Mountain Hardwear Torch Jacket (mens) : Fits Like a Glove
Read about the Torch jacket and other trail jackets in our archives...more.


OR Echo Jacket : Best of Show

I knew I loved OR's Echo Jacket the first time I saw it; I just didn't know it would be a perfect fit.

In fact, the Echo Jacket is one of the best designed pieces of outerwear I've ever worn. OR has done an amazing job with this jacket; it's totally functional and totally stylish. I'm all for a jacket that performs on the trail and on the street. (Thanks to the discreet logo placement, I can wear it around town with jeans, and it's not obvious as hiking gear.)

OR's taken a new approach with the Echo jacket, which I hope will pay off big for them. Unlike too many women's jackets that are too short and curvy in the torso (and too short in the sleeves), the Echo is cut long and lean, with articulated raglan sleeves and an ever so slightly contoured torso. The result is a form-fitting, but never binding, super comfortable jacket that's perfect as a outer- or mid-layer. No more boxy layers here.

Made out of Polartec's Wind Pro fabric, the Echo is soft and fleecy on the inside, smooth and weather-resistant on the outside. I've worn this jacket every day this fall, and have been impressed by how well it stands up to breezy, chilly, drizzly days. Now that it's getting colder, I wear the Echo under my OR Ether jacket, or under a GoreTex shell when I'm out in a downpour (power walking at night in the pouring rain is a favorite pastime).

My favorite features: 1) the extra length -- I finally have a jacket that hangs past my waistband! When I move, my stomach stays covered. 2) the handy thumb loops (I always forget gloves), which are designed to stay closed when not in use. 3) the excellent hood -- zipped up, the collar and pod-person-snug hood don't let any weather in and I never need a scarf or neck gaiter. Plus, roomy zippered pockets for all my essentials and a cinching system in the bottom hem for a custom fit.

Available in brown, citron, and delphi. Sorry, guys, the Echo is for women, but check out OR's Factor jacket for men. It's made out of the same fabric.

Bottom Line: I never wear my favorite cashmere cardigan anymore because I never take off my Echo jacket. Who knew I could find functionality, fit, and fashion in one fleece? This is a "must have" item.--E.D. (Nov 06)

Price: $169

Manufacturer's Site:

BUY ONLINE : Moosejaw Mountaineering,

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.

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