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. This is a great technical fleece jacket to wear when being active in cold conditions or for layering under a shell.
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
Compare to Similar Products
Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's
|Price||$119.98 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$169.00 at REI|
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|$199.00 at Amazon||$129.97 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$139.95 at Amazon|
|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, some water resistance in the body||Lightweight, breathable, full-length zipper and a hood|
|Cons||No hood or wind protection||Not weather resistant, a little expensive||Not very breathable, expensive||Not very warm, expensive||Not very warm, no weather resistance|
|Bottom Line||A versatile jacket for hiking and using as part of a layering system.||A great go-to option that will fulfill all that you need from a technical layer.||Technical jacket for alpine and ice climbing, or other active sports in colder climates.||A breathable jacket for moving fast in the outdoors.||This light fleece is a high-performance layer that is breathable and comfortable.|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia R2 Jacket - Women's||R1 Full Zip Hoody||Fortrez Hoody||Deviator Hoody||Rab Nucleus Hoody - Women's|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Ease Of Movement (10%)|
|Weather Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Patagonia R2...||R1 Full Zip Hoody||Fortrez Hoody||Deviator Hoody||Rab Nucleus 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)||Polartec Power Grid 2L - 84% polyester, 16% spandex||Thermic fleece|
|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||Thumb loops, Polygiene odor control treatment||Close fitting hood fits under a helmet|
|# of Pockets||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||2 (hand), 1 hidden zippered pocket (right hand)||3 (2 hand, 1 arm)||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||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, but it won't keep you as warm as a heavyweight fleece option like The North Face Denali Jacket. 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 keeps your torso warmer than the R1 Hoody 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 North Face Osito 2 is a bit warmer than the R2 should you need an even warmer layer under a ski jacket.
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 as long as the R1, but it didn't ride up on us too much when wearing it under a backpack hip belt. It's a hair tighter in the shoulders than the R1 or the Rab Nucleus Hoody though.
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. If you're looking for a fleece that does offer some wind and water protection, try out the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody.
Style & Fit
Overall we like the style and fit of this jacket, though the R1 side panels can look a little "techy," particularly when they are in contrasting colors. The cut is tapered and flattering, and the arms and torso are nice and long.
Lightweight, highly breathable, and fairly warm, the Patagonia R2 Jacket is a great technical piece for cardio activities on chilly days or as a layer on mountain adventures.
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. If you're looking for a less expensive option, our Best Buy winner, the Marmot Flashpoint, retails for only $95.
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.
— Cam McKenzie Ring