The term ‘iconic’ is often bandied about way too much, however in the context of Patagonia’s midlayer stretch fleece hoody – the R1, it’s perfectly appropriate. So who’s got one, who’s had one and what have you done in (R)1?
Patagonia say: “A trusted thermal layering piece ideal for climbing and ski touring, with alpine-specific features, such as a balaclava hood, and a slim fit with a long hem to stay tucked under a harness or pants.”
This is the most recent incarnation of a classic layering piece that is now 20 years old! The R1 Hoody is an amazingly versatile layering piece that is my go to for winter pursuits such as alpinism, ice climbing and ski touring. I also love it for cool weather trail running and rock climbing. I wear it over a light base layer or even next to the skin if I want a burly baselayer, that breathes really well and feels soft and comfortable against the skin.
The fit is slim, it stretches to offer unhindered movement, vents via a deep chest zip and the close fitting balaclava hood, fits like a dream under a helmet or over a cap. The neck zips high to cover the nose ‘balaclava style’, sealing out icy gusts. The R1 is cut with extra length as to prevent riding up when worn under a harness, but also to offer extra warmth around your middle tucked into your trousers. The cut is such, that it stays put perfectly when you have your arms above your head. I really like the discreet thumb loops which eliminate any cold spots in the wrist area, particularly when wearing short cuff gloves. Other features include a single zippered chest pocket, large enough for a phone, or spare cash and cards.
The fabric, a 6.9-oz Polartec® Power Grid™ 93% recycled polyester/7% elastane with Polygiene® permanent odor control in the main body and 3.8-oz Polartec Power Grid 92% recycled polyester/8% elastane in the hood, side panels and main body is exclusive to Patagonia. This idea of a hybridised construction is nothing new, but it does give the best of all worlds when it comes to weight, comfort and breathability. The outer face of the fabric provides reasonable abrasion and snag resistance whilst feeling suitably soft.
All fabrics are certified as Bluesign™ approved and Fair Trade Certified™ sewn.
How does the insulation work? R is for Regulator.
“Regulator® fleece insulation provides phenomenal compressibility, light weight warmth, and moisture transport, whether used alone or as part of a layering system.
The lofted hollow-core fibers of Regulator fleece insulation conserve body heat while allowing body moisture to wick uninhibited. They’re also lightweight and highly compressible for packing.
Regulator Fleece Insulation provides exceptional breathability to keep you dry on the inside and while Regulator fleece provides the same amount of warmth as a much bulkier fleece, it does so with lighter, more compressible materials. Since you stay both dryer and warmer, you’re able to maintain your comfort over a wide temperature range, which results in fewer layering changes and a lighter, less bulky pack.”
- Exclusive to Patagonia, these hybridized Polartec® Power Grid™ fabrics with Polygiene® permanent odor control are light and breathable with outstanding stretch and durability; low-profile secondary fabric improves breathability in key places and provides increased comfort when worn under a harness
- Snug-fitting, low-profile balaclava-style hood fits comfortably under a helmet strap; center-front slim zip with a soft kissing-welt zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort
- Off-shoulder seams sit comfortably under pack straps
- Pullover silhouette has deep center-front zipper to allow for quick venting
- One left-chest pocket has slim zip install, zipper garage and mesh pocket bag
- Sleeves have discreet on-seam thumb holes for added coverage in cold conditions
- Torso is 1″ longer than usual to stay tucked in under a harness or a pack waistbelt
- 312 g (11 oz)
To conclude. the latest incarnation of the R1 hoody is just as awesome, perhaps even more so than the originals of 20 years ago. The updates are subtle as it’s hard to improve on such a masterpiece but if you don’t already own the most versatile and yes, iconic, midlayer fleece hoody, perfect for just about every mountain activity I can think of, then I strongly suggest you go and buy one now. Then what will you do in an R1?
- For more information and to buy one, visit the Patagonia website.
- RRP: €150/£140
- Check out Patagonia’s 20th anniversary R1 celebration here
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!
Kevin Averyis an IFMGA Mountain Guide (aspirant). He is available for guiding in the Alps, UK and further afield. Contact him via the website: www.truenorthalpine.com