Retailer Review: Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker
Gear tester Betsy Bertram lauds Cotopaxi's packable windbreaker for its reuse of scrap fabric and for being gender non-conforming-friendly.
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When I am trying to pack light, I want items that are both technical and stylish. That’s why the Cotopaxi Teca Half-Zip Windbreaker is the ultimate packable, weather-resistant layer—a game changer for traveling and experiencing the fullness of adventures.
The Teca checks all the boxes. The DWR coating keeps the wind and rain at bay, while the bright colors and front kangaroo pocket play to the cool factor. I especially love the internal phone pocket, which doubles as a stuff sack. It packs small, but pulls out to make a big fashion statement.
It has become my quintessential beach getaway item. I especially love the North Carolina coast in the fall, when the sleepy town of Beaufort returns after the chaos of summer tourist traffic. On an intercoastal waterway, my raincoats have always felt too heavy for Beaufort’s climate, but the Teca is the perfect weight for my seaside adventures, whether they be sunset sails or stand up paddle boarding. I learned to drive my godfather’s new boat in the Teca, and he liked that the bright colors made us more visible on the water.
In addition to being an ideal weight and versatile layer, the Teca has a great fit. I often struggle to find the right size in outerwear, as I am in between a small and a medium. Because the Teca is unisex, the sizing is small/medium, making it the optimal size for accommodating layers underneath without being too oversized when worn in warmer temperatures. When I wore this piece at the coast this fall, I wore a hoody sweatshirt underneath the Teca for a perfect fit.
The number one quality I consider when purchasing any piece of gear is sustainability. Although the Teca is not a natural fiber, I appreciate that the Teca is made from 100 percent repurposed remnant fabric that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. A neat element of the sustainability story is that each and every Teca is slightly different. It is great to see a new brand like Cotopaxi pushing the envelope on product production to minimize waste. Cotopaxi, along with other fresh brands, inspire the industry to get more creative in product design.
How will the Teca sell in stores?
The Teca windbreaker is an important item at Townsend Bertram & Company because it’s a product that appeals to everyone. As the gender non-conforming population grows, unisex items are ever more important. We have a section in our store of gender-fluid items to create a safe and more accessible space for the they/them population to shop. The sustainability story is the other element that led the TB&C buyer to invest in growing our Cotopaxi inventory. Our staff loves sharing with customers that the Teca is made from scrap material that would otherwise have been thrown away. At a $80 price point, it is accessible to a younger customer, yet also an easy sell to weekend visitors to town who forgot rainwear.
This review is part of our Retailer Review series, written by retailers, for retailers to help guide their buying decisions and provide brands honest feedback from those selling their products.