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Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Hooded Half-Zip - Women's
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|Bottom Line||This casual fleece offers retro vibes, and its non-technical features are great for relaxing with friends||A straightforward sweatshirt-style fleece that's soft and comfortable but lacks some details||A lightweight model with an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio and good technical features and coverage for a lower price||A great fleece shirt that's lightweight, hyper breathable, and ideal for winter running||A classic pullover with a simple design offering a relaxed fit, cozy vibe, and much to love for a lower price|
|Rating Categories||Cotopaxi Teca Hoode...||The North Face Cany...||Outdoor Research Vi...||The North Face Summ...||Columbia Benton Spr...|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Specs||Cotopaxi Teca Hoode...||The North Face Cany...||Outdoor Research Vi...||The North Face Summ...||Columbia Benton Spr...|
|Main Material||95% recycled polyester, 5% repurposed polyester taffeta||96% recycled polyester, 4% elastane||94% polyester, 6% spandex||Polyester||Polyester|
|Cuff Construction||Elastic cuff||Elastic cuff||Same fabric as jacket||Elastic band||Elastic cuff|
|Weight||12.9 oz||10.6 oz||8.9 oz||4.4 oz||10.4 oz|
|Number of Pockets||Passthrough hand, 1 drop in||2 hand||1 chest||None||None|
|Features||Chin guard, elastic hood hem||Chin guard, elastic hood hem, full length wind guard||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.