Some things never change... this year is the 20th anniversary of the R1. We’re celebrating two decades of wild adventures, first ascents, and classic moments with Patagonia Burlington staff stories, all done in an R1. #DoneInAnR1
I love being outside. Year round I can be found doing a combination of road biking, mountain biking, ski touring, and hiking. The caveat? I'm chronically cold. Class A example? I'll normally wear a baselayer, midlayer, synthetic layer, 2nd synthetic layer, down layer, and exterior shell. On a day most other individuals are rocking just a baselayer and synthetic layer. No, no I swear; this is one of the rare times where 'It's me, not you' is genuinely what's going on.
The irony isn't lost on me when I am planning on doing a long distance hike or early morning skin before classes, and when the motto to 'pack light' usually means I still have twice as many layers as every other person I am going with. Over the years I've adapted to it. That's where my R1 comes in. When I hiked part of the Long Trail last summer, it made the trek. When I do an early morning skin, it's on my back. When I'm out biking in the trees or on the tarmac, it's there. Like every house, my cocoon of warmth needs a foundation, and the R1 always seems to do the trick.
What have I done in an R1?
Well I simply went for a run.
We’ve seen Tommy climb up walls
with no thing or no one
and friends scale mountains
wilder than the sun.
But for me you see,
those adventures have just begun.
From growing up in a jungle
entangled with concrete rectangles
here I am now, chasing the sun
with no thing or no one but my trusty R1.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic Regulator Fleece, the R1, we look at how this technical piece has had an impact on what we wear in the shop. Since we began in 2011, our staff has embraced the R1 as a piece to be used in the field for the widest variety of our fun hog activities. We also found out that it makes a great piece to work in the shop. Our crew found out that the very properties that make it a winner in the field also apply to shop wear. We may find ourselves outside unloading product, emptying recycling and trash or making a quick coffee run. The fleece in the R1 fights off the cold. The engineering of the fabric grid and quick drying properties helped us to remain cool and dry in the shop.
Several years ago, we decided to select a shop fleece. Patagonia made a casual fleece called the Upslope Hoody. It used the same cut as the full zip sweatshirt, but instead of cotton and blends, the Upslope was made from R1 Regulator fleece. We used them a lot for work and play. The hood was a nice touch, as well as the full zip. R1 hoodies only came in a half zip pullover, so the Upslope was a fresh approach. Over the years, customers often lamented that if only the R1 Hoody was made as a full zip, that would be great.
Well, finally, on the 20th anniversary of the R1, Patagonia released the R1 Hoody Full Zip. This feature adds to the ease of removal when changing layers. At last, our old hoody style is reflected in a newer, more technical piece. In my photo, I am wearing the old shop fleece in red, while Tyler, one of our newer team members, is wearing the new Full Zip R1. Both do a good job of keeping us comfortable at work and across a broad range of temperatures and activities. The stretchy fabric is also quick to dry and easily disperses moisture, while looking stylish.
My R1 Pullover was one of my very first garments from Patagonia. My dad handed it down to me, trying to push me away from my park-skier habit of layering in cotton, insisting, "you're going to wear this so much." In my teen naivety, I thought he knew no better than I, and that it might fall somewhere into my cycle of hoodies, if it got any use at all. Despite my resistance, I found myself later that winter wearing it nearly every day; I would pick it up off of my floor from the previous day, wear it for a morning on the mountain, discard it into a heap when I got home, and repeat; wash when absolutely necessary.
Three years later through excessive wear skiing, mountain biking, hiking, sitting around the campfire, and anything else you can imagine, I had worn holes in the cuffs, broken a zipper, and ripped a hole in the torso. In another revelation, I realized that not only could a product be as excellent as the R1 Pullover I had loved and abused, but that its life could be extended by repair. Six weeks later, I had it back and better than new. That was three years ago now, with years of prior use by my dad before it became mine. As my R1 nears its 10th birthday, though I have acquired no first ascents or cheated death or set any records in it, the question has become less "what have I done in my R1?" and more "what do I want to do in my R1 that I have not yet done?"
The answer might simply be to see it turn 10 years old, and keep it going from there.
Wow, it's already been 20 years? That went by quick.... We have climbed, skied, hiked, biked, camped, and watched my sons born all in an R1. I know it's sometimes hard to pick just one of you from the closet but I love you all weather. It’s the classic pullover, super versatile hoody, the more utilitarian full zip or the modern tech face hoody. I know I can always rely on you to keep me warm, dry and protected from that nasty offwidth crack climb or just some chaos on the home front. Thanks for sticking with me through all my adventures!