Looking for an all-around jacket? The Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded brings the heat. The Cotopaxi is a solid mid-field contender. It features decent warmth, tends toward the heavier side, offers mediocre weather resistance, a reasonable fit, okay compressibility, and good features. If you need something light and specific for the backcountry, then this jacket won't be the best fit. For folks looking for a good all-around piece and who like the Cotopaxi look, the Fuego provides.Editor's Note: On August 21, 2022, we added the Fuego to our line up.
Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Scuba hood, functional, warm 800-fill down, four pockets
Cons: Slightly heavy, average water-resistance and comfort
Compare to Similar Products
Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded
|Price||Check Price at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$359.00 at Amazon
|$209 List||$119 List|
$119.00 at REI
|Pros||Scuba hood, functional, warm 800-fill down, four pockets||Incredibly light, compact, warm for its size and weight, effective hydrophobic down||Lightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratio||Inexpensive, fully featured adjustability||Lightweight, inexpensive, excellent for layering|
|Cons||Slightly heavy, average water-resistance and comfort||No hood cinch, no chest pocket||Expensive, not super durable||Moderate warmth, noisy material, no internal zip pockets||No hood cinch, no hem cinch, loses feathers|
|Bottom Line||This jacket provides good warmth with decent features, though others in a similar price range outperform it||This high scorer offers high versatility, warmth, comfort, accommodation of movement, and light weight||If you are looking for a warm, light layer for a trip where ounces count, this is a great selection||This down offers the warmth and quality of more premium choices at an approachable price point||A good basic and affordable lightweight down jacket for moderately cold temperatures|
|Rating Categories||Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Down Fill||800-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||850-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||650-fill goose down|
|Total Weight||14 oz||8.5 oz||7.6 oz||8.7 oz||10.4 oz|
|Baffle Construction||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles|
|Main Fabric||20D ripstop nylon||10D ripstop nylon||100% nylon||10D nylon||100% nylon|
|Compression Method||Zips into pocket||Zips into pocket||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||Zips into pocket|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 2 internal||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hands, 1 internal||2 zippered hands, 1 internal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket provides a solid solution to needing a warm, lightweight jacket. This quality shows in the well-stitched baffles, the four intentionally placed pockets, and the warmth of the 800-fill down. If you're looking for an early morning piece to walk the dog, a mid-weight belay jacket, or a layer for ski touring, this stylish jacket provides.
Cotopaxi stuffed the Fuego with 800-fill responsibly sourced, water-resistant down. The RDS (Responsible Down Standard) fill means that Cotopaxi ensures that the down and feathers come from ethically treated animals. It kept our testers warm via 20D ripstop nylon, and blocked out the wind. The scuba hood and elastic cuff bands helped further cut down on wind during blustery mornings in the Rocky Mountains.
In addition to the hood, the zipper comes high into the chin and blocks wind from hitting the lower face. It kept heat from escaping via its cinchable waist, which allowed the jacket to stay snug against our body. The slim fit of the jacket helped it fit well under a shell, which allows it to act as a solid mid-layer. The warmth-to-weight ratio of this jacket isn't exceptional, nor is it horrible; it falls solidly in the middle of the line. While not the warmest, lightest, or most feature-heavy option, the Fuego offers good protection from the elements.
Our size medium weighed in at 14 ounces, making fell in the middle of the review in terms of weight. This generalist's piece offers decent warmth for the weight without sacrificing too much in terms of features, making it a solid choice for uncertain weather. For those looking for a middle-of-the-line garment, where you don't need an ultra-light backcountry piece or a heavy feature-laden garment, this jacket does a good job, especially given its middle-of-field weight.
The Fuego uses 20D giant-rip stock on a nylon outer shell. It also features a DWR, or durable water repellent. We experienced light rains during testing. While it kept light moisture out, the jacket soaked through when exposed to the elements — like any down jacket does. It's best to bring a shell for heavier precipitation, which is our recommendation when going out into weather with any down jacket.
This jacket has decently wide shoulders, which made it significantly more comfortable for our climber testers. We tested a size medium and then sleeve length fit a 5'10" wingspan. The Fuego features elastic cuffs, which keep the jacket from rolling up the forearms when our testers put their hands above their heads. The cinch cord at the waist kept the jacket down, though our longer torsoed testers found the jacket a touch short. Overall, the jacket fits well and provides good room for movement, making it comfortable for active wear.
If your torso or arms are shorter, and you're often between sizes, you may want to consider sizing down.
The Fuego zips into the interior pocket and features a clip-in point to attach to your harness or the outside of a backpack. Compressed, this jacket runs in the middle of the size range. The interior pocket does come with a dual-sided zipper for easier opening and closing.
This jacket could be used on a multi-pitch climbing outing or on a longer backcountry mission. However, the jacket could be a bit more compressible and smaller. If you're not planning on heading up a rock wall or doing an epic thru-hike, this jacket does well and fits for backpacking trips and day hikes.
The Fuego does not have any outlandish features; however, the features it does have are well done. It is equipped with two zippable external hand pockets. On the interior of the jacket are two stacked pockets, one features a zipper where the jacket can be zipped into, and the other is a larger open pocket, perfect for gloves or a hat. The elastic wrist cuffs match the elasticized hood, and the waist hem features a cinch to battle the cold.
While not feature heavy, this jacket does well with the few it has, and they don't a ton to the weight. For hikers or climbers looking for something more specialized, there are better jackets, but for everyday fall through spring wear, this jacket does great.
The scuba hood fits nicely and is one of the best features of the jacket. It abates the wind without needing excessive drawstrings and cords. It can also easily be pulled on and off.
Should You Buy the Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded?
It's relatively simple and offers mid-weight warmth when in the backcountry hiking, cruising around town, or heading out for food after a long day of climbing. However, this jacket falls squarely in the middle in terms of pricing, while it falls toward the bottom of the fleet when it comes to performance.
What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?
While the Fuego is more than adequate for a range of applications, those seeking more performance for athletic pursuits will be better served by the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 or the Patagonia Down Sweater, or even the similarly-priced Rab Microlight Alpine. And if serious warmth is what you're after, check out the Rab Electron Pro.
— James Lucas
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