Patagonia R1 vs R2: Fleece Face-Off

There seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding Patagonia R1 and Patagonia R2 fleeces. With such similar names, you can see why many people will need to spend time …

There seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding Patagonia R1 and Patagonia R2 fleeces. With such similar names, you can see why many people will need to spend time trying to find out the key differences before committing to buy one or the other.

In this article, we look at the R1 and R2 range and give you plenty of information that can help make your decision easier, from key differences to individual reviews of some of the products in each range.

Patagonia Fleece Line Up Explained

The Patagonia R1 and R2 fleece range covers a lot of bases.

From jackets and hoodies to pullovers and crews – there’s likely a fleece in either range that will suit your wants, needs, and preferences.

The R stands for regulator as all the fleeces in the ranges work great as a mid-layer to help maintain your body temperature while you’re out in the wild.

What’s the difference between Patagonia R1 vs R2?

Quick summary: The name R2 signifies it is made from 200 wt classic Polartec fleece, whereas the R1 is made from 100 wt fabric. So the R2 is a heavier and warmer fleece, while the R1 is a lighter weight garment.

R2 is made using thicker fleece material and the power grid technology is only on the sides so that it increases the amount of warmth it offers.

The biggest difference between Patagonia R1 and R2 is that the R2 is a heavier and warmer fleece compared to the R1.

That doesn’t mean to say that the R1 won’t keep you warm, it’s just that the R1 and R2 are constructed slightly differently to aid different elements of outdoor life. For example, the R1 is made with cross-weave power grid technology that covers most of the fleece. This allows for high levels of breathability while you are wearing it.

The R2 is constructed using thicker fleece material and the power grid technology is only on the sides. This increases the amount of warmth the fleece offers the wearer.

When it comes to the grade of fleece, the weight (wt) of the material used in the construction of each item of clothing makes a big difference to the overall performance of the fleece. In simple terms, the higher the weight of the fleece, the thicker and heavier it will be.

Patagonia R1 uses 100wt fleece whereas Patagonia R2 uses 200wt fleece. This makes R2 thicker, heavier, and less breathable than its R1 counterpart.

Types of Fleeces:

Both the R1 and the R2 range of fleeces offer different variations. This allows you a good amount of choice when it comes to picking not only the best weight of fleece but also the best style of fleece to suit your outdoor requirements.


The Patagonia pullover is a simple, adaptable, and versatile fleece. The pullover offers a technical fit that provides comfort and breathability whether you are wearing it as a mid-layer or a standalone top. It is best suited to outdoor activities that require higher levels of exertion and extra breathability is required to help keep you comfortable.

  • The fabric it is made from can stretch for mobility, it traps heat for warmth, and it compacts down to a small bundle for practicality and convenience
  • It is a lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying technical fleece
  • Fair-trade certified sewn and made from recycled materials for sustainability


The hoody comes with a full frontal zip so you can quickly put it on or take it off on the move. It also has two zippered hand pockets which help make it a great choice for more casual use or more relaxed days out in the wild. It’s worth mentioning here that the R1 model of the hoody has thumb holes which not all other versions have.

  • Adjustable hood that can keep pretty much your whole head and face warm
  • Weather-resistant against light rain
  • Makes for a good mid layer


The jackets within the range have a bit of stretch to them so they allow for good levels of mobility while still providing weather resistance and abrasion resistance too. They can be worn as an outer layer on mild days as they do a good job of keeping you warm, protected, and comfortable.

  • Stretchy enough to allow plenty of movement while still fitting nicely
  • Great layering ability as it can be worn as a mid-layer or an outer layer depending on the conditions
  • A highly breathable and lightweight jacket


The Patagonia R1 Fitz Roy is a partly zippered shirt that has reinforced shoulders, forearms, and hem for high levels of durability. It also has good levels of stretch so you can move around freely while wearing it. The iconic Fitz Roy trout logo makes this a great choice for keen outdoor folk who have a love of angling and want to show it off.

  • Zippered left chest pocket for convenient storage of small outdoor gear
  • The reinforced forearms, shoulders, and hem have a durable water repellent coating which can keep you dry in light rain showers
  • Wind resistant to help you feel more comfortable on colder days


The technical fit of the crew means it will fit snugly while still allowing a light base layer to be worn underneath if needed. It has a low profile crew neck that minimizes the bulky look when layering your clothes. The crew also has a droptail hem with side slits that stay tucked into a rock climbing harness.

  • Ultrasoft binding on the cuffs keep the crew top comfortable on your wrists
  • Thumb loops to keep your thumbs free while still offering protection to the palm of your hands
  • Grid fleece style for warmth and breathabilty

Base Models (R1, R2) vs Techface (weather resistant)

This R1 hoody is a lightweight, breathable and quick-drying technical fleece for high-exertion activities in cold conditions.

TechFace adds additional protection from the elements than the base models. All TechFace products have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating which none of the base models do (with the exception of the reinforced shoulders, forearms, and hem of the Fitz Roy).

This adds water resistance to your outdoor gear, although even the TechFace fleeces aren’t considered fully waterproof.

The overall weather resistance of TechFace fleeces is quite a bit higher than the base models. When it comes to durability, Patagonia TechFace fleeces can handle a bit more of a beating than the base models too.

Something to keep in mind though when deciding between a TechFace fleece or a base model is that the increase in the weather resistance rating does come at the cost of breathability. TechFace fleeces are quite a bit less breathable than the base models. This can be a very important factor if you want to wear your fleece for high output activities.

In very simple terms, TechFace increases weather resistance and durability while the base models offer better breathability.

Men’s vs Women’s models

The majority of models in the R1 and R2 range have versions for both men and women. There are also some products though that Patagonia have decided to make for one specific gender and don’t offer an alternative for the opposite sex.

In the R1 range, the products available for men and women are the pullover, TechFace Jacket, TechFace Hoody, and Full Zip Hoody.

The gender specific products in the R1 range are the Pullover Hoody (men’s), TechFace Pullover (men’s), Fitz Roy Pullover (men’s), and Crew (women’s).

Most R2 models have versions for men and women and avoid the gender specific products the R1 range offers.


When comparing Patagonia R1 and R2, you could look at it as more of a three-way comparison with TechFace added to the mix as well.

All the products throughout the R1 and R2 range are awesome and certainly have a place in your outdoor gear depending on what activity you plan to be doing out in the wild.

R2 products are slightly warmer than R1 products as they are made from thicker fleece. R1 products are more breathable than R2 products as a result of this as they have a grid fleece construction.

These differences are worth keeping in mind when choosing which one is right for you as you will need to think about whether you want to sacrifice breathability for warmth, or if you place more importance on being warm on your outdoor adventures. Ultimately, your choice will likely come down to where you are in the world and the conditions you will be facing while spending time outdoors.

TechFace fleeces are even warmer than R2 products but they are even less breathable. This is an important point as, while R2 is designed to be warmer than R1, any TechFace R1 product actually has better weather resistance and warmth than R2 products.

TechFace adds water resistance, extra weather resistance, and increased durability to the base models. If this is what you are looking for when it comes to outdoor gear for your outdoor adventures, it could be worth spending the extra money that TechFace fleeces cost.

All R1, R2, and TechFace fleeces are well-made, long-lasting, and look very cool. As there are quite a few products to choose from, you should have no issues in findigng the one that best suits your needs.

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Rob Harvey is an experienced outdoor writer with a passion for using and writing about all the gear that makes camping, hiking and fishing fun. He's been a freelancer writer for more than five years and loves sharing his experiences with readers.
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