For spring hiking this year, I’ve added a Patagonia R1 pullover fleece layer to my wicking system to give me a bit more warmth under a technical shell and to replace the Cocoon UL 60 synthetic vest that I’ve been using for the past few years. The problem with the Cocoon is that it provides torso warmth, but doesn’t wick moisture away from my back when I’m carrying a backpack.
I chose the R1 Pullover because one of the best gear discoveries I made this past winter was the Patagonia R1 Hooded Fleece, a warmer version of the R1 pullover that comes with a hood. It’s proven to be an ideal mid layer when sandwiched between a technical shell and a wicking base layer like a Patagonia Capilene 1 long sleeve jersey.
The Patagonia R1 Wicking Action
Like it’s hooded cousin, the R1 Pullover has the same embossed grid pattern on the inside side of the fleece. This enables a more uniform wicking action because each part of the grid that touches your base layer is independent of the others around it. In turn, the weave around each embossed square is very porous, so much so that you can see through it when you hold it up to the light.
When moisture is pulled into an embossed square, it is quickly vented to the porous weave layer, moving moisture to your breathable shell where it can be vented out without cooling your skin. In essence, you can think of the R1 embossed weave as an osmosis pump for wicking moisture up to your exterior layers. Plus it works really well.
In testing the R1 Pullover over the past few weeks, in a variety of conditions, it performs just as well as its hooded variant. I really have to hand it to Patagonia: their mid-layers are incredibly effective and remain my favorites.
The R1 Pullover in an XL weighs 12.0 oz.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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