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Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1
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Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1 on 01/19/2014 16:12:07 MST Print View


Last year I bought a Piton Hybrid Hoody, mainly because it claimed to be lighter than the R1 (it's not, listed weight is way off) and I didn't like the R1 colours. However, it's breathable enough and I find the usable temp range while walking to be limited, so it usually just filled in as insulation during periods of inactivity... but obviously my nano puff was better there...

This (S. hemisphere) winter I want to have another go and am considering the R1 and Cap 4. Basically I want a quarter zip hoody which is less warm so I wear it more while walking in cool weather and I’ll leave the insulation to the UL down hoody I’ll buy in parallel.

Since I wanted less warm (and lighter if possible) the Cap4 seemed to make sense.. however I inquired with the Patagonia service team and they said these two statements:

2. The warmth would go Piton Hybrid as the warmest, then the Capilene 4, then just below that the R1.

Out of these options I would actually go with that R1 Hoody for what it sounds like you are looking for. I feel like it has the best combination of warmth and breathability and will dry faster than the Capilene 4 in my experience.

I’m confirming they didn’t mean the old Cap fabric (based on drying speed comment), but if they are correct about the warmth why is anyone on BPL still buying the R1?? Warmer, lighter and cheaper?

Curious to hear if other people’s experience backs up these claims

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Mistaken? on 01/19/2014 17:05:11 MST Print View

I really doubt that is correct unless they changed the cap4 fabric just now.
Cap4 is thinner than the R1. Don't know if the Piton or R1 is warmer, seemed similar to me but only owned an R1. I think the Piton was a little less breathable and therefore perhaps more as outer use, not sure.

From what you describe as your needs the Cap 4 is the one you want for active use.

I have several grid fleece hoodies of the same thickness, for me definitely more useful as an active mid layer or very cold base layer.

Edited by jakuchu on 01/19/2014 17:08:19 MST.

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1 on 01/19/2014 17:13:07 MST Print View

I've only tried the Cap 4 and R1. In my experience, the Cap 4 is too warm for hiking unless it's under 20F. I've never been out when it's cold enough for the R1. R1 is definitely warmer.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
further update on 01/19/2014 17:26:35 MST Print View

I've heard back again from the customer service guy. He definitely means the newest iteration of both pieces:

Yes It has been my experience that the new Cap 4 is slower drying than the newest R1. I have found that in cold environments with low levels of activity the Cap 4 is great, but for high exertion, high perspiration in cold environments I’ll take the R1 any day. This is just my personal preference though, and the truth is the two are extremely close in warmth, dry time, breathability, etc. Having used both I just think the R1 performs a little better for those environments.

A lot of the benefit for the R1 seems to stem from the drying speed... I don't sweat much, so wetting out from perspiration is not my biggest concern.. hence I think I save my pennies and buy the Cap4?

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Reply on 01/19/2014 17:32:11 MST Print View

Agree with Jeff above, for me 0C would be still too warm for the cap 4 hoodies. I use them as a base layer from -5 to -15C etc.
R1 might be an option for me if temps fall below -15 to -20C.

Edited by jakuchu on 01/19/2014 18:41:30 MST.

Matt Weaver
(norcalweaver) - F

Locale: PacNW
another big difference on 01/19/2014 17:48:12 MST Print View

Something else to consider between the cap 4 and r1 as well is the zipper placement. The offset zippers drive me insane for some reason, sold off my r1 and nwalpine hoody because of them. I since replaced the items with the cap 4 hoody and have been real happy with it. It gets used in a broader range of temps then the r1, is lighter, the material feels stretchier, and is just overally a more comfortable layer for me.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1 on 01/19/2014 20:29:29 MST Print View

Hmmm, interesting. From just handling the material of the two I feel the R1 would be warmer overall.

Now in a static environment, or with a wind shell, the cap4 could indeed be warmer since it has more dead air space thanks to larger channels. However on the move it feels much more drafty than the R1...but my cap4 is the past season so if there was a change that may account for the rep's comments.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Uodate Re: Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1 on 04/16/2015 19:37:19 MDT Print View

Here's a recent update from outdoorgear lab dated 30 Mar 15, though the comparison of Cap4 with actual R1 is down at the bottom. Condensed version: very similar characteristics but Cap4 fabric starts to pile faster with abrasion.

Of course these are skiers. Perhaps the durability if wearing Cap4 vs. RI under pack straps daily could swing it to R1.

ADD: not seeing thicker baselayers on their website ... just cap 1 and 2. Redesign?

Edited by hknewman on 04/16/2015 20:28:35 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
wondering what they were smoking? on 04/16/2015 19:58:35 MDT Print View

the fabrics are similar (Polartec Powerdry), but the weight of the fabric is very different- the R1 uses a 6.8 oz/yd material, the Cap 4 uses a 3.8 oz/yd material; the R1 is without any shadow of a doubt warmer (and heavier)

I use my Cap 4 hoody as a mid layer (over a very light merino t-shirt) when hiking in wet, cool conditions; I use it as a base layer in cold temps snowshoeing/skiing/running

the R1 sees much less use than the Cap 4 (mostly reserved for the very coldest days)

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 04/16/2015 20:16:02 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/16/2015 21:12:30 MDT.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
R1 for cold on 04/16/2015 20:32:52 MDT Print View

The R1 is without a shadow of a doubt warmer than the Cap4. The Cap 4 dumps heat readily, but dries surprisingly slowly compared to the R1. The R1 is pretty permeable to air too, but not nearly to the extent of the Cap4.

I wear the R1 only in subfreezing temperatures. From 30°F to -14°F this layer has kept me comfortable backpacking.

The Cap4 hoody hasn't done anything for me. In conditions where I like the Cap4, I am happier with the lighter quarter zip hoodless one, as I still can wear my windshirt' hood. In that regard, I find the Cap4 to be an excellent shoulder season layer.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Uodate Re: Confusing info about Cap 4 vs R1 on 04/16/2015 20:56:00 MDT Print View


I lab tested them both on a guarded hot plate; the Cap 4 = .144 Iclo and the R1 = .290 Iclo. In laymen's terms, the R1 = ~2x the warmth of the Cap 4.

Edited by richard295 on 04/16/2015 21:29:34 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
. on 04/16/2015 21:01:51 MDT Print View


Edited by kthompson on 04/16/2015 21:38:48 MDT.

Lachlan Fysh
(lachlanfysh) - M
2x on 04/16/2015 22:35:52 MDT Print View

In true BPL style, in the end after posting this thread I have ended up buying both, although the cap 4 has been since sold (hood not even close to fitting my big head comfortably, and a bit too slim to not look 100% like a ninja)

I'd concur with the 2x measurement.. how the Piton hybrid slots in is a lot more condition dependent, it can either be warmer (even than the R1) while moving due to less airflow and is warmer than the cap 4 in a breeze.. but possibly coldest overall in a completely static environment.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Piton on 04/17/2015 07:05:42 MDT Print View

Richard- thanks- that gives perfectly w/ my experience

I've been eyeballing the Piton, but have yet to pull the trigger as a base and/or mid layer w/ a windshirt works so well

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: 2x on 04/17/2015 10:32:29 MDT Print View

A 2x difference in clo would make sense for backpacking. May not make too much difference if activily cross-country skiing or running until it truly got cold enough for an R1. Thanks Richard. I've seen the clo for R1 but not Cap4