Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $79 - $169 | Compare prices at 11 resellers
Pros: Lightweight, compressible, super breathable, cozy for a technical fleece.
Cons: No hood, no wind protection, short torso and short sleeves.
Best Uses: Backcountry skiing, cardio activities on cold days.
The Patagonia R2 is the perfect combination of a technical women's fleece jacket that also doubles as a comfy, everyday sweater. It is cozy and breathable but it is not a wind-resistant or thick, warm fleece.
If price is not a strong consideration, this is a great option, but if you need something less expensive, there are plenty of other options, such as the North Face Khumbu. If you want something thicker and warmer, check out the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman. Or if you would rather have a wind resistant jacket, the Mountain Hardwear Mistral is a cozy choice. See how this compared to other fleece jackets in our Best Women's Fleece Jacket Review.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Patagonia R2 is maybe the most versatile fleece I reviewed, performing well under just about any circumstance. It is lightweight and great for stuffing in a pack to bring with you on an all-day adventure, but it is also cozy and stylish enough to wear around town. It layers well and dries quickly when it gets wet. This fleece breathes well during high- intensity activities, and the mesh-lined pockets can be unzipped for even more airflow. It also has a soft, furry fabric that adds extra comfort. Also, it is lighter and breathes much better than other furry fleeces like the Mountain HardWear Monkey Woman or the Marmot Flair.
A big part of Patagonia is the history, manufacturing process, and philosophy behind their gear that is told in Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. Highly recommended reading.
I felt that the waist hem was a little baggy, which I think makes the fit slightly awkward and sometimes lets in too much air. However, when running or hiking this helped it breathe. There is no hem draw cord, but this cuts back on the weight of the jacket.
This fleece is a great stand-alone layer for any cool weather activity like running, hiking, or camping and backpacking. It can also be used as a warm layer under other shells or jackets.
This is one of the most expensive fleeces, and sometimes it is hard to justify the cost for a mid-layer. It is also one of the most useful fleeces, so if I had to pick one, I would strongly consider the R2 as an option. The Arc'Teryx Caliber Hoody serves a similar function and adds a hood for a cheaper price, but it is not as soft and cozy as this one.
Patagonia Footprint Chronicles: R2® Jacket Design
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: February 20, 2013
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