Review: Cotopaxi’s Toliman Hoodie

For this review of Cotopaxi’s Toliman Wool Hoodie, we sought out WashingtonOutsider, Natalie Lord. The Toliman is made in Portland, Oregon, just 170 miles south of Lord’s home base.

Cotopaxi Toliman

The 20-something spends more time outdoors than most of us even hope for. The talented skier graduated from St. Lawrence University where she was active in the Outing Club and has enjoyed many outdoor adventures from surfing to skiing. Since landing in Washington, she’s explored much of the state’s western region.

She writes:

I pulled the Cotopaxi Toliman hoodie out of the box, put it on, and got in the car for a weekend trip to the Outer Coast of Washington. The trip was a perfect way to get to know my new layer, as I used it on a rainy hike out to Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park, and after a cold surf session in the Pacific Ocean.

During the hike out to Shi Shi, I ended up taking off the pullover because I was too warm, hopping over logs and trekking through giant mud pits. Yet once we got out of the rainforest and onto the beach, with wind whipping and a rainstorm headed our way, I quickly put it back on and was comfortable again.

One of my favorite features of this pullover is the hood. Finally, a pullover with a hood that isn’t too small for my head!

While scrambling over rocks and collecting marine debris, the stretchy fabric allowed for flexible movement without the typical restrictions from layering. The Power Wool portion of the pullover did an excellent job wicking my sweat on the hike.

Photo by Beau Gaughran

It really came in handy the next day after my surf session when I threw it on over my bathing suit for the walk back to the cabin. Normally, I freeze during these walks, but this layer used my body heat to my advantage and the hood made a remarkable difference!

Since I had such a great experience with the Toliman pullover out on the coast, I decided to bring it backcountry skiing near Mount Baker for the next weekend adventure.

When traveling in the backcountry, weight is highly stressed factor. The Toliman is a perfect layer to bring because it’s light, packable, and warm.

Growing up skiing in Maine, I’ve been used to the tight synthetic layers. The Toliman pullover is my first wool layer. It manages moisture and breathability perfectly for ski touring.

On this particular outing, it was a ‘blue bird’ sunny day, though with the wind the temperatures remained chilly. Once again, the hood came into great use, providing an extra level of warmth. For the ski down, I decided to keep on the pullover as my outer layer instead of add on an additional puffy. At the end of a long day of skiing, this is the layer I don’t need to take off immediately.

The Toliman Pullover has become my perfect mid-layer for any outdoor excursion.

Photo by Beau Gaughran

A worthwhile inVESTment

When it comes to gear, I veer towards minimalism. I like products that look good, fit brilliantly, and last for years.

altiI also like to feel good about my purchases. Maybe that’s why our connection with Cotopaxi, a young Utah company, has been so fortuitous. Cotopaxi makes stylish, classy, durable apparel and donates a sizeable chunk of each purchase to help fund charitable projects around the world.

Read more about Cotopaxi’s perfect barn coat, the Kusa lightweight jacket, and the Cusco backpack.

Delight would describe my trial of the Altiplano vest, a sleek, highly packable piece with a slimming, attractive fit that will, if you let it, become your new favorite layer. It happened to me. It can happen to you. (Enter “nickernews” at checkout and receive 20 percent off.) Click here.

Vests are valuable layers for those of us working in variable temperatures and moving a lot, especially with our upper bodies (think tossing hay, shoveling, hauling water, skiing, hiking). The Altiplano is thin, warm, and styled perfectly to stay out of the way of those upper body exertions and look good doing it.

IMG_1366My vest experience prior to wearing the Altiplano was this:

— If it was light and utilitarian, then it didn’t look nice enough not to stay hidden under another layer.

— If it was more finished and stylish, then inevitably it was too bulky or uncomfortable to be much use outside of a dressy occasion.

With Polartec Alpha insulation, the Altiplano worked great as a layer under a barncoat while riding and working with horses in 30 degree whether. It also got compliments on a warmer day when I used it as a last layer (over a long-sleeve shirt) on a trip to town.

The ripstop shell feels like velvet and the heather-ish stretch fleece on the back adds an interesting contrast, distinguishing it from those aforementioned utility vests.

Each Altiplano purchase helps provide primary and secondary schooling to kids in Ecuador.

Cotopaxi recently became a B Corporation (like our partner, Eco Lips). B Corps are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

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