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Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody on 08/29/2012 17:56:26 MDT Print View

I imagine I'm not the only person who has wished Patagonia would make a lighter, less warm version of the R1 hoody. As it turns out, they have: the cap 4 1/4 zip hoody. 8.2 oz in the medium that arrived for review today.

Feature-wise it is pretty comparable to the R1: slim fit, long torso and sleeves, articulated arms, tight fitting hood, zip to base of sternum, small chest pocket. Instead of thumb holes in the sleeves there are discrete little cords/straps to hold the sleeves in place (or tuck out of the way when not needed). The zip goes straight up the middle of the chin, and ends right below the nose.

The real story is the fabric. When I first saw it I assumed it would be like the old R 1/2, which morphed into the first cap 4 and then got replaced with a powerstretch fabric for the last few years. However, looking at the specs I saw it listed as 3.7 oz a yard. That's lighter than cap 2.


R 1/2 was like R1 fabric, but shrunken. The wider voids of this new fabric represent a different approach, and I'm quite excited for the weather to cool off so I can find out how it works.


I'm assuming it will wick and dry fast. Very fast.

The focus of the eventual article will be comparing grid-fleece (R1 and all the imitators) midlayers to powerstretch. Both wick pretty darn fast, but the structure and increased lycra content of the later tends to dry slower. Like wool, this retarded evaporation can actually keep you warmer under cold and damp conditions.

At least, that is the question I'll be investigating. It will be a bit difficult to do a direct comparison, as most powerstretch fabrics are twice the weight as this new cap 4.

I should also mention that the whole hood and collar are double-layered. For warmth, I assume. Odds are I'll be unable to resist the temptation to cut the inner layer out, which promises to drop some decent weight.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
MEC on 08/29/2012 18:43:48 MDT Print View

51 smackaroos, made in canada ... and they even give 1% back as well ;)

Stephan Doyle
YES on 08/29/2012 18:48:06 MDT Print View

I'm looking forward to the Cap 4 hoody more than probably any other garment this fall/winter. Even lighter than the NW Alpine Spider Light Hoody, I suspect this will be a new favorite. If it's as soft and comfortable like the R1, I'll be happy as a clam.

Can you elaborate on what you said about drying times? I'm curious here, as I'm thinking in part of rapid evaporative cooling, but you may be referring to more.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: MEC on 08/29/2012 19:00:41 MDT Print View

The sizing is very strange on the MEC, not to mention the fabric is not that nice against the skin. I tried to like it but went with the Patagucci. Much nicer for me.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Cap4 hoody on 08/29/2012 19:13:38 MDT Print View

"If it's as soft and comfortable like the R1, I'll be happy as a clam."

I'll tentatively answer yes on both counts. Fit is absolutely perfect.

"Can you elaborate on what you said about drying times? I'm curious here, as I'm thinking in part of rapid evaporative cooling, but you may be referring to more."

My thesis is that individuals will want to tailor the speed of evaporative cooling to their conditions and physiology. Quick, but not too quick. One reason why some folks like wool, others synthetic. My intention is to match different baselayer t-shirts under the Cap4 and a powerstretch hoody, and see what happens.

Stephan Doyle
Re: re: Cap4 hoody on 08/30/2012 01:09:23 MDT Print View

I'm still interested in hearing more. As a heavy sweater (I'm warm in general), I prefer SUL merino most of the time - it's just more comfortable. I have to admit, though, that I've grown more fond of synthetics as of late, as they allow me a better chance to regulate in moderate or cold temperatures. I hadn't taken into account the extra /comfort/ of drying time for most of my outdoor activities, however, so this is a novel thought to me; for me, a synthetic baselayer has the chance to dry out in moderate to cool temperatures before I go to bed, while a wool baselayer requires either more time sitting around camp or waiting until morning.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
T2 on 08/30/2012 01:18:05 MDT Print View

Looking forward to your comparison Dave. Was searching for a similar piece and settled on the MEC T2. Haven't gotten to test it, but the medium fits me perfectly and it only weighs 6.5 oz. The sleeves are longer and the torso more form fitting than the cap 4. Thanks for the rec, eric.

Both garments use power dry and in a similar thin grid configuration.

I'm going to see how it'll go with my rab meco tee base layer. I'd definitely recommend picking one up or requesting one from rab for review on your site. Used one for the first time this past week on a sawatch overnighter. It dries stupid fast, and doesn't smell. I used it under my Event shell for a total of about 7 hours rain (hard bushwhacking, scrambling and hiking over passes) and I never felt cold or wet, so I'm pretty psyched on that combo. Flash off is still an open question, but seems better than synthetic.

Last winter I used a wool baselayer with a driclime and thought it worked exceptionally well. The wool keeps the skin warm and the driclime wicks effectively. The driclime dries out super fast under primaloft. You might run too hot for this from the sounds of it, but have you considered something like a driclime ether or vapour-rise lite alpine? I'm curious how they'd compare to the powerdry. I know people say micro grid fleece and windshirt is the same, but think the driclime stuff with its "magic like" wicking properties works differently paired to the outer pertex.

I know you've sort of given up on the wind shirt in favor of the thin softshell. What do you plan to use over the cap 4?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: windshirt and midlayers on 08/30/2012 08:20:33 MDT Print View

I haven't given up on windshirts, just found that for summer the Boreas checks more boxes more often.

For instance, during the first day of the Bob Open Dan Durston and I were walking through light mixed rain and snow, with a fair bit of wind, well into mid-afternoon. I had an old Patagonia wool 2 t-shirt (120 g/m2 fabric weight), R 1/2 hoody (modded a women's XL to fit me), and Pertex windshirt. I was close to being too hot a few times, and the windshirt wetted out, but my body heat kept the midlayer fabric dry and I was able to hike along a road and then over a high pass with very strong winds, all without adding or removing layers of clothing.

My hope is the Cap4 will function like the R 1/2 but with an even wider temp range.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
re: Patagonia Cap 4 Hoody - GOOD STUFF on 08/30/2012 22:03:54 MDT Print View

Thanks David for the reminder/heads up! I am extremely psyched on this, as it may be better than the NWAlpine Hoody for LW winter layering as well as serving as an all-season piece. So psyched, in fact, that I ordered one today for fall testing. Can't wait.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
re: Patagonia Cap 4 Hoody on 09/04/2012 15:02:57 MDT Print View

I just used the new Patagonia Cap 4 Hoody on a ten day hike in the southern sierra. Loved it. The hood fit was extraordinary. First time I've used techno-fabric for this instead of wool in years.

Just want to note that the women's model of this shirt has the thumb-loop sewn into the seam, not the little unobtrusive piece of ribbon like the men's model has. I mention it since you called out that design in your first post of this thread. I went to Patagonia store near me and tried both mens and womens, and for me the mens fit better. I hope men feel as free to buy women's models as women feel to buy men's -- it's not always the case that the label matches the body :)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody on 09/04/2012 16:40:33 MDT Print View

Thanks for calling out the change in cap 4. I wouldn't have thought to look at it. Previous cap 4 seemed to be a step down from my beloved R.5... but the new cap 4 looks like it has a lot of potential. I will be interested to see if the cap 4 performance as well as you expect. I stopped by the Patagonia store down the street today. One of the sales people indicated she have given the cap 4 a try and that even though it lighter weight than the old cap 4, that she found it as warm, maybe warmer. Looks like a winner.


Edited by verber on 09/08/2012 22:52:34 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
New Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody on 09/29/2012 15:55:11 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 08:26:55 MDT.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
RE: Rick on 09/29/2012 16:07:39 MDT Print View

I just picked up a Cap 4 and am waiting for a Merino 1 that I purchased in gear swap. I plan to layer just as you mentioned. The tags are still on but I will to test it thoroughly over the next few weeks. I will let you know the results.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody on 09/29/2012 17:20:34 MDT Print View

I noticed the old stuff on sale but the new version with a grid pattern. I'm interested but only in the lighter designs.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Re: the new stuff on 09/29/2012 18:00:56 MDT Print View

The cheapest I could find the new stuff was $101 or so with free shipping at Steep Planet. The medium weighs 8.2 oz and large 9.2 ounces. I usually take a medium but had to go large with this. It is a nice piece and the hood is incredible.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Cap 4 hoody on 11/04/2012 10:06:53 MST Print View

Just want to bump and say that as the weather gets colder and wetter this continues to impress. It's light enough for me to wear during that elusive space right around freezing where rain goes to snow and back again as you pass through different microclimates, and that it makes a great midlayer under a windshirt and over a light wool t in such conditions. Good under a drysuit for cold weather packrafting, too. Moves moisture super fast, and has a remarkably large effective comfort range. Not windproof in the slightest, obviously.

A new classic.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Under a shell on 11/04/2012 10:23:37 MST Print View

Although I agree it's wouldn't be windproof, but great under shell because of the bumps creating dead air gaps, but not a lot of material to hold water.

Means that it would still add warmth even if you are soaked under a windshirt. And the combination would dry quickly. Great for those days when you are dealing with off and on wind and light rain.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Cap 4 hoody sizing on 11/04/2012 11:39:03 MST Print View

@ current owners of the Cap 4 hoody: How does the sizing run? Is it a trimmer, more athletic fit, or is it similiar to the Cap 2 & 3 sizing?

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Cap 4 hoody sizing on 11/04/2012 11:53:55 MST Print View

I am 5'-8", 145 pounds, and the medium fits great. A nice trim fit over a light base layer. I can raise my arms over my head without the waist pulling up, or the cuffs pulling up my wrists.

I think this is one of the best fitting Patagonia items I've ever had...

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Cap 4 hoody sizing on 11/04/2012 11:57:43 MST Print View

It is snug and athletic, long torso and arms, a 2+ inch drop tail, and gussets in the armpits to ensure good range of motion. I find the hood almost too tight at the chin.

From the measurements I took an hour ago while writing up the review article:

Zipper depth 16
Back Length* 28.5
Sleeve Length** 34
Chest Circumference*** 43
Arm Circumference**** 13.5
Waist Circumference***** 38
Tail drop****** 2.25

[All dimensional measurements in inches, taken from a men's medium]
* base of collar to hem, in center
**top of sleeve from neck seam to cuff
***at base of armpit seam
****halfway from cuff to armpit seam
*****at bottom of side seams
****** difference between bottom of front hem and back hem, measured in the center