Monday, May 17, 2010

Cocona Fabrics

I've recently become a tester for Cocona Fabrics. They're a Colorado based company that specializes in coconut fiber infused synthetic garments. A few companies, such as Marmot and Mammut have begun to incorporate them into they're line ups.

I'm pretty impressed with the utility of the fabric. The fabric feels great right out of the box. The shirt I was sent is a basic 1/4 zip, black, long sleeve tee. Nothing was amazingly spectacular looking, just a pretty basic long sleeve tech shirt.

After my initial inspection, a few glaring errors came to light.
1. Who doesn't incorporate a chin guard into their zippers? This is pretty much inexcusable in a tech garment. This instantly put the shirt fairly low on my long totem pole of cold weather running gear. Plus, the neck, when unzipped, has just enough weight to not stay in place (or simply stay down in the first place) but manages to flip up over and over and over in the runners face.

2. The logo on the left sleeve is pretty subtle. I like that, looks good. What I don't like is that the fabric/stitching behind the sewn in logo is not backed to prevent chafing.

3. SEAM PLACEMENT! I see this mistake all the time in prominent label athletic apparel such as Nike and Adidas. These companies typically aren't concerned that their seams are obtrusive and downright annoying when wearing a backpack or camel-bak. These companies aren't really developing their sports apparel to the outdoor athlete, and that's fine. It's not fine when the shirt is obviously marketed toward the outdoor athlete.

4. It's not a make it or break it deal, but there are no pockets, anywhere, on this shirt. Even one pocket really opens up the possibilities for the shirt. A gel, iPod, or small cell phone can all be put into a shirt pocket, and are typically less obtrusive than running short pockets.

5. Sizing is a little off for a straight medium. It's a little too small, especially in the armpits. Just a tad short. I wear mediums in just about everything, and I would probably jump up to a large in this shirt.

Check back soon for the first few workouts.

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