Mountain Tested Mondays: Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell

Over the last few months, I doubled my commitment to training.

While preparing to launch a small business training and documentation software, I balanced my routine with a healthy dose of the outdoors, and picked up trail running in Arizona.

As a former casual treadmill enthusiast, the terrain is definitely challenging. But I quickly fell in love with the unpredictability of mountain running.

Leaping across rocks and sliding on sand feels more like a childhood adventure than a chore, and really gets the adrenaline going.

Before, I used to run for time. I would try to squeeze in 30 minutes in a gym before kicking off my day. Now, going for a run feels like a challenge. How far can I get? Which turns will I take? What view will I see around the next corner?

When you run on a mountain, the view and the exercise are competing to take your breath away.

So on a somewhat chilly winter morning in Scottsdale, just after sunrise, I met my training accountability brothers – Jonathan and Russ – at the Pinnacle Peak trailhead.

About to embark on a 4-mile, demanding out and back run with 1,000+ feet in elevation gain, I zipped into the Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell.

What I Love About The Cotopaxi Tikal Active Shell

Lightweight and protective

At only 10oz, this jacket packs down tiny enough to bring anywhere. There’s really no reason not to bring it and just be ready for a brisk morning, a rainy day, or in Arizona, you never know when a sandstorm will head your way.

Breathable but warm

On a second outing with the Tikal, I trekked up Camelback Mountain to catch a mid-week, pre-work sunrise. The winds were whipping at the summit and with morning desert temperatures hovering just below 50, I was glad I had the shell. It was breathable enough on the run, but really kept in the heat up top.

Fitted but moves well

The material quality is great. The Tikal fit is slim and active, but the fabric has a nice stretch that moves doesn’t inhibit body movement at all.

What else?

It doesn’t rain much in the desert, but I know the Tikal Active Shell is highly water-resistant and will hold it’s own during our occasional or in a rainier city when I’m traveling.

The Tikal is just a great all-around jacket. Whether you need protection from the elements on a demanding backpacking trip, lightweight protection on a nice long trail run, or just a great looking shell for walking cities and airports, the Tikal is a great go-to. I know it’ll be mine.


  • Fully taped, 2.5-layer water-resistant shell fabric with two-way stretch
  • Three-way adjustable hood with laminated visor
  • YKK Vislon® center front zipper
  • Perforated underarm panels vent heat with less bulk than pit zips
  • Two zippered hand pockets with Framis trim detail


“We create innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.” – Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi makes great gear, sure, but something else I love about this company is their commitment to creating positive social impact.

Giving back is built into the model, and each and every product sold supports efforts to alleviate global poverty and provide grants targeted at advancing health, education, and livelihood initiatives worldwide. Learn more at


Chris Ronzio
Chris Ronzio

Founder of Trainual, business efficiency consultant, entrepreneur, traveler, husband & dad!


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