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Patagonia R2 Jacket

I am a huge fan of technical clothing and find them especially irresistible when they actually look pretty good as well as being able to keep me warm and dry. The problem with the cold weather industry is the same that afflicts many other markets – excess. Super sized drinks and fries, 5 layer Motherlode cakes, and Turkduckens keep this country fat and sweaty.

I have trimmed down and cut back in my aspects of my life. No, not to conserve energy or money. And no, not because less is more. But because enough is all you need. That’s why I really love the Patagonia R2 jacket. I am not sure the women’s design is the same (I suspect it is), but for the purposes of this review I will only discuss the men’s.

The R2 is a slim fit (as opposed to regular) which means it’s closer-fitting. It hugs the body. It’s not a baselayer so you can still fit say a thermal or long sleeve shirt underneath but if you are sizing correctly, you should not be wearing anything thicker underneath.  It’s made of Patagonia’s blend of polyester which is incredible soft and has great breathability.

The R2 refers to Regulator Insulation which is a proprietary Patagonia system. The lowest (R1) is meant to be a baselayer and the clothing gets thicker and warmer as you move on up. For Central Coast weather, the R2 is perfect for me. It is slim, but not restrictive. It has great features like snug cuffs to keep out the wind, protected flap in the neck area so the cold zipper doesn’t rub, zippered hand warmers and a chest pocket. And for you green readers out there, it’s 100% recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program.

Besides all these technical features, the jacket just feels right. It fits great over a polo or t-shirt and keeps me warm without making me sweat. Santa Barbara weather hovers around 70 and while that’s a perfect temp for me. The problem comes when it’s a few degrees colder. It’s too cold to be comfortable but once you put on a jacket, you heat up really rapidly and next thing you know, you’re hot again. The R2 is just right.

As for looks, I think the jacket looks great. It has a nice fuzzy texture that is visually appealing and always gets me compliments. I have a lot of jackets, maybe too many, but the R2 is one I always reach for when I am getting dressed in the morning.

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