Nov 15, 2010 at 8:58 am #1265508
I just noticed that the fabric weight of an R2 from last season to this season has gone from 7.4 to 6.1 for the Thermal Pro fleece. It looks fuzzy now instead of hairy. Won't this significantly reduce the warmth of the item?Nov 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm #1664836
The claim from Patagonia is it's a little warmer than the previous version.Nov 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm #1664857
I have no scientific basis for what I'm about to write, but I think there's going to be almost no difference. Fleece as well as many other outdoor materials are renamed and rebranded every year to sell more. I've had R1 and R2 pieces for many years and they haven't changed much. The fit a little here, the material a drop there, but essentially close to the same fleece. From time to time there are innovations that matter – but nowhere near as often as gear companies would have you believe. Making only a 1-2% improvement in warmth would be enough for them to make the claim.
Interesting thing is that a special edition R2 I got from their bargain bin was at least 50% thicker than the regular R2 jacket at the time or current ones, and yet weighed less at around 12 oz in size large (it had less zippers and stitches than the regular R2 jacket) and is my warmest winter fleece for bitter cold conditions.
So take the claim with a grain of salt. Is there a difference? Probably. Is it noticeable? Likely not. So if you can buy last year's from web specials or an outlet, it's probably a much better value.Nov 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm #1664877
from Patagonia dealer info, new R2 vs old R2:
New R2 is:
28% more breathable
14% more compressible
New R2 vs. std. 200 wt fleece:
30% more compressible
29% more thermally efficientNov 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm #1664919
The previous R2 had already been significantly better than standard 200 wt fleece – the important comparison is to the previous R2. I haven't looked, but I'm betting that the new R2 jacket isn't any lighter than that very long-haired R2 special edition I picked up years ago. I'll check it out in our local store when I get a chance, but very doubtful you could detect a significant different between last year and this year. And Patagonia products are some of our best core pieces.Nov 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm #1666657
I figured it out why the R2 now is over 2 ounces lighter,they started using Power Stretch on the sides and back and a lot more of it. That would do it.Nov 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm #1666982
I'm not so sure the power stretch was a good idea – it tends to make you feel hotter than the power dry grid material – it just doesn't breathe as well.
In general I find that synthetic materials tend to make you feel hotter when you are heating up and colder when you are sweating, whereas merino wool tends to create a stable climate against the skin (if you want to experience this, try removing your wind shirt in cold weather with a merino base, and then with a synthetic base of similar warmth). However, I found power stretch to do this more than power dry grid material.Nov 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm #1666984
i wouldnt want to be soaked in my 260+ merino sweaters …Nov 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm #1667076
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
I have found that, although a bit on the heavy side, merino is surprisingly warm when wet. I suspect fleece performs a little better when it can easily shed it's water, but merino stays surprisingly warm when saturated.
Fleece does tend to repel water better though so in most cases would probably perform better.
In cases where you are perpetually saturated with water, I find the merino is slightly warmer, but takes longer to dry.
So I tend to combine fleece with merino wool in wet cold environments, but I'm talking sea kayaking in winter.Nov 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm #1668030
Checked out the new R2 jacket yesterday at REI. Definitely different from the previous model. While I can see how it is lighter, more compressible and breathable, calling it warmer I think is a stretch; maybe warmer for its weight. Essentially same interior lining but shorter more compact outer fibers with Power Stretch panels. To my untrained eye, the outer fibers on the previous model have considerably more loft.Nov 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm #1668036
I love powerstretch for the warmth factor in winter, powerstretch tights are pretty much the only extra item of clothing I cart along (besides my normal insulation), since I find it so warm, it really helps me push my sleep system along with my jacket. However, after my recent trip to Peru, where I was pretty much wearing the same clothing the whole time (I had 2 outfits total, but one of them was light jeans and a blend shirt), on and off of trail and in and out of towns, I've since sworn off synthetics entirely.
I don't have a problem with smell normally at all, I've never needed deodorant, and don't use it. 10 minutes after donning powerstretch tights or the synthetic 3/4 Mountain Hardwear running tights I've recently come to love, they start smelling, and not insignificantly, it's as if they amplified the smells.
Also, the MH wicked lite T, the MH 3/4 tights, and the Patagonia Traverse pants I had, all took for freaking ever to dry in a hostel room after a sink wash. Maybe they dry real fast under body heat but not hanging. The Powerstretch however did dry extremely fast (also MH).
The flip side to all that mess however, my LW smart wool LS zip T would dry out in an hour hanging (I only washed it twice right after I got there), and the last stretch without washing I used for days on the trail, and over a week in and out of towns and night clubs, every day, and never smelled more than stale.
However, my 200wt Icebreaker LS seems to take a fair bit longer to dry, it's got a noticeably different weave though.
Regardless, I'm replacing all my synthetics with natural fiber where possible, I can't stand the synth funk, and honestly, I don't think the stuff dries as fast as people claim.
Sorry, I know this is a digression of the OP.Nov 26, 2010 at 4:36 am #1668054
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
I find I can use synthetics without the stink as long as the layer touching my skin is natural fiber, silk or merino wool.
You don't have to through away your synthetic stuff.Nov 26, 2010 at 2:04 pm #1668148
I will agree with that also as I have been trying out varying systems lately and the wool baselayer and poly/fleece midlayer works the best at reducing odor and being lightweight.Nov 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm #1668153
I think the new R2 might be a warmer piece as a standalone but definitely not underneath a shell. And definitely not as breathable.
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