Patagonia R1 Hoody


You know what they say about Colorado. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.” If you’re climbing in the mountains, you also know that the blue sky can change to snow in less than half that time. Hopefully you’ve come prepared with clothing that will stand up to the test and keep you comfortable at the same time.

I depend on the Patagonia R1 Hoody. Most people believe that it hit the market in just the last few years. Not exactly; it was first released more than a decade ago. Unfortunately, aside from the elite alpinists, it wasn’t popular with the outdoor mainstream. I guess back then, ‘extreme’ wasn’t really all the rage. This time around, the R1 is more than just a cult favorite; it’s become the standard in any adventure junkie’s closet.

The R1 Hoody is the Swiss Army Knife of fleece base layers. Created in the spirit of Patagonia’s philosophy, the minimalist design includes a myriad of useful and well constructed features. Beginning at the top; the balaclava style hood fits easily under a helmet, even doubled with a lightweight beanie. Next, the ¾ length zipper is offset, making it comfortable to wear in cold conditions. No freezing metal on your skin. Finally, the external chest pocket is great for an energy snack, while the thumb loops keep your skin protected from the elements. Overall, the R1 Hoody is another well designed piece of clothing from Patagonia.

The R1 shines in the mountains when it comes to performance. Like any alpinist, I’ve mastered my own layering technique. For example, on most days I can wear the R1 directly against my skin, with the waffle-style structure of the fleece keeping me warm and dry. During colder and windier situations, I usually add a light base layer underneath. After some experimentation, I’ve decided that capilene works better than wool. The arrangement isn’t bulky and won’t soak up sweat when I have to pick up the pace. As I come to belays or stop for a snack, I can conserve heat by zipping up the fleece or putting on the hood. Overall, temperature control and layering are strong suits of the R1.

There is no doubt that the R1 Hoody is very durable. With nothing more than a run on the hem, I’ve worn this fleece non-stop for three years. In addition to many climbing routes, I also have many days logged from trekking, biking, and lounging around the campfire. When it comes to laundry day, the R1 goes in with everything else. In the midst of countless adventures, it’s been washed in the sink or thrown in the machine at the Laundromat. Whether it’s drying on a line in the sun or spinning on high in the Speed Queen, the R1 Hoody stands up to the test of unlimited washing.

Journeys in the alpine world require clothes that are functional, easy to wear, and long lasting. Thank goodness for second chances. Without them, we probably wouldn’t have the The R1 Hoody.

R1 Hoody Specs:

Price: $135

Weight: 10.9 oz

Material: 6.5 oz Polartec® fleece (60% recycled polyester), Capilene 4 stretch panels (under arms, cuffs, hem)


Balaclava-style hood, offset zipper, external chest pocket, thumb-loops

Sizes/Colors: XS-XL, Black and Red

Pros: Host of useful features. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program. Doubles as a ninja costume at Halloween.

Con: Never goes on sale



8550 White Fir Street

P.O. Box 32050

Reno, NV 89523-2050


Writing & Photography By:

Leslie Kehmeier


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