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Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's Review

Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's
Price:   $169 List | $92.95 at CampSaver
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Pros:  Lightweight, compressible, breathable, cozy for a technical fleece.
Cons:  No hood or wind protection.
Bottom line:  A versatile jacket for hiking and using as part of a layering system.
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia R2 Jacket is a high-performing fleece made of a soft and touchable fabric, and it combines breathability and coziness better than most of the other fleeces we tested. Patagonia is constantly redesigning this model from year to year, and the current offering came very close to winning our Editors' Choice award. It fell a little short of The North Face Radium Hi-Loft as it is not quite as warm and a little harder to layer, but otherwise our testers loved this jacket. The hi-loft fleece in the body keeps you toasty while the stretch panels on the side torso and inner arms provide more breathability and movement. This is a great technical fleece jacket to wear when being active in cold conditions or for layering under a shell. If you're looking for a technical fleece that has a hood, consider our Top Pick for Breathability, the Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Fleece Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday
November 17, 2016

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The Patagonia R2 Jacket is made of a Polartec Thermal Pro hi-loft fleece in the body (97% polyester (63% recycled), 3% spandex) which is similar to a long-haired raschel fleece material but with a slightly shorter length "fur." The side arms, torso and wrists are made with Polartec Power Grid (the popular R1 fabric), sometimes in contrasting colors and othertimes in the same tone. There are two zippered hand pockets and a zippered left breast pocket, and the latest version no longer has thumb loops. Current color choices are: Black, Drumfire Red, French Red, Harvest Moon Blue, Mogul Blue (seen above), Ploy Purple, Shock Pink, and Tailored Grey (tested).

This is a great jacket for being active in cold weather. It's slim design fits well under a pack  and the side panels keep it trim and breathable.
This is a great jacket for being active in cold weather. It's slim design fits well under a pack, and the side panels keep it trim and breathable.

Performance Comparison


Here's how the R2 scored relative to the other fleeces in this review.


Warmth


The Patagonia R2 Jacket has a good warmth-to-weight ratio, but it won't keep you as warm as a heavyweight fleece option like The North Face Denali Jacket - Women's. It is extremely packable (about the same amount as the R1), so it's great to toss into your pack as an extra layer on long days. Overall, this model keeps your torso warmer than the R1 Hoody on a cold day, but the lack of a hood or balaclava means you just don't have the same coverage to seal in the heat if using it as an outer layer. While hoods provide more warmth overall, they can be bulky under a helmet or unwanted if every other layer you are wearing has one. So, if you are specifically looking for a midlayer, say for under a ski jacket, then you'll actually want to look for a model without a hood, and the R2 is a good option in that respect.

This midweight fleece is a great option for layering under a shell for snow sports. It's warm enough for cold rides up the chairlift  but breathable enough to vent your perspiration when working hard on the ride down.
This midweight fleece is a great option for layering under a shell for snow sports. It's warm enough for cold rides up the chairlift, but breathable enough to vent your perspiration when working hard on the ride down.

Comfort


This jacket scored well for comfort. It is cozier that the Patagonia R1 Hoody though not quite as cozy as our Editors' Choice winner, The North Face Radium. This jacket has a soft-lined collar and a garaged zipper to maximize comfort around the neck, and the R1 cuffs are not too tight or constricting.

The high-loft fleece is cozy and warm against our skin. The long R1 cuffs are another bonus - they aren't too constricting  and they help the jacket stay up your arm when you push the sleeves up. Gone this year are the thumb holes though.
The high-loft fleece is cozy and warm against our skin. The long R1 cuffs are another bonus - they aren't too constricting, and they help the jacket stay up your arm when you push the sleeves up. Gone this year are the thumb holes though.

Breathability


This jacket excels at venting your perspiration. The main hi-loft fleece has thousands of tiny pinprick holes that let your moisture escape, and the R1 gridded fleece panels on the sides are strategically placed in areas where you want less bulk and even more breathability. It also has mesh-lined pockets to increase airflow. This jacket is a great option for a lightweight mid-layer whether you are heading on a steep uphill hike or out on a long alpine rock climb.

Thousands of holes throughout the R2 fabric help ventilate your perspiration. Unfortunately  they also let wind and rain back in.
Thousands of holes throughout the R2 fabric help ventilate your perspiration. Unfortunately, they also let wind and rain back in.

Layering Ability


The R2 has a tapered technical fit that leaves little room to layer underneath. A thin t-shirt or baselayer is as much as you are going to fit under this jacket. As such, it's easy to layer over it. It fit nicely under an insulated ski jacket without restricting our arm movements.

Attempting to layer the R2 over the R1. These two layers have about the same fit  and don't work well together. The slim-fitting R2 fits over a lightweight baselayer and that's about it.
Attempting to layer the R2 over the R1. These two layers have about the same fit, and don't work well together. The slim-fitting R2 fits over a lightweight baselayer and that's about it.

Ease of Movement


The stretchy, lightweight fabric made this jacket easy to move in, particularly when not wearing too much underneath it. The long torso doesn't ride up when wearing it under a harness or backpack hipbelt, and the side stretch panels let us climb with ease.

The stretch side panels and armpit gussets let us move with ease in this jacket.
The stretch side panels and armpit gussets let us move with ease in this jacket.

Wind Protection & Water Resistance


Like many of the fleeces we reviewed, this jacket does not protect against the wind and will not do much to keep you warm on a breezy day. You can actually almost see through the fabric. The short-sheared, hi-loft fibers quickly absorb into the fabric without barely beading up first. If you're looking for a fleece that does offer some wind and water protection, try out the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody - Women's.

Style & Fit


Overall we like the style and fit of this jacket, though the R1 side panels can look a little "techy," particularly when they are in contrasting colors. The cut is tapered and flattering, and the arms and torso are nice and long.

Personally we like the style of this jacket  but prefer the models that have similar body and side panel colors  like the "Tailored Grey" color shown here.
Personally we like the style of this jacket, but prefer the models that have similar body and side panel colors, like the "Tailored Grey" color shown here.

Best Applications


Lightweight, highly breathable, and fairly warm, the Patagonia R2 Jacket is a great technical piece for cardio activities on chilly days or as a layer on mountain adventures.

Even the chest pocket is breathable! This jacket is best suited for when you are being active in cold weather  from hiking to climbing and snow sports  and many things in between.
Even the chest pocket is breathable! This jacket is best suited for when you are being active in cold weather, from hiking to climbing and snow sports, and many things in between.

Value


One of the more expensive products in our review, this jacket is worth the cost if you're looking for a cozy, yet technical fleece. If you're looking for a more affordable jacket, check out our Best Buy winner, the Marmot Flashpoint - Women's.

Conclusion


This jacket keeps getting retooled slightly by Patagonia, so if you haven't liked older models you might want to take a second look at the R2. While not an award winner, we still really liked it and think it's a great option for active pursuits in cold weather. This jacket keeps you warm while also being highly breathable, and it easily fits under your other layers.

Other Versions


Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's
  • $159
  • A breathable mid-layer
  • Technical layer without any bells or whistles
  • Earns our Top Pick award

Patagonia R2 Jacket
  • Men's version
  • Soft and snuggly
  • $169

R1 Full Zip - Women's
  • Two handwarmer pockets with no chest pocket
  • Full front zipper
  • $159
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 17, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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