Cotopaxi is a relative newcomer to the gear scene, but that doesn’t stop them from producing excellent gear and making a difference while doing it. The Teca Windbreaker is an ultralight, modern styled windbreaker that aids a good cause while providing protection from the elements.
Built from repurposed, DWR finished, 20D ripstop nylon, the Teca comes in two variants, a full-zip and half-zip. Reviewed here, the full zip has two hand pockets, an interior chest pocket, a spandex lined hood, and a full width back vent. It packs down to the size of my fist, comes in a range of colors and sizes and retails for $79.95.
What I liked
The Teca is exceptionally comfortable. The fabrics used are silky smooth and pleasing to the touch. The jacket is styled to fit an athletic build, with a flat front, extended rear and a little room inside for layering. The stretchy cuffs and waist sit gently around the wrists and belt to prevent breezes from gusting inside, while avoiding the feeling of constraint. The hood stays in place on windy days without flapping around or making a lot of noise, and the shoulders and chest are generously sized so that I have full mobility while wearing it, meaning I can climb, scramble, and shimmy to my heart’s content without getting bunched, hung up on branches or running out of range.
The jacket is incredibly light weight and packable. I can stuff it into my front pocket, or stash it inside my backpacks water bottle pocket for quick access. Taking up so little room, it’s an excellent “just in case” jacket, but it’s stout enough to provide every day protection from wind and a light drizzle too.
It does a good job of blocking wind, especially so if paired with a thin layer of wool or polyester underneath, and it can do double duty as an SPF layer on sunny days. For cool fall evenings, and mild hikes, it’s a perfect layering piece with it’s feathery build and wide back vent.
Construction all around is impressive. The materials are consistent, and blemish free while the stitching and seam work is absolutely top notch. The seams are reinforced, some points doubly so, and the zipper slides effortlessly along with one hand, even in a hurry.
The jacket looks great too, with a modern flare that’s not afraid to bring back some slight 80’s hues and color. It’s subtle enough to not look gaudy, but vibrant enough to feel proud and energetic. I love the aesthetic and I always feel a bit more chipper when wearing it.
What I didn’t like
Being an ultralight jacket, it doesn’t block all wind. Due to the nature of the thin fabric, some wind can be felt through the material on a cool day. I, personally, quite like that as it allows me to hike in it on wind days, but others who want the warmest might be disappointing. A think base layer underneath solves that issue, however. So layer up!
It’s an ultralight jacket, so you don’t want to be bushwhacking through thickets in this thing, but that’s not something it’s designed for anyway. It’s held up well so far, but I have taken particular care to avoid sliding along rocks and such.
The Teca is an exceptional garment. It’s incredibly light weight, immensely comfortable, and provides a cheerful and energetic styling that stands out in all the right ways. It does a good job of blocking wind or even a light drizzle, and has so far held up great to hiking, biking, and just working around in the office. I love the packed size, as I can afford the space and weight to have it along on any trip, and it’s usefulness extends to any season. Even better, the price is right and some of the proceeds go to good causes; More on that here.
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For more information on Cotopaxi and their excellent line of gear, check out cotopaxi.com
I wanted to send a special thanks out to Cotopaxi for their continued support and for providing this excellent piece of equipment to review. We couldn’t do this without their help. Thank you so much! Our full disclosure can be found on the about me/contact page.