The Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie is a surprisingly warm and breathable mid-layer fleece jacket that’s perfect for cold-weather hiking and backpacking. It has two zippered handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket, a snug-fitting under-the-helmet hood, and stretch wrist cuffs that make it a highly functional layering piece. But the secret sauce that makes this fleece hoodie so great is the R1 Air Fleece Fabric which has a zig-zag and mesh weave that makes it ideal for high exertion activities. I’m blown away by how well this fleece hoodie performs for cold-weather hiking. It’s a keeper.
Specs at a Glance
- Gender: Men’s (women’s model available)
- Weight: 14.3 oz in a men’s XL
- Pockets: 3 (all zippered)
- Hood: Under-the-helmet
- Material: 100% recycled fleece
- Sizing: True to size
The Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie is a very warm and highly breathable fleece jacket that’s great for high-exertion winter activities like winter hiking, peakbagging, and backpacking. Unlike the regular R1 grid fleece you find on the iconic R1 Pullover Hoodie, the R1 Air Fleece has a zig-zag weave interspersed with mesh vents that keep you very warm but allow perspiration to quickly evaporate. Despite the naming similarity, the R1 Air Fleece is much warmer than Patagonia’s R1 Grid Fleece and shouldn’t be confused with it.
The R1 Air Full Zip Fleece Hoodie has three zippered pockets: two large lined side handwarmer pockets and a small unlined chest pocket, that’s not large enough for a smartphone. Stretch cuffs at the wrists and along the hem help seal in the warmth, while offset shoulder seams feel more comfortable under backpack pack straps. There’s also a YKK full-length center zipper with a zipper garage at the top to keep it out of your beard.
The R1 Air Full Zip Fleece Hoodie also has an under-the-helmet hood and fits snuggly around your head to prevent drafts from entering along the sides. If you’re cold, you can wear a fleece hat inside it, but the hood is cut to drop down over the front of your forehead and snugs the sides to provide plenty of warmth all by itself. I have a small hat size, so it’s pretty rare for me to find such a well-fitting hood on any garment. If you have a larger head, the surrounding fabric stretches to accommodate it.
While the R1 Air is available as the full-zip hoodie reviewed here, a zip-neck pullover, and as a crewneck pullover, I think the full-zip hoodie is the one to get, simply because the full-length zipper provides the easiest way to regulate your temperature. This is a warm hoodie that’s best suited for temperatures under 30F worn by itself over a base layer or under a windproof shell layer. When I’m working hard, like hiking up a steep hill with a backpack, the full-length zipper is the most efficient way to release the body heat I’m generating short of stopping and taking the hoodie off.
The Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie is an exceptionally warm mid-layer fleece jacket for high-exertion activities in cold weather. The mesh venting interspersed in its zig-zag fleece weave allows perspiration to evaporate while still retaining plenty of body heat to keep you warm. Equally at home on the hill or in the pub, it’s a handsome full-zip jacket that is highly functional and a pleasure to wear in freezing weather over a base layer or under a shell.
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Disclosure: The author owns this garment.