for trips in Scotland or Scandinavia. The great insert offers lots of space and protection against the bad midges.

Coming now to another interesting point, the weight. The HMG Echo 1 tarp comes along with a weight of 230g (inclusiv all guylines), the beak weighs 115g which is great for this additional protection and the insert weighs 310g. Finally you have a complete shelter system with a weight of 671g (cuben stuff sack, tarp, beak and insert).

Let’s see how the shelter system works under real conditions. I will make some trips in the next time and I will write a separate article with my thoughts and experience. But don’t be sad. I will test the insert next year when it is getting warmer. In winter I prefer to use the tarp and the beak in combination with a bivy bag.

If anybody is interested to read a great interview with Pierre from HMG click here.


  • http://www.nielsenbrownoutdoors.com RogerB

    Thanks HrXXl for a very useful review of the Echo 1, your photos clearly show the detail and quality of the workmanship that goes into making this shelter system. I was intrigued to see the combined weight of shelter inner and beak is 677 grams, which is exactly the same as the weight of my MLD Speed Mid with perimeter bug netting. I look forward to hearing more about the use of the shelter as it is evident that this shelter is at the forefront of developments in UL outdoor gear.

  • Obvious

    You and Hendrick really should consider moving in together.

  • mckenzie

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  • Pingback: Vassfaret: Slippery and Wet (Part 1) | hrXXLight()

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