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Reader Reviews

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Patagonia R1 Balaclava

in Clothing - Headwear, Handwear

Average Rating
4.88 / 5 (8 reviews)

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Zeno Martin
( ananda )
Patagonia R1 Balaclava on 08/24/2005 19:51:31 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

For 2 oz this is so versatile and adds so much warmth it comes on all of my trips. What 2 oz gives as much warmth? I swear that it adds 15 degrees to my sleeping set up too - but that's just my take.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Patagonia Balaclava - Kid's priced at: $17.50 - $35.00
David Bonn
( david_bonn )

North Cascades
what Zeno said on 08/25/2005 13:56:01 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

One other thing that I think is good is that the stretchy fabric is relatively thin -- this means that if you are exercising you can still wear the hat in quite cold weather, and if it is wicked cold it doesn't get in the way under the hood of a down jacket or another, thicker, hat.

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Stephan Guyenet
( Guyenet )
Nice balaclava on 09/18/2005 13:39:27 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Balaclavas are so warm for their weight. This has to do with coverage of most of the head and neck, but also the fact that the part covering the mouth and/or nose absorbs and releases heat and moisture as you breathe. The R1 is made of Polartec Power Stretch, the best fabric in the world. It' a version of Power Stretch that has a grid pattern in the fleece though, making it less warm and more breathable. It's very stretchy and can be worn comfortably under the chin.

I agree that it adds a lot of warmth to a sleeping bag. A lot of this comes from the fact that when you put it over your nose and mouth, you conserve a lot of the heat you would normally lose through your breath. Despite this, the fabric does not get wet because Power Stretch is so good at wicking and drying.

The construction looks good. The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 is that it's made of the Powerstretch that doesn't have a continuous fleece lining on the inside, making it less warm. This probably makes it more suitable for active times, but it's counterproductive to the reason why I bought it: sheer warmth.

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Matthew LaPatka
( gungadin - M )

Pittsburgh, PA
Patagonia R1 Balaclava on 02/22/2007 08:00:46 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Patagonia R1 Balaclava has become a core part of my running and backpacking kit. While I rate it a 4 for running (because of one key reason explained later), I definitely give it a 5 for backpacking. Since we can't average the two, I decided to go with the 5 since this is a backpacking forum.

The R1 fabric is great stuff. I love it in shirts as well. It is essentially Polartec Powerstretch that has a grid inner fabric to take perspiration away from the skin and create dead air space for more warmth. I really love this stuff. The balaclava is lightweight for the warmth (just under two ounces), breathes well, dries relatively fast, and is comfortable next to the skin.

The balaclava fits very well. The front of it is nice because it works if one wants fabric over the mouth for added warmth or pulled down under the chin. This adds versatility. The neck part of it is long enough to offer full neck coverage. In addition, I often wear it as a sort of hat if I don't want face/neck coverage. This works nicely, too.

The one problem that I have with it is that the fabric over the mouth is as thick as the rest of the balaclava. This makes it pretty hard to breathe through it if I am sucking wind. While this is rarely a problem if I am backpacking, it can be pretty hard to get good breaths through it when I am running quickly up hills. While I see the value of this thicker fabric over the mouth (warming incoming air), I would like to see a somewhat thinner fabric to breathe through. This would make the R1 balaclava perfect.

This is truly a super balaclava if you don't need the absolute lightest. Its versatility and comfort are unmatched.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Patagonia Balaclava - Kid's priced at: $17.50 - $35.00
Shop Polartec products at GearBuyer
Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
Best so Far on 03/04/2007 02:27:45 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the best balaclava that I have found so far. It weighs 2oz's which may be heavy to some but it is far worth its weight. I have used it not only on backpacking trips but everyday in winter on my bicycle commute. It is so warm I end up with a soaked head by the time I get to work yet it breathes enough that my sunglasses dont fog up. While backpacking , I mostly end up sliding it off my head in the night because I am too warm. The only downfall has been mentioned, the piece over the mouth should be a bit thinner.

Adam Frizzell
( adamf )

Best warmth for the weight on 12/21/2009 10:59:00 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Paty R1 balaclava is a sure thing in temps below 40 degrees F. I use it exclusively now and it has kept me nice and warm while sleeping and in the early mornings while preparing breakfast and tea. It is thin but the waffle pattern does an awesome job at retaining heat. Never had any issues with cold ears/nose/etc. while sleeping. At 2oz. it's always in my pack. Definitely worth it.

john chong
( johnch )
Ninja on 09/03/2010 03:09:05 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I was looking for a balaclava to use instead of a beanie/scarf combo, and while looking at other companies' offering, I've decided to go with Patagonia's due to their design with the "split". It allows the open face position to be more comfortable without having to tighten around my big head.

It also definitely keeps me very warm. I don't find the thickness over the mouth discomforting. I use this to sleep with my head out of the bag many nights. It has kept me warm.

Mike M
( mtwarden )

easily justified 2 oz on 09/11/2010 20:27:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

this has replaced my fleece hat- for the same weight I get a lot more warmth and flexibility- I can wear as a balaclava when I really need warmth, I can roll it up and use as a hat when I need less.

2 ounces that earns it's keep! :)

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