The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp won a Top Pick for Expert Users in this year's review. This flat tarp is the most adaptable shelter for backpacking and alpine climbing; in the hands of a skilled rigger it can be made into the most storm proof of three-season shelters. Unlike the Square Flat Tarp, the cat cut ridge line of the Grace means it essentially has to be pitched in A-frame mode every time. The A-frame pitch of the Grace works very well in the sheltered to moderately-protected campsites commonly found backpacking and thru-hiking. The other A-frame tarp we tested this year, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II, is much lighter but also much smaller than the Grace. While the Grace Tarp Duo provides great coverage and protection on its own, we find the smaller Echo II tarp needs to be used with its inner tent or vestibule to get the same protection from rain.
Mountain Laurel Designs has made a few improvements to the Grace Tarp Duo for 2016. The SilNylon version that we previously tested now weights 4 oz less, but has been upgraded to a new Pro SilNylon material designed to make the tarp more waterproof and improve its strength. The Grace tarp is available in two different styles/weights of Cuben Fiber as well.
Scroll down for a more detailed comparison of the new Pro SilNylon Grace Tarp Duo vs. The Older Version