Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody - Women's Review
Cons: Not as warm or breathable as other technical fleeces, balaclava doesn't zip as high as the R1.
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.
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.
Comfort & Coziness
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.
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.
Layering Ability and Ease of Movement
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.
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.
Style & Fit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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