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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > GoLite Echo Jacket > Test Report by David Heyting

GoLite Echo Jacket
Test Series
Initial Report December 10, 2007
Field Report March 11, 2008
Long-Term Report May 6, 2008

Tester Information:
Name: David Heyting
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 6’ 0”, 1.83 m
Weight: 205 lb, 93 kg
Chest: 46", 117 cm
Waist: 38", 97 cm
Sleeve: 36", 91 cm
City, State, Country: Snoqualmie, Washington, USA

Backpacking Background:
I have been hiking and backpacking for over 15 years. A great deal of the backpacking that I do is related to mountaineering and rock climbing in the Pacific Northwest. When not climbing, I’m a hiker that tries to go light in order to push more miles. My main areas of exploration are the Washington Central and North Cascades, but I have done lots of hiking in the British Columbia Coastal Range as well as the Oregon Cascades. I am also an avid adventure racer and compete in several races each year ranging from 2 hours up to several days in duration.

Product Information
Manufacturer: GoLite
Model: Echo Jacket
Listed Weight: 9 oz / 260 g
Measured Weight: 9 oz / 260 g
MSRP: $100.00 US
Size: XL
Color: Port

Product Description:
The Echo Jacket is a light weight wind breaker that is windproof, water repellent and breathable. It features an unlined 2-layer Gore WindStopper fabric. By making the jacket unlined, GoLite states that they are able to drastically increase the breathability of the jacket. The fabric has a DWR treatment on the WindStopper outer fabric, which as per GoLite’s website provides protection in light rain, sleet and snow. The WindStopper fabric is used to keep the jacket completely windproof. This minimizes convective heat loss to keep in maximum heat. The jacket has a full front zipper and features a fleece-lined chin guard. The back has a draft flap for increased breathability. There are three pockets on the Echo; two on the sides and one angled pocket on the chest. All three are zippered and inner fabric is mesh. The Echo can also be stowed via either one of the side pockets. The sleeve hems feature elastic with a hook and loop strap that can be used to tighten the cuffs around the wrists. The hem also features a draw string with cordlocks to tighten the Echo around the waist.

Echo Jacket

Initial Report
December 10, 2007

Initial Impressions:
The GoLite Echo Jacket is a lightweight nylon jacket that features Gore Windstopper technology. I was actually quite struck by the sharp red color of the jacket. It is a nice looking shade. The jacket is unlined to reduce weight and to hopefully provide for improved breathability. The actual fabric feels extremely thin, but based on some pulling and stretching, it appears that it is fairly strong. This will be something that I will want to be following up with during the test period.

The jacket has two zippered side pockets that feature a pull strap attached to the zipper along with an angled chest pocket. All of the pockets provide more than enough room to carry a couple of energy bars. However the side pockets are slightly larger than the chest pocket. The pockets are all made with mesh. The Echo can be stowed by stuffing the jacket into either one of the side pockets. When stowed, the Echo becomes a small ball, about the size of a softball. However when I compress the Echo with a compression sack, I found it quite easy to get the jacket into a ball the size of a baseball. .

The waist features an elastic cord that can be adjusted by way of two cord locks. The cord locks are actually then secured to the jacket via a small sewn strap. That way the cords locks are held in place and should not fall off during use. The back is vented with two large openings that feature a mesh inter backing with flaps that sit on the top of the mesh to keep the jacket windproof. The design appears to allow for breathability, while trying to retain the windproof characteristics. The cuffs feature elastic bands that can be adjusted by way of a hook and loop strap.

Hook and loop strap for the sleeve cuff and WindStopper logo

The best part about the jacket is the fact that the full length front zipper features a fleece lining that covers my face when the jacket is full zipped. This is always something that I love to have on a jacket. As when I zip up the jacket it provides me with a nice soft touch.

Fleece lining for the chin

Initial Likes and Dislikes:

Likes: The sleek color and lightweight fabric.

Dislikes: Nothing so far!

Field Report
March 11, 2008

Field Conditions and Locations:
I have taken the GoLite Echo Jacket with me on several trips during the Field Testing period. My trips included a 17 mile (27 km) hike in the foothills of the Central Cascades where I climbed to the top of Mt. Teneriffe; 4788 ft (1459 m). There was about 4 inches (10 cm) of snow on the ground at the summit. Temperatures at the summit were right around 32 F (0 C). I used the GoLite Echo while in Government Camp, Oregon which is located at the base of Mt. Hood, where I spent four days snowshoeing and cross country skiing in and around the area. I logged daily trips from Government Camp up to the Timberline Ski Area. I estimate that in total I did about 15 miles (24 km) on snowshoes and about 20 miles (32 km) on skis. Temperatures were in and around the mid-twenties (-4 C). I spent a day out on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, with about 4 inches (10 cm) of fresh powder. Hurricane Ridge is at 5,240 ft (1597 m), where I logged a 12 mile (24 km) trip. I also was able to experience some much colder temperatures during a three day trip up to Whistler, Canada where I was able to do some snowshoeing while wearing the Echo in 0 F (-18 C) temperatures. The Echo was with me on a 35 mile (56 km) trek in the Issaquah Alps area in the Cascade Foothills and I used it on an 18 hour training session in the San Juan Islands that included both trail running and mountain biking at Moran State Park. The GoLtie Echo also accompanied me on seven separate shorter day trips ranging from 6 to 10 miles (10 to 18 km). I have also worn the Echo Jacket for my morning runs. In the typical week I run at least five days a week for anywhere from 4 to 6 miles (7 to 10 km). During the testing period I have gone on two over night trips, and have done 13 day hiking trips with the GoLite Echo Jacket, in addition to my daily running schedule.

Field Performance:
I have found the GoLite Echo Jacket to be a great companion on my trips. Based on the fact that I am currently training for a long adventure race, I find myself going on trips that include multiple disciplines, ranging from hiking, to running to biking and paddling. I have found that the Echo works well as a jacket that I can use for everything. I think this is due to the Gore Windstopper technology. The jacket is very lightweight however, it does indeed keep the wind out, thus when I am doing an activity like biking, it actually provides great warmth by not letting the wind contribute to making me cold. The fabric also breathes pretty well, considering its windstopping abilities. I do find that at times the jacket does become “clammy” with condensation being a concern. (This is especially true in my arms). However based on my personal experiences with fabrics that keep the wind out, the Echo Jacket, I would say, breathes better than many jackets I have worn. During my daily runs, I have expected that this issue of condensation would be a big enough problem to make me not want to use the jacket, however I have felt that the warmth, windstopping abilities and the jacket’s ability to be water resistant, far outweigh any issues that I have had with condensation.

Hiking in the ski area at Whistler with a happy hitchhiker.

I have worn the jacket during periods of rain and I have been pleasantly surprised by the jacket’s ability to be water resistant. Granted over a period of time or with heavy rain, the jacket will not hold up, however being out in light rain or a mist, is not a concern with the Echo. In those situations the Echo keeps out enough moisture to keep me from being miserable.

I have found the pockets to be easy to get at and can easily hold items such as energy bars and a GPS. The jacket does not have a hood, but does feature a collar the comes up over my chin and provides some much needed windstopping capabilities for my mouth and chin. So far the jacket seems to be pretty durable, as I have not noticed any issues or concerns with anything.

I would say that the one thing that I have been most impressed with is how much I have enjoyed wearing the Echo Jacket for trail running and fast hiking. This has been especially true during the winter with colder, wetter and winder days. Prior to the Echo I really probably would have never even considered a jacket for these activities due to the fear that I would get too hot and have to shed the jacket or would cause me to sweet too much and lead to my clothes getting wet. My experience tells me that wet clothes ultimately leads to a cold body. However I have actually found that during my winter excursion that the Echo adds just the right bit of warmth that makes these types of trips much more enjoyable for me.

Field Summary:
The GoLite Echo Jacket is a great piece of gear especially in my opinion for those people who do multiple activities, enjoy day hiking, or like to move quickly in the mountains. It uses the proven technology of Gore Windstopper to create a jacket that is lightweight, thus easy to carry, yet it provides very solid windstopping capabilities along with the ability to shed water as a water resistant layer. The jacket is equipped with some nice venting features with its mesh back flap that allows for better movement of moisture. The jacket has very functional pockets and comes in some very slick colors.

Items for Continued Testing:
I would like to test the jacket in some warmer conditions, which should not be a problem as the start of spring will occur during my Long Term Testing period. I would also like to experience some more cases of extreme wind to further explore the jacket’s ability to detour wind.

Field Testing Likes and Dislikes:

Likes: Lightweight package. The venting abilities of the jacket to help moisture move out of the jacket and the jacket’s ability to shed wind.

Dislikes: The condensation build up that occurs mainly in the sleeves of the Echo.

Long-Term Report
May 6, 2008

Long-Term Conditions and Locations:
During the Long-Term testing period, I have spent lots of time wearing the GoLite Echo Jacket on local mountains. I have made weekly trips up Tiger Mountain, which is part of the Issaquah Alps in the Central Cascade foothills. It is a six mile (10 km) round trip hike to the top, which is at 2,500 ft (760 m). I have also made five trips up and around Mt. Si and Mt. Tenerife. The two peaks feature a cross-country traverse to connect the peaks. Both are over 4,000ft (1200 m) and feature elevation gain of over 3,000 ft (900 m). I also have done lots of trail running with the Echo Jacket, using a trail system that is near my house. I would say that I have averaged about 25 to 30 (50 km) miles a week during the long term reporting period. I did three trips on snowshoes and one on cross country skis, in and around Snoqualmie pass near the Alpental Ski area and via Tunnel Creek. I was able to compete in two adventure races with the Echo Jacket. One was a sprint race, where I was packed light and tried to move fast. The other was a two day stage race that featured about eight hours of competition. The Echo Jacket has also served as my jacket of choice for mountain biking, which I have done many training rides on in addition to my hiking and trail running. All in all I have done 20 trips that I would consider day hikes during the Long-Term reporting period. If I include my daily running, that number would increase to 38 days in which I have worn the Echo during some type of physical activity during the Long-Term reporting period.

Long-Term Performance:
During the testing period, I have been very satisfied with the performance of the Echo Jacket. The jacket is very lightweight, which makes it an easy choice to carry with me on all types of trips from running to hiking to biking. The Windstopper function of the jacket worked great for me. I was especially able to notice this while wearing the jacket during biking. Biking generates lots of wind and the Echo Jacket seemed to keep me warm and content, even when cruising downhill at high speeds. Even with the windstopper abilities of the jacket, I still have found the fabric to be soft and very comfortable to wear.

Typically on almost all of my trips I found myself wearing the Echo with simply a synthetic t-shirt on underneath. This seemed to work quite well for me as I was able to keep a nice internal temperature with just the two layers. As I had reported in the field report I have noticed some condensation and sweat build-up in the jacket, however again I do not think that this was any worse than similar fabrics that I have used before.

I have found the pockets to be easy for me to access and open, even while in motion, which is very helpful on an adventure race. As well as the main zipper is easy to zip up and down while in the field to help me make adjustments to my temperature.

The Echo is easy to compress and fits in my smaller running backpacks that are designed to carry a water bladder and not much else. This is especially nice for my adventure racing as it allows me to take the Echo on races and trips that I would probably not have decided to take a jacket on.

The Echo appears to be very durable and I have not noted any issues or concerns with the construction of the jacket.

Continued Use:
I plan on using the Echo Jacket for just about anything. The fact that the Echo breathes well, is lightweight and very comfortable to wear, it will certainly be used by me in the field. During this testing period I have been wearing a t-shirt and the Echo in circumstances in which I used to wear a long-sleeve shirt. However, I have found that I actually like using the Echo Jacket better for these types and will continue to use the jacket as sort of a base layer. I also view it as a great item to carry in my backpack while on all sorts of trips as the versatility and comfort of the Jacket are well worth the pack weight.

A great jacket that can be used in a variety of outdoor applications. The Echo is a lightweight choice that keeps the wind out and the warmth in. The Jacket has smooth zippers and is very comfortable to wear.

Long-Term Likes and Dislikes:

Likes: Great Windstopper protection in a light package.

Dislikes: Nothing of great note!

This concludes my Test report. Thank you to both BackpackGearTest and to GoLite for this fantastic opportunity to test the Echo Jacket.
Read more gear reviews by David Heyting

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