It’s Cold Outside – Cotopaxi and Merrell Have You Covered

It’s cold outside. And when it’s cold, we PNW runners need items that are well constructed, protect us from the weather, and are comfortable to boot. We recently received a few outerwear options from Cotopaxi and Merrell to check out.

Read all our posts about Cotopaxi here!

Read all our posts about Merrell here!


Cotopaxi is an active volcano in Ecuador. It is also the name of an outdoor products company based in Portland. Cotopaxi (koh-toh-PAHK-see) was founded with inspiration from the mountain, the trails around it, and a passion for creating durable gear as ethically and sustainably as possible, while giving back to communities in need.

Perhaps you’ve noticed their super bright, multiple colored jackets around town and on the trails. Cotopaxi has quickly become known as the bright stripe coat company, which has certainly allowed them to stand out in the industry of puffy coats. But more than a trendy look, Cotopaxi has quietly made a name by creating high quality gear that not only looks good, but performs too.

Recently I was asked to test Cotopaxi’s new Capa Hybrid Insulated Hooded Jacket, in Mezcal Sunset. I love the bright colors and this jacket certainly delivers those. But the PrimaLoft insulation, along with the scuba hood, elastic binding at the hood and cuffs, and the hybrid design are what I’m the most excited about.

Most puffy coats are not really designed for running, as they insulate so well that within moments of starting a run you have to strip it off. The plus about the hybrid is the stretch paneling in the sleeves and knit side panels that are designed for the movement of exercise, as well as to allow more airflow. So off to run I went!


I kept it easy with a short road run, but still picked up the pace a little to build some heat. The Capa definitely kept me warm (it was 38 degrees at the start), but after a few miles I simply zipped the jacket down a bit and was able to both vent the heat, and maintain enough warmth. The thumbholes are nice, and the elastic binding keeps the sleeves snug around my hands.

I did try the hood for a brief moment when I first started, but the knit stitching surprised me how warm it is. I imagine it will come in handy on cold days when I might find myself standing around before or after a run. For now, I’m digging the fact I can wear this around town with just a t-shirt under it. I also really love how lightweight it is. Cotopaxi indeed makes some high quality gear, and the Capa Jacket is no exception.

I will say that the first time I put on the Sherpa Full Zip, it was just to wear around the house. And here I am – weeks later – and I KEEP wearing it around the house. Those sub 40 degree days this January and February were made bearable with this top. Within a handful of minutes of putting on, I knew this was gonna be the one for me. It provideswarmth, but the breathability is still evident and its comfort level is off the charts.

The fit itself is designed to be more of a mid-layer, but I find it as more of an outerwear option. To me, the Sherpa Full Zip just sorta screams to be worn on top and cozied up in. The sizing, while not bad, is a little different. I did not find my sample item to fit as a “standard” sweater would. It fit a bit shorter on the torso and a little wider than you would think. Luckily, I have a a variety of tops like this, but I could see some looking for a more typical cut to find the sizing odd.

This is a great option for gloomy PNW weather – either at home or wearing pre- or post-race.

The Sherpa Full Zip comes in four color options.
Winter Jackets from Cotopaxi & Merrell


  • 100% recycled polyester


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Thank you to Merrell for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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