Outdoor Research Echo S/S - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, breathable, packs small
Cons: Snaggable fabric
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
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Our Analysis and Test Results
A high performer across the board, the Echo is a reliable shirt for warmer weather. Plus, it comes in a huge array of colors, so you're bound to find one that matches the rest of your gear!
Comfort should be one of your highest priorities when looking for your next running shirt, because the farther you run, the less you want to have to think about what you're wearing. This stretchy tee has a more form-fitting cut, without being tight. We appreciate the subtle v-neck, that still sits high enough to give you plenty of coverage from the sun, and that some colorways have contrasting color panels along the sides for visual interest. We love the gussets underneath the arms that help increase range of motion without a lot of pulling at the fabric, but we wish that the sleeves were slightly longer so that they didn't flare out at the edges and that the underarms were cut a bit lower. Climbers, size up to accommodate your shoulders and lats! The back hem dips an inch lower than the front, and we feel the length is great for running.
While the fabric does have the potential to snag if you're running on narrow, overgrown singletrack, the overall quality is a winner. The flatlock seams are low profile and durable, and the raglan sleeves mean that there is no seam running along the top of the shoulders. This greatly decreases the chance of rubbing underneath a running vest or pack.
A high score in the breathability category translates to our testers feeling comfortable when running in full sun on a hot day. Even when wearing a running vest, we didn't get overheated in the Echo and felt consistent airflow through the fabric thanks to the gridded polyester mesh that makes up the whole shirt. This is also one of the lightest running shirts we tested this spring, weighing in at just 1.9 oz. Pretty impressive! If you plan on running in the heat of summer, you won't be disappointed by this one.
The Echo ranked high during our drying speed test, too, where we fully soaked each shirt, wrung them out by hand, and hung them to dry on a clothesline. The top performers all reached a state of dryness within minutes of each other, and this was consistent with our field testing, too, where we experienced a quick drying of sweaty patches once we took off our running vest and the evaporative cooling effect that goes along with that.
Features & Versatility
When it comes to features, the main draw of this shirt is the AirVent fabric, which helps prevent odor and provides UPF 15 protection. Since this ultralight tee is marketed specifically for your hottest days, these are two features that are great to see. Additionally, there is one reflective logo located along the front hem.
In terms of versatility, we would certainly pick this one for running in the heat, hiking, and backpacking. We'd be less prone to wear it climbing, both because the fabric tends to snag and because it is cut fairly short in the body and could pull up and out from under the waist of your harness. The breezy airflow through the fabric will make the Echo a go-to in our summer quiver, but one we might put away pretty quickly once it starts cooling off in the fall. For travel, the packability is fantastic, taking up almost no room in a carry-on.
If staying comfortable in the heat is a high priority for you, this one is definitely worth the money. The overall quality of the shirt is consistent with the price point. While it's definitely a bit more specialized because of the ultralight fabric, if that's consistent with your running needs, it's a great buy.
The Outdoor Research Echo is a shirt we'll be recommending to all of our friends living in hot locales this summer. Breathable, lightweight, and comfortable, it's a standout technical running shirt.
— Paige Klugherz