Patagonia R1 Full-zip Fleece Jacket Review

Patagonia R1 Full-zip Fleece Jacket Review

The Patagonia R1 line is now legendary. Built using Polartec® Power Dry® fleece, the R1 boasts amazing wicking ability combined with excellent thermal qualities and can be used both an insulator or an outer layer–depending on the weather.

Features of the Patagonia R1 Jacket:

  • Recycled and recyclable polyester R1 fabric provides excellent stretch, warmth, wicking and breathability in a variety of temperatures, whether worn as lightweight insulation or a thermal baselayer
  • Lightweight yarns wick moisture
  • Outer microfiber yarns speed evaporation
  • Interior grid enhances compressibility and airflow
  • Jersey microfiber face for low-friction, nonbinding layering
  • Zippered, brushed-polyester mesh chest pocket
  • R1®: 6.5-oz Polartec® Power Dry® 93% polyester (60% recycled)/7% spandex. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program
  • Weight: 328 g (11.6 oz)
  • Colors: Henna Brown (tested), Feather Grey, Black, Gecko Green
  • MSRP: $150

Patagonia R1 Jacket Review

Having used the R1 Hoody previously, I was stoked to get the new R1 Jacket. The Jacket version is quite a bit different than the Hoody, which, in my opinion, makes it a more versatile piece. The fit of the R1 Jacket is definitely athletic. With some manufacturers, this doesn’t mean much but with Patagonia it is a true athletic fit, so plan accordingly.

I appreciate a more streamlined fit–especially while backcountry skiing or trail running. Nothing is more annoying than a jacket that’s too bulky–nobody will ever fault the R1 Jacket for that. The Medium fits me perfectly (5’11″ and 175 lbs), with just enough sleeve length and torso coverage with a contoured fit.

I can rock the R1 around town, on the trail or in the snow equally-well. The subtle styling really makes this a great jacket to have in the closet.

I’ve primarily put the R1 Jacket through its paces while backcountry skiing. It works well as an insulating or outer layer for athletic activities. Skinning up a few thousand vertical feet in the early-morning hours really gets the blood and sweat flowing. It’s essential that you wear something that breathes well–even if it seems chilly at the start. I love the R1 Jacket for just this reason… it stays warm, but breathes extremely well.

The only downside to the excellent breathability is the lack of wind protection. Yes, it does shed light snow and some wind, but by no means will you want to stand on a windy, snowy ridgeline (like you see below… I was very cold) for very long–that’s when you slap on a lightweight shell (like the Patagonia M10 Jacket).

The length of the R1 Jacket is perfect on me–providing excellent coverage. While wearing a pack, the R1 feels comfortable and doesn’t ride up at all. There is no need for pit zips either, so that simplifies the construction and reduces weight as well.

The exterior of the jacket is durable enough to withstand the inevitable grab of scrub oak branches while breaking trail in the Winter.

I’m being nit-picky, but the only items I noticed that were detractors on this great jacket were: 1) the zipper seems to end 1/2″ too short on the collar and lacks a zipper garage and 2) the R1 logo stitched on the lower-left sleeve got caught on the aforementioned scrub oak and pulled out slightly and 3) it tends to retain the B.O. a little more than other jackets and could benefit from some sort of antimicrobial treatment.

Good R1 Jacket

  • A true streamlined athletic fit
  • Breathes extremely well
  • Maintains warmth even when wet
  • Excellent collar height and diameter
  • Excellent for bunch-free layering
  • Lightweight and packs down well
  • Flatlock seams add to comfort and fit

Bad R1 Jacket

  • Intentionally sacrifices wind protection for breathability
  • Zipper seemingly should go up about 1/2″ higher and tuck into a “garage”
  • Needs some sort of anti-microbial treatment… you must wash it after each serious use

Bottom Line: Patagonia R1 Jacket

A staple in the collection, the Patagonia R1 Jacket is a must-have for athletic Winter adventure and year-round versatility. I appreciate the warmth and comfort and the true athletic cut of the R1.

Buy Now: Search for Patagonia R1 Fleece

Written By

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground. Follow Jason Mitchell on Google+.