Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Ultra-comfy, kangaroo pouch for hands, cute and flattering.
Cons: Not technical.
Best Uses: Around town.
An ultra-cozy fleece, the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover will keep you warm and happy whether you are lounging on a Saturday morning or heading out for a light hike in your favorite park. When you try on this fleece, you'll experience Patagonia's masterful combination of sweatshirt-style comfort and slimming feminine lines. Its soft fabric feels great to the touch and its hip length cut gives it a comfortable, flattering fit. This fleece is a great layer to throw on before walking the dog, heading to the coffee shop, or going on a shorter hike. It is perfect for around-town use, like the Marmot Flair Hoody and the North Face Osito Jacket. We also used it for outdoor activities and although we found it to be fairly lightweight and somewhat packable, it wasn't nearly as versatile as other technical fleeces such as the Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's or our Editor's Choice winner, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Women's.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Made of Polartec Thermal Pro polyester, this fleece traps heat but isn't overly bulky. The pullover also features a collar that snaps up to just below the chin without being too restrictive. The Re-Tool Snap-T's kangaroo pouch-style pocket gives your hands a great place to warm up, but since it's lined with mesh to increase breathability and reduce bulk, the pocket isn't as warm as it could be. If you want to maximize warmth and coziness, you may want to try on the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman Fleece, which earned top marks in both these categories.
Credit: Amber King
Comfort & Coziness
With its soft fur-like fabric and comfy sweatshirt cut, the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover earned high marks on coziness. Although it's not quite as soft as the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman, its touchable fabric, made of extra-long fibers, makes you want to snuggle up inside it. Since this pullover also features a kangaroo pouch pocket, it feels like a sweatshirt, but oh, so much cozier. If you're looking for a super-comfy fleece but want to pay a bit less, check out our affordable Best Buy Award winner, the Marmot Flair Hoody.
As more of an around-town fleece, this pullover did not score well on breathability, although its mesh pocket allows for greater air flow. Like other super cozy fleeces, the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover sacrifices some breathability for comfort and style. If you're looking for a technical, super breathable fleece that still has super soft, touchable fabric, check out the Patagonia R2 Jacket.
Layering Ability & Ease of Movement
Our testers found that even though the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T has a fairly flattering fit, it still provided enough space to layer a t-shirt or a silk-weight long underwear top underneath. It also fits fairly well under a shell or rain jacket, but as one of the bulkier fleeces in the review, this pullover quickly starts to lose its ease of movement the more layers you add. It's also worth noting here that unlike the Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's, the Re-Tool Snap-T does not fit over a helmet.
Wind & Water Protection
Although this fleece is quite warm, it does not have any wind- or water-resistant features. However, if you have to make a short dash in a light rain, you won't get immediately soaked. If wind and water protection is important to you in a fleece, consider our Editor's Choice Award winner, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody, which offers fairly good protection from the elements. While the Piton isn't super cozy like the Re-Tool Snap-T, it does offer a flattering, feminine fit.
Style & Fit
Although this pullover may have the lounge-ability of a sweatshirt, it has a slim fit. The cut of the kangaroo pouch helps accentuate the pullover's feminine lines and the small chest pocket (not quite big enough for iPhone) adds a stylish element. The snaps on the fleece's collar also add a fun and different element to the fleece, as most jackets or pullovers use a zipper, but they are more difficult to use while riding a bike or rock climbing, for example. Overall, our testers agreed that this fleece is just plain cute and fits great.
While this cozy fleece is not suitable for technical adventures like multi-pitch rock climbing or heavy cardio activity where breathability is key, this model is great for light hiking, yard work on a chilly day, or just general around-town use. For a jacket that's also great to wear around town, but looks a little classier, you might want to consider the Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket - Women's.
Priced in the mid-range of the fleeces we reviewed, the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover doesn't provide as much versatility for your dollar. However, if you're looking for a fleece that will keep you warm and cozy that still has multiple outdoor applications, it might be just the piece for you.
The Full-Zip Re-Tool Jacket, $149, is the full-zip version, while the Re-Tool Full-Zip Hoody $159, is the full-zip, hooded version. This fleece also comes in girls' versions and in a beanie version.
— Amanda Fenn
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Most recent review: November 6, 2013
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