Monday, April 25, 2016

Cotopaxi: Tikal Active Shell Review

Ever heard of Cotopaxi? If not, that’s OK. Cotopaxi is a relatively brand new company that specializes in outdoor gears and apparels. Based in Salt Lake City Utah and founded by Davis Smith in 2013. The name Cotopaxi is taken after a volcano in Ecuador and represented by a tiny llama logo.

Cotopaxi is not just a company like most companies you know. They are the first company in the US to be incorporated as a benefit corporation. So what is Benefit Corporation? It is a type of for-profit corporate entity authorized by 30 U.S states and the District of Columbia. Their purpose is to create a general public benefit that includes positive impact on society, workers, community and the environment. In other words, their purpose is to help those less fortunate and the poorest regions of the world. Hoping to make the world a better place.

The name of each product explains where the money from each purchase will go. Like the Luzon Del Dia, Luzon is one of the three main islands in the Philippines, so that’s where portion of the profit will go if you purchase this product. So you get the idea…it’s all about giving back and help those in need.

Image Credit: Cotopaxi
I’m fortunate enough that Cotopaxi let me test one of their products, the Tikal Active Shell. The name Tikal came from an ancient city found in a rainforest in Guatemala. So if you decide to purchase this, not only did you help the company but the people of Guatemala as well. So let’s get started with my review.

·   Fully taped, 2.5-layer waterproof shell fabric with four-way stretch.
·   Three-way adjustable hood with laminated visor.
·   YKK Vislon® center front zipper.
·   Perforated underarm panels vent heat with less bulk than pit zips.
·   Two zippered hand pockets with Framis trim detail.
·   Weight: 283 g (10 oz).

Fit and Functionality
I received the jacket in the mail last week, and I was a bit worried that I may not be able to test it since it’s April and the temperature is starting to get warm. Luckily, the sun decided to get some break and the rain poured down last Friday morning and I was able to test this gear for 5 plus mile run.

The Tikal Active Shell is one of the lightest full waterproof and breathable shell in the market today that weighs 238 grams only. It was about 50owith 22 mph wind when I headed out the door. I zipped up and donned the hood. I stood under the heavy rain for a moment and watched the water just slid thru the jacket. True to what they advertised, the jacket handled the water perfectly with their 2.5-layer waterproof shell fabric. One of the features that I like about the jacket is the hood with laminated visor that extends far enough to shield and protect my eyes from the pouring rain. Unlike other hooded jackets, there’s no need to wear a hat under the hood, the visor of the Tikal is perfect enough. Additionally, the pull strings on the side and back of the hood kept it in place, regardless of how strong the wind that was blowing straight to my face. The waterproofness of the jacket was pretty impressive and there’s no doubt that this jacket can keep me dry to whatever mother nature throws at me.

Perforated holes under the arm and Pull strings at the back and side of the hood
Image Credit: Cotopaxi
Other key features of the jacket were: instead of using a zipper to get the ventilation under the arms, Cotopaxi used the perforated holes instead. The bottom of the jacket has a double string lock nut that I can pull to prevent the cold air from coming in. The cuff utilized a Velco system that can be adjusted easily and has a reflective striping for safety during low light conditions. It has two zippered pockets to carry some of my running essentials.

Going back to my run, the jacket was able to block the wind. Initially, I thought that ability of the jacket to block the wind would create an issue of breathability. Wind blocking and breathability are the two factors of a material that some companies failed to address. It’s hard to achieve that perfect blend. I had this problem from the previous jackets and vests that I tested that could block the wind. Yes, it blocked the wind but it didn’t let my body to breath. I was basically overheating and was soaking wet from my own sweat within few minutes of my run. This was definitely not the case when I tested the Tikal Active Shell. The material was breathable and my body didn’t overheat even though I was pushing a hard pace then.

My Verdict
After 5+ miles of running in the rain
Looking at the Tikal Active Shell’s features, I thought it was mainly designed for climbing, hiking, back packing and other outdoor adventures. I stand corrected, this is an awesome jacket for running as well. I was really impressed with how it performed and handled the elements mother nature threw at it.

It is sometimes a challenge to find apparels that I can use not only during my run but on normal occasions as well. The design of the jacket was well beyond what I expected from Cotopaxi. The design and the quality of materials used in this jacket was very subtle and stylish that I wouldn't mind wearing this to work.

I highly recommend that you give Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell a try and I can assure you that it will not disappoint. You can purchase the Tikal Active Shell directly on their website. While you're on it, check out their other items as well and extend your helping hand to other people who are in need. Their company is built under that purpose and that is truly remarkable.

Thanks again for reading and let me know how it works for you.

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