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Patagonia Just Upgraded One of Its Most Popular Fleeces

Patagonia is well known for its classic Synchilla pullover fleeces, but its more-technical cousin is just as capable and is getting a nice upgrade.


Everybody knows about Patagonia’s classic pullover Synchilla fleece. It makes sense, given that the company teamed up with Malden Mills (now known as Polartec) to invent fleece decades ago. Not as many people are as familiar with Patagonia’s more technical R1 fleece, but those who are know it’s a versatile garment that works hard in any conditions Mother Nature throws your way. Now, that fleece is getting an upgrade.

The new version of the R1 is called the R1 Air. Like the original, it’s lightweight and warm-when-wet. It even looks mostly the same, except for a telling zig-zag pattern. That pattern is actually vital to how the R1 Air differentiates itself; the structure, along with the characteristics of the hollow-core yarn it’s made of, make this new fleece significantly more breathable.

As a bonus, the R1 Air’s unique construction also makes it remarkably cozier than the original. It feels more similar to the lifestyle-oriented Synchilla than R1, which has a soft grid-fleece interior and a harder face. That makes the R1 Air a bridge between two types of fleece wearers — and likely ensures its success amongst hardcore and casual sets.

The R1 Air will be available in August 2020. It comes in three styles: a full-zip hoody ($159), a quarter zip pullover ($119) and a crew neck ($99).

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