COTOPAXI TECA FLEECE
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - December 09, 2020
FIELD REPORT - February 13, 2021
LONG TERM REPORT - April 19, 2021
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
118 lb (53.50 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http:// cotopaxi.com
MSRP: US $100.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Sizes Available: XS to XL women's (men's size also available
Size Tested: Medium women's
Colors Available: varies with inventory
Color Tested: Deep Tan with three shades of blue stripes
* 100% repurposed Polartec Micro Fleece
* 100% repurposed polyester taffeta stripes with DWR finish
* Elastic binding at hem and cuffs
* Two hand pockets
* Limited edition colors
|My Cotopaxi Teca Fleece|
|Taffeta Chest Stripes||My Cotopaxi Teca Fleece is a beautiful shade of tan that I would call "caramel" with three taffeta stripes across the chest in three hues of blue. A thin dark brown stretchy material trims the cuffs and the hem. This brown complements the nylon zipper. |
Caramel taffeta rims the two front pocket openings and lines the two exterior pockets as well as the two very large segmented interior front pockets. Taffeta is generally made from either polyester or nylon and in the case of the Teca Fleece, polyester is used which is a little bit sturdier than nylon. The stand-up collar is lined with light blue taffeta which matches the lightest front chest stripe.
There is a barely visible, discreet Cotopaxi logo stamped on the lightest front stripe.
The fleece is of good weight for a stand-alone layer and the quality appears to be excellent. I did not find any pulled, uneven, or dropped stitches. The zipper operates smoothly without snagging.
|Outer Front Pocket/Cuff|| |
Cotopaxi also provided a matching cotton mask that matches the blue in the top front taffeta stripe of the jacket for field review and that review will be in a separate Owner Review at the end of the three months.
TRYING IT OUT
Thanks to the size chart on the Cotopaxi website, I was able to choose my perfect size which is also my usual size of women's medium. The Teca fleece fits exactly as I want for a standalone layer. Not too tight but not too loose either. It is a bit bulky for a mid-layer but does fit under my usual wind jacket.
The cuffs fall right at my wrists though I could pull them down a bit to my palms if I needed. My backside isn't quite covered by the hem, but close to it! Shoulder seams are proportional. Everything aligns properly with my body parts!
Sliding the fleece on was like pulling on my favorite pajamas. Super soft fleece fabric immediately felt very comfortable and cozy. The front zipper worked smoothly without any snagging. Once the fleece was fully zipped, I found the standup collar to be quite high around my neck, reaching up to my ears. I must have a very short neck, but I will have a warm one!
Two outer front pockets are generously-sized for keeping my hands warm and I can fit my sunglasses and cell phone easily in the interior pockets.
So far, all good!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
I checked out the interior sideseam care tag and found the care instructions in both the usual international symbols and English - thank goodness - I can never remember what those symbols mean!
Simply put: Machine wash with cold water and tumble dry on low dryer settings. I had to laugh at "warm iron if needed". Like that will ever happen in my house! Of course, do not bleach and do not dry clean round out the directions. No mention of detergent recommendation, but I have technical fleece liquid detergent that I use on my other fleece clothing, so that is what I will use on the Teca once I need to spruce it up.
It's been ridiculously warm so far this fall. Today's high was 72 F (22 C)! I'm looking forward to at least slightly colder weather so that I can wear this wonderful Teca Fleece in the very near future! I hike daily at least 5 miles (8 km) on my rutted dirt road and have lots of tentative weekend backpacks planned for this fleece.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
For the duration of my Field Reporting period, the weather has been exceptionally mild. Rarely were daytime temperatures lower than 50 F (10 C) and there were more than a few days of 70+ F (21+ C).
In my neck of the woods/desert, humidity is generally very low and that was the case this fall/winter. This made for very pleasant day hikes. While we have had several snowfalls, the accumulation was always slight - barely enough to cover the toes of my boots.
I wore the Cotopaxi Teca on 10 occasions, all on hikes around Canon City, Colorado, on dirt trails and roads.
Mileage for these hikes ranged from 3 to 7 miles (4.8km to 11km)
Using the Cotopaxi as an outer layer, I wore a variety of wool base layers and on a couple of treks, when the wind was kicking up, I wore a synthetic windshirt under the Teca as well.
I always wore a daypack.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I hike "hot"! It can be 32 F (0 C) outside and if the sun is out and there is little wind, I'll be sweating rather quickly while hiking in a light fleece and base layer. Even in the coldest weather, if I'm doing anything more strenuous than a stroll, the most I usually will wear is a base layer, super-light vest and a fleece.
So, these past couple of months, while wearing the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece, I was toasty warm. The Fleece is winter-blanket weight and on several hikes, I ended up, first unzipping, and then tying it around my waist (or putting it into my backpack)! All while wearing a wool base layer top.
We do get some wicked winds here, so I found a very thin pullover windshirt worked great under the Teca for added protection but not added bulk.
The Teca fits me perfectly as an outer layer over mid/base layer but for me is too bulky to work as a mid-layer with my other jackets or rain jackets.
A feature that I found particularly welcome were the pockets. I love the segregated interior pockets! They are big enough for lots of items (cell phone, camera, glasses) and because they have two sections each, I can keep my glasses from getting scratched by my keys or other sharp objects.
Also enjoyed is the interior softness of the stand-up collar.
I always worry about fleece materials pilling, shrinking or getting out of shape by stretching. I especially am anxious about the parts of the fleece that come in contact with backpack shoulder straps and waist belts.
Even though I have worn the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece numerous times with a day pack, complete with a waistbelt, I fail to see any sign of wear in those vulnerable areas.
As of yet, I have not had to wash the Teca. I have been relatively careful not to do anything overly "dirty" and shockingly have not stained it with any food "oops" despite eating outdoors a few times.
I suspect that will change and will address the washing/drying experience and outcome in my Long-Term Report.
I'm one of those people who love wrapping up on the couch with lots of soft, cuddly fleece lap blankets. Wearing the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece is a lot like that only I can wear it outdoors without funny looks from other hikers and passersby!
The Teca is very comfortable and warm. It is incredibly versatile as it can be worn solo or with various mid and base layers. Without being overly bulky, there is room for both a base layer and a mid-layer if needed. And it looks very stylish. I can wear it on the trail, in camp and in town.
So far, so good!
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Unfortunately, due to an unexpected month-long trip, I didn't get to wear the Teca Fleece much. (If I had known the trip was going to be that long, I would have packed the fleece!)
I did get to wear it two more times, however, here in Fremont county, Colorado on some local dayhikes. The latest of which was just last week (early April). It was a sunny day with temps in the mid-50s F (13 C). There were some gusty breezes at times, but still mostly warm.
The trail was through private property in eastern Fremont county at an elevation of just under 6000 ft (1830 m). It was a two-track, rocky, dusty one - just under 2 mi (3 km).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
|Penrose, Colorado||As reported previously, the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece performed flawlessly! It is still super comfortable with baby-blanket softness. |
I find the stand-up collar to be just the right height as to be good coverage without being annoying. The taffeta lining is smooth and non-irritating against my chin.
The sleeve length is perfect for me and the cuffs aren't too tight but do snug up enough to keep out the cold.
While I can't wear the Teca as a mid-layer due to its shape and weight, it is perfect solo and even my heaviest base layers (plus a shirt) fit comfortably.
The fabric has not pilled, even under my backpack shoulder straps and waistbelt where there is the most friction. The zipper has never snagged or jammed and glides smoothly. I have not had any seam failures or other maintenance problems.
I have not had to wash the fleece as of yet but will file an addendum if when I do have to wash it, there is any shrinkage, bagging or fading of the beautiful colors.
THINGS I PARTICULRLY LIKE!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
1.) The softness of the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece and its warmth.
2.) The colors and stylish details
3.) The generous interior and exterior pockets
It's been a pleasure to wear the Cotopaxi Teca Fleece Jacket! Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Cotopaxi for the chance to test out the Teca Fleece! It's versatility will keep it front and center in my gear closet as well as for casual use.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Co-Owner and Contributing Writer
Read more reviews of Cotopaxi gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathleen Waters