A lightweight mountain all-arounder, ideal for climbing, blocking the sun, trail running, or skiing.
Light // fitted // stretchy // cheap
Very tight fit over a helmet
Stellar item that stands out from the rest.
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Every climber needs a base layer. Every climber needs a sun hoody. The Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie is both. Throughout the years, I haven’t reviewed many items in the ultra-light sun-hoody genre, mainly because few have stood out as exceptional. But for reasons I hope to make clear, the Echo Hoodie is rad. It’s a simple, straightforward, and well-built (and designed) item that’s been very flexible for all high-energy-output mountain activities, and that’s exactly what I like about it.
At the moment, the Echo is perma-stashed in my crag pack, in the side pocket designed for stinky shoes. My feet smell like roses, so I don’t need to air them out. I’ve had the Echo for about eight months, and use it just about every week, in all seasons. The Echo is light—4.3 ounces light—and packs to nothing.
Here are the scenarios when I grab the Echo: (i) a cold morning at the crag, and I’m warming up and a T-shirt won’t do but a fleece is too much; (ii) a chilly day with lots of sun when I don’t want to get roasted because I hate putting on sunscreen at the crag—the Echo has UPF 15 protection; (iii) an ice-climbing base layer; the Echo has a hood, and so later, on a cold belay, you get extra head/neck warmth; (iv) trail running in the mountains in the morning, when it is almost always cold; you don’t notice it around your waist after you warm up; (v) an extra generic backup layer when in the mountains; and (vi), when I go skinning or backcountry skiiing in the mountains, I will be wearing the Echo only on the uphills in all temps except 15° F and below. The Echo is great because it performs in all these scenarios and is durable enough (it’s made from Airvent, a 100-percent polyester fabric) to last despite the abuse.
The Echo breathes as promised, and it is comfy on skin, i.e., no weird seams that chafe. At $65, it is cheaper than most tech T-shirts. Sizing was per the norm, and a performance fit keeps your hips looking saavy.