Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Comfortable and cozy, lightweight, stylish, slightly more durable and wind resistant than the Patagonia R1, hood increases warmth and versatility.
Cons: Less breathable than Patagonia R1, shorter in length than R1 (less warm), no thumb catches on sleeves (reduces warmth), no offset zipper at chin (slightly less comfortable), smaller chest pocket than R1 Hoody.
Best Uses: Mid-layer for alpine climbing, skiing, or other winter pursuits, around town, as a light stand-alone jacket.
The Piton Hybrid Hoody uses a mix of Polartec Power Stretch and Wind Pro fleeces. The Wind Pro parts — which are more durable and slightly more wind resistant (read: warmer) – cover the elbows, top of the chest, and top of the back. They aim to make the jacket more suitable for use as an outer layer in light wind conditions.
Much to our disappointment, 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. We believe Patagonia should redesign this jacket and add the features found on the women’s model as well as make other tweaks described below.
See our full Fleece Jacket Review to see how this jacket compares to the other fleeces we’ve tested. If you're looking for a jacket with WindPro fabric consider the Arcteryx Fortez, which performs much better than the Piton Hybrid in our tests.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Comfort and 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. We believe the R1 Hoody is warmer overall.
This is not as breathable as Patagonia’s R1 or R2. 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 and 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 the R1 Hoody. 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 and 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 and Fit
The black looks fine while the blue and green is atrocious, just like the Mixed Guide Hoody. Due to the reasons described above, the R1 Hoody fits better than the Piton Hybrid.
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 Women’s version of the Piton Hybrid 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. We look forward to a revised Men's Piton Hoody.
— Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 23, 2013
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