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Patagonia Just Upgraded One of Its Most Popular Fleeces

Patagonia is well known for its classic Synchilla pullover fleeces, but the technical R1 is better suited to adventure, and is getting a nice upgrade.

a teal patagonia technical fleece

Everybody knows about Patagonia’s classic pullover Synchilla fleece. It makes sense given its long run, which started decades ago when the company teamed up with Malden Mills (now known as Polartec) to invent fleece. 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. It's the R1 that's getting an upgrade.

The new version of the R1 is called 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 woven into its fabric. 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.

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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 old R1, which has a soft grid-fleece interior and a harder face — it's ideal for hiking, camping and traveling but not so much for lounging around at home. That difference makes the R1 Air a bridge between two types of fleece wearers — and likely ensures its success amongst hardcore and casual sets alike.

For now, the R1 Air comes in two styles: a quarter zip pullover ($119) and a crew neck ($99).


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