The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Women's Review

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $179 List
Pros:  Offers wind and water protection, abrasion-resistant, lightweight, built-in hood w/balaclava, well-fitted.
Cons:  Not as warm or breathable as other technical fleeces, balaclava doesn't zip as high as the R1.
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Cam McKenzie Ring & Amanda Fenn  ⋅  Sep 6, 2014
  • Share this article:
75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Comfort and Coziness - 20% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 7
  • Layering Ability - 15% 10
  • Ease of Movement - 10% 10
  • Style - 5% 9
  • Wind Protection - 5% 8
  • Water Resistance - 5% 8

Our Verdict

A previous Editors' Choice award winner, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody is an all-around high-performing fleece that ranked well in almost all of our scoring metric categories. It's a versatile, lightweight, full-zip jacket that will keep you fairly warm and repel wind and water. The Piton is made with two different fleece fabrics, one to keep out the wind and one that's more breathable, and Patagonia has added a Deluge DWR water repellent finish on the torso and shoulders. While this hooded fleece did not score as well on breathability as other technical fleeces like our Top Pick, the Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's, and it was not as cozy as our new Editors' Choice winner, The North Face Radium Hi-Loft - Women's it does offer a lot of versatility when considering it from both technical and around-town perspectives.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody is made of Polartec Power Dry fleece over the back and much of the arms, with Polartec Wind Pro panels on the elbows, front of the jacket and shoulders and hood. It has a durable water repellant (DWR) finish that helps prevent the fabric from becoming saturated, which then keeps it more breathable. It has a tapered athletic fit with two zippered hand pockets and a zippered left breast pocket.

Performance Comparison


The elbows have abrasion-resistant fabric.
The elbows have abrasion-resistant fabric.

Warmth


One of the lightest weight fleeces we reviewed, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody still provides a good amount of warmth for a mid-layer. Made of Polartec Wind Pro with a Hardface Technology and Polartec Power Dry fabrics, this jacket combines these two fleeces to maximize breathability and warmth. Although the R1 Hoody is a bit warmer on a still day, the Piton will keep you significantly warmer if the wind kicks up, thanks to its panels of wind-resistant fleece. This jacket is also cut just a bit longer in the back to increase coverage. Finally, the fleece's hood and built-in balaclava help seal in the heat on cold days. However, the balaclava doesn't zip up quite as high at the R1's.

The hood on the Piton will keep you smiling  but we wish the balaclava zipped up over the nose like the R1's balaclava does (shown here in 2013 color).
The hood on the Piton will keep you smiling, but we wish the balaclava zipped up over the nose like the R1's balaclava does (shown here in 2013 color).

Comfort & Coziness



The Piton's balaclava has a soft fleece lining to keep the zipper from irritating the skin.
The Piton's balaclava has a soft fleece lining to keep the zipper from irritating the skin.

More comfortable and cozy than our Top Pick, the Patagonia R1 Hoody, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody has a fleecy interior that's soft to the touch. Although it's not plush, the fleece features a hip length cut and a hood with a built-in balaclava that kept us warm and cozy. The slim fit also hugs the body, making it more comfortable and flattering than looser models like The North Face Oso Hoodie. Unlike the Patagonia R1 Hoody, this fleece has two hand pockets that increase its coziness; however, it lacks the R1's thumb catches. The hood on this jacket is also slightly less comfortable that the R1's since the zipper on the R1 comes up slightly off-center and the Piton's zipper sits right on the nose when it's completely zipped up.

A comparison of balaclava height between the R1 (left) and the Piton (shown here in 2013 colors - but the fit is identical). The Piton's zipper sits directly on the nose while the R1's zipper comes up slightly off-center. The Piton accentuates the female body shape  the R1 doesn't prioritize style.
A comparison of balaclava height between the R1 (left) and the Piton (shown here in 2013 colors - but the fit is identical). The Piton's zipper sits directly on the nose while the R1's zipper comes up slightly off-center. The Piton accentuates the female body shape, the R1 doesn't prioritize style.

Breathability


The Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody did not score as highly on breathability as the Patagonia R2 - Women's and R1 Hoody, but it still wicks away moisture and keeps you from getting swampy during cardio activities. The jacket also features two mesh-lined hand pockets and a chest pocket, which can serve as vents. Additionally, the sleeves are stretchy enough to be pushed up above the elbows. This fleece breathes better than the denser Mammut Aconcagua Hoody.

Dry tooling for the first time can make anyone sweat  but Piton (shown here in 2013 color) wicks away body moisture while keeping you warm. Although not as breathable as the R1 or R2  this piece will protect you better from wind and rain.
Dry tooling for the first time can make anyone sweat, but Piton (shown here in 2013 color) wicks away body moisture while keeping you warm. Although not as breathable as the R1 or R2, this piece will protect you better from wind and rain.

Layering Ability and Ease of Movement



The "pack compatible" pockets are still a little hard to access with a hip belt on  though the contrasting zipper colors are a nice touch.
The "pack compatible" pockets are still a little hard to access with a hip belt on, though the contrasting zipper colors are a nice touch.

Thanks to its thin construction and slim fit, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody fits well under a shell, but still has space for a base layer underneath. Our testers discovered that this fleece moves and layers very much like the Patagonia R1 Hoody, except that the Piton doesn't have the thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place. Otherwise, this jacket tucks well into a harness, its hood fits under a helmet and its stretchy fabric allows for maximum movement.

The Piton Hybrid fits well under a harness  though we weren't able to use those "harness compatible" pockets.
The Piton Hybrid fits well under a harness, though we weren't able to use those "harness compatible" pockets.

Wind Protection and Water Resistance


Unlike the other Patagonia fleeces we reviewed, this jacket has a Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the panels of fleece covering the torso, shoulders, elbows, and top of the hood. This feature causes light rain to bead up and roll off and also provides greater wind resistance. Additionally, the fabric in these key areas increases the jacket's durability since it is more resistant to abrasions. These features help make this jacket a more versatile technical piece, particularly if you are using it in windy environments.

One of the few water-resistant fleeces we reviewed  the Piton features a Deluge DWR finish that makes water bead up and roll off.
One of the few water-resistant fleeces we reviewed, the Piton features a Deluge DWR finish that makes water bead up and roll off.

Style & Fit



One beef with the Piton - the sleeves were on the short side and lacked thumb loops.
One beef with the Piton - the sleeves were on the short side and lacked thumb loops.

The Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody can be worn around town more stylishly than our Top Pick, the Patagonia R1 pullover. Although the jacket still has a techy look to it, its slim fit and hip length cut, as well as its seam lines, make this fleece quite flattering. Patagonia also incorporated patterns on the different panels of fleeces, and the zippers are in contrasting colors instead of making the piece monochrome like the Mammut Aconcagua Hoody. This jacket's hood still has a snug ninja look, like the R1 Hoody, but it can be worn down during non-technical activities. One negative detail our testers noticed was that the interior seams (where the pockets are sewn in just above and below the bust) look slightly bunchy from the exterior. If you are looking for a technical fleece that doesn't look as techy for around-town use, try out The North Face Radium Hi-Loft jacket, or for a sleeker, more fitted, around-town fleece, consider the Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket - Women's.

The contrasting color on the zippers adds a nice style touch to the jacket.
The contrasting color on the zippers adds a nice style touch to the jacket.

Best Applications


From a technical standpoint, the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody's best use might be alpine rock climbing, where abrasion and wind resistance are key. As a stand-alone piece, this versatile product walks the line between shell and fleece, making it a great all-around layer to toss in the pack for a day in the mountains. While it's not as breathable as the Patagonia R1 Hoody and North Face Radium Jacket or as wind and water-resistant as a proper shell, this jacket still works well for cardio activities and will protect you from the elements better than almost all of the other fleeces we tested. This great mid-layer may also be the piece for you if you want a technical fleece that still looks great around town.

It's cold  but we're still psyched and looking pretty stylish in this top-performing fleece (shown in 2013 color).
It's cold, but we're still psyched and looking pretty stylish in this top-performing fleece (shown in 2013 color).

Value


This jacket is one of the most expensive fleeces that we reviewed. However, it's a comfortable and stylish fleece that still performs well during technical activities, making it a versatile addition to your closet.

Conclusion


Even though we did not give the Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody our Editors' Choice award this year, we still really like this fleece. It's a great technical layer for cold weather climbing or other outdoor adventures. Ultimately, The North Face Radium Hi-Loft won out because it was warmer and significantly cozier, but really it comes down to what you will be using the fleece for. If you are looking for a layering piece that is warm and breathable, then the Radium is the way to go. But if you need something to block the wind on your next ice climb, then stick with this technical fleece jacket.

Other Versions


The Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Men's is the men's version of this hoody. The Piton Hybrid Jacket has no hood and retails for $169; the vested version is also available and is called the Piton Hybrid Vest, $149.


Cam McKenzie Ring & Amanda Fenn