Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie - Women's Review
Cons: Not very windproof, soaks up water, doesn't pack into pocket
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
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Mountain Hardwear Echo Lake Hoodie - Women's
$80.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Soft and flexible, simple design, enjoyable cuffs, comfortable||Helmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quickly||Many pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wear||Huge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistant||Decently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensive|
|Cons||Not very windproof, soaks up water, doesn't pack into pocket||Not the most waterproof, can see through thin fabric||Elastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed size||Lets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocket||Sleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy construction|
|Bottom Line||Very mild protection from this jacket combining a sun shirt and your favorite hoody||A true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great value||A blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable price||A highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wear||A simple, casual jacket that's best for mild days and small budgets|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Hardwear E...||Patagonia Houdini -...||Rab Vital Hoody - W...||REI Co-op Active Pu...||SoTeer Waterproof H...|
|Wind Resistance (30%)|
|Weight and Packability (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Mountain Hardwear E...||Patagonia Houdini -...||Rab Vital Hoody - W...||REI Co-op Active Pu...||SoTeer Waterproof H...|
|Weight (oz)||6.5 oz||3.1 oz||4.3 oz||6.1 oz||6.6 oz|
|Material||100% nylon||100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment||Hyperlite and nylon outer||Nylon with polyester mesh||95% polyester, 5% spandex|
|Pockets||1 kangaroo pocket, 2 chest pockets||1 chest||2 hand, 1 inner zip and 2 inner open-top||2 hand||2 hand|
|Cuffs||Elastic||Half elastic||Half elastic||Half elastic||Elastic|
|Stuffs Into Pocket||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Safety Reflective Material||None||Reflective logo on front and back||Reflective logo on front and back||Reflective logo, cuff stripes, and back vent stripe||None|
|Fit||Relaxed fit||Slim fit||Regular fit||Relaxed fit||Relaxed fit|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Maggie Nichols
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