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First Impressions: Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket & Batac Del Dia Rucksack

Words by Taunton Leisure

on 02/10/2020 15:20:06


First Impressions: Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket and the Batac Del Dia Backpack

Take a look at Oli’s first thoughts on some brand new, colourful Cotopaxi gear.

Just in time for what is already looking to be a chilly wet Autumn, I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to test out not one but two pieces of Cotopaxi gear; the cosy but lightweight Fuego down Jacket and the distinct Batac Del Dia backpack.
I wanted to write down my very first impressions of these products and help give you some ideas of how the products feel and fit, after all, it’s difficult to really get an idea of a product without getting up close and personal, especially in these strange times.

But first, here’s a little information about Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi Line Up

Founded across the pond, Cotopaxi takes its name from an active Stratovolcano in the Ecuadorian region of the Andes mountains. Cotopaxi draws much design influence from the mountain’s bright surrounding location and the vibrant cultures who live there. From this we gain insight into the wonderfully bright colours that dominate Cotopaxi’s delightful range of outdoor gear, it’s very refreshing to see this in an otherwise rather sensibly coloured season of garments from other brands. These retro colourways take me back to the brighter outdoor gear of my early, slightly feral childhood in the late ’90s and I can’t help but feel joyfully nostalgic with memories of my mum’s vibrant blue waterproof and my dad’s thick purple fleeces. Good times!

Anyway, Cotopaxi’s ethos and creed DO GOOD is concreted by their status as a certified B corporation, meaning that 1% of their yearly revenue is put toward addressing poverty and community development. To date, they’ve awarded 42 grants in six focus countries. Another large part of their company culture is their approach to sustainable and ethical product design and production. They work with factories that improve the well-being of employees and their designs seek to minimise waste and increase yields of materials (more on that later).

Read more about them here in Cotopaxi: Gear for Good


First Impressions: Fuego Down Jacket

It was an exciting moment when my gear arrived for testing. Having been working from home for months, I had not yet seen any Cotopaxi gear in person and my honest first impression of the Fuego jacket was that it is very well made, it looks and feels great with excellent attention to detail. The outer 20D water-resistant giant ripstop nylon face fabric feels great between finger and thumb and repels water well with good beading, I’d never let it snag but if I did fall into a hedge, I’d feel confident that the ripstop construction would help minimise damage. I’m going to take a moment here to say DO NOT test your lovely down jackets in this way, put it down and step away from the bramble bush!

The stitching between the baffles is excellently neat, tidy, and strong showing no weaknesses, as a sign of their attention to detail, the bold tricolour baffles on the front and back of the jacket have a matching colour thread used on the baffles stitching (see image below). At the hem, you have two handy toggles for tightening around the waist and keeping in the warmth. At the end of the sleeves are elasticated cuffs that fit comfortably and are soft to the touch. Something I’d like to give a special shout out to is the big YKK zip used on the jacket's front, it has an easy mechanism and a very smooth glide when opening and closing. When you test a lot of jackets, you take notice of these things, and honestly, it makes a fair bit of difference, I can’t see it ever accidentally snagging the jacket. The pull attachments on the zip are also pretty satisfying, like two small rubber components sort of welded to the cord. Made me happy, it’s the little things.

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Click to enlarge and check out the neat stitching and those satisfying zip pulls.

As far as fit is concerned, it’s a more athletic, technical fit. It is made for active outdoor activities after all. I am tall and skinny with wide shoulders and am testing a medium. It’s up to you what would be best here, if like me you’re looking for that technical fit which will keep close to you and fit snuggly under a waterproof on cold wet days, then I recommend keeping to your normal size. If you’re looking instead for a more casual fit for pulling on during cold evenings around the fire, maybe consider a size larger.

Warmth! In the brief time I’ve had with this jacket so far, I certainly haven’t felt cold on the windier dog walks or late at night. For the jacket's weight of 340g, the warmth I’m getting out of it is certainly impressive. This is thanks to the great 800FP goose down within which is generous for a jacket of this price. Certainly putting it in a good position amongst its peers from other brands. I can’t wait to properly test the jacket on a colder night.

You can shop for the Fuego down jacket HERE

Available in men’s and women’s options with or without a hood. All have great colourways. If you like the look of mine, I’m wearing the Dark forest stripes colourway.


In case you were wondering, Irish Wolfhound x Scottish Deerhound. Paisley and Eric. Lovely but a bit cheeky.
First Impressions: Batac Del Dia Backpack

Before I go into the finer details of this cool pack, I should first talk about Cotopaxi’s Del Dia Collection. Earlier I mentioned how they design products with the intention of creating as little waste as possible whilst getting the maximum yield from all of their materials. The Del Dia collection comprises multiple luggage items made entirely from Cotopaxi’s off-cut materials. This is everything from fabrics to zip pullers to fastening clips all in a wonderful combination of seemingly random colours. Del Dia products are made in a factory in the Philippines where each talented craftsperson is given complete creative control into how the products will look, hand selecting from the many other colours used in Cotopaxi’s products. Because of this, every Del Dia product is unique, no two are the same and they look amazing! I was really excited to find that the pack I would be testing was completely random and I had no idea what colours it would be, I am very happy with the result though. See the pictures below and click/tap to enlarge so that you can take in the awesome random colours and components.

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I don’t know about you but the thought of my backpack being totally unique to me is pretty cool. Let’s bring some colour back into outdoor gear!

Focusing more on the details of the Batac itself, like the jacket, I’m impressed with the quality of build. Despite how random the colours of the fabric are, it is still very strong feeling and has decent stitching to keep it all together. Like any good rugged pack, Cotopaxi has chosen durable materials and strong components to ensure the pack can take the stress for years and years of hard work and activity. Cotopaxi certainly put the FUN in functional (I’m not sorry).

The Batac is comfortable across the shoulders and would make an excellent day pack for hikes, bike rides, field days, errand days you name it. I definitely get the sense that organisation is a key component in the pack's design. Two sturdy different coloured pieces of elastic netting on each side form holders for your water bottles and there is also a compartment within the pack for a reservoir with a hole for the hose to exit neatly between the lightweight mesh shoulder straps which feature an adjustable chest strap. The main compartment has a wide zip opening perfect accessing its contents without having to unpack everything and there is a nifty netting compartment near the top perfect for smaller items such as keys, glasses, or money. The back of the pack has another flatter compartment perfect for maps, phones, guidebooks, etc which can be accessed in a hurry if you find yourself getting lost with the sun coming down and the mist rolling in. Again, it seems that Cotopaxi has excellent taste in zips as it seems very smooth. Finally, you’ve got an external hanging strap on the back of the pack which could be used to clip gear to, could be good for a day out rock climbing?

I’m really looking forward to testing this pack further and letting you know what I make of it after some proper testing.

You can shop for the Batac Del Dia Back Pack HERE
Remember, ordering an item from the Del Dia collection means that it could end up being a completely different set of colours to those pictured. It’s part of the fun and is a superb way to minimise wastage. Go Llamas!

Shop Cotopaxi Here

Me with frozen beard

   This post was written by Oli, our beardy gear boffin. Oli is a big fan of Unspoilt wilderness, starry nights and roaring campfires. He is happiest out on the hill or in the woods, wild camping with his two awesome doggos.

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