Why wear a onesie? I too was unsure — until I spent time living the #onesielife. I soon discovered its vast, extremely comfy, uses.
If you’re the type of person who runs cold, the seamless suit can reduce mid-drift drafts that sneak between your outerwear layers (another reason why I love bibs too). A Onsie is excellent for activities that have you moving and reaching a lot, like ice climbing. Second, it certainly ups your hut trip fashion game. It works as a baselayer, dinner party attire, pajamas, and can be the base of an awesome costume on the fly. Third, the onesie isn’t super sport specific so you can use it all year long. From backcountry skiing to fly fishing, ice climbing to whitewater kayaking, and hang gliding to expedition sailing, this piece is very multi-seasonal.
Patagonia Women’s Capilene® Thermal Weight One Piece Suit is modeled after the previous version, the Women’s Capilene® 4 Expedition Weight One Piece Suit. The name change is mainly due to a whole renaming of Patagonia’s base and mid-layer lines in the last two years.
Location of the drop-seat is spot on — not too high or too low. It sits well with pants and bibs, but more importantly it doesn’t create hot spots with a backpack on. It is soft and unnoticeable.
Soft zippers — All of the zippers have a nice fleecy backing so you won’t feel the cold plastic against your skin. It also minimizes cold spots. I haven’t had any issues with the backing getting caught in the zippers either — score!
Drop-seat design improvements — I like the newer version quite a bit better than Patagonia’s previous women’s one-piece suit. It had a design where two separate vertical zippers and a section of waistband made up the drop seat. Sometimes I had a hard time getting both sides zipped all the way. Secondly, if the little fleece backings weren’t in just the right place, they’d create irritated spots on my lower back. The flap spanning my lower back could get a little breezy. The updated version is very user friendly and you don’t have to twist and turn to try to get the flap closed all the way.
Bathroom breaks are easy — This is very important when locked into a one-piece under a bunch of layers. In my book, it passes the test for using both domestic and wild loos, with or without additional layers.
A not too flattering fit — Another major difference between the older version and the new is the fit. The older one was slimmer fitting with more feminine body mapping. The new one-piece is slightly more relaxed with more neutral mapping. I say this mainly because of how the chest was designed on the older model. The new version feels less like underwear and somewhat more like outer wear.
Extended zipper — The newer version boasts a longer front zipper. I like this because, while this layer breathes and wicks well, I can choose to dump more heat faster if need be. Also, the big opening makes getting in and out of the one-piece super easy.
Intentional material choice — The material from which the garment is made of is very similar to the older version. When Patagonia revamped their base layer lines last year, they boosted some of their environmental responsibility as well. The latest one-piece suits sport a grid style Polartec® fleece much like the old ones, but are also bluesign® approved. This meaning that the material offers a high level of consumer safety and minimized environmental impacts during manufacturing. Environmental responsibility is something I always hope to see in product revisions.
Well designed boot cuffs — They’re both snug enough to fit in a flattering way around the ankles, but also stretch to be folded over my calves when wearing them with ski boots. (WildSnow tip: Sometimes it’s best to simply get out the scissors and cut your baselayer pant legs above your ski boots, optional of course.)
Out with the collar, in with the hood — The latest model sports a comfy hood instead of a high collar. While I personally love the hood for skiing and ice climbing, the high collared version fits very well under a dry suit neck gasket. So if a kayaking or SCUBA baselayer is what you need, you can still find the Capilene 4 Expedition Weight One Piece Suit on some websites.
No shoulder hot spots — The tops of the shoulders are nice and seamless for comfortable wear with backpacks, bib straps, beacons, etc.
Also available in a men’s version.
Shop for Patagonia Capilene baselayers here.
WildSnow Girl, Rachel Bellamy, skis, snowboards and does just about everything else that’s fun. Rachel calls the Pacific Northwest home but is often romping around the mountains and crags of other states she loves. Whether on snow, rock, or in the sea, this WildSnow Girl will frequently have a camera in hand to capture the bliss of adventure through photography. See her beautiful images on Instagram: birdrachel.