Patagonia R2 Review 2019

  • Car Camper
  • Day Hiker
  • Urban Hiker
  • Wilderness Backpacker

Patagonia R2 Fleece Jacket Women's

Backpackers.com is a small, independent team that writes unsponsored reviews and outdoor guides. If you're thinking about buying this product please use the links below – that really helps us. Thank you.

Last updated: 2019-05-18 10:23:54

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
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Warmth
  • Breathability
4.1

Summary

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!

Patagonia-R2-review-photography-2
Shooting in Moab, the Patagonia R2 makes for a warm and breathable companion.

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.

Patagonia-R2-review-photography
More photography in the fuzzy fleece.

Digging Deeper

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.

Patagonia-R2-review-logo-worn
A fleece must be comfortable, and the Patagonia R2 has it in spades.

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.

Patagonia-R2-review-fleece-sleeves
So far the fleece has not piled and the hems are solid.

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.

Patagonia-R2-review-at-night
Plenty warm on a chilly night in Southwest Colorado.

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!

Patagonia-R2-review-setting-up-tent-breathable-side-panel
The Patagonia 2 has a good mix of warmth, breathability, and stretch, making the basic process of tent setup a breeze.

Fit

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.

Patagonia-R2-review-zippered-hand-pocket
The fit is athletic with a bit of give. Zippered hand pockets hold the essentials.

Grievances

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.

Final Word

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.

Patagonia R2 Fleece Jacket Women's

Last updated: 2019-05-18 10:23:54
]
dede rosenberg bio photo

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg is a photographer and mountaineer based in Southwest Colorado. She believes all humans contain a wild spirit and nature connects everyone. She aims to inspire the masses to get outside, conserve our beautiful land and live an epic life. You can find her work on Instagram.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.