Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Active fleece hoody; R1, Piton or Cap4
Display Avatars Sort By:
Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Active fleece hoody; R1, Piton or Cap4 on 01/26/2013 20:42:47 MST Print View

Hi guys,

In the market for a fleece to serve active duties in winter and also for night time warmth in summer. I've got a R2 that is too hot for anything mildly energetic, but I absolutely love it, so I'm sticking with Patagonia - I think they've got fleece downpat.

I had been thinking the hooded R1 made a lot of sense and its got plenty of fans, but the other two hoodys listed are a bit newer and might be worthy alternatives. The pros and cons I'm coming up with are:

-Probably the warmest?
-Thumbholes (big one in winter, less in autumn and spring)
-Long in the body (I'm pretty tall)
-Most 'normal' looking, might actually get worn in the city (although the R2 is more handsome)

-More technical garment, better in wind
-I don't climb, but I view extra durability without extra weight as a good thing always, I figure the body piece of windstopper fabric will not suffer much wear from backpack straps long term.
-Full zip (this could be a con for warmth, but I think added versatility is worth it)
-Awesome garish colours (this could be a con for many, but for a garment that will mostly be worn on the trail I like bright gear... might clash pretty badly with the yellow rain jacket though :D)
-Slightly more expensive (not really a concern)
-No thumb holes

-Probably better for layering with the R2 (would be very toasty with the other two, and heavy)
-Might not be warm enough for the snow
-Very form fitting, definitely not going to see use as an outer in the city
-No thumb holes

Any care to weight with their thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of these options? I'm leaning towards the Piton, just cos it seems the most advanced... thumbholes might have made it a no brainer, but as it is I'm struggling :)

Also, I would need to order the Piton online because it doesn't seem to be coming to Australia (I'd also order the others online to get any choice of colours), so I can't try it on - am I right to assume it fits similarly to the R1?

Cheers, Lachlan

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
Piton on 01/27/2013 03:39:20 MST Print View

I'd go with the piton if you're into awesome and offensively bright colors. I think its probably warmer than the R1 from trying it on in the store, and its a more versatile mid layer with the full zip, windbloc and durability. I have the MEC version of the cap4 and I think its a brilliant baselayer. I use that with a breathable windshirt when I'm skinning up on cold days. For winter hiking or snowshoeing I'd go with either a light base and the piton or the R1 and a windshirt. IMO the R1 and cap4 shine as baselayers with a windshirt, since you can do a lot of thermoregulation with the deep chest zip, hood and sleeve options.

Totally different sort of piece, but a marmot driclime or rab vapourise over a light base is a great winter action layer as well. Not so good for summer insulation though.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Cap4 on 01/27/2013 06:56:52 MST Print View

I used a Cap4 hoody with an Icebreaker 200 baselayer and Houdine windshirt to hike recently in the 20's with winds gusting 30+ and blowing a wintry mix body was quite warm on the move. My opinion after this hike was that the Cap4 was an excellent piece.

Johan Engberg
(luffarjohan) - M

Locale: Wrong place at the right rime
Cap 4 on 01/27/2013 13:08:05 MST Print View

The female cap 4 has proper thumb holes while the male version has a short elastic band inside the edge of the sleeve which sort of functions as a thumb hole. It doesn't cover as good but it keeps the sleeve in place.

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: Active fleece hoody; R1, Piton or Cap4 on 01/27/2013 14:50:55 MST Print View

Check out the MEC T3 hoodie. It's essentially the same as the R1 but a lot cheaper ($68 Canadian). Mine came in last week and I can't stop wearing it. It's very comfortable and the thumbholes and hood were excellently designed.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
New MEC T3 is not an R1 equivalent on 01/27/2013 15:27:15 MST Print View

Just a warning that the T3 is no longer equivalent to the R1. The old version was, they kept teh name the same and lightened the fabric. It is now the same as the cap 4. The MEC Vega is now the equivelent to the R1 but no longer comes in hooded zip tee. You have the choice between zip tee and full zip with hood. Also the full zip with hood does not have thumb loops. On the plus size the new colours are far nicer.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Active fleece hoody; R1, Piton or Cap4 on 01/27/2013 18:08:15 MST Print View

I love the Cap4. It's best used as an active base layer. For me (I run hot) I can wear the Cap4 (+ windshirt when appropriate) between around 30-60F and be reasonably comfortable. At the cold end, it does a great job creating air pockets if you have a tight fitting windshirt. I think wearing something below it would make it less effective. I would roast in it at 60F with a windshirt, but if have some air movement (e.g. no wind shirt and a breeze) it's comfortable because it is so air permeable, and move moisture really well. It has become my favor 50-65F cycling shirt.

Given it's form fitting and fairly light weight nature, I wouldn't think of it as summer evening insulation, unless you run really warm and/or you have very mild summer evenings.

R1 combined with a light tech-tee is a nice winter base and works better as a light summer insulation piece in my experience. Very useful garment. That saidm I recently had to replace my a lot of my clothing. Rather than repurchasing my R1 I decides that a combination of a Cap4 and a TNF TKA 80 fleece was going to be better for me. Partly because I owned them, but also they gave me more flexibility for not much more weight.


Edited by verber on 01/27/2013 20:04:43 MST.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Active fleece hoody; R1, Piton or Cap4 on 01/27/2013 19:10:57 MST Print View

Like I mentioned in my recent Piton Hybrid thread, I have both an R1 and the new Cap4 hoodies. I prefer the Cap4 to the R1 hoody. Frankly, I have found the R1 hoody pullover and lack of stash pockets less than ideal/convenient for a mid-layer piece. A full zip R1 would be more useful for me but now they make the Piton Hybrid.

Though I have worn it over Merino 1 and Cap1/2 tees, the Cap4 hoody seems to excel as a next-to-skin baselayer. It is lighter/less warm so has more versatility in temp range than the R1 as Mark says. It is a good match with the Marmot Ether DriClime wind jacket as an "action suit." Simply unzip the Ether and almost immediatley dump any excess heat buildup.

It also doesn't have that funky R1 hoody offset chin zip that almost forces the R1 hood be up when fully zipped when all the conditions demand is just a neck gaiter. I also prefer the Cap4 hidden thumb loops over the holes in the R1 sleeve, unlike some others it seems.

As for an insulating mid-layer fleece, I have the Piton Hybrid jacket on order and should have it here in ~week. It too is lighter than a R1 and I am betting it is less/almost as warm too but with better wind protection, durability and a full zip.

Edited by rmjapan on 01/27/2013 19:19:49 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
night time warmth on 01/27/2013 19:49:16 MST Print View

the new Cap 4 really shines for many of the reason stated already, but as an insulating garment for summer (save very warm environs) it won't cut it

I'm starting to view my Cap 4 more as an cool weather active base layer vs mid-layer; the R1 imo solidly falls into the mid-layer spectrum- including providing decent warmth on a summer's night (of course for the weight you could have an even warmer down garment)

if it's going to be really cold and on the move, I'd want the R-1 layered over a thin base layer vs a Cap 4 over a base layer

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: night time warmth on 01/27/2013 20:18:28 MST Print View

"I'm starting to view my Cap 4 more as an cool weather active base layer vs mid-layer; the R1 imo solidly falls into the mid-layer spectrum- including providing decent warmth on a summer's night (of course for the weight you could have an even warmer down garment)"

That is pretty much the conclusion I'm coming to as well, although I'd go with the down in the summer. A Montbell Ex Lite paired with a MH Aircore Beanie is a good substitute, IME, for about half the weight.

"if it's going to be really cold and on the move, I'd want the R-1 layered over a thin base layer vs a Cap 4 over a base layer"

+1 Now, if they'd just make the R1 with Powerdry HE....
Maybe in the next life.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Thanks on 01/29/2013 01:38:45 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice guys! :)

I think, despite all of the recommendations, that I'm going to scratch the Cap4 from the list, simply because it sounds like it won't offer me the versatility I'm looking for in this particular piece (chiefly summer night time warmth). That's not to say I won't buy one eventually though...

I've learnt from Patagonia Australia that they won't be getting the Piton this season, so frustratingly I won't be able to try it on side by side with the R1, but I can still get it online.

I'll try on the R1 though, mainly looking at whether I think the offset neck zip, thumbholes or extra length are must have features - if not I think I'll take the wind protection and lower weight of the Piton :D

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Thanks on 01/29/2013 02:41:43 MST Print View

Maybe a vest might be a better choice for lightweight summer warmth at night, especially if you don't expect freezing temps. Or like others have said, a UL Down jacket or Nano Puff/RAB Xenon. A Nano Puff pullover weighs less than an R1 and takes much less pack space.

Now if you want something that will also work as an active midlayer in Winter, you might want to wait for a Polartec Alpha insulated garment.

Edited by rmjapan on 01/29/2013 02:44:30 MST.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
vest vs puff on 01/29/2013 05:28:24 MST Print View

I think I'm still wedded to one of the mid fleeces... but the site I would buy the Piton from does have great prices on both the down vest and the nano puff pullover... maybe I'll just pick up one of them as well?

hijacking my own thread a bit :P

I've already got the down hoody, and I love down, but would I be right in thinking the nano is more versatile? thinking this would be for summer night insulation, when no other insulation is needed during the day and for rest stops and camp activities in winter over the R1/Piton and likely under a shell.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: vest vs puff on 01/29/2013 07:26:38 MST Print View

In our mid-summer alpine mountains, I just bring a Nano Puff vest as a wamth booster at night. But it seldom gets colder than 10C and Japan's camps sites don't go higher than ~2800m. If it gets colder than expected at night, I can use my sleeping bag and zip up the tent.

With the highest peak in the Australian Alps being ~2200m, I would think Summers would be similar or even warmer?