The Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover is an excellent "re"-imagining of Patagonia's Synchilla fleece offering. It comes with the classic contrasting seaming, snap collar, and chest pocket, but with an updated and more breathable fleece material. While not the best layer for heavy-duty aerobic activities, it is a great layer to throw in your backpack for the summit or chilly nights. It weighs only about a pound, and while it doesn't pack up too small, it's warm enough and windproof enough to be the ideal summit and evening layer. As such, we've given it our Top Pick for Around Camp award.
Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Warm, comfortable fleece material, decent wind resistance
Cons: Not breathable enough for aerobic activities, shorter arm length
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover is made with 9.3 oz Polartec Thermal Pro 100% polyester fleece (51% recycled). It's usually available in at least eight or ten different color combinations.
The Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover is a warm fleece that scored near the top of the pack in this category. It helped us keep toasty on cold days and nights. It features a super soft hi-pile fleece that women salivate over on cold days.
The Re-Tool fleece is a cross between your standard fleece and a hi-pile raschel, which, some say, has a distinct Muppet-like look. The longer fibers on the Re-Tool help retain warmth, and there is a double layer of material around the neck for extra protection. This added protection keeps wind out, ultimately making this a nice warm fleece to wear in cold weather. The fleece on the Re-Tool is thicker and longer than other contenders, making it warmer than other heavier models. This pullover is a little heavier than some of the more lighter technical fleeces that we reviewed, but that's the trade-off for more warmth. If you're seeking something that offers ample comfort and an incredible level of warmth that'll keep you toasty all winter long, this is one of our favorites.
This pullover is very comfortable and was one of our favorite layers to put on after the outdoor fun. It has many features that our testers love. This includes a clip-up neck collar and a kangaroo pocket for the hands.
The fleece is soft and fuzzy against your skin, and the looser cut makes it feel more like your favorite sweatshirt than a technical outdoor fleece. We like the soft fleece on the cuffs, which still feels comfortable even when we have the sleeves hiked up our arms. While the collar is cut a little high, the front V opens enough so that it never feels constricting. As such, this is by far, one of the most comfortable fleeces that we've had the luxury to wear. The softness can't be compared to any other model. If we have to choose one to curl up with, this is definitely at the top of our list. Another reason it wins a Top Pick award.
We are surprised by how breathable the Re-Tool is for its thicker design. It's much more breathable than any other thicker fleece we've tested. As such, you get a lot of performance out of this casual piece. Not only is it perfect for casual wear around town, but it's great for the less extreme hike.
Although it feels pretty breathable to us relative to a heavier fleece, it's still not the best option for aerobic activities. We went on a hike on a cool day in this pullover, and found ourselves heating up a bit, taking it off, then getting cold, then putting it back on, etc. By the end of the day, we wished we'd had a more breathable layer instead. While the fabric is quite porous, which allows some moisture to vent away, it's still thick, so venting takes longer. While you can unclip the buttons on the neck, this still isn't enough to off-load a lot of heat at once. As such, it's perfect for light hiking or less sweaty endeavors like chores around the yard or hanging around a campfire.
The Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover isn't the hardest fleece in our review to layer with, but it isn't the easiest either. It's roomy enough to fit over a base layer or two with no problem, and it can fit under a rain jacket or other outer layer as long as it's not cut too closely.
This pullover had a slightly boxy cut to it, and it might feel bulky under a closely tailored jacket. The Re-Tool also feels a little bulky under a backpack waistbelt, but not as bad as other thicker fleeces. The bonus, though? The kangaroo pouch is accessible with a waistbelt on, giving you a place to keep your hands warm while hiking on a cold day. We loved this cozy feature that added warmth in the layering. All in all, it's not too bad for layering, but we typically like to wear it on its own since it is a touch bulky.
Ease of Movement
This fleece offers great movement in comparison to other warmer fleeces in this review.
The loser cut is never constricting, but the whole garment shifts when say, lifting your arms above your head. It's not nearly as bulky or constricting as other thicker contenders, making it one of our favorites for movement, as a bulkier fleece. While it's not our top choice for climbing, in which technical fleeces are better for, it is comfortable in that it allows you to move, anywhere you go.
This fleece offers slightly more protection than some of the "porous" layers in this review. The Polartec Thermal Pro has a gridded design with thousands of micro holes in it, so you do feel some wind, but the longer "hairs" on the fleece tend to cover the holes and block the wind a bit. During our water tests, we noticed that the thick pile offers slightly more water resistance than thinner fleeces, but it's still far from water-resistant. Overall, if you're going out in light rain, this is probably okay for a couple of minutes. But if you're going to be in a storm, bring a rain jacket that is big enough to fit over top.
This pullover retails for $119, making it almost a bargain compared to some of the more technical fleeces in this review. It's twenty dollars more than our Best Buy award winner, the Flashpoint, but you might get more use out of it thanks to the casual styling and comfortable fleece.
The Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover is a cozy and warm casual fleece that will instantly become your favorite layer. Our Top Pick for Around Camp is the perfect layer for cold nights and chilly summits, and it comes in dozens of color combinations for all tastes.
The Re-Tool is also available as a vest for $109.
— Amber King & Cam McKenzie Ring