The new Patagonia R1 Techface Hoody is basically a marriage of the R1 Regulator® fleece insulation with a thin external facing fabric for wind resistance and durability. The hoody is lightweight in terms of insulating value, breaths very well and is quite stretchy. A fantastic summer alpine layer as it cuts the wind, moves well and isn’t overly warm.
- R1 Regulator fleece with DWR treated facing fabric
- Color: Black (also available in grey, orange & blue)
- Weight: 400g (M’s medium)
- Helmet compatible hood
- 2 hand pockets & a chest pocket
Most people are familiar with Patagonia’s R1 Regulator® fleece insulation because of the popularity of the original R1 Hoody (which is still on the market). It’s a very lightweight insulation that utilizes a high/low grid patterned fabric to trap heat and move moisture off the skin. Of course this makes it a great active layer: not too thick and warm while it breaths and wicks well.
Like the insulation, the soft exterior fabric is nice and light keeping the jacket from being overly warm (except if wearing the black version of the jacket in the sun). It’s designed for active summer/3-season use after all. The jacket also breaths quite well while still cutting the wind. The 4-way stretch fabric allows unrestricted mobility when climbing, reaching, etc. However, like most stretchy fabrics there’s a bit of a trade-off with durability. After a few months of wearing the test jacket some wear is just starting to show on the elbows and other high-wear areas.
The DWR treatment works quite well when the jacket is new but of course slowly degrades with use. Of course there are aftermarket wash-in products like NikWax that can be used to freshen the treatment.
Cut & Fit:
I really like the overall cut of the R1 Techface. The stretchy, low-bulk garment moves and climbs well, fits under a harness and doesn’t lift when reaching. The stretchy cuffs are easy to put on, have a smooth, low-profile fit and can be slid up to the elbows to free up the forearm when climbing wider cracks.
The helmet compatible hood can feel a little bulky, especially around the collar, without a helmet. The fit over a helmet is impeccable though. The hood’s also two way adjustable with draw cords at the collar and the back of the head. The draw cord stoppers and entirely enclosed in the fabric which I found could make them a pain in the ass to release at times. It’s worth playing with them a little at home to get a feel for how they operate.
The sizing of the R1 Techface hoody’s is right on the money. I typically wear a men’s medium in softshell jackets and that size fit perfect. When layering I found that I could fit a thin mid-layer under the Techface if I wanted while warmer puffys and shell jackets easily fit over it.
Patagonia included the standard hand pockets as well as an external chest pocket on the R1 Techface. The chest pocket is sized ideally for an iPhone 6 and so makes for a great storage location for anything from a phone to a few bars. The zipper extends right to the bottom of the zipper so things have a tendency to fall out if the zipper’s not closed. A slightly deeper pocket with a shorter zipper would have been a nice touch. The hand pockets are nicely sized though not very accessible when wearing a harness. There are no interior pockets.
Pros: Breathable, very stretchy, well cut, great combo of light insulation with wind resistant fabric
Cons: The rear hood drawstring can be hard to loosen up, bulky hood
Overall: A very comfortable and easy to wear active insulation type layer that cuts the wind while offering just a little extra warmth. Ideal for summer alpine climbing, hiking and mountaineering or even walking around town.
Black Sheep Adventure Sports was provided with a sample to review but of course this did not influence us in any way.