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Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Hooded Half-Zip - Women's Review

A non-technical fleece that's best for hanging out and relaxing with retro vibes
cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review
The Cotopaxi Teca has a boxy fit and unique color scheme that we like hanging out in but falls short on technical performance.
Credit: Maggie Nichols
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Price:  $130 List
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 29, 2022
45
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort - 25% 4.5
  • Versatility - 20% 5.0
  • Breathability - 15% 3.5
  • Layering Ability - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Cotopaxi Teca Fleece is a casual fleece that offers retro vibes with its taffeta stripes. Its baggy fit is relaxed and enjoyable with a cozy passthrough pocket and a single zippered kangaroo pouch. This polyester fleece isn't as soft or as breathable as many others, and it's rather bulky. The hood sticks up a bit awkwardly for our liking and those colored chest stripes are not stretchy. If you're a fan of the short and boxy look and throwback style, you may enjoy chillaxing in the Teca Fleece.
REASONS TO BUY
Interesting color options
Cozy passthrough pocket
Warm
Relaxed casual fit
REASONS TO AVOID
Not breathable
Short and boxy
Hood lays oddly
Bulky
Fleece isn't as soft
Chest stripes don't stretch

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $130 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
45
81
69
67
63
Star Rating
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Pros Interesting color options, cozy passthrough pocket, warm, relaxed casual fitVery stretchy and comfortable, cozy and warm, breathable, comparatively compactVery stretchy, comfortable thumbholes, extended coverage, packable, very breathable, great warmth-to-weight ratioExceptionally breathable, extremely lightweight, clever thumb loops, great neck protection, shirt-like comfortInstantly cozy, soft and fluffy, affordable, lots of color options
Cons Not breathable, short and boxy, hood lays oddly, bulky, fleece isn't as soft, chest stripes don't stretchSlim fit doesn't work for everyone, not very windproof, fuzzy exterior collects debrisChest pocket looks bad, oddly long cut, light colors are see throughNot as warm, hard to layer over other things, lighter colors are somewhat see-throughNo pockets, challenging to layer, not breathable, less wind resistant
Bottom Line A non-technical fleece that's best for hanging out and relaxing with retro vibesAn extremely versatile fleece with lightweight breathability and stretchy comfort combined with midweight warmth and protectionThis lightweight fleece features good technical performance and coverage, a great warmth-to-weight ratio, and a reasonable priceAn excellent lightweight, breathable fleece shirt to level up your winter running wardrobeA simple pullover with a classic design that's cozy, relaxed, easy to love, and affordable
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Teca Hoode... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Outdoor Research Vi... The North Face Summ... Columbia Benton Spr...
Warmth (25%)
5.0
7.5
6.0
4.5
8.0
Comfort (25%)
4.5
9.0
6.5
7.5
7.5
Versatility (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
3.5
8.5
9.0
9.5
4.0
Layering Ability (15%)
4.0
7.0
7.0
5.5
4.0
Specs Cotopaxi Teca Hoode... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Outdoor Research Vi... The North Face Summ... Columbia Benton Spr...
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Main Material 95% recycled polyester, 5% repurposed polyester taffeta Recycled polyester 94% polyester, 6% spandex Polyester Polyester
Cuff Construction Elastic cuff Quick-drying woven binding Same fabric as jacket Elastic band Elastic cuff
Weight 12.9 oz 10.7 oz 8.9 oz 4.4 oz 10.4 oz
Hood Option? Yes Yes No Yes No
Number of Pockets Passthrough hand, 1 drop in 2 hand, 1 chest 1 chest None None
Features Chin guard, elastic hood hem Off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, moisture wicking Thumbholes, flat seam construction, UPF 30, moisture wicking, off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, chin guard Off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, thumb holes, scuba hood, moisture wicking Comfort stretch, extended collar

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cotopaxi Teca Fleece is a midweight pullover with a half-zip and hood. It's made of 95% recycled polyester and 5% repurposed polyester taffeta (the stripes) and has a passthrough hand pocket and a single zippered drop-in pocket. It features a chin zipper guard and an elastic hood hem.

Performance Comparison


cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - the teca fleece has a relaxed fit and a secure zippered kangaroo...
The Teca Fleece has a relaxed fit and a secure zippered kangaroo pouch.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Warmth


The fabric of the Teca Fleece is fairly warm and protective, and the passthrough pocket keeps our hands warm — though we wish it were fully lined with fleece rather than half fleece and half polyester taffeta. Its hood has a loose scuba fit that's easy to layer over a beanie or ponytail. It doesn't have any added coverage to help keep you warm; no thumbholes, elongated torso, or drop hem. And in the wind, its loose fit lets air in with relative ease.

cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - the fabric of the teca is not as soft as other fleeces we tested and...
The fabric of the Teca is not as soft as other fleeces we tested and feels slightly plasticky.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


The polyester fleece of the Teca is soft, but with a much more plasticky feel than any other polyester fleece we tested. Its boxy fit is more accommodating of different body shapes, but its short torso is less so. The half zip is rather stiff, letting the sides of the collar and hood stand awkwardly at attention even when we tried to fold them out of the way. The lack of stretch of the colored taffeta stripes across the chest is a hindrance to large-chested women. We like the addition of the zippered kangaroo pouch — which is plenty large enough for a smartphone, sunglasses, and a snack — but once it's holding our belongings, the passthrough pocket becomes awkward to use, as your hands are just stuffed behind whatever is in your kangaroo pouch.

cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - the sides of the hood stick up awkwardly when partially zipped.
The sides of the hood stick up awkwardly when partially zipped.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Versatility


Impressively, the taffeta stripes across the chest repel water quite effectively. Unfortunately, the rest of the jacket does not (almost no fleece jacket does, though). It does take a fair bit of time before the rain works its way through the fabric to our bodies underneath, though. It also does a solid job blocking minor breezes, though the zipper (which lacks a wind guard) is a weak point on that front. The size Small we tested weighs 12.9 ounces, which is well on the high side of average for midweight fleeces. It's also very thick and bulky, making it difficult to pack for travel.

cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - the taffeta stripes repel water, but they're not stretchy, which can...
The taffeta stripes repel water, but they're not stretchy, which can present a problem for large-chested women.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


In terms of just the fabric itself, the Teca is one of the least breathable models we tested. This lack of breathability is somewhat mitigated by its loose fit and the half zip. The cuffs are loose enough to not squeeze much when pulled up our forearms, though the bulk of the sleeves makes this a bit awkward.

cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - the teca has a loose fitting hood and not very breathable fabric.
The Teca has a loose fitting hood and not very breathable fabric.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Layering Ability


The Teca is most easily worn as an outer layer. It's large enough to easily fit over other clothing, though its short torso lets many of our preferred base layers and t-shirts hang clumsily out of the bottom. With so much bulk and excess material, it's also challenging to wear anything but an oversized coat comfortably over the top of the Teca.

cotopaxi teca fleece hooded half-zip for women fleece jacket review - only part of the inside of the passthrough pocket is fleece - the...
Only part of the inside of the passthrough pocket is fleece - the other part is slick taffeta material which isn't as warm.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Cotopaxi Teca?


Despite a solidly average performance, the Teca Fleece is not an inexpensive purchase. If you're looking to invest in a great midlayer that you can wear on adventures as well as around home, the underwhelming Teca is not a performance piece. But if you just want a relaxed jacket to hang out in and you dig the short boxy style with retro colors and vibes, the Teca is still an enjoyable fleece for casual wear.

What Other Fleece Jacket Should You Consider?


The Cotopaxi Teca isn't a standout fleece for its performance; it's a pullover you buy because you like the look. If you're after a relaxed pullover that performs better in nearly every metric (and is on par with layering ability), both the loose-fitting, hoodless Patagonia Synchilla and the budget-friendly Columbia Benton Springs are solid options. But if you're ready to level up your fleece game and get a high level of performance and comfort from a highly packable jacket that you'll never want to leave home without, consider investing in the Patagonia R1 Air.

Maggie Nichols
 
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