Patagonia R1 Hoody Review
Photos & Words: Charlotte Fish
Patagonia have been producing ethical outdoor clothing for decades and are constantly striving to do better. The launch of the R1 fleece in 1999 shaped the future of mid-layers available on the market and while it has undergone updates, the concept and design remains largely the same.
I was lucky enough to be asked to swap out my many existing fleeces in order to try the latest version of the women's R1 Hoody for myself and after 12 months of continuous use, I can see why little has changed, here's what I thought.
Patagonia R1 Hoody
Being quite petite, I often have to make do with outdoor clothes, especially fleeces, that are slightly too big but this fleece fits me like a glove. The stretchy fabric just wraps around my shape comfortably whether I’m wearing a strappy baselayer or a long-sleeved thermal baselayer. I love the longer length of the sleeves and body, not only does it layer well but it adds a little extra warmth to my bum and hands when I need it. The stitching on the hood makes it look like I have horns which created a couple of chuckles amongst myself and my friends which is why it isn't quite a 10/10.
I have tested the limits of this fleece during warm but windy conditions hiking the coast of Santorini all the way through to a cold, wet day up the CMD (Càrn Mòr Dearg) arête to reach the summit of Ben Nevis. Each time it has worked perfectly as part of my layering system keeping me comfortable and being breathable enough that I don’t overheat.
Photos: Charlotte Fish
Left: Selfie on the CMD arête
Right: Skaros Rock on the hike from Thira to Oia, Santorini
While the construction of the fleece demonstrates quality flatlock stitching (Fair Trade Certified sewn) the fabric started to bobble in key areas (particularly where a hip belt would be worn) after the first month of owning it. I had worn it a lot in that first month, but I would have expected it to last much longer given the price, the bobbling doesn’t seem to have affected any performance, just aesthetics. It washes well, with no lingering sweat odour thanks to the Polygiene anti-microbial odour control treatment, and dries quickly.
This fleece is very lightweight at just 300g for a size XS/8.
I love the fit of this fleece, think the length and slim fit is functional but also flattering. Pockets are cosy and in a good position for relaxing but not cumbersome or bulky when on the move. The seams on the hood don't sit flush to my head so it looks like I have horns but it's not something I’m too bothered about.
It was particularly great as part of a layering system whilst hiking, gave me the warmth when I needed it without overheating whilst on the move. Even though the outer of the fabric is bobbling already where the hip belt of my pack has been it won’t stop me using it because it’s my new favourite fleece.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.