Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Fleece Hoodie Review

air, fleece, full-zip, hiking, hoodie, patagonia, review - 4 minutes to read

The Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie is a warm mid-layer fleece that’s ideal for use in very cold weather when worn by itself over a baselayer or under a hardshell jacket. It’s made with recycled polyester fleece and has a unique textured weave that is surprisingly lightweight. While Patagonia classifies it as a lightweight (R1) fleece, it is much warmer than Patagonia’s iconic R1 Hoodie or the R1 Pullover and you’d swear it was made with a thicker, more insulating fleece fabric.

Specs at a GlanceGender: Men’s and Women’s models availableWeight: 13.5 oz in a Men’s XLPockets: 5 (1 chest, 2 handwarmer pockets, 2 interior drop pockets)Length: Hip lengthThumb Loops: NoHood: YesFit: true to size in a men’s XL.

The Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie is a cool-looking fleece hoodie with a grooved zigzag weave designed to wick perspiration and enhance breathability. It’s made using hollow fiber yarns which trap air providing enhanced warmth and a very soft feel. The recessed indentations in the zigzag pattern enhance breathability, while the embossed raised portion of the pattern provides added warmth, much like the Polartec PowerGrid fleece used on the R1 Hoodie and Pullover.

If you hold the R1 Air ZigZag Fleece up you can see light coming through the recessed grooves.

But the Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie is noticeably warmer than the PowerGrid fleece used on those other R1 garments. How much warmer? While it’s cozy when you’re sitting around the cabin on a snowy day or running out to the post office, it feels like you’re wearing a much heavier weight fleece when you crank up the activity level. I think its sweet-spot for winter hiking and mountaineering is 10F degrees or less when worn under a hardshell jacket. Much warmer than that and I start to overheat and perspire too much and have to take it off. But for colder winter conditions, it’s a superb mid-layer insulation piece that is very lightweight and wicks moisture out of your base layer.


Feature-wise, the R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie is a bit less technical than I’d prefer in a cold-weather hoodie. It has a close-fitting (non-stretch) hood that can fit under a helmet or inside a hood without much excess volume. There is a zippered chest pocket, two zippered handwarmer pockets, and two deep internal drop pockets. However, the chest pocket is not large enough to fit a smartPhone, which is a head-scratcher, and the side handwarmer pockets are not hip-belt compatible. In addition, the sleeves do not have thumb loops or any kind of stretch cuff to seal out the wind.

The R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie is a warm and very lightweight mid-layer that works well under a hard shell for cold and windy conditions.


Personally, I can live with all of these feature shortcomings, even the too-small chest pocket, given the incredible warmth provided by the hoodie. It’s hard to find fleece mid-layers that are this warm and this lightweight. Given the thermal and wicking properties of fleece, I prefer wearing it instead of a synthetic or down insulated jacket under a hardshell in cold conditions because it is so effective at moving moisture out of my base layer and evaporating it. If you run cold when winter hiking, or any snowsport, and want a warm mid-layer that won’t weigh you down, give the Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoodie a shot. You won’t ever want to take it off!

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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Last updated: 2021-12-09 16:23:43

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