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Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded - Women's Review

A comfortable, squishy jacket with a simple, looser fit and bold colors
cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review
Credit: Cotopaxi
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Price:  $275 List | $175.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Thick and puffy, soft and comfortable, fun pattern and color options, packs into pocket
Cons:  Boxy fit, shorter torso, limited adjustability, water soaks into seams, difficult to pack away
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 12
  • Warmth - 30% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 7.0
  • Compressibility - 20% 5.0
  • Features - 15% 5.0
  • Durability - 10% 5.0
  • Water Resistance - 5% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded down jacket is a thickly filled puffy jacket with a loose, box-shaped fit and a bright, fun pattern. It didn't win any awards this time around, but there's a lot we like about this warm, comfortable jacket. Despite having above-average fill for this lineup, it maintains a reasonable weight and packs conveniently into its own pocket. Its boxy shape makes it easy to layer over other thick garments, and soft, elastic cuffs and hood rim add comfort to this simple jacket. We wish it had more adjustability options — like in the hood — and a longer torso or a drop hem like many of its competitors. But our testing team digs the cool patterned vibe, easy fit, and more palatable price tag of the Fuego.

Editor's Note: This product was tested alongside our updated lineup and added to the mix on November 7, 2022.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Thick and puffy, soft and comfortable, fun pattern and color options, packs into pocketIncredibly light, compact, warm for its size and weight, packs into its own pocket, recycledLightweight, well placed synthetic insulation, versatileDurable, weather resistant, athletic cut, good movement, versatileInexpensive, lightweight
Cons Boxy fit, shorter torso, limited adjustability, water soaks into seams, difficult to pack awayNo way to cinch the hood, lighter materials are more fragileLess durable than some models, expensiveNarrower baffles compress down; slightly lower quality (recycled) 700 fill downLess warm, lower quality down
Bottom Line A comfortable, squishy jacket with a simple, looser fit and bold colorsIt's as light as a ghost, or so we assume, and boasts incredible warmth for the weightAn outstanding down jacket for layering in cold conditions, well suited to activities that require adept moisture managementA durable, versatile, and very comfortable jacket that can handle many activities, from mountain to townThis is a very light, entry-level down jacket for moderate temperatures
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Mountain Hardwear G... Arc'teryx Cerium LT... Rab Microlight Alpine REI Co-op 650 2.0
Warmth (30%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
8.0
Compressibility (20%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Features (15%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Water Resistance (5%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Mountain Hardwear G... Arc'teryx Cerium LT... Rab Microlight Alpine REI Co-op 650 2.0
Down Fill 800 fill goose down, water resistant 800 fill goose down 850 fill down Recycled 700 fill-power down 650 fill goose down
Main Fabric 20D giant-ripstop nylon with DWR finish 7D x 10D recycled ripstop nylon Arato 10D nylon Recycled 30D nylon Pertex® Quantum ripstop Recycled nylon taffeta
Measured Weight 11.5 oz 8 oz 9.5 oz 13.5 oz 9.5 oz
Pockets 4 2 3 3 2
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Stowing option Packs into internal pocket Packs into hand pocket Stuff sack Stuff sack Packs into hand pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded down jacket is an 800-fill jacket made with water-resistant down and 20D giant-ripstop nylon with DWR. It features a shorter torso with a loose, boxy cut and stuffs into its own interior pocket.

Performance Comparison


cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - the cotopaxi fuego is a comfortable choice for crisp fall evenings...
The Cotopaxi Fuego is a comfortable choice for crisp fall evenings camping in the woods.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Warmth


The Fuego features 800-fill, water-resistant down packed into a 20D nylon shell. The large, loose baffles maintain plenty of air within, keeping this jacket warm and cozy in just about any condition. The nylon exterior cuts down on breathability, and with how poofy the Fuego is, it's not our favorite to wear during high-output activities that may lead to sweating. It lacks a drop hem to keep your bum warm on a chilly day, but has dually adjustable hem cords that can be cinched tight in a stiff breeze. The cuffs and hood both feature soft elastic rims that are very comfortable, but can't be adjusted. We love wearing this coat around town and hanging all day at the campsite, where we don't have to move too much but can nestle into the cozy puffiness of the Fuego.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - the hood and cuffs of the fuego are both rimmed with soft elastic...
The hood and cuffs of the Fuego are both rimmed with soft elastic, for comfortable, easy wear.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Weight


The Fuego came in well under its advertised weight of 14 ounces, as the size S we tested weighed just 11.3 ounces. Once again, this is just below the average weight for jackets we tested — impressive for its warmth. It also feels lightweight, as the whole jacket is comprised of wide baffles with plenty of loft, giving it an airy impression.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - the fuego is below average weight among competitors.
The Fuego is below average weight among competitors.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Compressibility


While many other down jackets we tested come with a small stuff sack for traveling, the Cotopaxi Fuego stuffs into an internal zippered pocket. While we appreciate the convenience of not having to cart around an extra bag, the actual stuffing experience leaves something to be desired. The pocket into which it stuffs is quite tall with a narrow top. This results in what feels like a small wrestling match, as we attempted to fit the excessively puffy baffles through the narrow zipper while simultaneously expanding the pocket enough to actually fit the whole jacket inside — which it barely manages. We often zipped up the fabric of the coat as we tried to seal the compressed package — not a great sign for the material's longevity. Once it was fully contained though, the resulting dense bundle is an easy size to stick in a backpack.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - once packed up, the fuego is a reasonable size - but getting it...
Once packed up, the Fuego is a reasonable size - but getting it there was a bit of a challenge.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Features


The Fuego features an impressive four total pockets, which is more than most others we tested. Both hand pockets are zippered, as is the internal stuff compartment (which doubles as a pocket while wearing). Behind that internal pouch is an open-top slip pocket. The hem is dually adjustable, cinching completely closed all the way around. However, the Fuego lacks any additional features that we appreciate so much on other models: a drop hem (for a warm booty), an adjustable hood (for when the winds whip), or a felt-lined chin guard (for luxurious self-snuggling). And though we appreciate the looser, boxy shape when layering over thick garments like fleece or a sweatshirt, when worn on its own, it lacks some finesse of fit.

The hem is the only adjustable part of the Fuego.
The hem is the only adjustable part of the Fuego.
Elastic rimmed cuffs on the Fuego are pleasant to wear.
Elastic rimmed cuffs on the Fuego are pleasant to wear.
The internal zippered pocket of the Fuego also has a slip pocket...
The internal zippered pocket of the Fuego also has a slip pocket behind it.


Durability


We always appreciate a good ripstop material to help hold off additional damage after things have gone wrong. The interior of the Fuego is made of 20D mini-ripstop nylon, meaning the added grid of thicker weave is closer together than most. However, the outside of the jacket is comprised of the same 20D nylon but with a giant ripstop pattern. Though it didn't rip or tear during our months of testing, we read numerous complaints online of other users struggling with the integrity of the external fabric.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - the exterior of the fuego is made of giant ripstop nylon, leaving...
The exterior of the Fuego is made of giant ripstop nylon, leaving more space between the protective net of reinforced weave.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Water Resistance


Both the down filling and the exterior nylon fabric of the Fuego have water resistant treatments. During our water testing, the fabric beaded water on its surface, but after just 10 minutes, a light misting had soaked through the seams of the baffling. After sitting for 30 minutes, we were easily able to feel the moisture seeping through to the inside of the coat. If having a water-resistant jacket is important to you, we wouldn't recommend the Fuego.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - while the main material of the fuego is dwr treated, water starts to...
While the main material of the Fuego is DWR treated, water starts to soak through the jacket at the baffling seams in a matter of minutes.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Should You Buy the Cotopaxi Fuego?


The Cotopaxi Fuego is a very comfortable jacket. Its boxy shape and shorter torso give it a retro fit that's easy to layer over bulky items as the temperatures drop. If you're after a performance jacket to take on your next expedition, this simplistic jacket is likely to disappoint. But if you want a cozy coat to rock around town or on chilly evenings around the campfire, the Fuego is a solid, budget-friendly pick.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - the fuego's loose fit and lack of a drop hem add to its casual retro...
The Fuego's loose fit and lack of a drop hem add to its casual retro vibe.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?


The Fuego Hooded is a pleasant, snuggly down jacket that's great for sitting around and appreciating the outdoors in warmth. If you love the idea of a poofy jacket but need more technical features, the Rab Neutrino Pro may be more up your alley. Alternatively, if sticking to this price point is important, the Rab Microlight Alpine costs about as much but weighs less and provides more precipitation protection than the Fuego. But for cool, dry, chill mornings spent sipping a hot beverage and basking in your surroundings, we enjoy the feel of the Cotopaxi Fuego.

cotopaxi fuego hooded for women down jacket review - we like the fuego best on simple missions around town or hanging...
We like the Fuego best on simple missions around town or hanging with friends.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Maggie Nichols
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