Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Slightly more durable and wind resistant than competitors
Cons: Less breathable, shorter in length, no thumb catches on sleeves (reduces warmth), no offset zipper at chin (slightly less comfortable)
Best Uses: Mid-layer for alpine climbing, skiing, or other winter pursuits, around town, as a light stand-alone jacket.
The Piton Hybrid Hoody is a good quality fleece that attempts to perform well as an outer layer. The jacket is moderately successful at this goal due to its targeted use of Polartec WindPro fabric, which is more durable and more wind resistant than the company's R1 fabric. But the jacket falls short when compared to the Patagonia R1 Hoody and the Arc'teryx Fortrez.
The Men's version of the Piton Hybrid is far different than the Women's version ; women get the added benefits of handwarmer pockets and WindPro fleece down the entire front torso. If you like these features, consider checking out the non-hooded men's version of this jacket, which has zippered hand pockets and WindPro fleece panels that extend down the whole torso.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Comfort & Coziness
Though not uncomfortable, the Piton Hybrid is far from the stretchy and free-flowing Patagonia R1 Hoody. The most notable differences between the two jackets are the length, sleeves, and hood design. The R1 Hoody is longer, which allows you to tuck the jacket into your pants; its sleeves are longer, too, and they have thumb catches to keep them in place underneath your gloves; and the R1 Hoody's hood covers more of your face in a ninja-like balaclava style that's warmer and more comfortable.
Without wind, the Piton Hybrid is roughly as warm as the R1 Hoody. With wind, it may be slightly warmer, depending on the type of activity you're doing. However, the R1 Hoody's extra length and improved hood design offset the Piton Hybrid's slightly greater wind resistance in the vast majority of mobile activities.
This is not as breathable as Patagonia's other fleeces. Fleeces are best for use as a midlayer and should, ideally, provide as much insulation and breathability as possible. The R1 and R2 are more successful in this respect.
Wind & Water Resistance
The tighter woven face fabric on the Polartec Power Stretch parts combined with the WindPro bits make this slightly more wind- and water-resistant than many other competitors. Although this has its advantages in certain circumstances, the WindPro fleece doesn't extend all the way down the torso like the Women's Piton Hybrid does — a notable drawback that reduces weather resistance.
Layering Ability & Ease of Movement
This is best as a midlayer and its trim fit is small enough that you can wear an athletic-fitting shell on top. Ease of movement is good, but not as amazing as the R1 Hoody.
Style & Fit
This piece is relatively fitted, but still has a decidedly technical look about it. For a more stylish piece consider The North Face Radium Hi-Loft.
The Piton Hybrid's best applications might be alpine rock climbing, where its additional abrasion resistance and slight wind protection provide an advantage over other lightweight fleeces that offer greater breathability. Overall, our testers expected more from this jacket.
The Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Women's scores much higher in our ratings. If you're a lady, or have a lady friend that wants an awesome fleece, check that jacket out. Patagonia also makes a men's Piton Hybrid Jacket that has what we believe to be better features than the Piton Hoody (Wind Pro down the entire front), but it lacks a hood. For lightweight fleeces, hoods are critical features that separate the casual from the technical.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 23, 2014
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