Whether you’re perpetually on the road or rediscovering your home territory, it’s essential to have a tried-and-true rain jacket. And while one of the most essential qualities of a rain jacket is to keep the moisture out, it’s also helpful when that waterproof barrier doesn’t result in making you feel stuffy or overheated. And it can’t hurt if the jacket is easy to pack small, to fit into your suitcase or daypack.
The Cotopaxi Parque Rain Shell, with versions for women and men, is worth your attention. It’s earned its place in my gear closet.
The 100-percent soft nylon waterproof shell has fully taped seams, keeping water out. It’s also breathable, so you won’t feel as if you’re taking shelter in a greenhouse. For comfort purposes, the jacket’s fabric has integrated mechanical stretch to improve range of motion, instead of making you feel trapped in your jacket without the ability to move with freedom. If you ever need to regulate temperature when you’re on the move, the zippered underarm vents do a great job preventing your core from overheating.
Velcro cuff tabs and single-pull cord adjustments for both hood and hem assist you in keeping the rain from getting into the jacket. Two roomy drop-in pockets have snap closures, and two hand pockets have zippered closures—all great places for hands or small essentials that you want to keep dry.
Cotopaxi ties its earnings to impact by allocating 1 percent of annual revenues to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which awards grants to outstanding non-profit partners who are selected for their track records at alleviating poverty and improving the human condition.
The women’s version of the Parque Rain Shell comes in sage/submarine and lists for $150 on the Cotopaxi site. The men’s version comes in either cayenne or graphite and lists for the same amount on the Cotopaxi site.