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Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Unisex Review

This jacket's pros can be seen as cons and vice versa, making it a jacket for a person with a very specific style
Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Unisex
Photo: Cotopaxi
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Price:  $80 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Unique pocket system, bright and interesting colors
Cons:  Bulky, less-than-incredible wind resistance, not versatile design
Manufacturer:   Cotopaxi
By Maggie Brandenburg and Shey Kiester  ⋅  Jun 24, 2021
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49
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 3
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 10% 5
  • Water Resistance - 10% 6

Our Verdict

With a bright, patchy color scheme, unique pocket system, and performance that is more fashionable than technical, the Cotopaxi Teca packs a fun and funky style that's still reasonably functional. It's less wind resistant and less streamlined than most of the other windbreakers in our review. But with such a unique pattern and a kangaroo pocket to boot, we know there are a few fashionistas out there who will be psyched to bring some added color to their outdoor wear.

Color Updates
Cotopaxi is known for their bright, bold color combinations, and they are constantly refreshing them. The color combo that we tested is no longer available, but this windbreaker comes in over a dozen color choices, so there's sure to be something in the bunch to please your tastes.

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Star Rating
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Pros Unique pocket system, bright and interesting colorsHelmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quicklyMany pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wearHuge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistantDecently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensive
Cons Bulky, less-than-incredible wind resistance, not versatile designNot the most waterproof, can see through thin fabricElastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed sizeLets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocketSleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy construction
Bottom Line This jacket's pros can be seen as cons and vice versa, making it a jacket for a person with a very specific styleA true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great valueA blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable priceA highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wearA simple, casual jacket that's best for mild days and small budgets
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Teca Half-... Patagonia Houdini -... Rab Vital Hoody - W... Active Pursuits Jacket Waterproof Hooded
Wind Resistance (30%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Breathability (30%)
3.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
Weight And Packability (20%)
7.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Versatility (10%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (10%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Specs Cotopaxi Teca Half-... Patagonia Houdini -... Rab Vital Hoody - W... Active Pursuits Jacket Waterproof Hooded
Weight (oz) 4.1 oz 3.1 oz 4.3 oz 6.1 oz 6.6 oz
Material Repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR treatment 100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment Hyperlite and nylon outer Nylon with polyester mesh 95% polyester, 5% spandex
Pockets 1 internal, 1 kangaroo, 1 front flap 1 chest 2 hand, 1 inner zip and 2 inner open-top 2 hand 2 hand
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuffs Elastic Half elastic Half elastic Half elastic Elastic
Stuffs Into Pocket Yes Yes Yes No No
Safety Reflective Material None Reflective logo on front and back Reflective logo on front and back Reflective logo, cuff stripes, and back vent stripe None
Fit Relaxed fit Slim fit Regular fit Relaxed fit Relaxed fit

Our Analysis and Test Results

The unisex Cotopaxi Teca is a pull-over, half-zip windbreaker made of repurposed polyester with a DWR finish. It features double kangaroo pockets and a wide array of bold colors and patterns.

Performance Comparison


The bright colors of the Cotopaxi definitely make it stand out, but...
The bright colors of the Cotopaxi definitely make it stand out, but it is less technical and less impressive than most other models in this review.
Photo: Sam Piper

Wind Resistance


The Teca's repurposed polyester taffeta fabric is reasonably wind resistant and keeps out most drafts. However, it is slightly less wind resistant than a lot of the other jackets we tested. Plus, because the Teca lacks certain helpful features like an adjustable hood volume or cinching hem, it is difficult to shut out a stiff wind. But for low breezes that are unlikely to chill you too much, the Teca does a decent job.

Perhaps not the most elegant hood, the Teca's does stay in place...
Perhaps not the most elegant hood, the Teca's does stay in place well in strong winds.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Breathability


Because of the polyester fabric of the Teca, it breathes significantly less effectively than many competitors' nylon or proprietary blends of fabrics. To combat this, the Teca has a baggy fit and lacks a bottom hem cinch, allowing the breeze to travel right up inside and evaporate any sweat you may accumulate. It also is one of just a handful of models we tested with a back vent. The only drawback to this vent is that it is positioned in the middle of the wearer's back, so if you're wearing a pack, it is completely covered and not venting at all. If you're not wearing a pack, the hood drapes across the top of the vent, limiting its usability a bit. And since we tested the half-zip version, the ability to vent the jacket by opening the front zipper is limited.

While not the best jacket for many outdoor activities, the Teca does...
While not the best jacket for many outdoor activities, the Teca does well enough during moderate activity.
Photo: Sam Piper

Weight and Packability


The Teca is one of the lighter and more packable jackets in our review. At 4.1 ounces, you can easily throw this in your pack and not notice the weight. The problem that our reviewers have with its packability is its Velcro closure system and polyester harness clip loop. Both of these systems are prone to failure, as the Velcro can get snagged on a branch and pop open, and the polyester loop is not sturdy enough to trust hanging your jacket on — especially if it's your only layer.

Packing into its own pocket, the Teca is fairly lightweight and small.
Packing into its own pocket, the Teca is fairly lightweight and small.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


Versatility is not an outstanding metric for the Teca. It has an odd triple-pocket design that features a kangaroo pocket, outer pocket, and inner pocket stacked on top of each other, all on your belly. This is a bit awkward if you fill every pocket, and if you need to clip something around your waist (like a backpack hip belt or climbing harness), you can forget about using any of the pockets altogether. Additionally, each pocket is quite large, yet none of them have a zipper, making stashing small valuables in the Teca a bit of a gamble. And, because the Teca has such a relaxed, loose fit, it's difficult to use it for sports like roped climbing or cycling where you need a more streamlined design.

The elastic band around the bottom of the Teca keeps it simple.
The elastic band around the bottom of the Teca keeps it simple.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Water Resistance


Like many of the more technical windbreakers we reviewed, the Teca features a durable water repellant (DWR) treatment, which helps it repel light precipitation. Despite this coating, the Teca doesn't impress us with its water resistance. Though it beads water at first, it becomes quite saturated after a moderate amount of time in light precipitation. Also, because it is made from a thicker material, it takes a bit longer to dry than many of the lighter models.

The Cotopaxi's DWR finish helps it repel light precipitation.
The Cotopaxi's DWR finish helps it repel light precipitation.
Photo: Shey Kiester

Value


The Teca is one of the cheapest models in our review. This price point comes with fewer technical features and not the best performance. But if vibrant colors and bold designs are for you, this windbreaker will give you some uniquely stylish coverage.

Perhaps a bit inelegant, the Teca certainly has plenty of pockets...
Perhaps a bit inelegant, the Teca certainly has plenty of pockets for your easy access items.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


The Teca is a zany and flashy windbreaker that has considerably fewer performance features than other jackets in our review. However, if you're in love with the color schemes and the price and you don't need a zippered pocket to keep your valuables in, then the Teca might be the one.

Wearing a hip belt over top of the kangaroo pockets doesn't let you...
Wearing a hip belt over top of the kangaroo pockets doesn't let you keep much, if anything, comfortably inside them.
Photo: Sam Piper

Maggie Brandenburg and Shey Kiester