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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Obermeyer Coco or Kenai Jacket > Test Report by Kristine Mar

Obermeyer Coco Jacket

Test Series by Kristine Mar

Initial Report - November 7, 2011

Biographical Information:

Name: Kristine Mar
Age: 46
Gender: Female
Height: 5'3" (1.6 m)
Weight: 115 Pounds (52 kg)
Email address: kmar546@yahoo.com
City, State, Country: New York, New York, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background:

My love for the outdoors began about ten years ago, while I was living in Northern California. Most of my hiking experience includes day hikes with an occasional 2-3 day backpacking trip. I'd consider myself an all season hiker and generally like to keep my pack as light as reasonably possible. I am currently living in New York City. I've hiked in various parks in several states and countries and enjoy hiking in various terrain, but prefer mountainous terrain for the vistas and views, and enjoy forest/river hikes for the scenery.

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Obermeyer
Manufacturer Website:  www.obermeyer.com
Year of Manufacture/received:   2011
Size Tested: 4
Other Sizes Available: 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18
Color Tested: Black
Others Colors Available: True Red, Jade, Sapphire, Waterfall, White
Construction Material: Cocona: 100% Polyester
Listed Weight: None
Actual Weight: 35 oz (992 g)
Insulation / Lining: Thinsulate / Satin 100% Polyester
MSRP: US$399.50

Product Description:

The Coco jacket is a feminine, high performance waterproof and breathable ski jacket with the following features as described on the manufacturer's website:

  • Adjustable cuff tabs
  • Adjustable interior hem drawcord
  • CZV - Control Zone Ventilation
  • Fleece inside collar panels
  • Full-motion, articulated sleeve construction
  • Fully seam-sealed
  • Inner cuffs with thumbholes
  • Inside cell phone pocket
  • Inside mesh "earbud" stow pocket
  • Inside mesh/stretch binding goggle pocket
  • Inside removable media pocket with window
  • Inside secure storage pocket with zipper
  • Integrated, adjustable powder skirt with stretch panel
  • Interior stretch panels for fit/comfort
  • Internal zipper windguard
  • Key holder
  • RECCO
  • Reflective trim
  • Removable hood with peripheral and vertical drawcord adjustment
  • Scratch-free, absorbent goggle cloth
  • Shaped seams for fit
  • Ski pass D-ring
  • Tricot-lined hand pocket(s)
  • Waterproof zipper(s)
  • Zipper chest pocket(s)
  • Zipper sleeve pocket(s)


Photo: Front View

Photo: Back View

Instructions:

The only instructions that came with the Coco Jacket were the care instructions attached to the inside of the jacket. The care instructions stated the following:

  • Machine wash cold using mild detergent, gentle cycle
  • Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed
  • Line-dry only
  • Do not Iron
  • Do not dry clean

Initial Impressions:

My first impression of the Obermeyer Coco Jacket was that it was well constructed heavy duty ski/snow sport jacket with a trim fit and flattering design. The exterior layer of the jacket is manufactured with the Cocona fabric. The printed materials included with the jacket describe the Cocona fabric as a natural technology which provides the following benefits:

  • Evaporative cooling
  • UV protection
  • Odor resistant
  • Natural
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Upon further research on Cocona, I found that the performance technology of the fabric is based on activated carbon derived from coconut shells. The fabric is tested in extreme conditions and is supposed to hold up without ever washing or wearing out. The fabric feels very smooth to the touch and the fabric has a very subtle striated pattern similar to that of a smooth coconut shell.

The insulation of the jacket is provided with Thinsulate, a soft and breathable fabric which provides superior warmth, high durability and is effective in both wet and dry weather conditions. The interior of the jacket feels soft and smooth against my skin due to the satin lining and at the same time feels warm and insulated due to the Thinsulate.

The exterior of the jacket has two tricot-lined hand pockets, of which the right one has a snap closure on the inside to secure a set of keys. The exterior also has one chest pocket on left side of the jacket which has a removable goggle cloth attached to a snap closure on the inside of the pocket. There is one additional pocket on the upper left arm. The zippers on the jacket are all heavyweight and waterproof and the color which comes with the black ladies jacket is a green/blue/purple combination which is very attractive.

The interior of the jacket has a smooth satin-like feel and has a number of features and pockets for various items. The left side of the jacket has a large zippered mesh pocket which measures approximately 7 inches x 6 inches (18 cm x 15 cm). Above that there is a small mesh holder for earbuds, but this pocket will also probably fit my Sandisk Sansa mp3 player. On the right side of the interior jacket, there are two more pockets. There is another large mesh pocket similar in size to the one on the left side, without a zipper and inside of that, there is a smaller pocket which fits my Iphone perfectly. My jacket did not arrive with the inside removable media pocket with window.

Photo: Interior Storage Pockets

The jacket has an adjustable hood which can be tightened from both the sides and the back. This is a great feature for winter sports, since I often adjust my hood depending on whether or not I am wearing a helmet. The hood is also completely removable and stowable in the collar.

The sleeves of the jacket have integrated inner cuffs with thumbholes and adjustable cuff tabs. The inner cuffs are made of Lycra and are very soft against my skin. On the underside of the sleeves there is a zippered mesh opening which measures 11 inches long (28 cm) which can be used to control ventilation. Both of these will be great features for me when I am snowboarding, cross-country skiing or snow shoeing.

Photo: Integrated Inner Cuffs with Thumbholes and Adjustable Cuff Tabs

The jacket has an integrated adjustable powder skirt and has draw cords so that the interior hem of the jacket can be adjusted. The Coco jacket has some unique safety features which include the RECCO advanced rescue technology. The RECCO system is a two part rescue technology integrated into the jacket that enables fast searching and directional pinpointing of a victim's precise location. The RECCO reflector requires no training, no batteries and never needs to be switched on. It also requires no maintenance and has an unlimited lifespan. The jacket also has reflective trim on the back side under the hood.

Trying it Out:

I was unsure if I was a size 2 or a size 4, since most jackets seem to run large, but I received the size 4 and it seemed to fit me perfectly. The Coco jacket has a fit trim which is flattering and the jacket felt warm yet provided ease of movement. The jacket is loaded with features and has plenty of pockets for storing items. I love the way the interior of the jacket feels and the interior lining of the hand pockets. It feels like satin against my skin, which is not what I normally expect from a winter coat. The integrated Lycra cuffs are also very soft and fit snugly around my hands and the fleece lined inner collar was smooth against my chin. I tried the jacket out on a short 3-mile day hike at Cranberry Lake in New York this weekend, and although it was slightly warm with a high of approximately 42F (5 C), I kept the jacket on for the duration of the hike and never felt overheated.

Summary:

So far, I love the way the Coco jacket looks and feels. The construction seems to be very durable with attention paid to every smallest detail providing the user with many features. The Coco jacket feels like it will provide excellent insulation and I am I looking forward to testing while winter hiking, snow shoeing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing.

This concludes my initial report on the Obermeyer Coco Jacket. I would like to thank Obermeyer and Backpackgeartest.org for allowing me the opportunity to test this item. Please follow up for the results of my field tests in two months.

Field Conditions:

We have had unseasonably warm temperatures here on the east coast, with temperatures generally ranging from about 40F to 50F (4C to 10C) on the weekends over the last few months. We have only had one weekend with snowfall in the New York City area at the end of October. I, therefore, have only had the opportunity to wear the jacket on approximately four day hikes at various state parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and nature reserves in New York and Connecticut. The hikes generally ranged in distance from 3 to 10 miles (5 to 16 km) with maximum elevation gains of 1500 ft (457m). I was hoping to test the Coco jacket while snow shoeing, cross country skiing and snowboarding, but unfortunately we have not had enough snow fall yet this year.

Observations:

In the few times that I did wear the jacket, I felt like the Coco jacket was a solid, well-made jacket with excellent insulation and great storage space. Generally, on a day hike, I will carry a camera, a trail map, my Iphone, keys, and cash and sometimes sunglasses in my pockets for quick accessibility. I felt like the Coco jacket was, for the most part, a little heavy for hiking, given the temperatures, but provided great storage places for keeping my items organized and allowing me to access my items quickly. All of the zippers always worked smoothly without ever catching on the fabric, and the control ventilation system under the arms allowed for a quick and easy way to provide ventilation. The integrated inner cuffs with thumbholes are a nice feature and a great alternative to wearing gloves especially during the warmer winter days. The jacket is comfortable to wear, but so far, I find that the temperatures have not been cold enough for me to fully test all the features. I am really looking forward to testing this jacket in the snow and hope that the weather cooperates in the coming months.

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Summary:

I find that the Obermeyer Coco jacket is a heavy duty jacket for active outdoor pursuits in the snow. Unfortunately, because of the unseasonably warm weather here on the East Coast, I feel as if I have only been able to test a small portion of all the available features in the jacket. So far, I like the ample storage space that this jacket provides, the insulating properties, the adjustable sleeve cuffs, and the custom ventilation zippers under the sleeves.

In the coming months, I am hoping for some good snow here on the East Coast. If that does not happen, I will try to get at least two snowboarding trips in out in the Sierra Nevadas.

Field Conditions:

In addition to the testing reported in January, I continued to wear the Obermeyer Jacket on ten day hikes in several parks here on the East Coast over the past few months. The temperatures were fairly warm on the weekends ranging from about 38F to 50F (3C to 10C). The hikes ranged in distance from 3 to 10 miles (5 to 16 km) with maximum elevation gains of 1500 ft. (457 m). The hikes took place in various state parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves in the states of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. I went on a three day trip to from New York to Cape May, New Jersey and stopped at Island Beach State Park, the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, and the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge for some hiking. I also wore the jacket on several day hikes in my local area which included Harriman State park, Paugussett State Forest, Collis P. Huntington State Park, Edith Read Sanctuary, and the Greenwich Point Park. The conditions were mostly sunny, no rain, but sometimes slightly windy.

Since we have had no snow accumulation this winter around New York City, I was unable to try out the jacket and some of its features in snow, as I would have liked to.

Observations:

My impression of the Coco jacket has not changed much since the testing period reported in January. The Coco jacket is well-made with excellent insulation and great storage space. Given the warm temperatures, I generally wore a long-sleeved merino wool base layer under the jacket and always felt like I was warm enough and sometimes had to open the zippers to vent the arms. The design of the jacket is well thought out. I feel like the jacket fit very well, and the fleece lined collar panels and the tricot lined hand pockets were nice against the skin. The key ring holder came in handy for securing my keys and making them easy to find and the scratch free cloth for wiping moisture off of my sunglasses came in handy too. I also liked the fact that I had a dedicated pocket for my sunglasses when I decided to take them off. I found that the zippers were harder to pull in comparison to other jackets, especially when trying to open the arm vents, but this is most likely due to the fact that they are waterproof.

The design of the pockets on the chest and arms and the inner pockets, provide excellent storage space and were convenient for organizing small things such as my mp3 player and larger items such as my camera, wallet and cell phone while allowing everything to be easily accessible. The jacket is comfortable to wear, but so far, I find that when the temperatures went above 45F (7C), and I was on active pursuits, it felt a little too warm.

Summary:

The Obermeyer Coco jacket is a well-designed jacket for active outdoor pursuits in the snow. Because of the warm temperatures and lack of snow here on the east coast this winter, I will continue to test the Coco jacket as my primary jacket for snowy conditions, but unfortunately, I will most likely not get to continue the testing until next winter. I would have liked to test the hood design over a snowboard helmet to see if it stays on or fits securely around the helmet, the integrated powder skirt inside the jacket to see how well the snow is kept out during falls, and the D-ring for the ski pass.

Overall, I liked the well thought out design of the jacket. In particular, the following are my likes and dislikes:

    Things I like:
  • Design of the jacket with a nice trim fit
  • Ample storage space with all the integrated pockets of varying sizes
  • Separate goggle/sunglass pocket with, goggle cloth
    Things I don't like:
  • The zippers are a little stiff and more difficult to pull than other zippers.

This concludes my Long Term Report on the Obermeyer Cocona Shell. I would like to thank Obermeyer and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this item.



Read more reviews of Obermeyer gear
Read more gear reviews by Kristine Mar

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Obermeyer Coco or Kenai Jacket > Test Report by Kristine Mar



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