Expert Review: Patagonia R2 Techface Jacket

This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

A woman wearing a Patagonia R2 Jacket.

Photo courtesy of Tyese Messerman

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

The Patagonia R2 Techface is a very versatile jacket that would be great for those who do everything from walking around town to skinning up a mountain. It is uniquely designed, warm, moisture-wicking, highly technical, and a great addition to any wardrobe.

About the piece

  • Model: Patagonia R2 Techface Jacket
  • Size: XS
  • Fit: Runs Large

About me

  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 130 lbs
  • Experience: 23+ years

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: January 2022
  • Days tested: 20+
  • Where I’ve used it: Oregon, Washington, Utah, California, France
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Resort riding, skinning, mountain biking, around town

How it performs

Breathability
3/5
Comfort
5/5
Durability
5/5
Style
5/5
Warmth
4/5
Waterproofing
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a warm jacket as a mid-layer that could stand on its own as an outer layer if need be. I had a few puffy jackets, but I was looking for something a little more fitted and compact than a puffy jacket but still warm. I already had a fleece as well, so I wanted something slightly more breathable.

Why I chose this gear

I find that Patagonia makes a lot of technical layers, so they were one of the first companies I delved into when trying to research options of what I wanted. The R2 Techface is quite unique in that it feels like a fleece on my skin, but the outer layer has a DWR coating, so it is a bit more waterproof and abrasion resistant than regular fleece. It also was a sleek, slim design which I liked.

I looked at the Arc’teryx Kyanite LT Hoody and a few other fleece jackets from North Face and Volcom, but I didn’t really consider any of these after seeing the R2 Techface. The R2 is pretty unique, and there’s not a lot of competition for a jacket just like this.

A woman wearing a Patagonia R2 Jacket.

What I love about it

  • Fit: This jacket fits great. It is really comfortable and sleek looking. I find that it is similar to most of Patagonia’s jackets for me and runs a little big. I would be a size S in most brands, but with Patagonia jackets, I always seem to prefer the XS, and this is no exception.
  • Range of Motion: There is a bit of stretch in the material. It is listed as 6% Spandex, which seems to provide a great range of motion. It doesn’t pull awkwardly if I raise my hands up or do any activity I have done so far. I even played pickleball in it, and it didn’t inhibit any movement.
  • Design: The design is quite simple yet functional. It is a good length to not get in the way while doing activities, but it isn’t too short to ride up when doing strenuous activities.
  • Style: I’d say this is a slim-fit design. It fits sleek yet isn’t clingy. It looks stylish, and at least in the black color, it can pass for going around town after playing with no need to change. I don’t like stuff that feels too tight or looks too baggy, and this is perfect.
  • Quality of Materials: The outer material is recycled polyester with a little bit of spandex, and then it has a DWR coating. It feels supple and comfortable yet pretty tough and abrasion resistant. The inside feels like fleece but softer and not as constricting due to the grid-like design that helps with breathability.
  • Durability: I haven’t had any issues with this jacket yet, and I’ve worn it well over 20 times. It still looks new and has no snags or tears. I’ve had no problems with zippers or seams at all. I have worn it mountain biking as my outer layer, and it washes up quite nicely. I’ve worn it spring skiing in the backcountry and hit tree branches with my arms, and there are no snags to mention.
  • Pockets: There are two hand pockets on the front of the jacket. They’re fairly big. The material inside seems durable, and they have plenty of room for a cell phone or some bars. They sit slightly higher than the pockets on an average jacket, so they are great for wearing a harness or a backpack hip strap. One can still access them. They don’t sit as high up as the Arc’teryx Alpha Jacket, for example, but they are still a bit more accessible when wearing something around one’s waist, which is awesome.
  • Warmth: I find it very warm for how thick this jacket appears to be. Not only is the fleece used comfortable and warm, but the jacket is designed to wick moisture away from the body, helping keep me dry and warm. I’m always surprised how toasty I stay in this, and it is a great mid-layer under a shell for wet, cold days or a great outer layer for chillier dry days. Note that if used as an outer layer, I’m referring to fall days, not the dead of winter.
  • Features: This jacket is pretty simple as far as features. There are no added features that stand out, no thumbholes, no audio holes, no RECCO, etc.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: This jacket has a DWR coating which does help repel water if it is raining lightly. I wouldn’t call it waterproof; if it rains hard, I will get wet. It pairs well with a waterproof shell over it for inclement weather.
  • Breathability: This is the heavier, warmer version of the R1. While the R1 is quite breathable, the R2 focuses on warmth over breathability. I still find this jacket to be more breathable than the average fleece, but it still gets pretty warm if I exert myself vigorously. The R1 uses a cross-grid power weave technology, but the R2 only uses that on the sides and not throughout the entire jacket. Again, focusing on warmth.
  • Weight: I find the weight of this jacket to be pretty average. It weighs more than, say, the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, but it is also very different. It weighs less than the average fleece jacket. It has no way to pack down very small, so it wouldn’t be my top pick for backpacking or any trip where weight and space are limited.

Favorite moment with this gear

This jacket really shined when I took it on a snowboarding trip to France. Since it is a warm mid-layer for under a shell, I took it to Chamonix to wear snowboarding. I chose this as one of the very few pieces I took because it is very sleek looking and is warm for snowboarding. Being slim and black, I could also wear it to dinner. This versatile and warm piece is my go-to when I’m not taking many items on a trip.

Value for the money vs. other options

I think the R2 Techface is a great value. As I mentioned earlier, there are not many jackets exactly like this on the market yet, so comparing it to other options is hard. It may be viewed as a fleece, like the Volcom Polartec Mid Hoodie or the Burton AK Helium Fleece, but it is significantly more technical and stylish than the average fleece on the market. That being said, it sits at a slightly higher price than both. The R2 Techface can also be compared to a jacket like the Arc’teryx Kyanite AR Hoodie, which is priced just $10 higher. All in all, I think the R2 Techface is a great value and worth having in my closet.

Final verdict

The Patagonia R2 is a versatile jacket that would be great for anyone and everyone. It is sleek and stylish to hike in, walk around town, or go climbing in. It is also very warm and moisture-wicking for longer hikes or skinning up mountains, and it is also a great mid-layer for resort skiing and snowboarding. It is not the most breathable or waterproof jacket out there, but as a warm mid-layer, it rocks.

Snowboard Expert Tyese Messerman
5.0
Tyese Messerman
Snowboard Expert
Tyese here! How can I help?
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Written By
From Whistler, BC to Rainier Basecamp, and from Niseko, Japan to Mt. Bachelor, Oregon, I simply can't get enough of the snow and the mountains! Growing up on the East Coast I learned to ski at age 5 and started snowboarding around age 12, and roamed the hills from Quebec, Vermont, NY, PA, WV and eve...

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