The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Shelter System is the lightest modular ultraight shelter we tested and provides class-leading weather protection when using all three component parts. The catenary cut, Cuben fiber A-frame Tarp weighs in at 9 ounces. The removable 4.5 ounces Beak (front vestibule) greatly increases the protected covered area. Add the 14.5 ounce Mesh Insert with waterproof Cuben floor for complete weather and bug protection. The three modular parts of this system provide the most mix and match versatility for three-season backpacking of any ultralight shelter we've tested. The Echo II has been an award winner in our past reviews, and remains one of the highest scoring models overall.
The only significant drawback to the Echo II System is the small size of its tarp, which is less protective and less comfortable when used alone than either the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp or Mountain Laurel Designs Grace Tarp Duo. Our tests found that these larger tarps provide much more comfort and weather protection when used without an insert, and they weigh as little as one ounce more. When traveling with two people, we almost always bring the entire Echo II System; the shelter's modularity is more useful in theory than in practice due to the small tarp. If you want the lightest, highest performing shelter with integral bug protection, the ZPacks Duplex (our Editors' Choice winner) is the best we've tested.