You gotta get up to get down when backcountry skiing. And as much as we all love the down, it’s the up that really requires good layering and planning to regulate your body temperature over the course of a full day in the mountains. Every day is a little different, and every skier has their own temp regulation needs. Nonetheless, I know a worthy uphill layer when I find one, and the Patagonia R1 Tech Face Hoody is a great uphill layer. The R in the name refers to regulator, and that’s exactly what this lightweight softshell jacket does. It breathes to regulate your body temp, and thus sweat, while keeping wind and light precip from slowing you down, so you can hit the top of a climb comfortable, ready to layer up and ski down.
More Softshell Than Fleece
The R1 Tech Face Hoody is not to be confused with Patagonia’s R1 fleece. It shares similarities – like a light grid face on the inside, but the R1 Tech Face is more wind and abrasion resistant and less fleece like. It’s noticeably lighter and thinner than traditional fleece. Think ultra-thin fleece with a slightly technical exterior face fabric. It’s way lighter and thinner than the images might lead you to think. I’m going to call it a thin softshell.
The Tech Face Hoody is as much a lightweight hiking and running shell as it is a ski touring layer. It breathes great, sheds precip remarkably well for not being waterproof and keeps the wind from chilling you down. It’s a layer for all seasons that’s lightweight and stretchy enough to just fade into the background while you focus on breaking trail or route finding.
A couple zip hand pockets and one inside zip chest pocket let you secure little stuff for easy access. Clean, low-profile cuffs make it easy to pull a layer on over top the R1 Tech Face Hoody. A hood with an integrated visor adds that extra coverage you need to get through a squall, an exposed windy ridge or summit transition.
The best thing about the R1 Tech Face Hoody is simply the wide range of conditions it can handle and the wide variety of things you can use it for – ski tour, trail run, hike, climb, ride – you name it. It’s stretchy and breathable enough for just about any pursuit. If you gotta get up to get down, the R1 Tech Face Hoody is all in.
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