Cotopaxi Pacaya Jacket

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( February 6th, 2016 )

Snowshoe SnowshoesOne thing that I often need in my travel wardrobe is a nice thin insulation layer, great for active outdoor activities in cooler climates. The Cotopaxi Pacaya jacket fills the role perfectly!

I recently had the opportunity to review Cotopaxi’s Pacaya jacket.

Gear for Good

This jacket is awesome for a number of reasons, but one of them is the company’s stance against global poverty. I love a company that is being intentional about their impact on the world—in terms of both the environment and human rights. Cotopaxi has the tagline, Gear for Good. If you’re going to splurge on gear, why not let it be for good?

Here’s what they have to say about their impact on the world: “Our grantmaking represents our belief in the power of holistic development model. We focus on three pillars which we believe are inextricably linked and crucial to creating a sustainable pathway out of poverty. Within each pillar, we have identified specific poverty indicators against which we track our outcomes and success.” You can view their impact report at their website.

Now about the jacket specifically:


I am insanely picky about color, I am learning, as I try to pick out a raincoat for backpacking. Everytime I find the perfect one at the perfect price, I remain unsure about the color. My ultimate color pet peeve is a perfectly rugged color with pink or lavender or turquoise accents—just because it’s for women. Cotopaxi somehow manages to find color combinations that are very fun and unisex. How about that neon zipper!?

Water Resistance

I wore this coat out snowshoeing quite a bit. I found that in light snow it repelled all moisture easily. Any moisture would bead and roll off. Fortunately, even if it did get wet, I wouldn’t have to worry about ruining the insulation with the water.


The insulation in this jacket is less than I would have expected. It isn’t nearly as warm as a light down coat, but it is an ideal weight for hiking and snowshoeing. It would keep me pretty warm standing still, too, but I appreciate having a nice thin layer of insulation. The Pacaya jacket filled a gap in my wardrobe I didn’t know I had.


The stretchy side panels make this jacket fabulous for athletic endeavors, making the jacket move and breathe very well.


So, the Pacaya Jacket supposedly packs into an interior pocket. Good luck with that! I tested it out, and I can say that it did, eventually, with much struggle, zip up into the interior pocket—though I can’t say I wasn’t worried about breaking the zipper. Still, this jacket packs pretty light and would travel very well. Just don’t bother zipping it in the designated pocket. It’s not worth the effort.


I found that Cotopaxi’s Pacaya Jacket fit true to size, although I wasn’t sure at first. When I first put this coat I noticed that it felt a bit higher in the armpits than my other light jackets. I wondered if that would bother me when I wore it around town and out on the trail. It never did bother me, though. I don’t notice anymore at all, and I’ve found that it layers much better than any of my other insulation gear for that very reason.


There you have it! The Cotopaxi Pacaya Jacket is lightweight, water resistant, breathable, and layers like a dream!


Go in style,



I received this item for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Travel Wardrobe for Cool Weather

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( December 31st, 2015 )

Cool weather travel wardrobe

Bengal Waxed Canvas Jacket / Cable Knit Beanie / Fleur Often than Not Earrings / Tunic / Sophia Cowl Neck Sweater /  Thread Society Soft Tee / Porteen Gear Cross-Body Travel Purse / Pilcro Serif Cord Legging / Harper Boot

I figured it was time for another what-to-wear post. This time, I haven’t chosen a specific destination—just a travel wardrobe for cool weather—in order to share with you some of the outfits that have worked well for me this holiday season as we’ve spend various weekends away with family.

Weekend trips are great practice for dialing in what your essentials really are. Usually only one pair of pants or leggings is needed, a tunic, a tee, a long cardigan, a coat, some very comfortable, versatile, waterproof boots, and a nice little purse.

You may recognize a few of these items. Ahnu Harper ankle boots—very comfortable and totally waterproof. Great for a climate like Seattle or Portland—not quite insulated enough for the snow. I’ve also shown you this purse from Porteen Gear. I love how easily her fun color schemes tie into a number of travel wardrobes while exuding loads of personality. Do you remember the Sophia cowl neck sweater from Royal Robbins?

I’ve also included a couple of items from brands I can vouch for. For example, Pilcro Serif makes amazing legging jeans. As my husband and I were Christmas shopping a month ago, I discovered them at Anthropologie. Since I had conveniently retired a pair of jeans earlier that day, I purchased some black jeans and I fell in love. For Christmas I requested this cord legging with a black and white pattern print. The gray I have pictured will be much easier to make outfits from, but I can tell you they are wildly comfortable, and over the years, as the funds arise, I plan to collect many more Pilcro Serif pants.

The bengal waxed canvas jacket from Cotopaxi is an item I would love the opportunity to try out. It would make an excellent transition piece from trail to town. It is both insulated and fashionable. A slightly longer coat can be a lot more versatile for travel because they look great with tunics and tees alike. I have tried their Pacaya jacket and can vouch for the quality—review forthcoming. I love that Cotopaxi has a mission, too. If you’re going to stock up on gear, let it be for good.

Now, I have a tunic in a tan color like the one pictured and it is one item that ends up on every little trip with me. I highly recommend pieces like this in neutral colors.

Take these suggestions and use them to mix and match your own travel wardrobe for cool weather!

Go in style,




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Mountain Khakis Après Wrap Sweater

by Jacquelyn Barnes
( December 8th, 2015 )

Mountain Getaway wrap sweaterapres wrap and me apres wrap sweater back apres wrap sweater closeup apres wrap sweater

The Après wrap sweater from Mountain Khakis is a fantastic addition to any fall or winter wardrobe. It’s great for going out on the town, or cuddling up by the fire on a mountain getaway.

The fabric is a 70 percent acrylic, 30 percent wool blend, and it isn’t scratchy at all. It feels amazing on your skin. I like that it is small enough to fit under most coats, but still has a nice relaxed fit.

As far as details go, I enjoy the cable knit and ribbed detailing around the edges and cuffs. The changes in texture are very stylish. The belt is detachable, but I have never personally felt a need to detach it. I typically wear it tied in the back for a sleek silhouette. The pockets in this sweater are great for warming your hands, or storing your car keys, a small wallet, or your phone. I was impressed when I kept my whole iPhone 5c in the pocket and couldn’t even feel that it was there; it didn’t weigh down the sweater at all.

At a glance, the price may seem a little steep for a sweater, but this is the Mountain Khakis Après wrap sweater, and the price does correlate to the quality of the garment. When it first arrived in the mail, I was astounded by how soft it was—and luxuriously heavy! Still, it packed down nicely. I took it with me for a long weekend in Summit County this October. On that trip I packed incredibly lightly and didn’t feel like this sweater took more than its fair share of space.

It’s good to note that the Après wrap sweater is hand wash only, lay flat to dry, but it isn’t the kind of garment that needs to be washed often.

This item runs true to size, so shop away!

Go in style,



Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Barnes & Brittan Hart

Although I received this item for review purposes, all opinions expressed are my own.


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