Dealing with cold and variable temperatures is all about layering these days and to cater to the myriad different conditions you may encounter when outside getting your adventure on, Patagonia’s Regulator line has three levels of warmth to keep you comfortable. Today we’re going to look at the warmest jacket in this lineup, the R3 Fleece Hoody – a solid layering piece that can tackle a lot of temperatures while keeping you safe and comfortable.
Materials and Construction
For the main body of the R3 Hoody Patagonia uses an exclusive Polartec High Loft polyester fleece which first, is bluesign approved, which means it’s made using sustainable manufacturing processes. Being that the R3 Hoody is reversible, the fabric itself has two different sides; the pile (fuzzier) side out sports two hand pockets and a left side, zippered breast pocket, while the smooth side has no hand pockets but features two zippered breast pockets, one on each side of the chest. The women’s model of the R3 is slightly different with no breast pocket joining the hand pockets on the pile side of the fabric and only one, left side, breast pocket on the smooth side.
The cuffs on the R3 hoody are made from one of the lighter weight jacket materials in Patagonia’s Regulator line, the R1 (Polartec Power Grid). These cuffs are built using spiral seam construction resulting in a sleeve that’s easier to push up. The hand hood, pockets and hem of the jacket have an elastic binding that seals out the cold and makes for a more comfortable fit that moves better with the body. Finally, the main zipper of the jacket is stitched in such a way as to ensure suppleness and the seams on both the underarm gussets as well as the raglan sleeves are meant to not sacrifice mobility while staying out of the way when carrying a pack.
While I mostly wear the R3 Hoody with the pile side out simply because I like the hand pockets a lot, the versatility of a reversible jacket like this means that having quick access to the different lofts is a huge plus. When ski touring and snowshoeing this jacket fits extremely well under a shell and when the shell comes off, you then have more choices than just shell on or off or unzipped or not, you’ve got the added bonus of having both sides of the R3 to work with.
Fit and Wear
With regard to fit, the Patagonia R3 Hoody fits my rather broad-shouldered (size large) frame very well and this is also a place where the Polartec High Loft fabric has another trick in its pocket and that is that it’s made from 3% spandex which allows for flexibility without compromising fit. Across the back – when worn both ways – I don’t feel any pulling when stretching out for an above position pole grab or the like, nor does the jacket bunch up under a shell. Additionally, the sleeve length is fantastic and I have yet to find myself in a position where they’re coming up short.
The elastic binding around the pockets, hem and hood is very solid and goes a long way with keeping things in place on your body when movements become more extreme. Also, the hood being of the close-fitting variety means that there is a nice helmet compatibility so I didn’t find the need to carry an extra beanie.
Before I speak about how the R3 Hoody performed let me add some context with the activities during which I wore it, so here goes:
- Running (road and trail)
- Ski Touring
- Kicking Ass
- Taking Names
While running, when the sweat doesn’t stop from the beginning to the end (for which I only wore this once when it was REALLY cold) the wicking properties of this took over and did a pretty decent job of keeping my body as dry as it could be in that case. When doing things like ski touring or bootpacking where there are periods of busting your ass followed by periods of being cold and not working as hard, the versatility of the R3 was dialed. I’ve worn this under several different shells and with each (and by itself), when it cam time to warm up, the reversible loft was exactly what I needed.
The Patagonia R3 Fleece Hoody rings up at $199 (be sure to check the links below for much cheaper pricing) which, I must say is a good price in my opinion for something as versatile and warm as this jacket is. It’ll keep you warm as a standalone jacket or midlayer and it’ll cool you down when you need to shed the shell but still need some coverage. This is a great inclusion of the Regulator series and certainly worth combining with the rest