The Patagonia R2 Jacket is a high-performing fleece made of a soft and touchable fabric, and it combines breathability and coziness better than most of the other fleeces we tested. Patagonia is constantly redesigning this model from year to year, and the current offering came very close to winning our Editors' Choice award. It fell a little short of some models, but otherwise, our testers loved this jacket. The hi-loft fleece in the body keeps you toasty, while the stretch panels on the side torso and inner arms provide more breathability and movement. The R2 is a great technical piece for cardio activities on chilly days or as a layer on mountain adventures. Its basic style is perfect slope-side or while exploring the streets of the city.
Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Lightweight, compressible, breathable, cozy for a technical fleece
Cons: No hood or wind protection
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Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's
|Price||$119.98 at Backcountry|
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|$169.00 at REI|
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|$155.96 at Amazon||$83.29 at Amazon|
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|$124.98 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Lightweight, compressible, breathable, cozy for a technical fleece||Breathable, durable, helmet compatible hood, awesome thermoregulation, high value||Balaclava hood with neck gaiter, good wind and water protection for a fleece||Lightweight, breathable, full-length zipper and a hood||Super cozy materials, stylish, lightweight, warm|
|Cons||No hood or wind protection||Not weather resistant, expensive||Not very breathable, expensive||Not very warm, no weather resistance||Expensive, not the most breathable, zipper slips|
|Bottom Line||A breathable jacket that's cozy but let's the wind rip right through.||The perfect fleece that will take you from the grocery store to the mountain tops.||Great technical fleece best used in alpine conditions.||A lightweight piece to add to your layering system.||A stylish and comfortable fleece best for relaxed hikes and wearing around town.|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's||R1 Full Zip Hoody||Fortrez Hoody||Rab Nucleus Hoody - Women's||Kyanite Hoody|
|Layering Ability (20%)|
|Ease Of Movement (15%)|
|Weather Resistance (5%)|
|Specs||Patagonia R2...||R1 Full Zip Hoody||Fortrez Hoody||Rab Nucleus Hoody...||Kyanite Hoody|
|Main Fabric||Polartec Thermal Pro (97% polyester/3% spandex)||Polartec PowerGrid(93% recycled polyester/7% spandex)||Polartec Power Stretch with Hardface Technology (88% polyester, 12% elastane)||Thermic fleece & Power Grid||Nylon, polyester|
|Unique Features||R1 grid panels on the side to reduce volume||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|
|# of Pockets||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||2 (hand), 1 hidden zippered pocket (right hand)||3 (2 hand, 1 arm)||2 (hand)||2 hand|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia R2 Jacket is made of a Polartec Thermal Pro hi-loft fleece in the body (97% polyester (63% recycled), 3% spandex), which is similar to a long-haired raschel fleece material but with a slightly shorter length "fur." The side arms and torso are made with Polartec Power Grid (the popular R1 fabric), sometimes in contrasting colors and other times in the same tone. There are two zippered hand pockets and a zippered left breast pocket, and the latest version no longer has thumb loops.
The Patagonia R2 Jacket has a good warmth-to-weight ratio. It is extremely packable (about the same amount as the R1), so it's great to toss into your pack as an extra layer on long days. Overall, this model will keep your torso warm on a cold day, but the lack of a hood or balaclava means you don't have the same coverage to seal in the heat if using it as an outer layer. While hoods provide more warmth overall, they can be bulky under a helmet or unwanted if every other layer you are wearing has one. So, if you are specifically looking for a mid-layer, say for under a ski jacket, then you'll want to look for a model without a hood, and the R2 is a good option in that respect.
The R2 is one of the most comfortable options that we tested. It has a soft-lined collar and a garaged zipper to maximize comfort around the neck, and the lofted fleece is cozy inside and out.
This jacket excels at venting your perspiration. The main hi-loft fleece has thousands of tiny pinprick holes that let your moisture escape, and the R1 gridded fleece panels on the sides are strategically placed in areas where you want less bulk and even more breathability. It also has mesh-lined pockets to increase airflow. This jacket is a great option for a lightweight mid-layer, whether you are heading on a steep uphill hike or out on a long alpine rock climb.
The R2 has a tapered technical fit that leaves little room to layer underneath. A thin t-shirt or base layer is as much as you are going to fit under this jacket. As such, it's easy to layer over it. It fit nicely under an insulated ski jacket without restricting our arm movements.
Ease of Movement
The stretchy, lightweight fabric made this jacket easy to move in, particularly when not wearing too much underneath it. The torso isn't super long, but it doesn't ride up while exploring the outdoors either.
Like many of the fleeces we reviewed, this jacket does not protect against rain and will not do much to keep you warm on a breezy day. You can almost see through the fabric. The short-sheared, hi-loft fibers quickly absorb into the fabric without barely beading up first.
One of the more expensive products in our review ($169), this jacket is worth the cost if you're looking for a cozy, yet technical fleece.
This jacket keeps getting retooled slightly by Patagonia, so if you haven't liked older models, you might want to take a second look at the R2. While not an award winner, we still really like it, and it's a great option for active pursuits in cold weather. This jacket keeps you warm while also being highly breathable, and it easily fits under your other layers.
— Amber King & Cam McKenzie Ring