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