The Patagonia R1 Hoody has been a crucial piece in our arsenal for years. The ultra-reliable piece provides a bit of warmth during active use to its Polartec Power Grid polyester interior. The fleece also provides significant breathability, has an athletic slim fit for layering, and weighs little. Though it has poor weather resistance, this fleece stands out for its ability to move well and perform in cold weather, making it one of our all-time favorites.Editor's Note: This product was retested and the review was updated on November 14, 2022.
Patagonia R1 Hoody Review
Cons: Not exceptionally warm, poor casual wear use,
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Patagonia R1 Hoody
$169.00 at REI
$169.00 at REI
|$69.26 at Backcountry|
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$179.00 at REI
$109.00 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, athletic fit, easy to layer,||Comfortable, warm, simple, versatile, breathable||Breathable, lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable for athletics||Warm, great mobility, incredibly comfortable,||Stylish, warm, simple|
|Cons||Not exceptionally warm, poor casual wear use,||Few features, less technical, no thumb loops||Average weather resistance||Lacks thumb loops, poor breathability,||More style than function, bulky|
|Bottom Line||Built for outdoor performance, this lightweight fleece works perfectly for active use||This lightweight piece has all the warmth of a mid-layer jacket but with a highly breathable design that's ideal for colder, active adventures||Highly featured and even higher performing, this cost-effective option provides a hard-to-beat value||Comfort, style, and function make this piece work well in the mountains and for casual evenings around town||Billed as casual outdoor wear, this warm fleece can move from out on the town to out at the crags|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia R1 Hoody||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Kuhl Interceptr 1/4...|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Weather resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Patagonia R1 Hoody||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Outdoor Research Vi...||Arc'teryx Kyanite A...||Kuhl Interceptr 1/4...|
|Measured Weight||11.4 oz||12.5 oz||13 oz||15 oz||15.1 oz|
|Main Material||93% polyester, 7% spandex||100% Polyester||94% polyester, 6% spandex||53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane||Body: 78% acrylic, 22% polyester
Side panels: 70% acrylic, 30% polyester
|# of Pockets||1||3||3||2||1|
|Unique Features||Balaclava hood, odor control, thumb holes||Slim-fit hood, quick drying||Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding||Scuba hood, stretchy fabric||Thump loops, articulated sleeves, low bulk seam stiching|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're climbing on El Capitan, running through Arches National Park, or skiing at Stowe Mountain, then the Patagonia R1 Hoody provides the perfect amount of lightweight warmth and versatility for any outdoor adventure. While it lacks in terms of weather resistance, this piece excels in every other metric making it a tried and true contender for climbing, running, skiing, or just hanging out with friends outside.
The R1 Hoody with its 93% polyester, 7% spandex grid pattern works best when active. Running through the Flatirons before sunrise, climbing in the late evenings in El Dorado Canyon, and brisk hikes in the late afternoons in Rocky Mountain National Park had the fleece performing well. When our testers stopped moving or when the temps dropped further, they needed to pull on a heavier layer as this isn't the warmest fleece in the review.
Despite the R1's inability to function well when stationary, it has a snug fit and the balaclava-style hood helped protect our testers' ears and faces. The thumb holes keep the sleeves down when needed and the slight elasticity allows the sleeves to be pushed up and stay up while active. The athletic cut kept the fleece close to the body, trapping heat, and allowed for ideal layering under a rain jacket. While its thinness works against it, the versatility of the R1 makes it work well in terms of warmth, especially as a mid-layer piece.
Patagonia's design team did an excellent job thinking of the user's comfort when they crafted the R1. The grid pattern of the fleece feels airy against the skin. While some of our testers loved the feel, others noticed the slight spaces inbetween and the lack of a constant texture. The close to skin fit kept the fabric from bunching which given the hard wear that our testers did in the piece added significantly to the comfort. The balaclava style hoody also conforms well to the head. This made looking up or down while belaying easy.
The designers did a few more things very well. They put the seams off the shoulders which means that packs don't press against them and cause discomfort. The in sleeve thumbholes fit quite well, molding in to the space between the thumb and index finger. The fleece also has stretchier fabric in the hood, along the sides, and at the bottom of the piece to help with mobility. The length of the jacket also allows it to fit comfortably under a harness.
The R1 excels in terms of breathability. The grid style of the fleece allows for additional air to escape between the squares and the already thin fabric does well in allowing excess heat to escape. The jacket also has a long front zipper which goes from above the mouth to below the belly button. While there's a full zip, jacket style available, our tester's liked the pullover more as it weighs less. The long zipper also added significantly to the jacket's breathability.
One problem with wearing an active piece like the R1 is that odor-causing microbes can grow in the fabric. Patagonia addressed this problem by using Polygiene® permanent odor control to prevent this. While the fleece does retain some smell after heavy sweating, it does a better job than previous models without the Polygiene®.
In terms of layer, the R1 holds its own. The fleece's athletic fit makes it easy to wear under a heavier jacket. The thumbholes keep the fleece in place and prevent bunching. The balaclava hood stayed in place while wearing under a helmet or a second heavier hood. Our testers liked the long zipper as it kept the jacket trim and easy to layer with. The chest pocket also felt accessible while wearing another layer over the jacket.
While the R1 fits well under other pieces, it doesn't pair as well with layering underneath. The trim cut means that only a thin long sleeve or light t-shirt will fit. Our testers didn't mind this as they sometimes wore just the R1 and used it as a base layer.
What makes the R1 exceptional for breathability also makes it prone to soaking through. While climbing in the rain in Rocky Mountain National Park, our testers quickly got wet. The hood adds some protection but the piece lacks any solid protection from the elements.
The fleece nature of the piece means that wind can easily cut through the garment and rain will wet the fabric. While this is true of many of the fleeces in this review, the R1 got wet fairly fast. Luckily, the thinness also made it dry quickly. If there's weather in the forecast, it's best to bring a hard shell rain jacket or move fast enough that you're out of the thunderstorms in time.
At 11.4 ounces, the R1 Hoody barely made a dent in our scale and ranked as one of the lightest in this review. The thinness of the material make it great for throwing into the pack for long hikes, for heading off into the back country. and for alpine missions where ever ounce matters.
The jacket compresses well given the lack of a full-length zipper and handwarmers. It bunches up well and our testers loved being able to bring it with them anywhere.
Should You Buy the Patagonia R1?
While our testers loved this for early morning missions into the alpine, for running in the hills in the evenings, they also liked this for throwing on at camp and layering with during windy, cold days in the back country. This fleece excels with any outdoor activitiy that requires movement given its exceptional breathability and comfort. If you're looking for a casual wear fleece that will just keep you warm, then the R1 isn't your best bet. But if you want a reliable, versatile jacket that can withstand El Capitan offwidths and miles of trails in the Rocky Mountains, than this piece is for you. The Patagonia backing and assured quality just add to the great value of this piece.
What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?
Patagonia nailed it with the R1 Hoody. This standard setting fleece offers a lightweight, breathable, easy to layer jacket that performs better than the rest. The Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoody is our highest scoring fleece. It's a fairly similar jacket but slightly less technical. The Outdoor Research Vigor provides a lot of similar features at a more reasonable price, as does the Mountain Hardwear Stratus Full Zip.
— James Lucas, Adam Paashaus & Matt Bento
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