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Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Review

This jacket provides good warmth with decent features, though others in a similar price range outperform it
cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review
Credit: Cotopaxi
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Price:  $275 List
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By James Lucas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2022
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Warmth - 30% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5.0
  • Comfort - 15% 6.0
  • Compressibility - 10% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

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.
REASONS TO BUY
Scuba hood
Functional
Warm 800-fill down
Four pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Slightly heavy
Average water-resistance and comfort
Editor's Note: On August 21, 2022, we added the Fuego to our lineup.

Compare to Similar Products

 
cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $275 List
$275.00 at REI
$209.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$209 List$46 List
$21.90 at Amazon
$119 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Scuba hood, functional, warm 800-fill down, four pocketsLight, great compressibility, strong warmth to weight ratio compactInexpensive, lightweight,Fit allows for layering underneath, soft inner liner, inexpensiveInexpensive, lightweight,
Cons Slightly heavy, average water-resistance and comfortLimited features, little adjustabilitySweater weight warmth, moderate adjustabilityThinner outer shell, less durable, not as warm as premium brands, not that compressibleLess than ideal fill quality, poor performance, basic features
Bottom Line This jacket provides good warmth with decent features, though others in a similar price range outperform itA mountaineering jacket with high quality down and lightweight, this piece stands out for its functional simplicityThis 800-fill jacket offers quality down at a reasonable price and little weightA down jacket alternative that uses synthetic insulation that won't break the bankAn incredible deal with basic features, this lightweight jacket acts as a great option for anyone looking for a bit more warmth on a budget
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Mountain Hardwear G... MontBell Superior Down Amazon Essentials L... REI Co-op 650 Down...
Warmth (30%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
5.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
3.0
Comfort (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Compressibility (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Features (10%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Mountain Hardwear G... MontBell Superior Down Amazon Essentials L... REI Co-op 650 Down...
Down Fill 800-fill goose down 800-fill goose down 800-fill goose down 100% polyester 650-fill goose down
Total Weight 14 oz 8.5 oz 8.7 oz 11 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 10D nylon 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 hands, 1 internal 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hands, 1 internal
Hoodless Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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.

Performance Comparison


cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - light and stylish, the fuego hooded provides warmth for early...
Light and stylish, the Fuego Hooded provides warmth for early morning alpine adventures.
Credit: James Lucas

Warmth


Cotopaxi stuffed the Fuego with 800-fill responsibly sourced, water-resistant down. The RDS (Responsible Down Standard) fill means that Cotopaxiensures 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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - the high zipper kept our tester's face warm.
The high zipper kept our tester's face warm.
Credit: James Lucas

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 bodies. 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.

Weight


Our size medium weighed in at 14 ounces, making it fall 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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - the fuego hooded is a bit of a thinner jacket though the 800 fill...
The Fuego Hooded is a bit of a thinner jacket though the 800 fill down keeps it a warm option. An interior pocket makes for a nice addition.
Credit: James Lucas

Water Resistance


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 the weather with any down jacket.

Comfort


This jacket has decently wide shoulders, which made it significantly more comfortable for our climber testers. We tested a size medium and then the 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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - our testers were able to easily move in this piece, making it a nice...
Our testers were able to easily move in this piece, making it a nice lightweight belay jacket.
Credit: James Lucas

If your torso or arms are shorter, and you're often between sizes, you may want to consider sizing down.

Compressibility


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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - the fuego hooded fits into a reasonably small package.
The Fuego Hooded fits into a reasonably small package.
Credit: James Lucas

Features


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 that 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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - while it lacks adjustability, our testers liked the general fit of...
While it lacks adjustability, our testers liked the general fit of the scuba hood.
Credit: James Lucas

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.

cotopaxi fuego hooded down jacket review - the jacket performed well in cool temps, offering lightweight warmth.
The jacket performed well in cool temps, offering lightweight warmth.
Credit: James Lucas

What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?


While The Fuego is more than adequate for a range of applications, we recommend the Patagonia Down Sweater or Rab Microlight Alpine — both offer higher levels of performance at lower price points.

James Lucas
 
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