HomeTactical & SurvivalColor for Your Cold Days: Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket Review

Color for Your Cold Days: Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket Review

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Named after Ecuador’s second-highest volcano, Cotopaxi is known for sustainable, functional, and colorful outdoor apparel. The Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket fits right into that lineup: bright and cozy. 

This women’s fleece jacket is a fun twist on a classic midweight layer. The brand’s signature vibrant colors are used across the collection, giving your boring gray fleece (I said it) a run for its money. Beyond looks, this fleece is well-constructed and comfortable, too.

Sustainable and soft textiles, a good warmth-to-weight ratio, and an athletic fit make this fleece a solid companion for low-to-medium output activities. Throughout winter, I loved taking this fleece for a rip on in-bounds resort laps (beneath my shell) and on cold hikes in the hills outside my home in Montana throughout spring and fall. This design kept me comfortable and insulated.   

In short: The Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket ($110) is a flattering, cozy fleece that works well as a midlayer or an outer layer, depending on the conditions. This women’s fleece jacket quickly became my go-to for easy and moderate hikes in blustery weather. 

Read our complete Best Fleece Jackets for Women buyer’s guide.

  • Weight
    12.9 oz. (small)
  • Fit
    Athletic
  • Fabric
    100% recycled polyester fleece, repurposed polyester taffeta with DWR finish
  • Density
    255 gsm
  • Special features
    Recycled materials

  • Distinctive style

  • Recycled materials

  • Warm but still packable


  • Tight across the chest

  • No zip pockets

  • No hood

Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket Review

A good midweight fleece jacket will keep you warm enough to be comfortable but not so warm that you’re sweaty and flushed. The Cotopaxi Fleece Full-Zip Jacket excels at temperature regulation, somehow keeping you cozy without feeling oppressive or overbearing. 

With a density of 255 gsm, this full-zip jacket hits squarely in the midweight category when it comes to warmth and insulation. That’s the middle ground between lightweight fleeces — which are great for aerobic activities — and the heavyweight fleeces that you reach for when layering up around a campfire or in a chilly cabin. 

I recommend this jacket for low- and moderate-output activities like downhill resort skiing. Staying snug on long chairlift rides is a must! On ski days, I wore this midlayer with a puffy during the dead of winter. On sunny spring ski days, I found it kept me warm enough with my usual base layer and a non-insulated shell on top to block the wind.  

Beyond winter sports, I really enjoyed wearing the Cotopaxi Fleece Full-Zip on easy-to-moderate hikes around town. Shoulder season in Montana is notoriously fickle — warmish one moment, freezing the next — and I found that I could ascend or descend easy town trails without needing to take the jacket off and on. On those outings, the sweet spot for this jacket was when temperatures ranged between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Recycled Materials 

Materials that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill are made into the fibers of the Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip Jacket. That includes a face of 100% recycled polyester. Across the chest, the fun retro stripes are made of repurposed polyester taffeta. The taffeta is coated with a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish. No one wants soggy stripes! 

A low-pile fabric means this jacket won’t collect vegetation and debris when you’re out and about in the woods. And it packs down surprisingly small, leaving room in a daypack for what you really want — snacks. 

The jacket joins a broader brand-wide initiative to create as little waste as possible. Today, 94% of the materials Cotopaxi uses are repurposed, recycled, or responsible. The brand aims to use “the three Rs” in all its products by 2025. 

Mission-Driven Brand 

Cotopaxi’s brand follows a mission to make “gear for good.” In their words, that means products that are durable, ethical, and sustainable. The Cotopaxi Foundation receives 1% of the company’s revenue, which goes toward empowering communities in Latin America, where founder and CEO Davis Smith grew up.

I test a lot of gear, and a lot of it is well-made, but I also like wearing this fleece knowing that my dollars are helping make a difference. 

Cotopaxi is a certified carbon-neutral company that prioritizes sustainability throughout a product’s lifestyle from the factory to the store shelf. The brand publishes supply chain commitments that protect workers and runs a repair program for well-used gear.

Silky Liner, Full Front Zipper

Say goodbye to rough interior liners in the Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip Jacket. As you can see, there’s a satiny polyester on the exterior stripes. But much to my surprise and pleasure, that same fabric lines the two hand pockets, as well as the wrist cuff and collar. Silky smooth!

I appreciate the full zip down the front for heat ventilation. The zipper is high quality and doesn’t catch, snag, or stick. I also like the elastic cuffs to keep the jacket away from my lower hands. The roomy arms can stay slightly cinched and out of the way.

Critiques

The Cotopaxi Teca Full-Zip Jacket runs small in the chest when fully zipped up. I wore my typical size, and the rest of the design fits well everywhere else — around the shoulders, torso, and arms — with plenty of room to spare for layers below or on top plus an adequate range of motion.

But the chest is surprisingly constrictive and taut. Take this into consideration. If you’re well-endowed or want more room to breathe, consider sizing up and be prepared for a roomier, boxier fit everywhere else.   

When it comes to sizing, some reviewers noted that the plus sizes can run long, too. 

A lack of hood can be a pro for some wearers and a con for others. I personally didn’t mind it with this jacket. A substantial collar helped keep me warm, and it blocked gusts. A hood can sometimes add unnecessary bulk, especially under a ski jacket.

I did miss having zippered hand pockets. While the hand pouches are roomy enough and lined with a super-soft fabric, I prefer to have at least one zippered pocket to keep valuables secure. Losing keys, or even chapstick, isn’t ideal when out in the woods. The lack of zippered pockets reduces this layer’s ability to completely shine on its own. I found myself needing some other way to store odds and ends in my pants or a pack.   

Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Jacket: Conclusion 

I tend to throw the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket on for any activities that require warmth and comfort regardless of the season. The jacket toes the line between being thick and substantial without feeling bulky, making it an ideal fleece layer in my book. It’s soft, warm, and comfortable.

I found this layer to be right at home on walks, hikes, and in the ski lodge after a long day of resort laps. And the fully recycled materials are an added plus!

While the jacket has a more relaxed fit than some more athletic cuts, it does run small in the bust, so take that into consideration when picking your size. 

If softness (and fun colors) all season long is what you’re looking for, look no further than the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Full-Zip Jacket. Well suited for packing on the warmth, and for low-pace or moderate-output activities, I stayed toasty wearing this sustainably-made fleece.



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