ProView – Cotopaxi Women’s Monte Hybrid Jacket
The Monte Hybrid jacket combines insulation with unrestricted movement and a stylish look. It kept me warm on 14er ascents, relaxing at 10,000 feet at camp, and accompanied me to a drive-in movie. It’s warm without being restricting, and stylish, without losing function. I don’t always go for polyester, but knowing that the shell and lining are made from 100% recycled polyester, and the insulation is 59% recycled polyester made it a much easier choice. This jacket is a great pick for galavanting in the mountains, then heading straight to town for a movie on the lawn.
I live in a van full time so every object has to have multiple uses. This jacket fills that requirement with features to spare. It’s easy to throw on for a brisk morning walk, can handle the rigor of a mountain climb, and still looks stylish for a celebratory cider when it’s all over. This jacket will stay in the van as the perfect mid-layer for winter and an awesome summer mountain layer.
This jacket has an athletic fit, which I love. It’s similar to how Rab pieces fit, seemingly made for climbers. It is mostly straight down from shoulder to hips, with more room in the boobs. This makes it a great layer to use between base and puffy during winter activities for added warmth, or to throw on top of a sun shirt during mountain adventures.
I’m pleased with the comfort of this jacket as well. It has sort of a vest set up — insulation around the body (with two stretch side panels) and sleeves made of stretchy polyester without insulation. This is ideal for long hikes in colder mountain temperatures. You can dump heat through your armpits, but keep your core at a great temperature.
Gear for good! I love that this saying is bold and in all caps on the back of the jacket. Cotopaxi really is attempting to make life long pieces that you buy once and can wear for decades. This jacket, with its rich maroon color, and simple lines, will stay stylish for many years to come. I love the look of it, the color combo, and even the small accent with the yellow of the zipper.
My favorite features of this jacket are that it’s made of mostly recycled materials. Polyester is a petroleum-based synthetic fiber, which means it’s basically made of plastic (which is made from dead dinosaurs). This makes it a finite resource, something to be used carefully. Cotopaxi was able to use mostly recycled polyester in this jacket, giving it new life.
Cotopaxi uses 105g Polartec® Alpha active insulation inside the Monte Hybrid. This active insulation gives you the best of both worlds — warmth, AND breathability. I kept my jacket on for the full descent of Mt. Bierstadt, keeping me warm while my heart rate slowed, while also not overheating me when the sun blazed down.
Let’s take a moment to talk about pockets, which is a touchy subject for me. If you’ve ever caught me on a morning walk, you’ll see my outfit complete with a hip pack. Why? Because the normal clothing I wear to walk DOESN’T HAVE POCKETS. I have to carry an extra accessory to bring along my phone, headphones, dog leash, and dog bags. Why. Why are women’s clothing made without pockets? Not Cotopaxi. The Monte Hybrid Jacket has two zipper pockets at the hips, and a third on the left inside breast. Zipper — what an addition. I can throw my phone in there (they’re big enough for a phone, which you can’t say about a lot of women’s pockets), zip it up, and know it’s safe for the summit.
This jacket could absolutely accompany you on a backpacking trip. It would be a great layer to leave on while you’re hiking to keep the elements at bay. It isn’t waterproof, so you would need a rainjacket to supplement this as well.
This jacket feels tough. I did some scrambling with it and there are no visible rips, tears, or scuffs. I would be confident wearing this jacket through the backcountry, or while cross country skiing.
Friendliness to the Earth
Cotopaxi is dedicated to making clothing and gear with sustainable resources that will last the duration of the gear’s and clothing’s lives. 1% of their annual revenue goes to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which directs grants to non-profits that support alleviation of global poverty. They have a list of many of the nonprofits and organizations they support on their website. They are also very transparent about where the products are made. This particular jacket is made in Tianjin, China. The factory supports employees well being and it working to meet high standards of sustainability and efficiency. They serve free lunches supplemented with food from the factory’s onsite garden. This sounds like a great working environment, but the products still have to travel across the globe to then be sold in the United States.
The Final Word
The Monte Hybrid Jacket is a stylish and practical addition to my active and casual wear. I plan on using it throughout the summer for hiking, backpacking, fishing, and just plain hanging out. I predict it will transfer nicely to winter sports as a great mid-layer for resort snowboarding and outer layer for more high output activities like cross country skiing and backcountry snowboarding (although I would supplement it with a waterproof layer during storms). I’m looking forward to bring this jacket on many adventures to come.