March 19, 2018
Late winter in Greenville, SC may just be the perfect place for the Cotopaxi Paray Lightweight Jacket. This jacket has it’s sweet spot in the mid 40’s and that’s about the average temperature around these parts of the US this time of year.
I’ve worn the jacket hiking, camping, running, working out, and around town on an almost every day basis. Here are my final thoughts on this versatile jacket:
This jacket does everything that it is supposed to: repels light rain, acts as a viable windbreaker, and creates a light layer for additional warmth while active. As far as functionality goes, this jacket does what it was made to do.
The jacket is lightweight and can be stowed away in most anything. Rather than packing itself into the internal pocket, I usually just stuffed into into my bag I am carrying.
One thing this jacket doesn’t do: hold my cell phone while running. Just to test it out, I attempted to stash my iPhone in the front inside chest pocket while on a run. I wasn’t concerned about the phone falling out of the jacket (the pocket only has a velcro clasp), but with each stride, the phone bounced up and down. This was annoying enough that I ended up stashing my phone in my running shorts. Also uncomfortable, but less so then when I had it in the jacket.
The jacket is comfortable. It’s athletic fit allows free movement in all the activities that I wore the jacket during. This athletic fit also means that the jacket fits more snuggly than an average rain jacket or windbreaker. I would consider going up a size if that is a concern.
One thing I did notice about the Paray in this category was that it was cut pretty short. When I raise my arms above my head while wearing the jacket, the waist-band would pull over my belt line. I don’t have long arms, so I would assume that this would be more noticeable with someone with longer arms.
This was the one area that I think the jacket missed the mark. The transparency of the nylon, while, I don’t necessarily think made the jacket feel cheap, it did give the jacket the appearance that something was “off” about it. Perhaps this was personal preference, but being able to see my shirts and layers underneath the jacket always bugged me. It also tended to garner negative responses from others who saw the jacket. Comments like “I like it, but…” and they then would proceed to comment on the transparent shell.
The Cotopaxi Paray Lightweight Jacket is the perfect light jacket for numerous activities. It provides the protection that may just be needed in a lightweight and compact format that can be stowed almost anywhere. While the the transparency of the shell annoyed me at times, the utility of the jacket far outweighed the annoyance. This is a great jacket and I expect it will tag along on many adventures, both up in the mountains and around town.
Thanks again to both Cotopaxi and 4AllOutdoors for the chance to review this jacket!
January 21, 2018
I have been wearing the Cotopaxi Paray Jacket for a couple of months now. I’ve used it running, working out, and for everyday use around town. I still have a final review to post in the coming months, but as of now, I love this jacket.
Here is what I love about it so far:
Protection from the elements:
It repels wind, rain, and cold. Don’t take me too literally, this jacket has it limits (it is a lightweight jacket, after all). However, I have found it’s sweet spot to be mid 40s when not active, and 30’s when active.
The jacket does a great job repelling light rain and drizzle. It’s also an adept windbreaker. My mother in law commented that surely the jacket “couldn’t warm a flea” citing its thin, lightweight design. But, the jacket does indeed keep out the elements and even insulates well when used as an exterior layer.
Jack of all trades:
The jacket is great for almost any activity. I have especially enjoyed wearing it on runs when the temps have been in the 20s and low 30s. On a couple of runs, I have even used the scuba hood. It tightens down comfortably around my face so that each stride it stays snuggly in place.
There are a few things that I’m not a big fan of:
- Open pockets: the front hand pockets have no way to secure them (zipper/velcro), and so whatever you put in them in doesn’t feel as secure as it should sometimes.
- Translucent: I’d really prefer if the ripstop nylon shell wasn’t so see through. Most layers below can be seen through the shell.
Check back in about a month to see my final update on the Cotopaxi Paray jacket.
Cotopaxi started in 2014 with a tagline of “Gear for Good.” Each product that Cotopaxi sells has some kind of “good” linked to it.
The company is also a little different from other gear companies in that they are a “B Corp” or Benefit Corporation. B Corps are “focused on using the power of business as a force for social, environmental, and economic good.” Click here to learn more.
Guaranteed for Good: all Cotopaxi products are backed by a 61 year guarantee (61 years is the average life expectancy of an individual in the developing world). If there are any issues with your Cotopaxi gear, Cotopaxi will exchange, replace, or repair the product at no cost.
Cotopaxi Men’s Paray Lightweight Jacket
Material: 20D mini-ripstop nylon
Weight: 3.7 oz / 105 grams
Waterproofing: DWR Finish/Polyurethane backing
Athletic fit: The jacket is cut to allow a greater freedom of movement while active. This means that the jacket fits a little more snug than the average size. After wearing the jacket a few times, I think it’s important to keep this smaller sizing in mind. I’d almost suggest going a size up when considering this jacket.
Elastic binding: The jacket had elastic binding in key areas to help keep the jacket secure while moving. Key areas with this elastic binding are the hem around the waist, the hood, and the cuffs (which have integrated thumb loops to keep the sleeves right where there are supposed to be).
Scuba hood: The hood is adjustable at the back via a toggle adjust. This allows for a nice snug fit so that the hood doesn’t move too much while you are moving around. A stow snap enables the hood to be stashed when it’s not needed.
Front pockets: Two easy access hand pockets are on the front of the jacket. These pockets don’t provide very much security since there are no zippers or even velcro to keep whatever you put in them inside.
Internal key sleeve: A small sleeve inside the front panel of the jacket secures via a velcro flap. Stow your keys, or anything else that size in with the security of the velcro. Note: it’s too small for an average smartphone.
Reflective logos: There are only two reflective logos on the jacket: the front “Cotopaxi” logo and a “Gear for Good” on the right side of the jacket, right behind the pocket. I would have like to have seen something reflective on the back of the jacket as well.
Packable: The jacket packs into itself from an internal chest pocket.
Everyday & Everywhere: I really like the fact that this jacket is lightweight and packable, but it also has utility that makes lightweight jackets so valuable: protection from the elements. The hood and DWR finished ripstop means that this jacket should she water and repel wind.
Looks: I like the look of the jacket, however, one thing that is a little different is that you can see through the jacket material to the interior layer.
How it’s made / Who it helps: It’s good to know that Cotopaxi ensures that their products are made under fair and sustainable labor practices. With this jacket, I received a hand written note from Safaa, a Syrian Refugee who is a part of a card writing program in Salt Lake City (with International Rescue Committee) that provides employment opportunities for refugees living in Utah.
I look forward to testing out this jacket in a wide variety of activities. Check back in about a month for my first update on the Cotopaxi Paray jacket.
Thanks to 4All Outdoors and Cotopaxi for the chance to review this jacket!