With every long john (or short john) I’ve ever used, I always have one major problem: Every time I duckdive, I get a cold flush of seawater jetting through the neckline and down through my legs. I always told myself it’s just the physics of the way the low-cut neck of a tank-top stlye suit functions in the field. Just deal with it.
However, to my delight, my first experience with the Patagonia R1 Short John ($149) proved me wrong. The neckline is cut just right (a bit higher than others I’ve used), and the tank-top panels sit nicely atop my shoulders. Very comfortable, with no fidgeting or adjusting throughout the session.
It’s no secret that the good people at Patagonia set the standard for sustainable active gear, and the R1 certainly does not deviate from that mantra. Made from 1.5 mm thick, high-stretch 100 percent recycled polyester jersey lining on the inside and 88 percent recycled polyester on the exterior, the R1 short john is as eco-friendly as you can get with a wetsuit these days.
Flatlock seams and spandex binding at the armholes and neck make this warm-water suit even more attractive to wear in the summer water, with a minimalist approach to features (which is kind of refreshing, in my opinion). Simple and solid.
The material feels silky and soft (quite typical for any new wetty), but it was in the lightweight feel that I saw the biggest difference. It’s thin, but kept me cozy. And it’s lightweight without feeling cheap.
For any summertime water sports enthusiast, the Patagonia R1 should sit nicely in your collection. You may even find yourself using it more than your trunks (seeing as it keeps your tenders protected and comfy during long sessions).
The Patagonia R1 Short John is solid choice for the mild summer water temperatures that we can begin to expect as the season continues to heat up.
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