patagonia capilene air

4:00 p.m. on November 7, 2018 (EST)
7,288 reviewer rep
2,319 forum posts

a couple of years ago, Patagonia rolled out a base layer they called 'merino air.' very loose knit, super-stretchy, extremely breathable, yet the textured weave helps them trap more air under a pair of shell pants. very versatile layer. i have a pair of the bottoms and wear them frequently in cooler or cold weather. the legs on mine are extremely long. for whatever reason, Patagonia discontinued them.

but they're back, now being called 'capilene air.' as far as i can tell, the revival is about the same as the older version - 51% wool, 49% merino blend, loose weave, very stretchy. and sleeves on the crew neck top i just acquired are very long. perhaps this is just re-branding, or perhaps it reflects Patagonia's checkered history (my opinion) with merino wool products.

over ten years ago, i wore and wrecked a couple of 100% merino wool tops from Patagonia - the weave wasn't very durable, and i tore multiple long sleeves at the elbow. a couple of years later, i picked up a merino/synthetic blend crew neck shirt at a patagonia clearance ill-fitting shirt with very little give or stretch to it, no wonder it landed in the clearance bin.  no idea why they discontinued 'merino air' or rebranded to 'capilene air,' but all the changes imply difficulties with performance or sales.

by contrast, i'm on my 3d patagonia R1 top, going back around 20 years. they slightly change or tweak the type of fleece they use and the design, but same name and effectively the same product.

anyway, i'll be testing and writing a review on the capilene air crew neck.  

February 26, 2020
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