Review: Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket

By: John LaGuardia + Save to a List

Cotopaxi, named after an active volcano in the Andes, puts 1% of their revenue toward addressing poverty and supporting community development.

They are all about their motto, “Do Good”, which is a part of every aspect of their company – from using recycled materials, to treating those who sew their products with utmost respect. Every phase in a product’s lifecycle is meticulously measured against the company motto.

GET YOUR COTOPAXI FUEGO DOWN JACKET HERE!

I tested the Cotopaxi Fuego Jacket which is a lightweight all-season jacket that is versatile and made with responsibly sourced, RDS-certified down. The Cotopaxi Fuego is lightweight, packable, and ready for some epic adventures.

I tested this jacket out on photography shoots and day hikes in our local area during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a sense of scale, the model pictured is 5’7” 140 lbs and wearing a men’s size medium.

Comfort/Mobility

From the minute I put on the Cotopaxi Fuego jacket, I felt a comfy feeling of warmth and softness. Its lightweight and snug fit were pleasurable, especially when wearing a backpack.

Movement in this jacket feels effortless. The design seams throughout the jacket and under the arms lend well to outdoor activities where a lot of movement in the arms occurs. Reaching across the body to put something into a backpack pocket does not tighten or stretch the coat. It simply feels snug and stays in place where the consumer would expect it. When raising the arms, the jacket lifted ever so slightly and still kept me warm during testing.

Breathability

The main zipper on the front of the jacket has a large protective flap that stretches the entire length of the zipper. This feature keeps wind from reaching the body, but allows a modest amount of body heat to escape during high output exercise. The same is true with the elastic cuffs on each wrist.

Although the jacket has an adjustable drawcord waist, I chose not to cinch it down for this testing. This allowed for better breathability as I was hiking steep inclines that produced higher exercise output. It allowed the heat to escape out of the bottom of the jacket and kept my body temperature just right.

Value

At $250.00 MSRP, the Cotopaxi Fuego is listed at a comparable price point in the outdoor industry. The fact that 1% of Cotopaxi’s earnings do good in the world, gives this jacket an advantage over other competitors who do not share the same views on giving back. It is such a great giving model, that I would purchase other Cotopaxi products just for that reason.

Features

Zippers are normally items that are overlooked in outdoor product reviews. One thing that I really enjoyed on this jacket was the use of the zippers. The main jacket zipper has a silky smooth operation due to the wide teeth and the perfectly sized slider. The additional webbing with rubber coated tips that connect to the pull tab also make it easy to zip when wearing gloves.

In addition to the features above, I really enjoyed the quilting in the jacket. It is a basic pattern that not only performs well, but it looks cool too. The addition of the three multi colored pleats and the “Gear For Good” lettering add a nice touch.

Room for Improvement

The outer hand pockets are generous in size and compliment the two internal pockets. However, I didn’t prefer the placement of the two internal pockets because it felt awkward when reaching inside the coat. The zipper had to be brought all the way down in order to access the internal pockets which can cause heat loss in very cold weather. My recommendation to Cotopaxi designers would be to ditch the current, internal pocket design and add two internal chest pockets with vertical zippers. This would make it easier to stash a map and have it available for quick access. It would also provide a better place to keep a mobile phone and spare batteries warm during the winter months.

PRO TIP:

When heading out this summer on your next backpacking trip, be sure to pack the Cotopaxi Fuego jacket as an extra insulating layer for those cool, summer nights in the backcountry. At 14 ounces, it will barely add any weight to your pack and may just be the item that keeps you most comfortable when hanging out at basecamp in the evenings.

Here’s a quick list of features direct from the Cotopaxi website:

FEATURES
Scuba hood (not tested)
Elastic binding at hood, cuffs, and hem
Adjustable drawcord waist
Two interior stash pockets
Zippered hand pockets
Included stuff sack (not tested)

MATERIALS
20D giant-ripstop nylon with DWR finish
800-fill responsibly sourced, water-resistant goose down
20D mini-ripstop nylon lining

TECH SPECS
Weight: 14oz (397g)

Outdoor Prolink and Cotopaxi provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos by John LaGuardia. That’s me!

This review was originally posted on DirtbagDreams.com.
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