The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip-Neck and Boot Bottoms

Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip Neck and Boot Bottoms

Reviewer: 5’6”, 125 lbs

Size: Small

Julia Van Raalte reviews the Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip Neck, Blister Gear Review

Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip Neck

Zip Neck:

Color: Violetti

Features:

  • Combination of Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency and Polartec R1 fleece fabrics
  • Slim Fit, Long Cut
  • Spandex for stretch and ease of movement
  • Thumb loops
  • High collar with anatomical shaping
  • Long center-front zipper backed by kissing welts for comfort next to skin
  • Treated with Polygiene permanent odor control.
  • Stated Weight: 232 grams (8.2 oz)

MSRP: $119

 

Julia Van Raalte reviews the Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Boot Bottoms, Blister Gear Review

Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Boot Bottoms

Boot Bottoms:

Color: Tobago Blue / Arctic Mint

Features:

  • Combination of Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency and Polartec R1 fleece fabrics
  • Spandex for stretch and ease of movement
  • Flat waistband with brushed mesh inside
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Slightly below knee length
  • Stated weight: 153 grams (5.4 oz)

MSRP: $99

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; all around Colorado; Stowe, VT

Days Tested: 40+

Over the last few years, I’ve been pretty sold on wool—there are few days when I’m heading outside that I choose synthetic base layers or mid layers when I have wool options available. Mostly, I like the way that wool ( particularly merino) feels next-to-skin, and wool generally takes longer before it really starts to stink.

But this year, Patagonia introduced a new synthetic base layer: the Capilene 4 Pro, with a Zip-Neck Top and Boot Bottoms. These heavier, technical base layers are designed specifically for snowsports, with well-thought out features to reflect that. The Capilene 4 Pro series uses a combination of two different fabrics, Capilene 4 and R1, to provide a great balance of warmth and breathability. They are also treated with Polygiene, to help with odor, making me very curious as to how these layers would stack up agains my wool layers.

Fabric

The very first thing I noticed about the Cap 4 Pro Zip Neck and Boot Bottoms was how incredibly comfortable they felt next-to-skin. In fact, they were both so comfortable that I proceeded to wear both for two straight days (while sleeping too).

Capilene is Patagonia’s synthetic fabric, and it comes in four different weights, with Cap 1 being the lightest and Cap 4 the heaviest.

The Cap 4 Pro Zip-Neck and Boot Bottoms have panels of Capilene 4, which on the garment, is the lighter of the two materials. The Cap 4 fabric is placed in areas that would benefit from being more breathable; on the Zip-Neck, that is mainly the lower part of the torso, under the arms and on the lower part of the sleeves, on the upper back, and the collar.

On the Boot Bottoms, Cap 4 is used on the front of the thighs, around the waist band, and circling the bottom cuff of the legs.

The Regulator series is Patagonia’s line of fleece, which is also offered in four different weights.

The R1 is the lightest and most versatile weight, but is still a touch thicker and warmer than Cap 4. R1 is placed around the base layers in regions that would benefit from being a little more durable, and that might need a little extra warmth. On the Zip-Neck, it is used on the shoulders and upper arms, lower back and on the sides, as well as on the chest.

For the Boot Bottoms, R1 is used on the back of the legs and on the front of the lower legs.

The outside of both fabrics is quite smooth, which is meant to reduce friction against other layers. On the inside, there is an incredibly soft micro grid fleece pattern, which feels great on, and is meant to increase warmth, too.

After several washes and a few months of wearing both the top and bottoms, they still feel very smooth.

Fit and Sizing

I pretty much always wear a Small for long underwear tops and bottoms, and the Small Zip-Neck and Boot Bottoms fit me perfectly (I’m 5’6”, 125 lbs).

The Capilene 4 Pro Zip Neck is said to have a slim fit, which I found to be accurate. The slimmer cut has allowed me to comfortably wear the Pro Zip Neck under other fleeces and midlayers without feeling too bulky, while also having enough room to wear a thinner merino crew underneath without feeling restricted. The sleeves sit comfortably just past my wrist and the sleeves are snug without feeling tight.

Julia Van Raalte reviews the Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip Neck, Blister Gear Review

Julia Van Raalte in the Patagonia Capilene 4 Pro Zip-Neck, Taos Ski Valley.

The Zip-Neck has a longer cut, almost fully covering my butt. It is supposed be a bit longer so that it can tuck into snow pants more easily; the top is long enough that it doesn’t pull out of my pants, but doesn’t bunch uncomfortably when tucked in.

The top also has a zipper that extends about halfway down the front, with a high collar that comes up to my chin.

The Zip-Neck and Boot Bottoms are designed for snow sports, and I absolutely love the boot-specific cut on the bottoms. One of my least favorite things about long underwear bottoms while skiing is when they are full length and the extra material gets bunched up and stretched out around the boot cuff. Fully extended, the bottoms reach down to my mid-calf, and I roll them just a bit. It never feels like there is an annoying amount of material around my calf, and the bottoms fit comfortably everywhere else.

The Boot Bottoms have a wide waistband with the perfect amount of stretch; it fits snug around my waist, but isn’t tight.

NEXT: Warmth, Odor Control, Durability, and Additional Features

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