Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cotopaxi: Paray Lightweight Jacket Review

Fall season is upon us and that means cooler days and occasional rain showers. Some runners fret during this time because it alters their workout routine, but that just the reality in life. We need to be flexible with whatever Mother Nature throws at us. As a runner and endurance sports enthusiast, there is no such thing as bad workout due to weather but bad choices of the gears. You have no excuse, there are tons of gears out in the market today and it can even make your head spin when deciding which one to pick. But don’t let yourself get stuck in the midst of details, for me it’s about “simplicity” and “functionality”.

One of the brands that I really love is Cotopaxi. It is a relatively brand new company founded by Davis Smith in 2013. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah that specializes in outdoor gears and apparels. The name Cotopaxi is taken after a volcano in Ecuador and represented by a tiny llama logo. So why llama? Well here’s a quick video just for fun. What I admire most about Cotopaxi is their commitment in helping the less fortunate and poorest regions around the world by donating portions of their profits. In my opinion, this is one of the noblest gifts that we can share to humanity. Their motto: GEAR FOR GOOD. This is the main reason why I love to support and promote Cotopaxi and their products the best I can.

I have reviewed few of their items in the past and you can read by clicking on the items below:
·     Tikal Active Shell
Almost a month ago, they sent me the Paray Lightweight Jacket to review and I’m thrilled to share my thoughts with you. So let’s get into details:

·    Fabric: 20D mini-ripstop nylon shell
·    DWR finish / polyurethane backing
·    Athletic fit
·    Elastic binding at hood, cuffs (with thumbholes) and hem
·    Scuba hood
·    Front hand pockets
·    Internal key sleeve
·    Packs into interior chest pocket
·    Reflective logos

Fit and Functionality
Putting 105 grams in perspective
I requested a medium size and the fit was spot on, from chest width to arm length, it really felt that it was custom made for me. When I saw the package by my doorstep and picked it up, I thought there was nothing in it coz it was too light. The jacket was ultra-light and weighs 3.7 ounces (105 grams) only. To give you an idea what 105 grams feel like (1 gram is approximately 1 small paper clip), I grabbed 105 pieces of small paper clips and put it on my hand. It’s really amazing how Cotopaxi accomplished this.

OK, so you might be thinking that something has to give in order to achieve this weight…like how durable it is? I think it’s a fair assumption if you have that in mind. To test it out, I gave a decent amount of pull in all areas and I can attest that despite its lightness, the ripstop fabric that Cotopaxi used is so durable. It even offers enough stretch to a certain degree. To add more strength, they double-stitched some key areas where it might be pull frequently.

It has an athletic fit which gives enough room even when wearing my favorite T’s inside. This provides for better ventilation and breathability, allowing more air to circulate in and out of my body and regulating my core temperature at bay.

Here are some nifty features: 2 regular hand pockets on the outside and a total of 6 pouches on the inside. On the inside, there are two big pouches where you can store your map and extra layer of light clothing if needed. Adjacent to that big pouch (separated only by stitches) is another pouch where you can put your electrolyte tabs, gels and credit card.  It has a one small compartment that is secured by Velcro where you can secure your car key or jewelry if you happen to forgot to take it off before the run. There’s also the chest pocket that you can use to store your phone. This chest pocket serves a dual purpose coz this is where you can compress and stuff the entire jacket in it. It’s really amazing how this jacket turns into a very small size comparable to my 16 ounce hand-held bottle.

One of the nicest things about this jacket are the thumbholes where I can fully extend the sleeves and have my entire arms protected at all times. Last but not the least is their scuba like hood that really serves it purpose. It is low profile that wraps around my forehead and cheeks making it even more secure when the wind starts blowing straight to my face. This even hugs the bill of my cap which adds more security for the cap not to be blown by strong wind. One thing that I think would probably make this even better is if they added some pull string around the hood for extra security, but nonetheless, I’m happy with it.

My Verdict
Cotopaxi can be considered young in the trail, running and outdoor adventure business but I can assure you that their gears and apparels are comparable / or even better than the other big brands that has been in the business for a long time.

I’m overwhelmed with how the Paray performed during my runs. The Paray can be used for hiking, running and any outdoor adventures especially when the weather seems unpredictable. It’s one of my “go to” jackets when going for an early or late evening runs during the weekend. Don’t be fooled by the lightness of the Paray. It’s a jacket designed to block the wind and protect you from light precipitation (Note: this jacket is not water proof). You have no more excuses for a bad workout, you can easily carry this jacket and it will not add any extra weight. It’s a small pack full of protection!

You can purchase the Paray Lightweight Jacket at their website or at their only retail store located in Salt Lake City, Utah for a decent price of $99.95. This allows more profit margin that they can use directly to their charitable work. Remember, your purchase helps those people in need. I can guarantee you that this gear will not disappoint.

Thanks again for reading and I hope you find this review useful. I cannot emphasize more how satisfied I am with this product and let me know how this works for you.

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