The R1 TechFace Hoody might just be the world’s most weather resistant fleece
Why We Chose The Patagonia R1 TechFace: Great breathability, wind resistant, versatile design
As outdoor brands go, Patagonia are one that very rarely disappoint. With the R1 TechFace Hoody, they’ve taken the iconic R1 formula that we’re big fans of here at Outdoors Magic and transformed it into something tougher, meaner, and better at batting away the elements. When it comes to fleeces, you’d be hard pushed to find one packing as many ‘weather resistant’ qualities as this one.
Who Is The Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody?
If you love the softness of the R1 Regulator, you should know that the toughening up for the TechFace has meant some of the classic’s cosy ‘pyjama feel’ has had to be thrown overboard. That’s not to say wearing this is like wearing a kevlar bulletproof vest though – far from it.
The R1 TechFace Hoody is a versatile, ‘hard as nails’, number. Like Peter Parker after he’s been bitten by a radioactive spider, new layers of strength have been added which mean it can more than hold its own when the going gets tough. Additional abrasion and weather resistant qualities mean it’s an excellent layer for the climbers in our audience.
Its breathability means it’d also be a great layer for runners and cyclists.
The first thing to say here is that the R1 TechFace Hoody has a FairTrade Certified sewn label. This is part of a commitment from Patagonia to make sure that workers in the production chain (they don’t own the factories) have additional funding for things like health-care programs and child-care centres. This extra money put into the process by Patagonia can alternatively be used to purchase products like laptop computers and stoves.
While we’re on the subject of ethical production, the Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody’s fabric is also bluesign approved. This means harmful substances have been eliminated from the manufacturing process, and that standards for sustainable and environmentally-friendly textile production have been met.
In terms of materials used, the R1 TechFace Hoody is 92% polyester – 69% of which has been recycled. The other 8% is an elastane breathable stretch double weave with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
As mentioned already, the Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody is perfect for climbers. Two features that illustrate this perfectly are the product’s articulated pattern, which encourages a wide range of movement, and there’s its alpine helmet-compatible, two-way adjustable hood. Shout out also to the sleek, low-bulk, snag-resistant cuffs with stretch knit, providing versatile coverage and comfort.
Other features worth discussing are the two secure handwarmer pockets, with a ventilating mesh backer for breathability, and the external zippered left-chest pocket for additional storage. If the thought of hitting the crag without at least four fruit and nut bars on your person at any one time puts a shiver down your spine, the R1 has you well covered here. It’s pocket options will also work well for maps, pocket guidebooks, and valuables (they’re very secure).
There’s also a pretty nifty feature where you can adjust the hem by pulling a cord in the handwarmer pockets. This releases via a dual-point cord lock at the front hem.
A Worthwhile Upgrade On The R1?
In some ways, it’s an upgrade. In other ways, it’s actually in a completely different layer genre. The weather resistant qualities are excellent and, with that in mind, it’s probably best to view the R1 TechFace Hoody as the classic R1’s tougher big brother who rocks up to the school playground on a motorbike to put the bullies (aka the elements) back in their place.
It won’t be to everyone’s tastes but if you’re looking for a versatile layer better equipped to handle the extreme, you’re in the right ballpark here.
The Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody has an RRP of £128. Not pocket change by any stretch but we’d say you’re paying for good quality here. The Páramo Ostro fleece, which is a similar item in a number of ways, has an RRP of £125.
“It’s fair to say that another R1 has become a staple in my wardrobe.”
We’ve touched upon this already but it’s worth saying again. The R1 TechFace is a more technical piece of clothing than your standard outdoor fleece. That’s not to say you won’t love it if you’re a casual weekend warrior, it’s just that its features make it more suitable for climbers and properly active outdoor enthusiasts as opposed to your standard countryside pub walkers.
Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer
“I’ve been a big fan of the ‘R’ series of fleeces from Patagonia, having owned an almost fluorescent lime green R1 regulator for many years (I was a cash-strapped student, and it was the only colour on sale). Had it not been for that jacket being cut from me after sustaining an arm injury, I’m sure it would still be a staple in my outdoor clothing wardrobe
“So when the opportunity came up to test this new and updated version of the R1, I jumped at the chance to rekindle a lost friendship.
“As mentioned above, the R1 TechFace has been given a little extra beefing up in areas where I felt the R1 Regulator needed it. While the Regulator was great for dumping heat and moisture when moving, this came at the expense of wind being able to cut through it easily when stationary, stripping you of much needed warmth. This was something that was particularly noticeable in winter when the regulator was left exposed to the elements. So, this extra weight and a little less breathability is a necessary update, in my opinion.
“The cut is a little looser than that of the original R1. I assume Patagonia have done this is to position the R1 TechFace as a standalone jacket, as layers will be able to be thrown underneath. This wasn’t an issue for me, as I usually sit between a medium and large, so this middle-ground cut was appreciated. With this in mind, if you usually sit between sizes, then I’d consider sizing down if you’re not able to try before you buy.
“While I’ve been using this solely as a standalone jacket for trail running, scrambling and hiking ascents (sometimes with a waterproof thrown over the top), I can see this becoming my go-to midlayer when winter kicks in. The ability for the R1 to dump heat and moisture when moving fast, means that it’ll work seamlessly as part of a layering system. Add that in with the fact that this fleece will be able to hold its own if you need to strip your outer layers, and you’ve got yourself a midlayer that does much more than it says on the tin.
“So all in, it’s fair to say that another R1 has become a staple in my wardrobe. The versatility that Patagonia have built into it means that I’m reaching for it over pretty much every other fleece I currently own, in the event that the weather forecast may not play out as hoped. I’d certainly opt for the TechFace over the Regulator if I had to choose, and I could see most people being the same, unless weight-stripping is of the utmost importance.”
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