Cotopaxi Teca Patterned Full-Zip Windbreaker Review

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

The Cotopaxi Teca Patterned Full-Zip Windbreaker ($80) is a lightweight, unisex jacket designed to block wind and light precipitation. It's got a number of thoughtful touches, on top of being great for windy and rainy days.

Cotopaxi provided the windbreaker, free of charge, for testing and review.

Testing Conditions

I took the Teca windbreaker out for a coastal hike in California, and the weather was overcast, gusting up to 20ish miles per hour, and temps were around the mid-50s. I also wore it around town in Seattle on a typical drizzly day, also in the mid-50s. It excelled in both environments, effectively blocking out the wind, keeping enough body heat in, and keeping me dry.

First Impressions

The Teca super comfortable and so lightweight—one of those pieces you wear and forget that you're wearing it. For lighter weather, it doesn't sacrifice much by way of weather resistance and does a great job of blocking wind and light rain.

From my first impression of this jacket, what differentiates the Teca from other windbreakers that are equally good at what they do, are the bright and fun designs, as well as Cotopaxi's commitment to working with factories that provide living wages to their workers.

Watch shown for scale.  Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Watch shown for scale. Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Features

The Teca has an inner chest pocket that's pretty spacious—good for light things like your ID and some lip balm. The jacket also packs into the pocket, which, while it manages to be spacious for storage, compacts the jacket down quite nicely! I love to be organized when I travel or need to run around town, so if that sounds like you, it's a great feature to have.

Fit

The fit is slightly larger than I expected. I'm usually between an XS and S but went with the S based on the waist and bust measurements. Along the torso, the jacket is spacious and not fitted, and the arms are a bit long and baggy on me. This makes sense—the women's medium and men's small are the same option on Cotopaxi's website. I'd probably recommend going down a size if you're in between sizes, but as always, your mileage may vary.

Design

I love wearing bright colors and bold patterns, and this jacket absolutely fits the bill. The one I tested is in the colorway Squiggle, and squiggly it is. One of the neat things about this jacket is that the colorways are limited edition: Cotopaxi will produce this jacket in smaller runs and once that run is sold out, they’ll come out with new colors.

The Teca windbreaker is also available in half-zip and non-patterned options.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Hsu.

Sustainability

The Teca is made with 100% remnant material, which keeps in time with Cotopaxi's mission to do good in the world.

Recently, I've also gained a better understanding the impact on real people's lives I have through my purchases, and Cotopaxi is conscientious in this area. I've learned a lot of this through Aja Barber (@ajabarber) and her tireless work to educate her followers about the notion that "if you care about all the things which fall under the umbrella of intersectional feminism than [sic] you should also care about who makes your clothes, whether they're making a fair wage and what effects fast fashion is having on developing nations". You can read more on her Patreon page.

With a purchase of the Teca, you minimize waste and support a B Corp that’s committed to working with factories that provide sustainable, equitable wages to their employees. Cotopaxi also takes into consideration whether their factories’ employees are able to thrive on their wages. In their own words: "Every aspect of our production must treat people well", and this is a fantastic commitment to support in exchange for a good piece of kit.

Future Testing

I think the Teca is going to be perfect as we start transitioning into spring (aka mud season in the Salt Lake area—that special place between ski season and a balmy summer). It seems ideal for hikes, bike rides, and runs, especially in the early morning, and I look forward to testing it out in those conditions. I'd also like to test the jacket out in some heavier rain to see where its limits are.

Conclusion

Cotopaxi's Teca Windbreaker does an excellent job of blocking wind and light rain while managing to be colorful and well-designed. It's also a great choice for the things about it that you can't tell from looking at it—including Cotopaxi's commitment to doing social and environmental good through its products.