R1 Full-Zip vs. R1 Hoody
Patagonia's R1 Full-Zip Hoody, pictured on the left below, features two handwarmer pockets, one of which has an internal zip to keep valuables secure. Many of the design elements and fabrics remain the same between these two versions. See the new version below, followed by the model that we tested.
Though we link to the full zip above, take note that the review below refers to the previous version with the 3/4 length zipper.
Hands-On Review of the R1 Hoody
The R1 Hoody is part of Patagonia's Regulator fleece series. It's made with Polartec Power Grid fleece (93% recycled polyester, 7% spandex) that is gridded to increase breathability while maximizing warmth. The latest versions of this fleece now come with an anti-microbial "Polygiene" treatment, which is a tiny amount of silver chloride applied to the material during production. This is supposed to prevent the growth of bacteria that thrive in synthetic fabrics and cause the garments to smell over time. This pullover has a 3/4 length zipper, a balaclava style hood, thumb loops, and a zippered left breast pocket.
Our Editors' Choice winner on the go. This fleece is breathable, warm for its weight, and our favorite option for most mountain activities.
Although this is not one of the warmest fleeces that we tested, it does have a surprisingly good warmth-to-weight ratio thanks to its fitted hood, which layers perfectly under a helmet, and the thumb loops that help keep your hands warm.
The Patagonia R1 Hoody is made with a lightweight Regulator grid fleece, which provides standout breathability, durability, and compressibility, and is warmer than the similarly thin Marmot Flashpoint. Overall, this jacket is an excellent mid-layer on a cold day or a perfect stand-alone piece for technical activities in the spring or fall. However, it does not have hand pockets, so if this feature is important to you, you might want to consider the Rab Nucleus Hoody.
This thin fleece is not very warm, but the hood goes a long way to keeping you feeling toasty when the conditions are cold.
This jacket is more of a technical layer than a cozy fleece you'd want to lounge in, and it did not score quite as high in comfort as some of the other fleeces we evaluated.
While its interior is soft and fleecy, the outer fabric is not nearly as touchable as the R2 or The North Face Osito 2. The slightly longer torso, extra-long arms, and roomy shoulders did provide a little extra comfort though, and even after long days on the rocks in this layer we never felt uncomfortable or constricted.
The raglan sleeves keep the seems off your shoulders for more range of motion and less irritation from your backpack straps.
This is one of the most breathable fleeces that we evaluated. The Patagonia R1 Hoody's grid fleece design wicks away moisture with its hundreds of paper-thin channels. This helps effectively regulate temperature even while doing cardio-heavy activities.
Additionally, the pullover design has a deep V-neck that runs all the way to the waist, which allows the torso to vent. Some other models, like the R2 jacket, were almost as breathable, but those are midweight fleeces and by nature not quite as suited to cardio activities. We also found the Marmot Flashpoint fairly breathable, mostly due to the light 100 weight fleece rather than any fancy material construction. The Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody is slightly more breathable because it is even thinner than the R1, but the Deviator is even less warm.
The channels between the blocks of fleece are so thin as to be almost see through. This allows warm air to vent through the fabric, keeping you drier even when being active.
With its thin yet warm design, the Patagonia R1 Hoody works well as a layer over a silk weight top or as a layer underneath a shell, another fleece or a down coat.
It tucks seamlessly into a harness, pulls on quickly over a helmet and the hood layers well under another hat or inside a helmet. It is not roomy enough to use as a final outer layer though, so if you are looking for something to wear over many other layers, then a roomier fleece like The North Face Denali Jacket is the way to go.
This is our favorite layer to wear while climbing on cool days, and it works well under a harness. It also layers well under the Houdini wind breaker jacket.
Ease of Movement
Thanks to its stretchy fabric and longer torso and arms, this jacket provides maximum ease of movement while maintaining coverage.
We didn't have any issues with the jacket riding up underneath our harness or pack waistbelt, like with did with the OR Deviator. It's a little bit shorter in the torso than the R1, which can be annoying if your proportions are on the long side. The R1's hood doesn't restrict movement at all. We wore it under a ski helmet and still had full range of motion and peripheral vision.
The arms are on the long side so that the thumb loops fit.
The downside to being so breathable is that this jacket does nothing to block the wind or shed water.
Droplets don't even bead up on the surface but instead soak right through. While it dries out fast after a light rain, if you take this jacket as a layer into the mountains you should also grab a wind protective shell like the Patagonia Houdini - Women's or a rain jacket like the Outdoor Research Aspire - Women's. If you are looking for a fleece jacket that will also protect you from the elements a little, say for ice climbing, the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody has some similar elements, like a balaclava style hood, but with a protective shell that can block a light rain and wind. Note that this shell does damper the breathability somewhat, resulting in a tradeoff between protection from the elements and venting your perspiration.
Water soaks right into this porous fleece, and it doesn't block the wind much either.
Style and Fit
The Patagonia R1 Hoody is a minimalist piece without many extras, although it does have a zippered chest pocket big enough for a smartphone or other small necessities.
It has a slim fit that hugs the body while still leaving room for a layer underneath and it has a slightly longer torso and arms. The fitted hood looks a little silly on, but otherwise, this is an attractive looking layer, though on the "techy" side. If you are looking for a fleece that won't look out of place at a happy hour, consider the Arc'teryx Covert Cardigan.
The arms on the R1 are nice and long because they have to reach mid-palm on the "typical" person to accommodate the thumb loops. This is a bonus for those of us with long arms who find it difficult to find jackets that fit in the sleeves.
This fleece jacket is most at home on adventures in the mountains. Its abrasion-resistant outer fabric allows it to stand up to wear and tear on alpine climbing excursions, while its interior grid design makes it extremely breathable and packable. It's not the warmest layer but instead is designed for when you are active in cold conditions and need to stay warm but not sweaty.
This fleece is perfect for times when you are hiking hard in cold conditions. If it's too chilly for just a t-shirt but you don't want to end up all sweaty, the R1 is the way to go.
While this fleece hoody may be fairly pricey ($159), it offers some awesome technical benefits. We asked several long-time R1 owners how they felt about this fleece and they reported that it is hands down their favorite piece for big adventures where breathability and packability are key. If you want something comparable but are looking to save a bit, the Rab Nucleus Hoody retails for $20 less.
When Patagonia first came out with the R1 Hoody, it was only available in a men's version for several years, and a lot of us ladies were either complaining to Patagonia or wearing the men's version because it is so unique and awesome. Finally, the company answered the ladies' call and retooled it for us, with a more tapered fit and design. Its warmth, breathability and cool features make it THE technical fleece to wear when being active in a cold environment, whether that's alpine or ice climbing, backcountry skiing or even just rock climbing on a cold day. It's not going to be the fleece you wear as a jacket around town, but every adventurous lady should have one of these in her closet.