Tommy Caldwell wearing the R1 on El Capitan
Tommy Caldwell wearing the R1 on El Capitan (Photo: Courtesy Patagonia)

‘Done in R1’ Is Our Favorite Music-Video Ode to Gear

Yes, we realize it's an ad, but we love it anyway

Tommy Caldwell wearing the R1 on El Capitan

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The popularity of Patagonia’s R1 is no secret. It took the top spot in our test of women’s fleeces. Tommy Caldwell made the first ascent of the Dawn Wall while wearing one. Luke Nelson ran his first 100-mile race in an R1. The Ventura, California, company first released it in 1999 and has since made several different versions. But this is the first we’ve heard of the fleece causing someone to burst out in song.

Pro climbers (and Patagonia ambassadors) Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll and Nicolas Favresse starred in a music video, “Done in R1,” posted to YouTube on February 12, where, for nearly four minutes, they sing the R1’s praises—from the side of an 1,800-foot limestone cliff, the backs of donkeys, and while squatting behind bushes with TP in hand—accompanied by bagpipes, a guitar, and a penny whistle. Patagonia’s team shot the production in Monterrey, Mexico, and it’s meant to honor the R1 pullover’s 20th anniversary.

“Shooting was extremely improvisational,” says Alex Lowther, Patagonia’s creative director of film. “We had a few ideas for settings and gags, but beyond that it was pretty seat-of-the-pants. Emily Grant, who produced it, was the only person who had worked on a music video before, so we were very much winging it.”

But they had fun with it, too. “Sean and Nico were playing music constantly,” Lowther says. “I topped the wall out the morning of a long shoot day—they had beat the rest of us there—and they were already in the middle of a guitar and bagpipes rendition of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’”

Lead Photo: Courtesy Patagonia