Cotopaxi Palmas Review
Cons: Stuff pocket is larger than it needs to be, weather protection isn't great
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|Pros||Stylish, lightweight, recycled materials, breathable||Lightweight, good breathability, packs into pocket||Breathable, warm, comfortable||Comfortable and stretchy material, good weather protection, breathable||Very water resistant, lightweight, small packed size|
|Cons||Stuff pocket is larger than it needs to be, weather protection isn't great||Not the most weather resistant||Heavy, no hood||Hood is not adjustable, slightly heavier than others||Not as breathable as a softshell, very expensive|
|Bottom Line||A good-looking jacket for cool temps in the spring and fall||When you're heading out for a run and not sure what jacket to take, this one is never a bad choice||This is an excellent companion to ward off cold and keep you cranking out the miles with a smile on your frozen face||An affordable jacket that blends comfort and performance in a fairly lightweight package||The incredibly light and best performing wet weather running layer we tested|
|Rating Categories||Cotopaxi Palmas||Arc'teryx Incendo Hoody||Arc'teryx Trino||Brooks Canopy||Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort And Mobility (20%)|
|Specs||Cotopaxi Palmas||Arc'teryx Incendo...||Arc'teryx Trino||Brooks Canopy||Arc'teryx Norvan...|
|Measured Weight (ounces)||5.3 oz (size L)||4.6 oz (size M)||16.2 oz (size L)||6.6 oz (size M)||4.6 oz (size M)|
|Number of pockets||2||1||4||5||0|
|Main Material||Recycled polyester||Lumin 100% nylon 20D Ripstop fabric||Gore Windstopper w/ DWR treatment||DriLayer Seal 100% ripstop polyester||Gore-Tex ShakeDry|
|Unique Features||Thumb loops, elastic hood||Media Pocket||Rear pockets with angled, easy access||Elastic cuffs, packs into pocket||Super-lightweight waterproof material, minimalist design|
|Vent Type||Open back vent||Mesh panels under arm||Atreus stretch knit fabric under arms & back panel||None||None|
|Reflective material?||No||Logo and blazes||Yes||Yes||Logo|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional noteworthy features include the built-in thumb loops and the comfortable elastic hood.
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.
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