Reviews You Can Rely On

Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie - Women's Review

Very mild protection from this jacket combining a sun shirt and your favorite hoody
mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review
Credit: Mountain Hardwear
Price:  $85 List
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
54
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 5.0
  • Breathability - 30% 7.0
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 5.0
  • Versatility - 10% 6.0
  • Water Resistance - 10% 2.0

Our Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie is a soft, comfortable sweatshirt-like garment that's a bit like wearing your favorite hoody. It leaves behind the crinkly fabric of so many other windbreakers in favor of pliable nylon, a half-zip, and a kangaroo pocket. With smooth, fully elastic cuffs, hem, and hood liner, this simple garment pulls on overhead for a relaxed fit that's easy to layer. Though it's not an impressive contender in the realm of wind or rain protection, we love being able to take this low-weight alternative to a slouchy sweatshirt on all our backcountry adventures.
REASONS TO BUY
Soft and flexible
Simple design
Enjoyable cuffs
Comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Not very windproof
Soaks up water
Doesn't pack into pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie is a half-zip, hooded windbreaker made of 100% nylon. It's a relaxed-fit jacket that features a kangaroo pocket and two single-snap chest pockets.

Performance Comparison


mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - a simple jacket without too many frills that's very comfortable to...
A simple jacket without too many frills that's very comfortable to wear.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Wind Resistance


This windbreaker lacks the stiff protection of so many others, instead using slightly thicker nylon fabric and mesh-lined pockets to aid in cutting the wind. It does okay in the breeze but isn't particularly noteworthy or impressive. Fully elastic cuffs and an elastic hem help close it off from breezes better but lack any adjustability. A scuba-style elastic-rimmed hood keeps your head covered as the winds blow. The hem doesn't drop noticeably in the back and is a bit on the shorter side — once again, more like a sweatshirt than a windbreaker.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - a half-zip adds to the sweatshirt vibes of the echo lake hoodie.
A half-zip adds to the sweatshirt vibes of the Echo Lake Hoodie.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Breathability


What this jacket lacks in wind protection it makes up for in breathability. The fabric that lets through so many elements also helps you vent heat more efficiently while you move. The kangaroo pocket and both chest pockets are mesh inside, offering additional venting opportunities that, without zippers, you can't ever close off completely. The soft, smooth cuffs are easy and comfortable to wear pushed up. Wearing the Echo Lake Hoodie truly feels like wearing a lightweight, slightly more technical version of our favorite hoody.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - these are some of the most comfortable cuffs to wear pushed up of...
These are some of the most comfortable cuffs to wear pushed up of any windbreaker we've ever tested.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight and Packability


At 6.5 ounces, the Echo Lake Hoodie isn't winning any awards for being lightweight. It's only marginally heavier than average among models we tested, though, and the gap between this jacket and the ultralight options is just a few ounces. Unlike so many others, though, this one doesn't pack into its own pocket, leaving you to cram it into your bag — which is rather easily done. Though minimal, the Echo Lake Hoodie is constructed well and proved decently durable during our several months of testing. Our only concern is that the elastic lining the cuffs, hem, and hood may not last as long as the rest of this jacket.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - rather than having an adjustable hem, hood, or cuffs, the echo lake...
Rather than having an adjustable hem, hood, or cuffs, the Echo Lake Hoodie is all elastic-rimmed.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


If you're hunting for versatility in terms of elemental protection, the Echo Lake Hoodie isn't a great choice. However, in milder conditions, we found plenty of situations and reasons to wear this interesting jacket. It's a great layering piece over a t-shirt as the sun drops while still fitting easily under a bulkier layer as the evening grows colder. If you've ever lamented leaving that big cozy sweatshirt behind on a camping or backpacking trip in the interest of space and weight, the Echo Lake Hoodie is an excellent replacement. Its kangaroo pocket makes a cozy hand cove and is plenty large enough to store items when you need your hands free. Two chest pockets are easily accessible even when wearing a hip belt or harness. And the comfort of this exceptionally pliable, non-swishy windbreaker that pulls on over your head is superb.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - two chest pockets offer storage even while wearing a hip belt or...
Two chest pockets offer storage even while wearing a hip belt or climbing harness.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Water Resistance


Here again, is another weak point for the Echo Lake Hoodie. Lacking any sort of DWR treatment or protective coating of any kind, the nylon fabric of this jacket doesn't bead water even remotely. If having a little rain protection is important to you, this isn't going to do the trick. Though this is a weak point for the jacket, we don't think it's a dealbreaker.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - the echo lake hoodie doesn't repel water.
The Echo Lake Hoodie doesn't repel water.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


Just shy of the average price among windbreakers we tested, the Echo Lake Hoodie can be worth its price, depending on what you're looking for. If wind and water protection are at the top of your list, this one isn't worth it. But if a little protection and a lot of comfort in a lightweight package are more your style, we think you'll like this top.

Conclusion


The Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie is a soft windbreaker that's more like a cross between your favorite old slouchy hoodie and a performance-focused sun shirt. It's only okay against the wind and quickly soaks up every raindrop, while at the same time offers soft fabric and a simple design that's easy to love wearing. If you wish you could take your pajama sweatshirt on your backpacking trips, try this jacket instead.

mountain hardwear echo lake hoodie for women wind breaker jacket review - we love wearing the echo lake hoodie on zero days just hanging...
We love wearing the Echo Lake Hoodie on zero days just hanging around camp.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Nichols
 
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