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Cotopaxi Palmas Review

A great light duty running jacket offering excellent breathability
Cotopaxi Palmas
Photo: Cotopaxi
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Price:  $105 List
Pros:  Stylish, lightweight, recycled materials, breathable
Cons:  Stuff pocket is larger than it needs to be, weather protection isn't great
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 26, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Breathability - 30% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 6
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7
  • Portability - 15% 7
  • Features - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The lightweight recycled polyester of the Cotopaxi Palmas comes into its own on chilly spring and fall runs. To the touch, this jacket's material feels lighter than any other we have tested, and, in line with the lightweight feel, the breathability is also fantastic. Additionally, folded seams offer a comfortable lining, and elastic cuffs and a hood drawstring help keep everything in place when moving. While overall this is a comfortable and effective running layer, there are a few little frustrations that kept it out of the running for any of our top awards.

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Pros Stylish, lightweight, recycled materials, breathableLightweight, good breathability, packs into pocketComfortable and stretchy material, good weather protection, breathableIncredibly light, comfortable, great wind protectionLightweight, smooth fabric, good portability
Cons Stuff pocket is larger than it needs to be, weather protection isn't greatNot the most weather resistantHood is not adjustable, slightly heavier than othersPoor breathability, fabric is noisyAbrasive seams, pullover design can be frustrating
Bottom Line A great light duty running jacket offering excellent breathabilityOur favorite model, this lightweight, breathable running jacket is ideal for all occasionsA comfortable jacket with just the right balance of weather protection, breathability, and weight, with a lower sticker price than the higher-end modelsAn amazing jacket for your arsenal of running layers or for basically any outdoor activityThis pullover is a functional running jacket with some good extra features
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Palmas Arc'teryx Incendo H... Brooks Canopy Patagonia Houdini F... Brooks LSD Pullover
Breathability (30%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Comfort And Mobility (20%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Portability (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Features (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Cotopaxi Palmas Arc'teryx Incendo H... Brooks Canopy Patagonia Houdini F... Brooks LSD Pullover
Measured Weight (ounces) 5.3 oz (size L) 4.6 oz (size M) 6.6 oz (size M) 3.7 oz (size M) 4.7 oz (size L)
Number of pockets 2 1 5 1 1
Main Material Recycled polyester Lumin 100% nylon 20D Ripstop fabric DriLayer Seal 100% ripstop polyester 100% recycled nylon ripstop w/ DWR finish 100% ripstop nylon
Unique Features Thumb loops, elastic hood Media Pocket Elastic cuffs, packs into pocket Lightweight design Elastic Arm Band
Vent Type Open back vent Mesh panels under arm None None None
Reflective material? No Logo and blazes Yes No Retroreflectivity
Hood? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

A soft, lightweight, and stylish running jacket that will shield you from morning chill as well as the wardrobe police. Don't be fooled by the retro designs on the Palmas; it's as functional as it is good-looking.

Performance Comparison


The Palmas is a great urban running layer: lightweight, breathable...
The Palmas is a great urban running layer: lightweight, breathable, and good looking to boot.
Photo: Brian Martin

Breathability


While Cotopaxi doesn't reveal the actual denier or thickness of the fabric used in the Palmas, it is one of the thinnest jackets we tested. The material feels airy in your hands, translating to a high level of breathability through the fabric and an ability to dry quickly. Additionally, there is a set of air intakes on the back panel that help with airflow. The result is a jacket with adequate breathability, even for hard workouts.

Sewn-in vents on the back of the Palmas in conjunction with the...
Sewn-in vents on the back of the Palmas in conjunction with the thin, breathable fabric, provide ample ventilation and breathing.
Photo: brian martin

Weather Resistance


The ultra-light material of the Palmas, even with its Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating, proved to be vulnerable to the elements. In this day and age, there is a large range of available materials for running layers, from ultra-thin Gore-Tex to recycled polyester. While the Palmas is about a third the cost of the Gore-Tex models we tested, it's also about a third as protective against the elements. During morning runs brushing past wet plants, the DWR coating performed effectively and allowed water to bead and shed away. But anything more proved detrimental to our comfort. Similarly, with wind, the thin material was effective to a point, but high winds pushed through the thin material easily.

While the Palmas did have a weather resistant coating, the...
While the Palmas did have a weather resistant coating, the ultra-thin material just doesn't have enough backing to really keep any moisture out. Overall, the Palmas was pretty low on the totem-pole for weather resistance.
Photo: Brian Martin

Comfort and Mobility


Thumb loops, generously cut sizing, and soft recycled polyester combine to make a fantastically comfortable jacket. Internally, seams are obscured with folds to keep abrasive thread away from the skin. Similarly, a large protective flap lines the zipper to keep it off of your body. Thumb loops guarantee that the adequately sized sleeves stay in place and don't require any fiddling during a jog. Overall, the Palmas offers plenty of mobility and comfort for running, though the thin material is vulnerable if attempting to use it for other activities such as climbing or biking.

A relaxed fit and thumb loops help keep everything in place.
A relaxed fit and thumb loops help keep everything in place.
Photo: Brian Martin

Portability


As we stated previously, the airy recycled polyester of the Palmas makes for a really lightweight jacket. When stuffing the Palmas down in a pack, it disappears easily. The included stuff pocket, however, is about twice as large as it needs to be considering how packable the jacket's material is.

Such a thin, lightweight jacket, definitely doesn't need a zipper...
Such a thin, lightweight jacket, definitely doesn't need a zipper pouch this big!! That said, the pocket is easy to use and does have a double-sided zipper pull, something other models skimp on!
Photo: brian martin

Features


While the high level of contrast with the color scheme we tested stands out against urban environments in the day, it lacks the necessary pop without 360-degree reflective markings for the night. Overall the visibility is okay, but as it is with many jackets tilted towards use in urban environments, reflective markings are critical, and having just the chest logo as a reflector isn't really good enough.

A vibrant color scheme is a huge benefit when hoping you are seen by...
A vibrant color scheme is a huge benefit when hoping you are seen by drivers!
Photo: Brian Martin

Additional noteworthy features include the built-in thumb loops and the comfortable elastic hood.

Value


If you're looking for a functional jacket to cut the chill out of spring and fall mornings, the Palmas is a great choice. Not only is this a functional jacket, but it is also one of the more stylish layers we tested. Additionally, ethically sourced recycled polyester isn't a cheap material, which is why it isn't used as often for already expensive outdoor layers. Ultimately this is a comfortable and effective jacket at a fair price.

The Palmas is at home on city streets and performs well enough to...
The Palmas is at home on city streets and performs well enough to get in your daily miles with a little extra comfort.
Photo: Brian Martin

Conclusion


While there are jackets available that offer more warmth, weather protection, or packability, the Palmas is effective and looks better than almost any other jacket in our lineup. If you aren't gearing up for the Wasatch 100 and just need an effective jacket to jog around the local trails, the Palmas won't let you down.

Brian Martin