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Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Unisex Review

The Teca's pros can be seen as cons and vice versa, making it a jacket for a person with very specific style
Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Unisex
Photo: Cotopaxi
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Price:  $80 List
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  ⋅  Aug 7, 2020
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 6
  • Breathability - 30% 4
  • 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 if you dig this style, there's sure to be something in the bunch to please your tastes. A current option is shown above.

April 2020

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Star Rating
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Pros Unique pocket system, bright and interesting colorsLightweight, very breathable, comfortable fit & feel, flexible, great cuffsHelmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quicklyMany pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wearVery flexible, flattering fit, long torso, comfortable cuff
Cons Bulky, less-than-incredible wind resistance, not versatile designSlim fit difficult to layer, not ideal for really cold windNot the most waterproof, can see through thin fabricElastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed sizeGets wet very easily, thicker fabric is heavier
Bottom Line The Teca has such a unique design and color scheme that it is likely to be loved by a unique personA protective, packable, and very breathable jacket that keeps you on the move in just about any weatherA favorite for years, the Houdini is a staple whose modest $99 price tag belies its impressive performanceWith more features than we expected from a technical jacket, this windbreaker offers excellent protection in the outdoorsThis versatile jacket can take you on grand outdoor adventures or just around the town
Rating Categories Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Unisex Houdini Air Patagonia Houdini - Women's Rab Vital Hoody - Women's Alpine Start
Wind Resistance (30%)
6
8
8
9
8
Breathability (30%)
4
8
7
6
8
Weight And Packability (20%)
7
9
10
8
6
Versatility (10%)
5
8
7
7
9
Water Resistance (10%)
6
8
7
8
5
Specs Cotopaxi Teca... Houdini Air Patagonia Houdini... Rab Vital Hoody -... Alpine Start
Weight (oz) 4.1 oz 3.4 oz 3.1 oz 5.0 oz 6.7 oz
Material Repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR treatment 90% nylon (51% recycled), 10% polyester double weave with DWR treatment 100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment Hyperlite and nylon outer Schoeller® stretch-woven nylon with NanoSphere® Technology
Pockets 1 internal, 1 kangaroo, 1 front flap 1 chest 1 chest 2 hand, 1 inner zip and 2 inner open-top 1 chest
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuffs Elastic Half elastic Half elastic Half elastic Elastic
Stuffs Into Pocket Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Safety Reflective Material None Reflective front logo Reflective logo on front and back Reflective logo on front and back None
Fit Relaxed fit Slim fit Slim fit Regular fit Slim 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, we found that it is slightly less wind resistant than jackets made of ripstop material. Plus, because the Teca lacks certain helpful features like an adjustable hood volume or cinching hem, it is difficult to lock 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 baggier fit of the Teca, it breathes significantly less effectively than more streamlined models. Yet without a bottom hem cinch, the right breeze can travel right up inside this jacket and help evaporate any sweat you may accumulate. However, this model also one of the few windbreakers in our review that features 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 virtually useless. 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 a high-performing metric for the Teca. It has an odd triple-pocket design that features a kangaroo pocket, outer pocket, and inner pocket all on its belly. This makes it difficult to streamline your pocket system, and if you need to clip something around your waist (like a backpack hip belt or climbing harness), you can forget about using these 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, beefy 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 sheds water relatively well, it becomes quite saturated after a moderate amount of time in light precipitation. Also, because it is made from a heavier 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 less 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