Patagonia Nano Air Hoody ReviewMay 10, 2016
- Stretchy and comfortable
- Lightweight and packable
- Highly breathable
- Starts to show wear early
- Doesn't compress down into its own pocket
The Nano-Air is a great garment to use as a mid layer on cold winter days or as its own outer layer when doing high exertion activities such as running or skinning up the mountain. It’s lightweight and fairly compressible though it doesn't pack down into itself like most other mid layers that were tested. However, it’s the most breathable layer that was tested and also stands out for its style and comfort.
This jacket features FullRange insulation that is sandwiched between a breathable liner and a nylon water repellent shell. While initially it doesn’t appear to be very warm due to its lightweight feel, it proves otherwise when put to use. It works great as a layering piece under another shell such as a ski jacket or rain layer. As an outer layer on top of base layers, it still supplies plenty of warmth provided that it’s not too windy. Its main shortcoming is that its breathability results in it also letting in air when the wind blows which is essential to preventing the sweat build up that would occur in more insulated jackets. Overall it provides more warmth than expected though it’s a good idea to bring along another outer layer to use with it if necessary.
The women’s Nano Air Hoody has a comfortably snug fit that still allows room to layer lightly underneath. The length is perfect for a mid layer and has an elastic drawstring along the bottom to fit it snugly around the waist to eliminate drafts. The elastic wrist cuffs fit snugly around the wrist to keep cold air from getting in while also not being too tight though testers preferred the wrist cuffs of the North Face Thermoball, which were set back further out of view.
The lightweight material makes the Nano Air very compressible for its size and warmth value. While the Nano Air will mostly stuff down into its own pocket, it doesn’t quite fit all the way, nor does it have a double zipper to close it up. Most other layers tested with the exception of the High Sierra Molo Hybrid did a better job of stuffing into their own pocket so the Nano Air lost some points for this reason.
Since the Nano Air was designed as a climbing piece, it has two chest pockets in addition to the two hand pockets, which are high enough to access when using a climbing harness. The chest pockets are very handy when wearing the garment under another shell in order to have a dry spot for your phone and other commonly accessed items like lip balm or sunscreen. The hood is very comfortable and fits snugly with stretchy elastic so that it can be slipped off easily even when zipped up all the way.
Breathability is really where the Nano Air shines and it’s very apparent when out for a morning run or skinning up a mountain. This layer was created exactly for this reason and will keep moisture out when doing highly aerobic activities in cold weather. The Nano Air out performed all other layers in this category and received the highest rating in this category for this reason.
The Nano Air Hoody has a unique look that attracted lots of compliments. It has a sleek hood that doesn’t hang awkwardly in the way when not in use and has a brick quilting design on the sides that is fashionable. Another big plus is the soft material that has a nice matte look in contrast to the shiny material common in lots of other synthetic jackets. The one downside is that after minimal use the material started to pile in some places, which one would not expect in such a pricey jacket.