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Patagonia R1 Full Zip Hoody - Women's Review

The reigning champion that simply can't be beat for versatility.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $170 List | $117.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Breathable, durable, helmet compatible hood, awesome thermoregulation, high value
Cons:  Not weather resistant, expensive
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 17, 2019
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83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Layering Ability - 20% 9
  • Ease of Movement - 15% 10
  • Weather Resistance - 5% 4

Our Verdict

As a long-time go-to, the classic Patagonia R1 has always been known for its technical performance. With its Polartec PowerGrid fabrics, a stretchy and odor-free material, it has incredible breathability and an amazing weight-to-warmth ratio. It features a full hood that fits nicely under a helmet without limiting peripheral vision. The stretch in the fabric provides full mobility, while it layers nicely over a midweight baselayer or under an insulated jacket. This technical layer is built for women who are seeking a layer that can do it all, without all the bells and whistles. It's our favorite and our Editors' Choice award winner because it is durable, practical, and reliable. In comparison to the previous version of this jacket, sans zippered pockets and thumb loops, it seems less technical. The classic R1 has switched from being a force to reckon with only in the mountains, to a layer that is amenable to wear…anywhere. This fleece has historically been a classic go-to for alpine ascents for its breathability and packability. It's not the warmest option on its own, but when layered appropriately, it simply can't be beaten.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award    Top Pick Award 
Price $117.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$199.00 at Backcountry$109.99 at Backcountry
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$134.99 at Backcountry
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Pros Breathable, durable, helmet compatible hood, awesome thermoregulation, high valueBalaclava hood with neck gaiter, good wind and water protection for a fleeceLightweight, breathable, full-length zipper and a hoodSuper cozy materials, stylish, lightweight, warmSuper breathable, wind and water resistance, lightweight design, layers easily
Cons Not weather resistant, expensiveNot very breathable, expensiveNot very warm, no weather resistanceExpensive, not the most breathable, zipper slipsTight through the shoulders, expensive, stinky after one use
Bottom Line The reigning champion that simply can't be beat for versatility.A technical jacket for alpine and ice climbing, or other active sports in colder climates.This light fleece is a high-performance layer that is breathable and comfortable.The lightweight and stylish fleece is built for town and leisurely hikes.Our favorite for aerobic activities during the winter months.
Rating Categories R1 Full Zip Hoody Fortrez Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody - Women's Kyanite Hoody Vigor Hoody
Warmth (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
4
Comfort (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Breathability (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
Layering Ability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
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9
Ease Of Movement (15%)
10
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10
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
10
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9
Weather Resistance (5%)
10
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4
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
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6
10
0
8
Specs R1 Full Zip Hoody Fortrez Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody... Kyanite Hoody Vigor Hoody
Type Midweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Main Fabric Polartec PowerGrid(93% recycled polyester/7% spandex) Polartec Power Stretch with Hardface Technology (88% polyester, 12% elastane) Thermic fleece & Power Grid Nylon, polyester Nylon, polyester
Unique Features Hidden zippered pocket, balaclava hood fits under a helmet, brick-patterned insulation balances breathability and warmth Balaclava hood with neck gaiter Close fitting hood fits under a helmet Stretchy, abrasion-resistant fabric, gussets for movement Insulated front and back panel, breathable arms
Weight (ounces) 11.9 11.9 11.2 11.2 10.2
# of Pockets 2 (hand), 1 hidden zippered pocket (right hand) 3 (2 hand, 1 arm) 2 (hand) 2 hand 2 (2 hand, 1 chest)
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia R1 Full-Zip Hoody is a technical mid-layer that provides unbeatable performance from the grocery store to the cliffs of your favorite mountain. Designed to shed heat but retain warmth when needed, it's a go-to classic for anybody who's searching for the best performance while moving in cold weather. It features a balaclava hood that covers the face under the nose and fits nicely under a helmet while the fabric is soft to the touch, treated with a smell-proof Polygiene treatment. This versatile Editors' Choice winner will last you for years to come and is our go-to technical mid-layer.

The newly updated full-zip hood features some key differences from the previous model:
  • It offers more room to layer underneath the jacket
  • Thicker & reinforced hand and hem cuffs
  • It has two big handwarmer pockets with a hidden zipper pocket on the right
  • It does not have thumb loops (sadly)
  • It does not have a chest pocket
  • Models offered: Full Zip Hoody & ¾ Jacket with no hood
  • Sadly, the ¾ Hoody is not offered anymore (we hope Patagonia brings this back)

Performance Comparison


Jo enjoys the comfortable versatility the Patagonia R1 Full Zip Hoody offers. This classic climber favorite has a few updates making it less technical and a little more functional for simply wearing around town. This favorite is still our Editor's Choice award winner.
Jo enjoys the comfortable versatility the Patagonia R1 Full Zip Hoody offers. This classic climber favorite has a few updates making it less technical and a little more functional for simply wearing around town. This favorite is still our Editor's Choice award winner.

Warmth


The R1 Full-Zip Hoody isn't the warmest option out there, but it'll still keep you warm when it's not too cold outside. Made of 6.9 oz of Powertech Powergrid fleece with a wind-cutting overlay, it will insulate on its own when the temperatures are cool.


When layered with the proper gear under a shell or insulated jacket, it's the perfect mid-layer that'll provide warmth in the coldest temperature out there. The fitted hood that zips into a balaclava provides ample coverage all the way up to the nose, which helps to lock in warmth. Unfortunately, this jacket does not come with thumb loops anymore (a feature we used to love), but the sleeves are stretchy and long enough to wrap around the hand if you need to lock in more heat. The cuffs seem a little intrusive and aren't as thin as they used to be, making them a little less technical, and more casual.

The hood is warm and provides good coverage that fits well under a helmet. While this is a lightweight mid-layer  it's perfect for wear on its own during cool temps or on aerobic adventures during cold weather.
The hood is warm and provides good coverage that fits well under a helmet. While this is a lightweight mid-layer, it's perfect for wear on its own during cool temps or on aerobic adventures during cold weather.

It is a perfect option for all types of weather and used more as a mid-layer through the thick of winter.

Skinning up with the Patagonia R1 in the San Juan Mountains is a perfect place for it's great performance.
Skinning up with the Patagonia R1 in the San Juan Mountains is a perfect place for it's great performance.

Comfort


For a technical layer that's pretty bare bones on features, we are impressed by the level of relative comfort and coziness this jacket has to offer. The full-zip fleece is easy to put on and take off, while the power grid fleece is super soft on the skin.


The wrist cuffs are double layered and reinforced, making them comfortable and cozy to pull up over the hands. The hem cuff also has this feature, making the jacket fall heavier towards the bottom, providing a nice fit. The fabric is a little stretchy without any weird constrictions throughout the stitching. In addition, the hand pockets are huge with a hidden zippered pocket in the right pocket that comes in handy for items you don't want to lose. We also really like the garaged zipper that keeps our face away from the metal zipper during cold weather.


While this layer isn't fire-proof (note the hole)  it's super comfortable with seams that don't sit directly on the shoulder and away from the straps of a backpack.
While this layer isn't fire-proof (note the hole), it's super comfortable with seams that don't sit directly on the shoulder and away from the straps of a backpack.

Breathability


This fleece offers some of the best breathability and thermoregulation of any option tested. The grid-like pattern of the PowerTec fleece offers hundreds of small canyons for heat to escape readily. The fleece itself, when worn next to the skin, wicks away moisture easily, keeping you dry and warm. This key feature makes it the best technical layer we've tested and the pinnacle reason we recommend it for aerobic endeavors in cold temperatures.


While the fabric itself is super breathable, the zipper also provides a means of manual thermoregulation. The full-zip design allows you to unzip just a little or a lot. If the day heats up and you need ventilation pronto, simply unzip. But, if clouds roll in and you need to retain heat, zip it back up/

The Patagonia R1 is our editor's choice and a great example of an excellent fleece mid-layer.  Wear it anywhere...from the beaches to the high mountains. It offers great breathability on this warmer day on the beach  offering some sun protection during the day and a little wind protection early in the morning.
The Patagonia R1 is our editor's choice and a great example of an excellent fleece mid-layer. Wear it anywhere...from the beaches to the high mountains. It offers great breathability on this warmer day on the beach, offering some sun protection during the day and a little wind protection early in the morning.

The Patagonia R1 simply provides the best balance of breathability and warmth. This makes it a great option for alpine climbing, wearing around town, hiking, and going to work. It can truly do it all.

Layering Ability


As lightweight and thin mid-layer, a thinner base layer will fit nicely underneath the roomy interior of the jacket. It also slips seamlessly under-insulated jackets or a shell.


The stretchy fabric conforms to the body, staying in place underneath a fully-weighted backpacking backpack or harness. The hem has a thicker design that adds a little more weight to the jacket, preventing it from rising up. The brick fleece is smooth and doesn't catch base layers easily unless they are particularly thick or lofty.

Layer it easily over a midweight base layer or under an insulated jacket.
Layer it easily over a midweight base layer or under an insulated jacket.

The fabric on the full-zip does provide enough room to wear a thicker wool base layer underneath and can be worn as a final layer. Overall, it's easy to layer with simply because of its relative amount of stretch and fitted design.

Ease of Movement


It's no wonder that the classic Patagonia R1 has been a go-to for first ascents and all sorts of climbing escapades around the world. This sport is renowned for its dynamic movement, and the Patagonia R1 conforms to the body and flows perfectly with it. The stretchy fabric and long arms and torso provide full coverage while promoting easy movement.


We didn't have any issues with this classic riding up bunching while wearing a backpack or harness. The longer length in the torso of the full-zip version accommodates bodies short and long. Sadly, the new version of the R1 does not have thump loops anymore, nor are the pockets as compatible with a harness or backpack. The arms of the jacket are still stretchy and long enough for those who are tall. The R1 hood articulates well under all sorts of helmets (we tried skiing, climbing, and biking) and doesn't impede peripheral vision. Overall, the full-zip jacket offers a full-range of motion.

Even when we're psyched about a climb or moving on the rock  it moves with your body  stretching without bunching.
Even when we're psyched about a climb or moving on the rock, it moves with your body, stretching without bunching.

Weather Resistance


The R1 is not water-resistant or super wind-resistant either. Given its thin design, it's lesser so than most contenders in this review.


Sporting a grid-like brick fleece pattern, this jacket has a lot of little holes that provide amazing breathability. That said, when it comes to dumping rain or snow, we have to recommend a lightweight shell that you can layer on over. In our water tests, after about two seconds under a tap, the water began to percolate into the fabric, soaking it thoroughly. When on, we noticed that a small drizzle or some light snow (with a layer underneath) wasn't a huge deal. The upper fabric absorbs the bulk of the moisture while the polyester fleece retains warmth when wet.

When the rains poured hard on Kauai island in Hawaii  this jacket didn't provide a whole lot of weather protection. However  because it dries quickly  we still wore it when we needed to dip our feet in the water.
When the rains poured hard on Kauai island in Hawaii, this jacket didn't provide a whole lot of weather protection. However, because it dries quickly, we still wore it when we needed to dip our feet in the water.

Another plus is that the fabric dries quickly, especially with a good breeze. The upper fabric also does a decent job at cutting super stingy winds, but it's not at all wind-proof to safe the least. As a result, make sure you put a thin shell over top if you're expecting super wet or windy conditions. We've hiked plenty of times with this top on and gotten it completely wet. The plus is that it does stay warm when wet if you keep moving and have a layer underneath.

Melody just loves the comfort of the Patagonia R1 Hoody while heading out on a little shopping trip in Southern Ontario.
Melody just loves the comfort of the Patagonia R1 Hoody while heading out on a little shopping trip in Southern Ontario.

Climb  bike  hike  run  do it all with this layer. This ultra-classic does well in all conditions and it's our favorite. It wins the highest honor in this review  reigning as our top choice overall.
Climb, bike, hike, run, do it all with this layer. This ultra-classic does well in all conditions and it's our favorite. It wins the highest honor in this review, reigning as our top choice overall.

Value


Many people might cringe at the price tag. However, for anybody who's owned an R1, they know it's worth the money. The main author has been a long-time user (along with many of her friends). Over the last ten years, she hasn't had to replace it and only upgraded for different colors. The new rendition has all the same construction features as the previous version, with a few style differences…thought the fabrics are the same. There's a reason that Patagonia has been afraid to change this jacket too much. It's a good investment.

Conclusion


The classic Patagonia R1 hasn't changed a whole lot over the years and continues to be our favorite mid-layer fleece. As a technical layer, it provides an amazing warmth-weight ratio with exceptional thermoregulation. While it's not the warmest on its own, it simply performs the best as a mid-layer for cold-weather aerobic activities. You'll be seeing this on us during our Alpine ascents and backcountry hiking trips. It is offered in a full-zip hoody and a ¾ jacket option. While we really like the new full-zip hoody, we do miss the ¾ zip hoody option and the thumb loops. Overall, our Editors' Choice award winner and favorite fleece mid-layer…hands down.

We appreciate the style of this Editor's Choice winner that has us easily going from the mountain towns to the high summits.
We appreciate the style of this Editor's Choice winner that has us easily going from the mountain towns to the high summits.


Amber King