Make & Model - Cotopaxi Kusa
MSRP - $200
Colors - Racing Red/Cream, Mist/Morrocan Blue, Copper/Moon, Phantom/Raven
Insulation - Llama Wool
Fit - Casual
Pockets - 2 hand, 1 inner chest zipped, 2 inner hand
Intended Use - All-around
URL - http://www.cotopaxi.com
At first glance, the Kusa jacket seems like an utter lightweight compared to some of the burlier puffy coats on this list. However, the llama wool used for Insulation is a natural hollow fiber that traps air better than merino. When lofted, we found it to be quite warm, and much more breathable than other natural Insulation like goose down or thick woven merino. The Kusa is built to be reversible, although this puts the zipper storm flap awkwardly on the outside.
The Kusa doesn't quite stand up to the cold like some of the heftier jackets here. However, the wool Insulation is surprisingly warm, and completely windproof — a welcome addition for such a thin jacket. The back flap has two sets of snaps that allow it open wide. This is helpful in getting to Pockets on inner layers, and was especially nice when wearing a harness or load-bearing equipment for keeping the front tucked under the main belt, but the back providing some wind protection. The tight elastic cuffs are a nice touch as well, sliding under gauntlet-style gloves.
– Snapping back flap is great for concealed firearm carry, or accessing LBE, or a harness.
– llama wool is anti-stink even if you soak it through in sweat.
– Not as warm as similar weights in synthetic and down