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  1. #1
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    Default HMG Echo 2 w/ Insert w/Floor - Why so little love?

    Hi,

    Just curious as to why there seems to be few people rocking this option on the trail. Is it because of issues with rocks and stakes for set up that is the issue?

  2. #2
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Or maybe because of price? $700 in white, $775 in green. Plus shipping. Yes, it's light, but also has limited headroom and a front entry - features that lots of people don't like. Lots of very serviceable high quality lightweight tents with more interior room and better entrance systems are available at half that price or less.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 01-05-2019 at 10:10.

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    Outside of the cost...which is prohibitive to most at retail...doesnt it also taper to like 44 or 45 inches? They had a huge sale on them last year and I kicked it around. However, based on wide pads for me and my main hiking companions , it was a non starter.

    That's a hefty price for a 1.5 shelter.

  4. #4
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    Price. When I was looking to change my shelter setup a few years back and made a list of those that had the options I was looking for the only thing extra it really offered was taking more of my money. I don't recall any features it offers that aren't available on similar models with a savings of upwards of 30-40% of cost.

  5. #5

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    Meh. HMG Shelters. Theyre incredibly well built with some of best fabrics on the market.

    Why are they not that popular with thru hikers? They're expensive and their not that light. Theres cheaper, lighter alternatives that work better for thru hikers.

    Expeditons, mountaineering, they make more sense. A thru hike on a triple crown trail not so much. Im sure they would work awesome though. But why spend 700 on a tent when you can get a Tarptent for 300 at the same weight?

    Their flat tarp is nice option for thru hikers.

    The echo system in particular?

    Yama Cirriform and MLD Patrol seem like better choices for a hiker.

    Both cheaper and lighter too.

    The ultamids ARE nice.. but so arent MLD mids.

    I want a solomid so bad.

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  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Yama
    “2P CIRRIFORM DW - DYNEEMA
    $765.00”
    Yikes! HMG isn’t alone.
    ‘Nuff said.
    Wayne

  7. #7

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    If you look at photos/videos of the Echo, it’s very small for a 2p and is front entry which make it less appealing. Add the price tag to that, and there are more options.

    There is a new prototype shelter by HMG in the testing phases. There is little out there but I know of someone testing it as we speak. I’m interested to see what the final design will look like.

  8. #8
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    HMG gets love from remote adventurers, expeditionists, and explorers that require light and UL wt gear with durability, functionality, and reliability in rougher than AT, PCT, known CDT, known summer JMT type single track massive infrastructure support conditions. Climbers, alpinists, ski tour enthusiasts, mixed trips, high elev and off season backpackers that know the absolutely lightest UL/SUL shelter may not be the most suitable, backpackers/packrafters, mountain river paddlers, AND those that want lasting light and UL gear value that meets a diversity of activity applications.
    *HMG gear is built to transition very nicely to light and UL single track hiking approaches on those big name single track trails. That can make HMG gear less costlier than purchasing different pigeon holed shelters for those different activities. There are variations of light and UL approaches. HMG considers that. That's where I believe HMG shines.

    Call me naive or nationalistic but I care about supporting U.S. based smaller gear manufacturers and the ME craftsmanship mindset too. There are several smaller gear companies that display this quality.


    Total price of the HMG Echo II isn't that astronomical considering build quality, DCF, wt of the DCF, 2 p, and it being a modular integrated system. Compare carefully to TT Notch Li DCF, ZP Duplex( DCF .51, non modular), SMD Haven DCF with DCF net w/ floor insert, YAMA DCF A frame set ups w/ DCF net inserts, etc. The Echo II system for that amount of durability and reliability in an A frame config for the backcountry in rougher conditions could be the ticket for largely off trail high elev traverses like in the Winds, Canadian Rockies, European "GR and E" alpine trails, Patagonia, U.S. Rockies, the Whites, umm Maine under a snow load and high wind, where HMG is located, etc Everything isn't about the absolute lightest wt gear out of context of other aspects. Look at who HMG sponsors and blogs. This is NOT a slight against ZP but everything isn't always about ZPacks. Nor is backpacking relegated to the AT and only fair weather outdoor front country activities and conditions.

    In a heartbeat traveling to Europe to LD backpack or walk about around for the summer or shoulder seasons, Patagonia, or in Asia on something like the Great Himalayan Tr I'd heavily weigh towards a HMG DCF pack...simple, less moving parts to fail, durable, reliable, highly water/wind/wind blown sand resistant, not featureless,... not the lightest of all backpacks but I wouldn't want it to be. And, when I got back to the U.S. it would still have many miles of usefulness.

    Consider the useful lives and reliability of some UL DCF backpacks in the $350 category that with constant awareness of providing TLC one MIGHT receive 3000-4000 miles and how the wt tends to go up as the user patches it with more duct tape.

    Perhaps, more backpackers are desiring side entrances than front too. Although other users like climbers, alpinists, XC skiers, etc tend to like top entrances to position it away from the prevailing wind. Some adventurers are in confined narrow CS and sleep conditions.


    Andrew Skurka and Paul Magnanti "Mags" who have experienced a wider variety of different outdoor activities in a wider number of conditions, are observant, plugged in, good communicators, constantly evolving/pushing themselves, and widening those experiences display their insight when commenting on how specialized in gear, knowledge, and narrowed skill sets...and mindsets...some people, including hikers, can be. That's one reason I like to constantly challenge comfort zones and listen and consider what others are doing beyond familiarity. Umm, it's my illusion Nat Geo considered that when Andrew was chosen as the Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber714 View Post
    Hi,

    Just curious as to why there seems to be few people rocking this option on the trail. Is it because of issues with rocks and stakes for set up that is the issue?
    A lot of reasons, but mostly because it's a $700 A-frame tarp. They're not as sexy as the other DCF offerings available, plus they're not very storm-worthy with the added disadvantage of being more difficult to pitch. Don't get me wrong, a DCF tarp is my go-to shelter for lightweight solo travel, but I'm keenly aware of their pros/cons.

  10. #10
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    Hmm? A frames with enclosed beak set up while being mindful of storm worthiness are not very storm worthy? Lower the foot end, max the width spread, lower the side hems to the ground, and pitch it into the prevailing wind direction.- storm mode. Get into some cover or add some wind block like pitching next to a large boulder and choose a CS with less storm exposure...just as anyone can with any tent or hang or bivy. Pitching ease and storm worthiness are additionally increased with catenary curve cut hem and ridge lines compared to some flat shaped tarps. The DCF adds ease of taut pitch and since it's DCF 8 is stronger for storms with snow loads than some DCF .51 designs. Anticipating higher risk of experiencing storms switch out to better holding stakes, place rocks etc over the stakes or add a bungee segment into the guys. I don't even have a HMG Echo so I'm not saying any of this to promote any supposed awesomeness of my gear or approach but I can look beyond that stuff to recognize the positives.

  11. #11
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    Better storm worthiness than some half mid ballyhooed UL/SUL taller designs?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Violent Green View Post
    A lot of reasons, but mostly because it's a $700 A-frame tarp. They're not as sexy as the other DCF offerings available, plus they're not very storm-worthy with the added disadvantage of being more difficult to pitch. Don't get me wrong, a DCF tarp is my go-to shelter for lightweight solo travel, but I'm keenly aware of their pros/cons.
    I’m not promoting nor defending the Echo II as described in the subject line of Post #1.
    However, The post that I quoted above totally misses the functionality of the Echo II with full insert and beak. This is a double wall, as defined in today’s market, tent with vestibule. The Echo II is not simply a tarp.
    Wayne

  13. #13

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    I have the echo II tarp only. I have to say that after using it several times the only reason it was successful was because of the good weather I had on the trip. This tarp is way to small at least for me. for the same weight(more or less) I would prefer to have a nice 8x10 square cuben tarp, with an insert like the echo insert under it. This way I have full protection for the tarp size, and full protection from bugs and crawleys and a bathtub floor while having the ventilation of a tarp.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
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    AT Map 2: 265.0
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    BMT Map: 57.7
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  14. #14
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    That is not a $500 improvement over my black diamond beta lite with custom "mosquito skirt" sewn in along the perimeter. It may be a decent product, but I already have the best value, by a long shot.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible." -Feynman

  15. #15

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    I would agree with others that for $700 and 29 ounces we would all spend our money and weight expenditures elsewhere. Better suited to our own specific needs.

    However its far from a bad product. Its just too expensive in most hikers eyes.

    If it was $500 it would get ALOT more love.

    So buy a tarptent and a new quilt and move on.

    HMG has some prototype tents out there right now suited specifically towards thru hiking. Who knows? Could be the next best thing. They are listening.







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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I would agree with others that for $700 and 29 ounces we would all spend our money and weight expenditures elsewhere. Better suited to our own specific needs.

    However its far from a bad product. Its just too expensive in most hikers eyes.

    If it was $500 it would get ALOT more love.

    So buy a tarptent and a new quilt and move on.

    HMG has some prototype tents out there right now suited specifically towards thru hiking. Who knows? Could be the next best thing. They are listening.




    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    Keyword there is listening. In this small world of LDH the industry has got to listen to what the customer wants. Lets face it, a lot of these cottage companies have a very small audience (in comparison to most companies) and their best chance at success is to listen to the feedback of current customers, and the wishes/ desires of future customers. HMG does this. I remember their hipbelt pockets campaign a while back. Job well done.

    For me personally, I want more support in a pack then what I THINK HMG packs offer. They look like a cuben rucksack with straps. I understand they have alum stays but all the same. I understand this thread is about the echo II, I got stracted. I also don't care for the white material. Packs are now offered in black as I understand.
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 84.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Keyword there is listening. In this small world of LDH the industry has got to listen to what the customer wants. Lets face it, a lot of these cottage companies have a very small audience (in comparison to most companies) and their best chance at success is to listen to the feedback of current customers, and the wishes/ desires of future customers. HMG does this. I remember their hipbelt pockets campaign a while back. Job well done.

    For me personally, I want more support in a pack then what I THINK HMG packs offer. They look like a cuben rucksack with straps. I understand they have alum stays but all the same. I understand this thread is about the echo II, I got stracted. I also don't care for the white material. Packs are now offered in black as I understand.
    Yes the white packs are 50d and the black are 150d polyester over the cuben.

    A black (150d) southwest pack (dyneema x pockets all around) is probably one of the most durable two pound packs money can buy. Its also extremely water resistant and abrasion resistant. Its bomber. Its 2 lbs.

    I carried an hmg pack on the AT. Some people didnt mind 30lbs in it. Alot of us agreed that anything over 25 and it wasnt that comfortable. Everyones different. I also had a 3400 and should of had a 2400.

    I never filled my pack so it carried awkward. Lots of weight hanging low. A 2400 would probably have carried better for me.

    My biggest complaint with the HMG pack is that the compression system simply doesnt work well. You need to fill these packs like any other UL pack for it to carry well.

    I say that because if you can fill the 3400, you probably have too much weight in the pack. Unless its all down gear for winter camping. But 5 days of food + lightweight thru hiking gear and its easy to max out the comfort limit on an HMG pack.

    If I could do it again I would of bought a 2400 and never looked back. When all the weight is below the shoulder straps, its gonna carry like crap. Because of the compression system on the hmg packs its hard to fill the 3400 adequately without all the weight sinking to the bottom of the pack.

    I had the new hipbelts and they are great.

    And it should always be noted that HMG is not a cottage shop anymore. Theyre big.

    Secondly, they didnt start in the thru hiking world. Theyre gear was orginally designed for mountaineering, climbers, alpinists, etc and imo is still suited towards those groups.

    You see alot of a HMG packs on the triple crown trails. You dont see alot of their shelters.

    But now theyre making a tent designed for thru hiking. So lets see what they come up with...



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  18. #18
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    I expect that despite high material costs the big cost for HMG is labor. HMG is located in southern Maine along the coast in what is a tight labor market. If they want to ensure quality they need trained employees that hang around for awhile. That's means above minimum wage rates and benefits plus overhead for a factory. Sure there are cottage operations operating out of someone's garage that is run more of labor of love that can beat them but on occasion we see posts on WB where the principal owner/employee of a cottage firm goes dark when he is sick/injured and no longer able to crank out his gear. The alternative is to do what the big boys do and send the designs to a broker in Vietnam or China to get the gear built by contract firms. The initial quality may be acceptable but inevitably it drops as the work is shopped around as the initial shop took the work at a loss. I think GoLite used that model. The returns will be higher due to quality issues and if the design is successful then clones will rapidly appear at even a lower cost.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Yes the white packs are 50d and the black are 150d polyester over the cuben.

    A black (150d) southwest pack (dyneema x pockets all around) is probably one of the most durable two pound packs money can buy. Its also extremely water resistant and abrasion resistant. Its bomber. Its 2 lbs.

    I carried an hmg pack on the AT. Some people didnt mind 30lbs in it. Alot of us agreed that anything over 25 and it wasnt that comfortable. Everyones different. I also had a 3400 and should of had a 2400.

    I never filled my pack so it carried awkward. Lots of weight hanging low. A 2400 would probably have carried better for me.

    My biggest complaint with the HMG pack is that the compression system simply doesnt work well. You need to fill these packs like any other UL pack for it to carry well.

    I say that because if you can fill the 3400, you probably have too much weight in the pack. Unless its all down gear for winter camping. But 5 days of food + lightweight thru hiking gear and its easy to max out the comfort limit on an HMG pack.

    If I could do it again I would of bought a 2400 and never looked back. When all the weight is below the shoulder straps, its gonna carry like crap. Because of the compression system on the hmg packs its hard to fill the 3400 adequately without all the weight sinking to the bottom of the pack.

    I had the new hipbelts and they are great.

    And it should always be noted that HMG is not a cottage shop anymore. Theyre big.

    Secondly, they didnt start in the thru hiking world. Theyre gear was orginally designed for mountaineering, climbers, alpinists, etc and imo is still suited towards those groups.

    You see alot of a HMG packs on the triple crown trails. You dont see alot of their shelters.

    But now theyre making a tent designed for thru hiking. So lets see what they come up with...



    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    My post and i'm going to chime in on the pack divergence.

    I recently acquired a HMG windrider 3400 in all black. Prior pack was an osprey atmos ag 65...one cannot argue with how comfortable the ag system is for hauling heavy loads. But I bought the windrider in an effort to simply travel lighter.

    My base weight is 17.37 lbs. And the windrider 3400 black was 1/2 the weight of the atmos. I thought about the 2400 but the difference is literally .15 lbs (2.02 vs 2.17 lbs, 2400 vs 3400 in black respectively).

    I also enjoy the hills of the white mountains and figured the windrider would serve well as a light day-trip mountaineering pack. Probably stick with my Arcteryx alpha 30 for technical ice climbing as it has two ice tool attachment points as opposed to the single on the hmg windrider.

    Okay, so I also got HMG's pods which pack up nice and fill the windrider perfectly. I have four pods stacked:

    Bottom Pod (bottom of bag) - EE Revelation quilt
    2nd to bottom pod: sleeping pad, pillow, pad liner, sleeping clothes
    3rd to bottom pod: tent, stakes (Big agnes copper spur HV ul 3) (tents are in side compartment outside of bag)
    Top Pod (top of bag): clothes and misc ****

    I took it out on a small mountain on New Years Day and yes, it carries differently than the osprey...but duh. I had my water bottles and the kids so total pack weight was about 22 lbs. Honestly, I wasnt sure during the first couple of miles. But then it settled a bit on my and I think I really like it. I'm a bigger guy...5'5" 240 lbs...waist is 40". Hip belt was good...hip pockets great, loved the mesh pockets on back.

    So I think for lightweight day trips, and 3-4 days at a clip, the HMG windrider 3400 black is my go to. I would NOT put more than 30 lbs on it...then I'd switch to my osprey.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber714 View Post
    Hi,

    Just curious as to why there seems to be few people rocking this option on the trail. Is it because of issues with rocks and stakes for set up that is the issue?
    Not that this is any more popular because you must sew and seam seal it yourself, but I use a Ray Jardine silnylon tarp and inner netting tent for solo trips. I think I paid around $80 for each component. (Tarp/inner tent). Super affordable, versatile, fairly light (28 oz) and liberating that I know I can repair this shelter easily. Highly recommend.


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