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 - Women's
Photo: Mountain Hardwear
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $85 List
Pros:  Soft and flexible, simple design, enjoyable cuffs, comfortable
Cons:  Not very windproof, soaks up water, doesn't pack into pocket
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 15
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 7
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 5
  • Versatility - 10% 6
  • Water Resistance - 10% 2

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $85 ListCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$99 List$90 List
$89.95 at REI
$30 List
$29.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
54
79
76
69
51
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Soft and flexible, simple design, enjoyable cuffs, comfortableHelmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quicklyMany pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wearHuge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistantDecently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensive
Cons Not very windproof, soaks up water, doesn't pack into pocketNot the most waterproof, can see through thin fabricElastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed sizeLets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocketSleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy construction
Bottom Line Very mild protection from this jacket combining a sun shirt and your favorite hoodyA true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great valueA blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable priceA highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wearA 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%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Breathability (30%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
Weight And Packability (20%)
5.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Versatility (10%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (10%)
2.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
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
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

Performance Comparison


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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

The Echo Lake Hoodie doesn't repel water.
The Echo Lake Hoodie doesn't repel water.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More