Patagonia R0 Hoody Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
It'll only take one fitting of the R0 Hoody to realize that it isn't like any other shirt you might already own. The 85% recycled polyester, 15% spandex four-way stretch material is so sheer that nothing much underneath will be left to the imagination. But the fabric also packs a UPF 50+ rating punch — both details are perfect for when you want top-notch protection from the sun while also out on the water. Clever features, such as the tight-fitting hooded and brimmed skull cap with chin cinch, back zippered pocket for keys and accessories, as well as loops at the bottom of the shirt to attach the shirt tight against board shorts, help round out the R0 towards being a very functional piece of gear for any outing on or near the water. This exemplary specificity comes with an asterisk that, once out of the water and literally anywhere else, you'll most likely want to change into something a little less technical.
Comfort and Fit
TheR0 will fit very snugly against your entire upper body, giving you a nice, friendly hug while you're wearing it. This is by design, of course: the tight rashguard fit helps you move unimpeded in the water. It's one of the most shocking differences when compared to more typical sun shirts, where you'll find that a much looser fit is championed to promote ventilation. Once you're used to how the shirt feels against your body, it's more than likely you'll forget you're even wearing it.
The stitching and cut of this shirt work well, and the four-way stretch of the material almost guarantees it'll fit well for most normal builds. We never experienced any problems with circulation in our arms, even though the fit is very tight. The torso and sleeve lengths are generous. If you're between sizes like our main tester is, we suggest sizing down. The bottom has small loops to facilitate securing the shirt to your board shorts, so that your belly won't be inadvertently exposed.
The hood of the R0 Rashguard Hoody also fits tight to the skin and can be tightened even further via a somewhat curiously placed cinch by the left chin that sticks out perpendicular to the surface of your face. The hood itself features a shallow brim to help ward off the sun from above — perfect for situations where you can't bring along a pair of sunglasses, like when out in the water lining up for a set.
If you're planning to wear a helmet with the R0, the hood would only be able to be worn underneath, not over. When not wearing the hood, it takes up little space behind the head — the brim fits efficiently against the back of the neck. If you were to wear a shirt on top of the R0 to make an appearance at the fish taco stand near the beach boardwalk, no one would really know what you had on underneath. But do be aware the opening for the head is tight, and you may feel a little discomfort by your throat, as the tight cut does like to saddle right up to it.
The long cut of the torso and sleeves on this shirt help make sure most of your upper body is covered by its UPF 50+ rated fabric. This rating equates to blocking over 98% of the sun's harmful UV rays.
The hood of the R0 is tight around the face and will do an almost magical job keeping your head protected from the sun. An elastic band surrounds the head opening and, when cinched, will allow you to hide even your mouth under the bottom of the opening. This leaves only your nose, cheeks, and eyes peering out, which will be somewhat shaded by the built-in brim on the front of the hood.
The cuff of the sleeves has a small loop for your thumbs to keep them as covered as possible. Even with the sleeves down all the way, they still remain out of the way enough for paddling and handling things like your board or paddle. Likewise, the bottom of the shirt has simple loops that you can use to attach them to board shirts — threading the loop on the shirt through the laces of your board shorts is easy enough.
Being so tight against the skin, the R0 is one of the most breathable sun shirts we've ever tested. Air, water, and sweat move through the fabric with ease, and once out of the water after a dip, you'll feel a very pronounced cooling sensation as the water evaporates off.
Any scenario where you want to have on as little clothing as possible — yet still need to be protected from the sun — is a great scenario for this shirt.
The R0 Hoody lacks versatility, being specifically designed for fun in or near the water — which it excels at. It falters as a travel, work, or casual shirt because it's simply too technical and specific. Plan to bring along another top for any post-water activities.
Fabric smell isn't a big issue with the R0, despite it not having any anti-odor technology. Mostly this is because the shirt will be worn in and out of the water and in the harsh sun — both of which will naturally clean and sanitize the shirt.
When wet with sweat or water, anticipate that the shirt will become even more translucent. Our test shirt was white, so no shifts in hue were noticeable.
Given the harsh conditions the R0 may find itself working in, durability is an important topic to cover. We've found the fabric itself holds up to normal abuse, although some of the stitching did get damaged.
While we recommend sizing down if you're in between sizes, be careful about going too small. Our shirt began to tear at the seams due to the overly stretchy nature and tight fit.
Sharp rocks, corral, brush, or a run-in with a shark would have fairly disastrous results to the shirt itself, as you may already have guessed. We would avoid such scenarios, as once the four-way stretch material does rip, the stretchiness will work towards pulling itself apart. Stitching for the thumb loops and the entire hood system held up well throughout our testing period.
The R0 comes loaded with useful features, perhaps surprising for this type of shirt. The tight hood can be cinched down further using the drawstring around the opening itself, and the top of the hood has a built-in brim. A small zippered pocket for essentials is located on the lower back — and if closely inspected, you'll notice that the zipper itself is an all-plastic construction to prevent corrosion. Small thumb loops are found at the end of the sleeves, which will facilitate you covering the back of your hands without getting in the way when grabbing a board or swimming. A small loop is found at the bottom of the shirt to allow you to attach it to your board shorts and keep it from riding up. The stretchy, form-fitting fabric has a maximum sun rating of UPF 50+.
The value of this hoody is in keeping someone protected from the sun, without simultaneously feeling burdened by a wet, heavy shirt, ill-equipped for the beach and waves. And on that metric, it performs admirably for its price tag.
The Patagonia R0 Rashguard Hoody is at home in the water. If you live, breathe, and worship the sun, sand, and waves, the R0 will be a perfect ally to you. Its stretchy, protective, and tight fabric gets out of your way to the point that you may forget you have it on. The clever and well-thought-out features aid in supporting the shirt as a complete sun-protecting system. If instead, you're more landlocked, wearing one will make you feel more akin to a fish out of water.
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