Women’s Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody

Kristin Sinnott reviews the Patagonia Women's R1 TechFace Hoody for Blister

Patagonia Women’s R1 TechFace Hoody

Patagonia Women’s R1 TechFace Hoody

Reviewer: 5’8”, 130 lbs

Size Tested: Medium

Stated Weight: 366 g (12.9 oz)

Blister’s Measured Weight: 369 grams

Materials: 5.2-oz 92%polyester (69% recycled) / 8% spandex breathable stretch double weave with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish

Stated Features:

  • Articulated pattern
  • Alpine-helmet-compatible, 2-way-adjustable hood with a laminated visor
  • Two secure, high handwarmer pockets with ventilating mesh backer and internal zippered left chest pocket
  • Sleek, low-bulk, snag-resistant cuffs with stretch knit
  • Hem adjusts by pulling cord in handwarmer pocket and releases with dual-point cord locks at front hem

MSRP: $169

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley & Santa Fe, NM; San Juan Mountains, CO; White Mountains, NH; Southern CA; Sawtooth Mountains, ID

Days Tested: 30+

Intro

Patagonia’s original R1 Hoody has been my go-to mid layer for the past 10 years, so when I learned that a new R1 design had been introduced, I was excited. Sam Shaheen reviewed the men’s R1 TechFace Hoody and found it to be an excellent layer that worked really well for things like ski touring and resort skiing. Here, I’ll offer my thoughts on how the women’s version has performed in a broader range of activities.

Fit

Patagonia describes the fit of the TechFace Hoody as “slim.” But in my opinion, if you want the R1 TechFace Hoody to fit similar to other fairly slim (or even regular-sized) mid layers, you might want to try ordering a size smaller than your typical mid layer.

The size Medium in the original R1 fits me very well, but with the R1 TechFace Hoody, I could easily have sized down to a Small to get a more similar fit. But while the Medium fits pretty loose / relaxed on me, I found its fit was actually ideal for use as an outer layer (which is something that Sam also noted in his review).

Kristin Sinnott reviews the Patagonia Women's R1 TechFace Hoody for Blister

Kristin Sinnott in the Patagonia Women’s R1 TechFace Hoody. (photo by Patrick Sinnott)

The R1 TechFace Hoody has ample enough length in the arms and torso to keep me covered when biking and skiing but it’s not so long that it limits mobility or feels bulky. The hoody’s torso also has enough room to easily add layers underneath. As an added bonus, I’ve been able to wear the R1 TechFace Hoody zipped up throughout the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. While a description like this might lead one to believe that the R1 TechFace Hoody’s fit is super loose, I found that, with or without added layers, the R1 TechFace Hoody still looks nice and streamlined.

Pockets

The R1 TechFace Hoody features three zippered pockets — two hand warmer pockets on the sides and one internal pocket large enough for credit cards and large cell phones (the men’s version has an external chest pocket, rather than an internal one).

The R1 TechFace Hoody’s side pockets could each accommodate one Black Diamond Glidelite skin cut for the 172 cm Armada Trace 98, but it takes a little time and finesse to make it work. The handwarmer pockets are lined with mesh, though since the pockets don’t open very wide when unzipped they don’t do much in terms of venting. But since the jacket breathes very well to begin with, I didn’t find this to be much of an issue.

While some lightweight jackets can get bogged down with stuff in their pockets, the R1 TechFace Hoody maintains a streamlined look even with things in the pockets, which is probably due to the slightly stiffer nature of the fabric.

Hood

I have found the R1 TechFace’s hood to be both the best and worst feature of the jacket, depending on how it’s being used.

The visor of the hood is slightly rigid, and when not in use it has a tendency to pull the hoody’s neck material back just enough to be noticeable / annoying. But I have found that if I position it just right, the hood balances on my upper back and this reduces the pulling.

I didn’t love wearing the R1 TechFace Hoody under my hooded ski jacket as the two jackets’ hoods seemed to bunch up together as a result of the R1 TechFace Hoody’s semi-rigid visor. The R1 TechFace’s hood is also not ideal for wearing under a ski helmet due to the visor and its bulkier size compared to most other hooded mid layers.

Kristin Sinnott reviews the Patagonia Women's R1 TechFace Hoody for Blister

Kristin Sinnott in the Patagonia Women’s R1 TechFace Hoody. (photo by Patrick Sinnott)

Conversely, thanks to the rigid visor on the hood and the adjustment system, the R1 TechFace’s hood can be pulled down tight across the head while maintaining a functioning visor. For me, the best test of the hood was on a ferry ride to Catalina Island. The wind was wicked, the temperature was on the chilly side, and in order to avoid nausea I had to stay outside for the duration of the trip. Luckily I had packed the R1 TechFace Hoody and was able to zip it up and cinch down the hood. I stayed warm and never had to hold onto the hood to keep it in place, even during strong gusts.

The R1 TechFace’s hood is also large enough to fit over a bike helmet, but it’s a little tight and uncomfortable around the chin and front of the neck, especially when the jacket is zipped all the way up. Sam found that he could get the hood of the men’s R1 TechFace Hoody to fit snugly over a climbing helmet and more minimal ski touring helmets.

So in summary, the R1 TechFace’s hood doesn’t work great when under other hooded jackets, and it can be a bit tight on bulkier helmets. But on a bare head, it can easily be cinched down and provides solid protection / insulation.

Material, Breathability, and Weather Resistance

While the interior of the R1 TechFace Hoody still has the signature lofted grid fleece of the original R1 Hoody, the TechFace version’s fabric is much thinner than the previous versions. So while the R1 TechFace Hoody is a bit heavier than the standard R1 Hoody, it’s still very packable and feels light.

Kristin Sinnott reviews the Patagonia Women's R1 TechFace Hoody for Blister

Patagonia Women’s R1 TechFace Hoody

Another big difference with the R1 TechFace Hoody is the outer part of the fabric — it’s much denser and, with the help of a DWR treatment, does a much better job of repelling wind and light precipitation compared to the original R1. At the same time, the R1 TechFace Hoody is still quite breathable for how much wind it blocks.

While I was initially skeptical about how well this piece would work for cool weather due to the thinner loft, its wind-resistant properties do provide added warmth in adverse weather. But when layered under a shell (i.e., when wind isn’t a factor), the standard R1 Hoody is a bit warmer thanks to its thicker, loftier fabric.

On bike commutes with temps around 45°F, I was comfortable in just the R1 TechFace Hoody and a t-shirt. The jacket blocked the wind and was still breathable enough to keep me cool on the relatively short uphill commute to work.

For even more detailed info on the R1 TechFace Hoody’s fabric, breathability, weather resistance, and how it compares to some other similar layers, I’d definitely recommend checking out Sam’s review of the men’s R1 TechFace Hoody.

Durability

I’ve worn the R1 TechFace Hoody for over 30 days and it still looks like new. There’s no visible scuffing, pilling, or other issues. The exterior fabric on the R1 TechFace Hoody is much more resistant to minor scuffs than the previous versions of the R1. I haven’t subjected the DWR finish too much in the way of adverse weather, so the DWR’s durability still needs to be assessed. But Sam has noted that after his 20+ days in the men’s version, he hasn’t seen a noticeable decrease in the DWR’s performance.

Who’s It For?

I think a lot of people will appreciate the R1 TechFace Hoody. It’s ideal for both hard-core athletes looking for a great combination of breathability, warmth, and weather resistance, as well as someone looking for a nice, light traveling piece.

I have found the R1 TechFace Hoody to be an ideal layer for spring skiing in both the resort and backcountry, for mountain biking or biking to work, and while traveling via plane or ferry. I have packed this jacket on more occasions than I ever would have expected and have worn it for days on end with few issues.

If you are looking for a mid layer that will often be layered under a shell when things get windy / stormy, there are better options (like the original R1). But if you want a mid layer that can handle mild precip and wind much better than most, all while still being quite breathable, then the R1 TechFace Hoody is a great option.

Bottom Line

While the Patagonia R1 TechFace Hoody won’t replace my original R1, the TechFace Hoody fills a niche I didn’t even know existed. The original R1 will still be my mid layer of choice for a typical ski day, but the R1 TechFace Hoody has quickly become my go-to layer for just about everything else.

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