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Patagonia R2 Overview
The world of technical fleece is large, with many choices to be had. I try to narrow these choices by choosing the most responsible and eco-friendly brands around. Patagonia is a big player on that front and their R2 fleece jacket is a perfect example.
The R2 is made from up to 93% recycled materials, Bluesign approved and Fair Trade Certified sewn, which means nearly every element of its creation is traceable. You can wear it on hikes, where it is quite breathable. Likewise, you can wear it running errands as a comfy go-to on a chilly day. All while looking pretty damn cool. Because, you know…Patagonia.
Patagonia R2 Star Rating
The Patagonia R2 is a solid and rugged do-it-all midlayer jacket. It’s got enough pockets to be useful and is so soft you’ll never want to take it off.
While the Patagonia R2 shines on many fronts, we feel it’s generality, while excellent, makes it a narrow miss for one of our Picks. It does well in just about any scenario, but is not a total master of any, especially when you consider the cost, and what you could get for something similar (or less). For best backpack-ability, check out the Marmot Reactor or Patagonia R1, and for coziest lounge-around fleece check out The North Face Denali 2 or the Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla.
That said, if you’re a generalist who also likes to get outside frequently, this may be the one-stop-fleece you need. Keep scrolling to read the full Patagonia R2 review, and see where the R2 falls on our Best Fleece Jackets guide!
Patagonia R2 Specifications
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What This Means|
|Weight||11.1 oz (315 g)||Surprisingly lightweight for a 200-gram fleece.|
|Fabric Weight||200-Weight (Midweight)||This is the “midweight” in most fleece, meaning it’s a good balance of warmth and breathability. The R2 has thinner, 100-gram side panels for increased breathability and stretch. More on fleece fabric weight in our Guide.|
|Fabric Material||Polartec Thermal Pro||The industry leader in fleece. More on fleece material in our Guide.|
|Fit||Athletic/Relaxed||Patagonia’s fit is almost always athletic, and the R2 follows suit, with a bit more of a casual design so you can layer underneath and wear comfortably while out on the town.|
|Number of Pockets||4||Two zippered hand pockets and two internal drop-in pockets. Plenty of basic storage.|
|Thumb Holes||No||This fleece isn’t that technical.|
|Hood/Jacket Option||No||Patagonia only offers this as a jacket, not as a hoodie.|
|Zipper||Full Zip||Patagonia only offers this as a full-zip jacket.|
|Adjustable Waist||No||The waist has an elastic hem, but it’s not adjustable.|
|Gender(s)||Men, Women||Offered for all genders and custom tailored in terms of fit, but every feature is the same.|
|Sizes Available||Men: XS-XXL, Women: XXS-XL||Plenty of sizes for all genders.|
|Manufacturer Warranty||Link to warranty||Patagonia has one of the best warranties out there. If anything fails, send it in.|
|Retail Price||$169.00||A high price for a do-it-all fleece. You’re paying for traceable and eco-friendly materials, quality construction, and the brand name.|
Gear Review of the Patagonia R2
Revelation: The Moment I Knew
I needed a light jacket to bring on a photography trip to Moab in March. The desert is pretty chilly at night and during dawn hours in spring. However, when the sun comes up, things heat up quick! When looking for the perfect mid-layer for this type of adventure it was important that the piece could breathe on the trek to my destination while also keeping me warm while I stand still for a couple hours. That perfect moment takes some time to capture!
I chose the Patagonia R2 to bring along on my first Moab morning, which began promptly at 4 a.m. I was happy with the fit and coziness of the fleece. After hiking a few miles, I was pleased to not be overheating while maintaining a comfortable core temperature during the standing-still-phase. This left me pretty happy and ready for more exploring in this very fuzzy jacket.
Comfort – 4.5 Stars
The Patagonia R2 is made from soft and buttery fleece. It feels great against the skin. Patagonia was thoughtful in design with flat stitched seams. The collar is just high enough so that when fully zipped, you do not feel like you’re wearing a turtleneck.
Durability – 4 Stars
I’ve worn the Patagonia R2 on a few day hikes and for more casual days off-trail. It has been slid across slick rock and has had coffee cascade down the front. I find it still looks pretty much brand new. The stitching is all smooth and the fleece has no pilling, even where my backpack rubs.
I haven’t washed the R2 thus far, which is really my only concern with durability. For the price, you can expect the durability Patagonia is loved for.
Warmth – 4 Stars
I found this fleece to be the perfect jacket for temperatures above 40. Think early fall and spring. Or maybe a summer night on the water. It is quite thin and light and I was surprised how warm it was given its relatively low weight.
Breathability – 4 Stars
I found this fleece to have pretty solid breathability. It has panels on the side that help to vent body heat before it builds up. These panels also offer a bit of stretch as a bonus. This fleece isn’t particularly thick and it’s very lightweight. Breathability was never an issue for my adventures in the R2!
The R2 has a slim cut and fits true to size. I generally wear a size small in outerwear and a small fit me great. Note though that it’s not a fitted fleece, it is simply cut in a more shapely way. I had plenty of room to layer under it while still being able to move freely. I find Patagonia to be extremely consistent with sizing, and this was no exception.
I didn’t find anything particularly bothersome about Patagonia’s R2. In fact, I was overall very happy with it and surprised by its breathability. So no grievances here.
The Patagonia R2 is the softest and fuzziest fleece I own. And I own a lot of fleece. Probably too much fleece. But I love the R2 because of its many uses — whether in the backcountry or on the couch. It’s not overkill in any situation and it looks good.
Where to Buy Patagonia R2
We tested the women’s Patagonia R2 fleece jacket. The men’s is also available, and has the exact same features, except for fit. There is only a full front zipper jacket version of the R2, so if you’re looking for a hoodie we recommend the Patagonia R1. Patagonia does offer this as a vest, which we find comfortable, but it’s purpose is very different.
Finally, Patagonia offers the R2 TechFace Jacket, which is similar but more performance oriented. The TechFace jacket uses Regulator fleece insulation, which is more breathable and lightweight, and adds an extra pocket to the design. Overall we like this piece, but it’s less cozy and casual than the original R2.
Compare Patagonia R2 fleece jacket prices below.]