Cotopaxi has become known for its colorful, eco-conscious approach to outdoor gear and apparel—puffy coats insulated with llama wool, backpacks made from fabric scraps. Earlier this month, the brand released a new activewear collection—the first time the company has branched out from its outerwear and camp-gear staples. We got our hands on some key pieces from the new collection and, on the whole, were pretty impressed.
In trademark Cotopaxi fashion, everything in the collection comes in bright color-block patterns. This is especially true of the men’s Haraka tights ($80), which are so loud that our associate reviews editor, Ben, only wears them under his ski pants. Pretty much everything else in the collection is available in more muted tones.
The entire collection features exceptional next-to-skin comfort. The Quito Active Tank ($50) is buttery soft, as are the women’s Wazimu tights ($70). The Wazimu in particular may be among the most comfortable running tights I’ve ever worn: The upper half is a thicker polyester fabric, and from the knees down is a thinner, mesh-like fabric, resulting in a perfect combo of warmth and breathability. The Haraka tights are thinner and more compressive than the Wazimu, but not as warm. They also cost $10 more.
Aside from the Wazimu tights, which I’d gladly wear on any mountain trail run, the rest of the collection would be more at home on short bike-path runs or in the gym. The shorts are a little thick, and the men’s version has side pockets—not ideal for long periods of running. The Haraka tights also have quite a few seams, which could be a recipe for chafing.
My main beef is with the Toliman hoodie ($150), which claims to be unisex but is clearly cut with a long, narrow torso in mind and is not flattering on a petite, curvy woman’s figure. The thin, waffle-knit fleece is quite comfortable, though. Despite the poor fit, on more than one occasion I’ve found myself pulling it on for low-key trips to the climbing gym.
On the whole, Cotopaxi has done a thoughtful job with the new collection. Flashy, with function to match.