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Cotopaxi is a sustainable outdoor apparel and equipment company with a poverty-fighting business model. The brand allocates 1% of its total revenue to the nonprofit Cotopaxi Foundation, which channels the money to groups dedicated to causes like refugee assistance, poverty alleviation, and community development.
The brand has been featured in Forbes, Gear Junkie, and Shape Magazine, and its Instagram numbers an impressive 233K followers. This Cotopaxi review will take a good look at the company, its mission, products, promotions, and feedback about customer experience to help you decide if this do-gooder org should be at the top of your list for outdoor apparel.
Overview of Cotopaxi
Cotopaxi takes its name from an active volcano in the Ecuadorian region of the Andes, which is a focal point of culture and traditions of the local indigenous communities. The brand’s co-founder and CEO, Davis Smith, lived in Ecuador for several years, during which time he often explored and camped in the national park in which the volcano is located.
Growing up in Latin America, Davis was brought face to face with the extraordinary level of poverty experienced by so many of the continent’s inhabitants. After graduating from business school and starting many e-commerce ventures, he decided to put his business savvy and love of the outdoors to the task of combatting destitution and privation.
Along with his partners Stephen Jacob and CJ Whittaker, Davis founded Cotopaxi in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014. The company uses sustainable and ethical sourcing and manufacturing methods for all its clothing and equipment. The brand’s website spotlights the factories where Cotopaxi products are made, all of which adhere to strict codes of conduct and fair treatment.
Through the Cotopaxi Foundation, the company awards annual grants to nonprofit organizations that provide support for refugees, fight against malaria, bring quality education to disadvantaged regions, and other worthy causes in both Latin America and the US. To date, Cotopaxi has awarded 42 grants in 6 focus countries.
The brand also organizes the Cotopaxi Questival adventure race, a 24-hour team scavenger hunt staged in various host cities whose proceeds go to local nonprofits.
This is yet another example of the team and community spirit that the brand seeks to create among both its workers and customers. If the brand’s mission resonates with you, you can join the team by checking out the Cotopaxi jobs that are listed under the “Careers” tab at the bottom of the brand website.
Before digging in further, this Cotopaxi review will give you a look at the highlights of the brand.
- Wide range of outdoor apparel and equipment made using sustainable and ethical sourcing and manufacturing methods
- Certified B Corporation
- 1% of all proceeds go to nonprofits dedicated to fighting poverty, supporting refugees, and other important causes
- Installment payment plans available via Affirm
- Free shipping in the US on orders of $99 and up
- Refer-a-friend rewards
- Multi-item bundle discounts
Cotopaxi carries gear and apparel for all kinds of outdoor adventures. From backpacks and jackets to climbers’ chalk bags, this brand has everything you need to explore and enjoy the world around you, and maybe do some good in it while you’re at it. This Cotopaxi review will take a look at some of the brand’s bestsellers so you can get an idea of what it’s got to offer.
Cotopaxi Bags Review
Cotopaxi offers travel packs and backpacks that are designed with a multitude of features and plenty of storage. Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or heading out on a weekend camping trip to clear your head, you’ll want to check out one of these colorful top-sellers.
Allpa 35L Travel Pack
The Allpa 35L Travel Pack is a versatile backpack that’s perfect for both long overseas voyages or just hitting the road and seeing where it takes you. It’s sized for airline carry-on limits, and can be worn either on your back with its comfortable shoulder straps, or carried suitcase-style by the side handle.
Also like a suitcase, this Cotopaxi travel pack has an all-around zipper for easy packing, and small subdivided compartments (including a cushioned laptop/tablet sleeve) to help you organize your gear. It comes in five color options, and even includes a rain cover to keep your belongings dry and secure if you run into an unexpected downpour on your adventure.
The Allpa 35L Travel Pack sells for $200 solo, but you can also bundle it with the Batac 16L Del Día Backpack plus select accessories for $247 (a 15% savings), or with just the accessories (including a laundry bag, shoe bag, water bottle sleeve, and two face masks) for $207, a 10% savings.
Bataan 3L Fanny Pack
Made from repurposed nylon, the Bataan 3L Fanny Pack is great for keeping your essentials (including snacks, of course) at your fingertips while you’re saddled up with the rest of your adventure gear. It has an adjustable belt, two internal compartments, and a front zipper for easy access.
But the real story with this Cotopaxi fanny pack is the incredible range of colors it comes in. The employees at Cotopaxi’s Philippines factory design the color combos themselves, which is why no two packs are alike!
There are nearly 50 different color variations included on the Cotopaxi website. Choose the one that catches your eye, or select “Surprise Me” and the site will automatically pick one for you. You can also click on “Shuffle Colors” to get a new kaleidoscopic view of the pack designs on offer.
No matter which color you choose, the Bataan 3L Fanny Pack goes for $30.
Nazca 24L Travel Pack
Strip your adventuring arsenal down to the essentials with the Nazca 24L Travel Pack. This compact Cotopaxi backpack is made to accommodate a change of clothes, toiletries, a laptop, and the other fundamentals you’ll need for an overnight or weekend trip. It’s sized for all airline carry-on compartments, so throw in what you need and race to make that plane!
You can use the backpack straps for easy carrying, or tuck them away and port this around like a suitcase; the same goes for the detachable sling strap. You can get the Nazca 24L Travel Pack for $80, but at present it’s unavailable.
Allpa 42L Travel Pack
Now here’s a hefty one—the Allpa 42L Travel Packs are the largest-size Cotopaxi bags available, made to carry everything you’ll need for long trips. There’s a reason why Cotopaxi calls its backpacks “systems”: inside this hefty bag you’ll find an incredible array of different-sized compartments to safely store everything you need while you’re on the road.
If you’ve ever toted a travel backpack around, you know how raw and aching your shoulders can get. Cotopaxi has designed this backpack for maximum comfort with its weight-distributing harness rig, which includes a removable hip belt. The polyester exterior keeps the rain and snow from infiltrating your possessions, and there’s also a rain cover for the real heavy blows.
The Allpa 42L Travel Pack comes in your choice of five colors, and retails for $220. If you’re in a bundling mood, you can pair this with the Batac 16L Del Día Backpack and accessories for $264 (compare to the actual value of $310), or just snag it and the accessories for $225, regular $250.
Luzon 18L Backpack
The big brother to the unique Cotopaxi fanny packs, the Luzon 18L Backpack is also designed in wildly varying color combinations by the brand’s employees at its Philippines factory. It’s part of Cotopaxi’s (Re)Purpose Collection, meaning that every bag is made from fabric left over from other, larger companies’ manufacturing.
Unlike the super-serious travel packs above, there’s no system to this backpack—just one spacious compartment that you access with a drawstring top. Forget the planning, just shove in what you need, cinch it closed, throw it on your back and be on your way! Pick your color (or let Cotopaxi pick it for you) and hit the road with the Luzon 18L Backpack for $55.
Batac 16L Backpack
Another day, another eye-dazzling Cotopaxi backpack collection! Like the Luzon above, the Batac 16L Backpack comes in over 50 different color designs and has an unstructured interior that lets you shove in what you need for a day trip or hike. The difference here is the zippered closure, rather than a drawstring.
There’s also a zippered front pocket, two exterior water-bottle pockets, and a handy and secure sleeve for your phone or camera. You can get the Batac 16L Backpack for $60.
Cotopaxi Clothing Review
Along with travel gear, Cotopaxi also carries outwear collections for men and women. This includes fleece and hoodies, activewear, bottoms, and more. After all, you’ve got to bundle up from head to toe when exploring the outdoors. Below, we’ll feature two versatile bestsellers.
Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker
Drizzle dampened the spirit of adventure? Don’t worry, the unisex Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker gives you the lightweight protection you need to deal with those mild but still maddening inclement weather situations, or those chilly early-spring seashore breezes.
The Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker comes in three color combinations and ranges in size from Women’s XS to Men’s XXL. There’s a large front pocket, a handy hood, and an internal phone pocket so you can keep your electronics protected from the elements. Choose your color and pick it up for $80.
The Cotopaxi Libre Sweater is an athletic unisex crewneck made with cozy, ethically sourced Bolivian llama fiber. It comes in the same seven sizes as the Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker, but because of its form-fitting cut Cotopaxi recommends sizing up if you’re between sizes.
Sturdily made and featuring a mesh panel on the back to improve air circulation, this sweater is a perfect layering option for winter and will keep you warm and comfortable for those early-spring or mid-fall hikes. The ultra-popular Libre Sweater usually sells for $140, but the few remaining from the present batch are currently available for just $42 as final sale!
Cotopaxi Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
You’ve seen the best, now let’s get on with the rest of this Cotopaxi review by taking a look at customer feedback for this company and its products, starting with the brand website itself.
On cotopaxi.com, the Libre Sweater scores 4.2/5 stars based on 176 reviews. Buyers were blown away by its comfort and warmth, as well as its perfect fit. On that first note, one reviewer wrote about how he put this sweater to the ultimate test:
“I decided to wear this sweat as my main layer for a Mt. Everest expedition … I wore [it] pretty much every single day and even on our summit day. I like how the sweater stayed fresh and delightful! [It] breathes very well [and] I never felt overheated or unprotected … I truly lived in this thing from day to day [and] definitely would recommend this sweater to everyone!”
As to the fit, another commenter chimed in from the other side of the unisex divide, saying “I’m 5’6″, 140 lbs. Wide shoulders for a chick, but otherwise pretty lean. I received the Libre Sweater women’s med/men’s small in navy as a gift recently. Have had the sweater over 2 months and am in love with it.
“The fit is comfortable and flattering at the same time. Not at all constricting. Usually if I have room in the shoulders, it means the rest of the fit is baggy on me. But the Libre feels almost customized. Elasticity around the sleeves and waist keep it from bunching up under a coat, or riding up during more active use…. Thanks for a great product, Cotopaxi!”
Let’s head to some third-party sites to see what people are saying off the brand’s home turf. At Amazon, the Allpa 28L Travel Pack snags a spectacular 4.8/5 stars based on 111 global ratings. One reviewer wrote that, while the bag is definitely pricey, it’s absolutely worth the money for its comfort and convenience:
“Perfect size for a 5’3 female. I don’t look like a turtle wearing this pack!! And it’s super comfortable even with a heavy load! The best part is how much I can fit inside of the pack! There are many pockets, therefore you don’t need packing cubes to sort your belongings. Another plus is that it fits under a seat on an airplane [even though] I had it packed full!”
Cotopaxi gets more mixed reviews on assorted Reddit travel threads, where there is some griping about things like no water-bottle pockets on certain bags, or water-bottle pockets that aren’t large enough for a Nalgene. Overall, though, users tend to agree that Cotopaxi packs are aesthetically pleasing and of good quality.
On Facebook, where the brand scores 4.9/5 stars from 133 reviews, one commenter put the company’s social mission front and center:
“Cotopaxi has quickly become my personal favorite brand. High quality products. A great story and belief system. I’ve embraced the entire #DoGood movement in my personal life and have made it a priority to contribute to my local community…. I’ve loved every item [and] I look forward to continuing to support Cotopaxi for a long time to come!”
It’s always wise to approach businesses that trumpet their dedication to social causes with a certain degree of skepticism. Fortunately, this Cotopaxi review will note that the majority of customer comments have made it quite evident that this is a brand worth checking out.
Is Cotopaxi Worth It?
This Cotopaxi review has considered customer experience, product details, and the brand’s values, and determined that, yes, this company is definitely worth it. Cotopaxi is an ethical brand that is transparent about the sourcing and manufacturing of its products, and about where it allocates the money that it earmarks for social causes.
The brand has a quirky aesthetic, comparable market prices to other popular outdoor brands like MEC, and customers give its products extremely high ratings pretty much across the board. All of which is to say, this Cotopaxi review feels like it can safely vouch for the fact that there is no danger buying from this brand.
Cotopaxi Promotions & Discounts
The Cotopaxi sale section features final sale items that are heavily discounted. Take the Salazo Down Jacket, for example: originally priced at $220, it’s presently on sale for $165. You can also access exclusive offers when you register for the brand’s e-newsletter, which includes features like impact stories and first looks at new products.
Want more? With your email, you can sign up to receive Cotopaxi free stickers featuring the brand’s llama logo. To find where to do this, click on ‘More’ in the main navigation menu, scroll over to ‘Other,’ and click ‘free sticker.’
Cotopaxi offers a refer-a-friend reward, by which you give your friends $20 off their first order of $95+ and you get $20 off your next purchase for each successful referral. All you have to do is register your email, then email the referral to your friends or share on social media!
Where to Buy Cotopaxi
You can order Cotopaxi products from the brand website or one of the five Cotopaxi retail stores in the United States. To find a Cotopaxi location, scroll to the menu at the bottom of the website and click on ‘Retailers’ under the ‘Sales’ tab.
You can also buy Cotopaxi products online at MooseJaw, MEC, REI Co-op, and Amazon.
Where is Cotopaxi brand from?
Cotopaxi products are shipped out of Cotopaxi headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The name of the brand is taken from an active volcano in the Ecuadoran Andes.
Where is Cotopaxi manufactured?
Cotopaxi has six factories in which its products are made, located in the following regions:
- Battan, Philippines
- Tianjin, China
- Shanghai, China
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Chinnakarai, India
- La Paz, Bolivia
Is Cotopaxi ethical?
As outlined in this Cotopaxi review, the brand’s products are made ethically. Cotopaxi is a Certified B Corporation that works with suppliers to uphold a code of conduct ensuring that all international employees are paid and treated fairly.
Is Cotopaxi waterproof?
Much Cotopaxi outerwear and equipment is waterproof, as noted in individual product details. These products are made with polyester.
How do you clean Cotopaxi?
This Cotopaxi review has dug up some of the extensive cleaning instructions that the brand provides for its various products:
- For Kusa products: hand wash with cold water and mild soap or use a gentle machine cycle. Air dry and be gentle.
- For Libre socks: turn socks inside out before washing in cold water.
- For Libre Sweaters: hand wash with cold water and mild soap. Air dry flat!
- For down products: wash by hand or use a gentle machine cycle with cold water. Machine dry on lowest heat or air fluff with 2-3 clean tennis balls in the dryer.
- For packs: hand clean with a washcloth and mild detergent.
All customized products are ‘Guaranteed for Good’ under the wear-and-tear Cotopaxi warranty. If you have a customized product that has become damaged over time, you may be eligible for free Cotopaxi repairs.
How long does Cotopaxi take to ship?
Will Cotopaxi ship to your location? Not to worry, the brand delivers to most countries around the world, excluding Russia and Brazil. Products are shipped out of the brand’s distribution center in Salt Lake City, Utah, within 14 days of purchase via DHL, USPS, or FedEx. Cotopaxi is not responsible for taxes or custom fees incurred upon delivery.
What is Cotopaxi’s Return Policy?
Cotopaxi returns are valid for US orders only within 30 days of purchase. All international sales are final.
To start a return, go to the Cotopaxi login page or scroll down to the navigation menu at the bottom of the website, and find “Returns” under the “Support” tab. This will open a new webpage with a Cotopaxi return form, on which you will need to enter your order number and postal code.
Cotopaxi will then send you a free return label, and will refund you within 14 days of the product being returned to the distribution center. This Cotopaxi review also notes that refunds for store credit are free, but refunds to the original payment method require a $5 restocking fee.
How to Contact Cotopaxi
You can reach Cotopaxi customer service anytime between 9am-5pm MST, Monday-Friday via the following methods:
- Phone: (844)-268-6729
- Text (385)-270-8811
- Live chat on website
The Cotopaxi email for general inquiries is [email protected].
If your questions are specific to Questival, contact [email protected].
For inquiries about partnerships, email [email protected].
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