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ProView – Outdoor Research Echo Hoody

The perfect layer to match a spring’s variable conditions. A layer you can keep on all day from cold mornings to warm and sunny afternoons, this layer is the key to an efficient spring outing.

Outdoor Research Echo Hoody

Product Description: High-exertion workouts and high temps don’t always play nice together, unless you’re rocking a piece from the Echo Collection. Built with UPF sun protection, AirVent™ moisture management, ActiveFresh™ odor control technology, and topped off with an anti-chafing flat-seam design, the Echo Collection is the smarter way to tackle the heat. From sun-scorched desert climbs to sweltering ultra runs, the Echo is your perfect balance of tech-packed performance and ultralight protection.

Price: $65 MSRP

  • Durability
    (5)
  • Fit
    (4.5)
  • Style
    (5)

Summary

This layer is meticulously designed with the endurance athlete in mind. Non-abrasive seams with an odor resistant fabric will protect you in the scorching heat. It is light enough to put into your pack without hesitation. The OR Echo Hoody is quickly becoming my every-adventure layer.

Overall
4.8

Pros

  • So light and breathable that you forget you have it on.

Cons

  • The cuffs on the sleeves are tight for a watch wearer due to the integrated mittens.

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Out of the box, I took the Outdoor Research Echo Hoody on a brisk morning run in my backyard Vail trails. Running through the tacky singletrack left by spring rain, I discovered the conditions where this layer truly shines. A few miles into my run, this layer was able to keep my body warm in the cold morning temperatures, all the while wicking sweat away from my body as it got caked in mud and snow. Working hard on the steep uphills, I never felt as if I was overheating or had a need to take the layer off. Upon cresting the high point of my run the sun came out, drying out the muddy and snowy trails. I put the hood on for sun protection as I finished the run back to my doorstep.

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Given the success I found on this morning run, I immediately discovered the potential for this layer in the sport of ski mountaineering. Spring ski mountaineering sees the greatest flux in conditions and weather out of any sport that I do. Usually starting in the dark, I chase cold mornings to try to beat the wet-slide cycle brought by the hot afternoon sun. This base layer, paired with a light softshell jacket does wonders when you try to crank out some miles on the skin track before the sun rises. When the sun does rise, I take off the softshell and the Echo Hoody is just enough to keep me warm as I skin closer to my objective. On this particular day, I was chasing some spring corn in the elk mountains of Colorado.

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outdoor-research-echo-hoody-review-dirtbagdreams.com

I found first light looking upon the most photographed peaks in North America, the Maroon Bells. Immediately I could see my line, a perfect split between North Maroon and Maroon peak. With a little bit of chill in the air, I took off towards the east side of the Maroon Bells in the shadow of the looming Pyramid Peak. After an hour of steep kickturns, I took off my sweaty pack at the base of Maroon Peak, looking up at the 2,000-foot couloir. With crampons on my feet, skis strapped to my pack, and the Echo Hoody on my back, I start climbing my way to the top.

As clouds rolled in and out of the Maroon Creek Valley, the temperature was as variable as it could be. Tingling cold ears in one minute, and a burning neck the next. The beauty of the Outdoor Research Echo Hoody is that it protects in both situations. It keeps the cold wind off of your body and is a light protective layer against the sun as well. From top to bottom, I kept the Echo Hoody on the whole time.

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Nearing the top of the line, the cold air started whipping over the bells to hit me and I stopped to put on a windbreaking softshell. On the cold and exposed ridgeline, I quickly transitioned for a quick ski descent. A few icy turns, one glorious turn of spring corn, and the rest of the snow was sloppy mashed potatoes. Ski mountaineering in a nutshell. Taking my softshell off for the rest of the descent, the OR Echo Hoodie was the only layer I needed for the exit on a scorching spring day. Soon, we near our bikes that we stashed away to approach the Maroon Bells on the closed Maroon Creek road and we were flying back to the fresh strawberries waiting in our car.

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Fit/Comfort

This layer is very light. It is a form-fitting layer that will contour to your body. With this kind of tight fit, chafing is always a consideration. I found that, surprisingly, chafing was not an issue. The seams used in this layer are flat and non-abrasive, a key feature for the endurance athlete who will wear this layer for hours on end in hot sweaty conditions.

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Look/Style

Outdoor Research took the care to design it with aesthetics in mind. This is a flattering layer that will complement athletic body types best. This isn’t a spandex type of layer that feels restrictive or borderline claustrophobic. This layer feels like its namesake, an echo, subtly draped on your body to the point that you will forget you are wearing it.

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Features

This layer was designed with sun protection in mind. The fabric is integrated with UPF sun protection that will keep harmful and exhausting UV rays off your body. Additionally, this layer comes with integrated mittens on the sleeves. You roll them onto your hands and voila! Mittens. I keep forgetting they are there until I try to put the sleeve on over my watch. The integrated mittens keep the cuff tight.

Weight/Packability

At four ounces, this layer is incredibly light and packs away to basically nothing. I have zero hesitation throwing it in my pack or running vest as a just-in-case layer without any weight penalties.

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Function/Performance

This layer does not smell. Seriously. Outdoor Research has a winning fabric here. On long sweaty tours and runs, I found that this was the only garment that did not smell horrendously after being saturated with sweat.

Durability/Construction

I took this layer on heinous bushwhacks accessing some big mountains in the gores and elks in Colorado. Constantly berated by stray branches and twigs, the only noticeable form of wear is a small thread pulled on the shoulder. For how delicate this layer appears, it is incredibly durable.

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Room for Improvement

This layer has integrated hand covers that fold away. They are a unique feature for a layer like this but seem a little out of place. They form a tight cuff around your wrists and I found that it was challenging to take it on and off when I wear my bulky GPS watch. Overall this is a minor inconvenience for a unique feature.

The Final Word

This layer is meticulously designed with the endurance athlete in mind. Non-abrasive seams with an odor resistant fabric will protect you in the scorching heat. It is light enough to put into your pack without hesitation. The OR Echo Hoody is quickly becoming my every-adventure layer.

Shop the Outdoor Research Echo Hoody on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

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Aidan is a ski mountaineer based out of Colorado. When he is not climbing and descending peaks in the American West, he is an outdoor educator, working with schools and nonprofits guiding groups through the Colorado wilderness. 

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