One of the few ways you can truly tell whether or not a jacket works best for you, and your lifestyle, is by hanging that jacket in a closet full of other options and seeing which one you reach for most frequently. Although it’s weighs on the lighter side of nothing, and seems to have been designed along the strict standards of the KISS principle, it’s very likely that anyone who hangs Cotopaxi’s new Pacaya Jacket in their closet is going to end up reaching for it nearly every time.
When it comes to the perfect go-to jacket, the coveted warmth-to-weight ratio seems to be the Holy Grail of features, and Cotopaxi nailed it with the Pacaya. Available on Cotopaxi’s website for $199, the jacket features 100g Polartec Alpha insulation with a DWR coated nylon outer layer that provides solid protection against the wind and adequate coverage if it starts sprinkling. Tipping the scales at a mere 12 oz, the Pacaya certainly isn’t going to weigh anyone down, and because it’s designed to stuff into its interior chest pocket, it’s easy to throw into a backpack or commuter bag as extra insurance in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.
It’s hard to know whether the Pacaya was designed as a stand-alone jacket for late fall and early spring, or a perfect mid-layer for winter excursions because it seems to function equally well in both capacities. The jacket features Polartec Power Stretch underarm panels that create a surprising freedom of movement and also help the jacket fit snug, but not tight, so it’s easy to throw another coat over it without looking like the kid from A Christmas Story.
The coolest aspect of the new Pacaya, however, has nothing to do with the features that are sewn into the jacket. Because it’s made by Cotopaxi, it means that each Pacaya purchased helps to fund the company’s mission to alleviate global poverty by helping to provide healthcare, education, and other essentials to underprivileged communities. So not only does it feel good when you’re wearing it, you’ll feels great every time you put it on. Which might very well be the very reason you can expect to grab hold of it whenever you reach into your closet.