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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 - M
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 U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
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 G.
(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.

Nicholas Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: Montanada
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: Tokyo, Japan
New Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody on 09/29/2012 15:55:11 MDT Print View

I tried one of these on at the Patagonia store here in Tokyo. This can be a nice piece! Maybe a better choice than R1 if you hike hot.

Suprised to see how transparent the fabric really is as daylight shines thru between the waffle pattern when held up to the shop window.

Question Dave (or anyone)...since this is sold as a baselayer would it be best to wear it next to skin or can it still perform as a mid layer over a Merino 1?

Edited by rmjapan on 09/29/2012 16:36:18 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

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Cap 4 hoody sizing on 11/04/2012 12:04:02 MST Print View

That's quite thorough, Dave. Thanks!

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Size on 11/04/2012 16:18:07 MST Print View

I sized up to a large though I usually wear medium in Patagonia. It was too tight in the chest but I have a broad chest and shoulders. I weigh in at 155 and am 5'10".

Avery S
(Aveman) - M
on sale on 11/21/2012 18:05:49 MST Print View

20% off Patagonia right now at, combined with 14% cashback at and 5% cashback for all discover card online purchases means my new cap 4 hoody should come out to $77.11

(habakkuk) - F
Cap 4 hoody sizing on 01/12/2013 09:03:58 MST Print View

I am 5'11 and 180 lbs with 40R chest and I like how the Medium fits. It is a close to body fit but by no means skin-tight. On me, a Large would fit more like a mid-layer jacket as opposed to a base-layer shirt. With the latter, the inner grid patterns get full skin contact in the shoulders and arms area while leaving somewhat more room in the torso and even more so in the chest area. I would say, it is considerably more relaxed than Underarmor's "compression" fit. If I lift my arms up, the entire garment stays put. I hope this level of detail is not annoying as I myself prefer this type of description before ordering online.

Jeffrey Whynot
(jcwhynot) - M

Locale: Northeast
Cap 4 Packability on 01/17/2013 13:18:41 MST Print View

How about the packability of the Cap 4. I haven't seen anyone mention that. Does it pack down small? Is it bulky?

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Compressed pic on 01/17/2013 13:29:00 MST Print View

Here it is stuffed into a plastic bag. This is a size large. The squares are 1 inch.

cap 4

Edited by zippymorocco on 01/17/2013 13:32:39 MST.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Bottoms on 01/17/2013 13:36:18 MST Print View

I recently added the cap 4 bottoms to my collection to replace my fleece pants. I find them equally as impressive. They come in at about 5 ounces for the medium size.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: re: Patagonia Cap 4 Hoody (Amy) on 01/17/2013 14:01:02 MST Print View

"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 :)"

I'm a guy, 6'2", all legs, and I cycle a lot. the Women's L Under Armour tights, and the Women's L GoLite Paclite rain pants fit my thunder thighs better than any men's sizes, and still conform to my 32 waist. Best fit ever! I use measurements, not gender keywords, when I shop online.


Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Patagonia Cap 4 Hoody on 01/17/2013 15:43:29 MST Print View

On a recent backpack where the daytime temps remained in the 30's, I was perfectly comfortable hiking with a Byrnje merino wool fishnet t-shirt base, a Cap4 hoody and a Houdini windjacket. At camp I added a Rab Meco 160 longsleeve zip t and a WM Flash vest. I was extremely impressed with the layering test, especially combining the fishnet base and the Cap4 Hoody. I was comfortable and never felt overheated or sweaty.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Bottoms on 01/17/2013 19:37:33 MST Print View

I was looking at the bottoms, but couldn't tell if it was the same fleece used in the hoody- I know take it it is?


Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Bottoms on 01/17/2013 19:50:18 MST Print View

I think bottoms will only work if you wear pants that can vent. Unless you are just looking for a matching PJ of course! Cap 2 or merino 2/3 might be better.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Re: Bottoms on 01/17/2013 19:54:32 MST Print View

I'm thinking more along the lines of just pants for summer- I wear shorts, but bring a pair of Cap 3 bottoms for camp or if it happens to get really cold- the new Cap 4 bottoms might be better suited yet and lighter

<-- no pjs for this guy :)

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bottoms on 01/17/2013 20:18:18 MST Print View

Doesnt the Cap 4 bottom have a fly opening? Might look like you are walking around in your undies unless you put shorts over. Then you will look like a Yama Girl!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bottoms on 01/17/2013 20:43:22 MST Print View

I'm assuming they do-makes pi$$ing a little easier, the Cap 3's that I pack do- just have to be mindful that my junk doesn't fall out :)

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Cap 4 bottoms on 01/17/2013 21:06:29 MST Print View

@ Mike M, the Cap 4 bottoms are the same material as the hoody.

And yes, they've got a fly.

And they fit just like typical long john tights.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Cap 4 bottoms on 01/17/2013 21:13:01 MST Print View

perfect- thanks

now I just have to insure I get the right ones, as alluded to above the old style Cap 4's are still being sold by many vendors

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Cap 4 bottoms on 01/17/2013 21:23:22 MST Print View

if you act fast, you can probably pick up the new ones direct from for 30% off right now. Use the promo code "DEEPSNOW" Should be good through Tues.


Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody - Gone? on 04/20/2013 00:03:47 MDT Print View

The Patagonia Capilene 4 1/4-Zip Hoody, style 43665, has vanished from Patagonia's web site.

"Sorry, we could not find this product on It's possible that we recently sold out of the item or that we no longer carry it."

The non-hoody version is still there, style 43655.

I love my Cap 4 hoody, glad I got one for Xmas before they vanished.

-- Rex

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody - Tmp Gone on 04/20/2013 09:07:24 MDT Print View

Patagonia treats the Cap 4 Hoody is a seasonal item. They product a run and sell in Fall & Winter... with a few that might linger into spring. Expect to see it back Sep or so. My understanding is that it sold very well last year.


Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
in stock now on 06/17/2013 19:01:57 MDT Print View

Heads up to those who can't wait for the Cap4 Hoody: it is back in stock for the Fall '13 season at $120 at Right now you have to call or Live Chat a salesperson to get it since it is not on the website yet. Black, purple and Forge Grey are this year's colors. Quantities might be limited in some sizes while they get the shipments in. Ordered one for myself today!

TJ Christopher
(Compel) - F
Some of last year's stock is still floating around... on 06/18/2013 00:18:37 MDT Print View

Anyone who can wear women's size L or XL in the Cap4 hoodie check out,
they have 3 colors from $60 to $77. There are also some Cap4 non-hoodie zip neck.
Just make sure you're looking at the newer gridded style (9% spandex) from last year and not the older non-gridded style (6% spandex).

John Arwood
(johnlarwood) - M

Locale: Mountians of East Tennessee
Loose Fit Hood On Women's Capilene 4 Hoodie @ on 06/18/2013 14:44:38 MDT Print View

My Women's 1/4 Zip Cap4 Hoodie from about 6 years ago had a loose relaxed fit hood. I was able to modify it for a better air tight fit, but it still is not the balaclava type fit of my R1 Hoodie or the hood that I have seen on the newer men's Cap4 Hoodie.
The Women's Cap4 Hoody on sale at seems to have the looser fitting hood. If you look at the picture with the hood up from the back, it looks floppy.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: MEC on 06/18/2013 15:29:50 MDT Print View


Huge fan of Patagonia here, but a lot of their fabrics are no longer proprietary. MEC makes several of the same products using an identical fabric [Polartec Power Dry] for 50% of the cost while being made in Canada and not some country where people make $0.10 a day. Fit is very good or virtually the same. This is one of those occasions where you're paying for the name.

Edited by redpoint on 06/18/2013 15:33:48 MDT.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: Re: MEC on 06/18/2013 15:32:55 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."

The fabric is IDENTICAL - Polartec Power Dry. Not in all instances, but certainly in this one.

Sizing/fit can be different, so that I can understand. Fabric is exact same.