Patagonia Layering System: Vegan Style

a Gear Review by Kristin Wuhrman

The human body needs to stay within safety range in order to function property, so it’s extremely important to plan ahead and layer appropriately when you are out in the elements doing the things you love best in the backcountry.


Staying warm and dry is key, so layer up!

Layers are crucial, and when used in combination with each other will reach the ideal effect for the season, environment, and activity you are pursuing. They work together to wick moisture, trap in heat, insulate from cold and block wind and weather. Ideally what makes a splendid system includes a base layer, mid layer, insulation layer and hard shell layer.

With today’s technology, it’s quite easy to find gear that aligns with a vegan lifestyle and my go to brand, hands down is Patagonia.


Peace. Love. Vegan. Patagonia.

As a fond Patagonia aficionada and vegan for over 25 years, I proudly own a collection of favorites. They work well with my love of being in the backcountry and doing everything from hiking, mountaineering, running, canoeing and biking. Patagonia is so much more than just a quality brand. Earning a reputation for its trailblazing environmental and social practices, Patagonia’s business model actually rejects overt consumerism. Have you heard of the Worn Wear® program? This program celebrates the stories we wear and keeps your gear in action longer to take some of the pressure off the planet. – It’s an exploration of quality — in the things we own and the lives we live. – Patagonia

Patagonia’s audience trusts the brand, admires its value, and aspires to live by the same principles.


Make everyday a backcountry day with Patagonia

I chose the following four pieces to review for a go-to layering system. These include:


From left to right:

Capilene® 2 Lightweight Zip Neck (base layer)(women’s)(men’s)
R1® Full Zip Jacket (mid layer)(women’s)(men’s)
Nano Puff® Jacket (insulation)(women’s)(men’s)
Super Cell Jacket (waterproof shell)(only available in men’s)


Super Cell Jacket

The Super Cell Jacket has minimalistic, yet diplomatic features and is my go-to nylon waterproof shell because it has excellent pack-ability and super breath-ability. It has a longer cut, which is ideal for guaranteeing coverage, while sized to accommodate a layering system. I’m easily able to wear a base, mid and insulation layer underneath. I’ve been in this shell during pretty much every type of Seattle Area rain – the mountains, rainforests and trails. It never fails me! I love the rock solid hood synch and easy-to-use adjustment as well.

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Nano Puff® Jacket

The Nano Puff® Jacket not only sounds fun but also is fun! It’s an all around winner whether you need it for layering in the mountains or just running around town on the weekends. It’s not only windproof and water-resistant, but is made with highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft®Gold Insulation making it surprisingly warm and weighing next to nothing. I’ve been caught in the rain with this jacket numerous times and it’s mind-blowing how well it still performs and how quickly it dries. It packs extremely well so when you need to remove a layer, no problem. It’s kinetic!

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The R1® Full Zip Jacketpatagoniareview7

The R1® Full Zip Jacket is a minimalist design that’s been perfected for a gamut of backcountry adventures and is equally excellent as a stand-alone piece. The R1® material is versatile and works in lots of situations with its high/low grid fabric traps, which insulate and remove moisture off the skin. The fit is slim, but true to size. I use my R1® regularly for running, golfing, canoeing and hiking. It’s become my best friend and I love it more every single time I put it on. Looks great with a pair of jeans and is cozy to lounge in on the weekends to top it off.



The Capilene® 2 Lightweight Zip Neck

The Capilene® 2 Lightweight Zip Neck helps you stay on pace up a mountain while wicking away moisture and keeping you warm in cool conditions. It’s extremely breathable and the fastest drying performance base layer I’ve ever owned. It’s fitted, so runs slim, but this is because it’s truly a base layer fit. There is also a crew neck model, but I love having the options to increase and adjust ventilation with the zip neck opening. Another smart feature of the Capilene® 2 are the thumb loops! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved putting on layers over this piece and the arms stay put. I wear mine canoeing, running, hiking, and mountaineers and even over a t-shirt on cool mornings.






A few other pieces that are in my Patagonia stash and I swap out for layering include:

R3® Fleece Hoody (women’s)(men’s)
Nano Puff® Vest (women’s)(men’s)
Capilene® 4 Expedition Weight 1/4 Zip Hoody (women’s)(men’s)
Capilene® 3 Midweight Bottoms (women’s)(men’s)
Capilene® 2 Lightweight Bottoms (women’s)(men’s)

Peace. Love. Vegan. Patagonia.

Kristin Wuhrman
Vegan Athlete and Outdoor Enthusiast
Owner BEVEGAN® Plant-Based Health Coaching 

Kristin resides in the Seattle, WA area where she is joyously surrounded by mountains, trails and water. As an animal lover (she has 6 cats, all rescues), a vegan athlete and an outdoors enthusiast, she feels lucky to live her many passions every single day. Kristin and her husband enjoy canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, mountaineering, golfing and playing pickleball together. She and her husband feel very fortunate to have so many natural options around them in the Pacific Northwest, as well as their friendly neighbor British Columbia, Canada.

Kristin (aka Miss Bellevue Vegan) owns BEVEGAN® Plant-Based Health Coaching where she helps people transition into or understand the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet. She works with health nuts, athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, families and those interested in long-term health.  She’s a proponent of living authentically, developing mindfulness, following your dreams, and creating lasting healthy habits.  

By living a plant-based lifestyle, my performance, recovery, and energy levels are always at their highest.  I am a strong believer that this lifestyle enhances health, physical performance, and mental clarity.” – Kristin Wuhrman


Social Media:

Facebook: Miss Bellevue Vegan
Twitter: @coachwuhrman
Instagram #beveganfuel
Google Plus: +KristinWuhrmanactiveherbivore

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What’s your favorite way to layer for adventures? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Comments (06)

  1. I love this article! I’m in the market for vegan base layers (no thanks, Smartwool), so this is perfect. I just wanted to give a heads up that some of the links are no longer working. I think Patagonia changed the names of some of these products (or discontinued them?). It seems as if they’re no longer using the numbering system for Capilene products, and instead have lightweight, midweight, and thermal weight. Thanks!

  2. +1 on Capilene, I love that stuff. It has 4 levels of warmth which is something that I don’t think other companies can claim (most are 2-3) Plus in the expedition weight you can get a full body suit which is awesome.

    I am unsure why someone would call plant based health coaching “BeVegan” since veganism has nothing to do with health.
    What is Veganism:
    The word ‘veganism’ denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to end the idea of animals as property and exclude all forms of exploitation of (use of), and cruelty to, animals for food (including products derived wholly or partly from animals), clothing, research or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives and respect for their inherent rights as our fellow earthlings.

    I am all for teaching people to eat healthy and to be healthy, I just don’t see any reason to drag veganism into it unless you are actually helping people become vegan and not just plant based eaters. If someone is truly vegan awesome but if they aren’t on that path yet, instead of just calling them vegan and giving them what amounts to a train stopper in the middle of the tracks, we can encourage them to live vegan and learn more than just diet.

    The goal should not be to redefine veganism to fit more people under the title but to help redefine people so they actually take the path of veganism. We need to encourage people to expand their circles of compassion rather than limit them by saying your vegan if you eat plants and leave them at that.

    Anyone can be vegan, all you need to do is follow the above definition. If you aren’t quite there yet, take it at your own pace and do it right. It is not a contest or a club or a finish line, it is a path in life and however long it takes you to get onto that path and continue moving forward is however long it takes you. If you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it. If someone is “rude”or “angry” they aren’t usually doing that against you they are just frustrated with themselves and their progress at your point.

    You learn about dogs being given a stoma to smoke cigarettes through or tigers being chained and abused at circuses or the exploitation of birds for down or cows for meat and leather and you start on the path of veganism and think “why isn’t everyone vegan”. When you see someone struggle with that info and maybe not do anything right away it bothers you because you were at the same point and you wish you could go back and speed things up.

    All of that being said, never give up, never give in and always move forward at your pace on the path of veganism. That and have fun in the outdoors as much as possible. We were not meant to be in the cities and suburbs away from nature.

    1. Hello,

      I would like to acknowledge your post regarding the name, BEVEGAN Plant-Based Health Coaching and how it relates to Veganism. I have been an ethical vegan for many years, so I appreciate your concern. I’m in complete agreement that just eating a plant-based diet does not represent the true meaning of Veganism, however at the same time, eating a healthy diet is a huge component of leading a vibrant and healthy vegan lifestyle. Plant-based health represents the nutritional side. The actual business name is called Miss Bellevue Vegan and the coaching program is called BEVEGAN. As an owner of this private practice, it’s important that my business represents who I am, which it does. Outside of living my lifestyle as an ethical vegan, I’m also educated and certified on the importance of what a plant-based (vegan) diet can do for ultimate health, as well as what it looks like. So many people (current vegans or newer vegans) are very confused with all of the information available today and need mentoring/1:1 support. The goal of my practice is to educate as many people bringing them closer to living whole-food plant based by actually experiencing it with 100% support. Most of my clients are vegan and many of my clients work with me as they have decided to become vegan, but need help from a health perspective (removing processed foods, eating cleaner, getting enough of the right nutrients). From a health perspective, numerous well-known nutrition authorities are 100% for eating a plant-based diet. I have many clients who started working with because of a health reason, and after months of 1:1 coaching, they leave more educated and more aware on vegan in general to where they now represent Veganism in its complete definition.

      I hope this helps clarify.

      Warm Regards,
      Miss Bellevue Vegan

      1. First off thank you for the reply.

        Eating a healthy diet is not a part of veganism. You could eat nothing but tater tots and 365 Sandwhich Cremes (they do not contain palm oil) and so long as you aren’t exploiting/using animals in any form you could be vegan. There is nothing about our nutrition that effects animals (aside from us eating them and their products).

        A vegan diet is not a term that really can exist on its own, if you aren’t vegan you cannot eat a vegan diet because veganism is not a diet. Ethical vegan is also another non-existent term. Veganism is what it is you are vegan or you aren’t vegan yet but there is no other terms or forms of it.

        Eating well is great and being healthy is not usually a bad thing (unless eating animals and their products) and teaching people how to do that is awesome. However if you are talking about that there is no need to talk about it as veganism. If you were doing vegan coaching then it wouldn’t be so diet focused or at least it would have more components to it.

        Too many people are so diet focused that all other animals don’t matter unless they are some of the animals used for food. They use numbers and claim that if you talk about diet they will magically get everything else. They don’t view animals as individuals but as a simple statistic to be exploited against those who care about animals. I am not saying this is you necessarily but this is the trend and it needs to stop. All animals matter.

        You can teach someone veganism without overwhelming them, you just have to be honest about what veganism is and also how they should always take it at their pace, always with the goal of moving forward. I started not with diet but with fur and then animal testing and then slowly I started learning more and more and eventually started on the path of veganism and am still constantly learning and trying to improve. I know a lot of people who are vegan had a similar path and if they had just been diet focused might not have gotten everything else. I also know some folks who are diet focused and did get other things and eventually kept moving forward and a lot more who stayed stagnant at diet.

        I hope you understand my words are as a proxy for the animals whose voice we don’t listen to and not as a hatred towards you. I know some in the general animal awareness “movement” sometimes think of people sticking up for animals and sticking to their guns about veganism (as defined above) as an attack on them. I just wanted to make it clear that is not the case.

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