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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > GoLite Echo Jacket > Test Report by Kevin Hollingsworth

GoLite Echo Jacket
Test Series by Kevin Hollingsworth
May 6, 2008

GoLite Echo 
Courtesy of GoLite

Initial Report (December 12, 2007)
Field Report (March 11, 2008)
Long Term Report (May 6, 2008)

 

Tester Information:

Name: Kevin Hollingsworth
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Height: 6? 1? (1.9 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Email address: kholling55@yahoo.com
City, State, Country: Williamsburg, Virginia. USA

I started backpacking and camping when I was in the Scouts. I spent 20 years in the military, which curtailed my personal outdoors adventures. While day-hiking, I normally carry a light load, a waist pack with mostly food and water and a few other things. On three to four day trips, I will carry a pack weighing about 45 to 50 lb (21 to 23 kg). I prefer to hike in the mountains. I have been hiking in Colorado (USA), Korea, Egypt, and most recently the Eastern part of the United States.


Initial Report - December 12, 2007

Product Information & Specifications:

Manufacturer:

GoLite

Year of Manufacture:

2007

URL:

http://www.GoLite.com/

 

 

Listed Specifications:

 

Weight:

9 oz (260 g)

Size:

XL (Available Sizes: S, M, L, XL)

Fit

Semi-Fitted

Color:

Grease (Available colors: Grease, Caspian Blue, Port, and Absinthe)

 

 

Measured Specifications:

 Note:  All measurements are mine (unless otherwise specified)

Weight:

9.8 oz (277.8 g)

 

 

Warranty:

The GoLite guarantee is: “GoLite stands behind its products. We will replace any gear with a manufacturing defect for the lifetime of the product, free of charge. If a product fails to perform as advertised, return it for a repair, replacement or refund. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge to the user.”

 

 

MSRP:

 $100.00 US


Product Description (paraphrased from manufacture?s website):

The GoLite Echo Jacket is marketed as an ultralite, semi-fitted, 100% windproof jacket. It is designed for use in high impact, endurance sports such as running, fast-packing, and cross country skiing. It is unlined and constructed from a 2-layer WindStopper® fabric from W.L. Gore®. The seams are doubled stitched. The fabric is treated with DWR for water repellent protection in light rain, sleet, and snow.

Zipper

The jacket has a full front zipper and a standup collar, with a fleece-lined chin guard.  The zipper has a 2.3 in (5.8 cm) long cord with a rubber-like non-slip tab attached to it. The tab has the words "GOLITE" embedded into it.

Draw cord Sleeve

The jacket has a draw cord and cord lock at the waist area. The cuff incorporates both an elastic band section and a hook and loop strap. There is a rubber-like section integrated into the strap with the company's symbol is embossed on it.

Front Pocket Vent

It has a zippered angled chest pocket and two zippered mesh-lined hand warmer pockets. It also has a mesh vent on the back of the jacket for breathability. It is stitched in place by 2 in (5 cm) of sewing  in the middle of the back of the jacket. The word "GOLITE" and the company's symbol are sewed above the chest pocket and the back vent.

Washing and repairs (from website)

Detergent residue in technical fabric degrades the durable water repellant (DWR) finish, and will negatively affect the performance of laminates to the point where their waterproof/watershedding performance is seriously impaired. If the Echo is washed in common household powdered detergent, it is essential that the garment be rinsed extremely thoroughly. Top-loader washing machines not only rinse poorly, they also contain significant amounts of detergent residue internally. At the very least, the Echo should be through several rinse cycles if it is machine washed. Another alternative is to use a special cleansing product that will not leave any performance-degrading residue in the fabric. Do not use a fabric softener of any kind on shell garments. Garment can be tumble-dried, however, excessive heat will damage laminates and may lead to de-lamination of the seam tape. To play it safe, the best course is to air-drying the garment.

Tears in wind shells and soft shells are best repaired with a sewing machine. With both straight and non-straight tears, ideally it can be patched with a similar piece of fabric. Straight tears can also be repaired by overlapping the sides and sewing over the double-width of fabric.

Initial Impressions:

My first impression of the GoLite Echo was that it is extremely light, with the exterior fabric being pleasantly soft to the touch.  It was packaged in a plastic bag, with a set of product tags attached. The product tags listed the jackets specification (size, weight, style, and color), the key features, GoLite's contact information, and guarantee.

The quality of workmanship seems superb, it seems very well made.  All of the seams are flat with double stitching. The areas where the draw cord passes through the jacket have reinforced stitching and it seems that the adjustment straps at the wrist are sewn partway into the wrist area fabric.

I am impressed by the fit of the jacket. I have a chest size of 46 in (117 cm) and according to the GoLite sizing chart my size is XL. The jacket fits snugly around my torso, with plenty of room for movement and a fleece shirt underneath. My arm measures 17 in (43 cm) from armpit to wrist. The length of the sleeves was excellent, extending down a little bit pass my wrist bone.  

Summary:

Upon my initial assessment, I like the Echo jacket and GoLite's quality of workmanship. It fits me well and is very comfortable. I am looking forward to testing this jacket out.
 

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Field Report - March 11, 2008


Field Locations and Conditions:

Type of Trip:  Day Hiking
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Location:  Local Hiking Area Local Hiking Area Local Hiking Area
Distance (average per day):  7 mi (11.2 km) 6 mi (9.7 km) 8 mi (12.9 km)
Total Pack Load:  15 lbs (6.8 kg) 10 lbs (4.5 kg) 15 lbs (6.8 kg)
Elevation: Sea Level Sea Level Sea Level
Weather Conditions:  Clear Clear Clear
Temperature Range (Day):  60 F (15 C) 55 F (13 C) 65 F (18 C)

Type of Trip:

Ski Trip

Location:

West Virginia

Length of Trip:

2 Day

Total Pack Load:

22 lbs (10.0 kg)

Elevation:

4900 ft (1500 m)

Weather Conditions:

Sunny with a slight breeze

Temperature Range (Day):

28 F (-2 C) increasing to 40 F (4 C)


In addition to the trips listed above, I also used the Echo jacket in an urban environment. I used the jacket in and around town, and on two weekend trips to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Raleigh, North Carolina. The weather in Pittsburg was around 32 F (0 C) with snow/rain mixture. I wore the Echo jacket with a fleece shirt and long sleeve under shirt.  The weather in Raleigh was sunny with a temperature around 50 F (10 C).

Performance in the Field:

Fit and Comfort

 

I found the Echo jacket to fit me particularly well. Its form fitting design is snug in the shoulder and chest area, without be overly tight and then narrows at the waist. The fabric stretches with my body, giving me a full range of motion. It was extremely comfortable and easy to wear. It was so light, that at times, it felt like I wasn?t wearing a jacket.

 

The jacket did well with different types under layers. It worked equally well with light and heavy clothes. As I increased the thickness of my under layers, such as a thick fleece, the jacket seemed to stretch enough to accommodate the extra thickness, while at the same time still giving me a good range of motion.

 

Durability

 

The fabric has fared pretty well in wooded terrain. It hasn?t showed any sign of wear or damage.  I have washed the jacket at least two times. I used regular laundry soap, ran it through the rinse cycle twice, and air dried it inside the house. I have not noticed any degradation of the performance of the jacket because of the washing.

 

Functionality

 

The jacket breaths exceptionally well. The back air panel does a good job in letting in air flow. The only problem is that when it is cold and extremely winding, some of the cold air seems to find its way inside the jacket through the back panel. When wearing a pack, the side pockets can be used to for ventilation. This works pretty well.

 

The jacket performs extremely well in the wind.  I have never felt any air coming through the shell fabric or the zipper. The jacket shell's DWR also did a good job at repelling any moisture that I did experience; only light rain and snow flurries. I did not find any moisture coming through the fabric or the zipper areas.  Because of the elastic portion of the arms cuff, I never needed to use the hook and pile strap. The elastic portion kept the cuffs tight enough to prevent anything from coming up the sleeve. The draw cord at the waist area did help prevent any wind from coming up through waist area. The zipper worked smoothly and have not yet snag on any of the fabric.

Summary:

I am very pleased with the performance of the Echo Jacket.  So far, the things I like most like about the jacket is fit of the jacket, its ability to stop the wind and its breathability.  As of now, there is nothing about the jacket that I don't like.

 

 

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Long Term Report - May 6, 2008

Field Locations and Conditions:

Type of Trip:

Back Country Camping

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Location:

Shenandoah National Park

Distance (average per day):

7.5 mi (12.1 km)

8 mi (12.9 km)

5. 5 mi (8.8 km)

Total Pack Load:

45 lbs (20.4 kg)

25 lbs (11.3 kg)

45 lbs (20.4 kg)

Elevation:

3000 to 3700 ft (900 to 1128 m)

Weather Conditions:

Cloudy, with drizzle

Partly cloudy

Clear

Temperature Range (Day):

45 F (7 C)

60 F (15 C)

60 F (15 C)

Temperature Range (Night):

30 F (-1 C)

40 F (4 C)

 


Type of Trip:

Day Hiking

 

Day 1

Day 2

Location:

Local Hiking Area

Local Hiking Area

Distance (average per day):

7 mi (11.2 km)

8 mi (12.9 km)

Total Pack Load:

15 lbs (6.8 kg)

13 lbs (5.9 kg)

Elevation:

Sea Level

Sea Level

Weather Conditions:

Clear

Clear

Temperature Range (Day):

55 F (13 C)

60 F (15 C)


Including usage around town, day hikes, backpacking trips, and other miscellaneous jaunts, I have used this jacket roughly 30 days in total.

Performance in the Field:

Overall the Echo performance has not changed much since the field report. It still performed extremely well. 

Fit and Comfort 

I found the Echo jacket is still very comfortable to wear.  During extended wear, I was not uncomfortable, nor did I grow tired of wearing it as I do with other jackets. It was so light, that it almost felt like I wasn't wearing a jacket. 

The jacket did well with the different layers I wore. At night, I would wear a fleece shirt under it and during the day, I would wear a long sleeve under layer shirt, or a short sleeve T-shirt. In both cases, the Echo was stretchy enough to allow me full range of motion.

I used two different packs during the test. I mainly wore a day pack (roughly 2100 cu in (34.0 l)), but I also wore a larger 3600 cu in (59.0 l) pack. I could not tell any real difference in the way the jacket felt or wore, based on which pack I was using. The jacket did not create any uncomfortable spot, bunch up or hinder the use of the packs in any way.

Functionality

The jacket still performs well in wind and light moisture conditions. During the trip to the Shenandoah National Park, I encountered both wind and a light mist. Most of the first two days were spent either in the cloud or in fog conditions. Throughout the foggy conditions, I did not experience any type of condensation on the interior of the jacket. The Echo protected me from the wind and any moisture in the air, keeping me warm and dry.The jacket back panel or side pockets (when using a pack) allow enough air to circulate so I did not sweat continuously or feel overheated.

Durability

The Echo jacket seems extremely well made. I have not seen any form of wear on the jacket. All the seams are still tight, wind and water proof, all fasteners are in excellent conditions, and none of the embroidered labels are unraveling. The zippers still operate smoothly and all the draw cords plastic tighteners still function normally.  The cuff's elastic band section is still tight and a hook and pile strap operates smoothly and remains tight when used.

The jacket did not show any sign of wear from washing. During the complete testing phase, I washed the jacket at least six times. I machine washed the jacket in cold water with another clothes and by itself. I used common laundry detergent, and as recommended by the manufacturer, I ran the jacket through a few extra times rinse cycles after washing.  I normally dried it by hanging inside the laundry room, although I did tumble dry it once or twice. The jacket does not exhibit any signs of shrinkage and fits just like it did from the start. It is still comfortable and stretchy, allowing for full range of movement.

Summary:

I am very pleased with the performance of the Echo jacket.  I plan to continue to wear the jacket for my backpacking and outdoor activities.

Things I like:

  • Fit and comfort
  • Its ability to stop the wind
  • Breathability

Things I don't like:

  • Nothing

I would like to thank both, BackpackGearTest and GoLite, for the opportunity to test the Echo jacket.

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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > GoLite Echo Jacket > Test Report by Kevin Hollingsworth



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