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Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

Will Brown reviews the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, Blister Gear Review.

Nano Air Hoody

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

MSRP: $300

Size Tested: Large

Materials / Construction:

Shell Material: 1.3oz 20 denier 100% nylon ripstop w/ DWR (durable water repellent) finish

Lining: 2.0oz, 50 denier 100% nylon plain weave with mechanical stretch

Insulation: 60g FullRange 100% polyester stretch insulation

Features:

  • Nano Puff brick quilting in the side panels
  • Stretchy hood with elastic binding around brim
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Two zippered chest pockets
  • Stretchy elastic at the cuffs
  • Adjustable drawcord hem

Stated Weight (likely for a size Medium?): 385 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight (size Large): ~410 grams

Reviewers’ Info:

  • WB: 6’2”, 155 lbs. Typically wears a size Large mid layer
  • JE: 5’10”, 180 lbs. Typically wears a size Large mid layer

Days Worn (so far): 30+, each reviewer

Test Locations: Christchurch and Canterbury, New Zealand; Taos, NM; Telluride, CO

The catchphrase “Put it on, Leave it on” has been used in much of Patagonia’s marketing copy about their new Nano Air, and the jacket has been billed as a highly-versatile insulating piece that “sets a new standard for technical insulation, merging the comfort and breathability of open fleece with the protection and warmth of a puffy.”

Jonathan Ellsworth and I both have over thirty days each in the Nano Air, and so far, we think Patagonia’s description is pretty much on point.

The Nano Air occupies—very effectively—the middle ground between:

(a) a super-breathable (but not at all windproof) hi-loft “open” fleece jacket, and

(b) a warmer, more water- and wind-resistant (but not very breathable) synthetic puffy

So in this review, we’ll compare the Nano Air to the The North Face Radium Jacket, the Patagonia Nano Puff, and The North Face Thermoball Hoodie to better orient the Nano Air.

Construction & Materials

The Nano Air is made up of a proprietary synthetic insulation material that Patagonia calls “FullRange.” That material is sandwiched between a 100% nylon, 20-denier ripstop shell fabric, and 50-denier lining fabric.

In Patagonia’s words, “FullRange Insulation is a multi-denier synthetic fill insulation made from several different types of polyester fibers…[which is] built in much the same way as traditional fill insulation, but has a proprietary element that gives it added stability against fiber migration, and allows for great stretch and recovery.”

It’s very difficult to distinguish the Nano Air’s insulation material from its shell or liner fabric, as you can on most any down puffy or synthetic puffy like the Nano Puff. The construction feels much more like a continuous layer of material which, along with that stretchy “proprietary element,” gives the Nano Air a ridiculously comfortable fit, and a hand feel that is quite unlike most down or synthetic-fill jackets on the market.

Will Brown reviews the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, Blister Gear Review.

Will Brown in the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Fit

Patagonia says the Nano Air has a “Slim Fit” while their Nano Puff and Down Sweater have a “Regular Fit.” That seems about right. The Nano Puff and Down Sweater have a slightly boxier fit, with more volume through the torso than the Nano Air. In a size Large, I have enough room to fit the jacket over a couple of base layers or another light midlayer, but the Nano Puff allows me to fit more, bulkier layers beneath it. Same goes for TNF Thermoball Hoodie.

If I didn’t plan to wear much more than a light baselayer under the Nano Air, I might consider checking out a size Medium, though I worry that the jacket might be a bit short in that size, as the Nano Air’s hem length is about perfect for me in a size Large.

(Jonathan: FWIW, At 5’10”, 180 lbs., the size Large Nano Air feels great to me. I don’t ever see layering heavily beneath the Nano Air, but I could. And yet I’ve never felt like I had too much room, either.)

All in all, we’d say that the Nano Air fits true to size, offering a fit that’s far from form fitting, but that is a touch less boxy around the torso as the Patagonia Nano Puff, Down Sweater, or TNF Thermoball Hoodie.

Feel

The Nano Air certainly does have a stretchy feel to it, and it’s great. Even with a slightly slimmer fit than the Nano Puff, the Nano Air doesn’t restrict my range of motion at all, and actually feels a less inhibiting than the Nano Puff. Wrap your arms around yourself (giving yourself a hug) or reach up overhead, and the material through the arms, shoulders, mid and upper back of the Nano Air stretches nicely. I can’t say the same for the Nano Puff, which offers no stretch at all.

Given the Nano Air’s breathability (see below) and its stretchy material, I certainly can see it as a great piece to have for late season rock climbing or ice climbing.

Besides being noticeably stretchy, the Nano Air’s shell and liner fabrics have a soft, very quiet, and super comfy hand feel that is more comfortable than the more plastic-y feeling, polyester shell material of the Nano Puff, Thermoball Hoodie, and most down / synthetic down jackets on the market.

Will Brown reviews the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth in the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, West Basin Ridge, Taos Ski Valley.

Wearing the Nano Air is a bit like being wrapped in a marshmallow (minus the stickiness), or a stretchy version of a flannel-lined Coleman sleeping bag (a new one, not the one sitting in your attic getting eaten by moths).

The jacket’s cozy factor is seriously high, so besides serving as a layering piece for aerobic, high-output activities in the mountains, the Nano Air may pose a threat to your favorite cotton hoodie, or whatever layer you typically wear around town.

Jonathan and I both wore the jacket on the plane to and from New Zealand for our review trip in August. We wore them while hanging out in the lodge (or staying up crazy late writing reviews) at every Canterbury club field we visited. We slept in them many nights in the club field’s lodges. We wore them on the walk up to Temple Basin, and when hiking around the ridge line at Taos Ski Valley or on hikes around Telluride.

In short, it’s been my all-around, go-to layer as the nights are getting colder in Colorado this fall. “Put it on, leave it on.” It’s been hard not to.

Features

The Nano Air has two small, zippered chest pockets, and two hand pockets.

The chest pockets are useful for anything that’s relatively light and has a slim profile. For example, my phone (HTC One M8) fits perfectly in the pockets, but it’s heavy enough that the pocket’s material is weighed down and distorted bit. That aside, the chest pockets don’t get in the way at all, and pretty much disappear with nothing is in them.

No part of the Nano Air makes it uncomfortable to wear with a pack on, and the chest pockets can still be accessed when wearing a pack. The same goes for the hand pockets, which are fairly large and are a better place to store bulkier items.

10 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Dan October 16, 2014 Reply

    Thanks as always for a great review guys. I bought this jacket for my wife a few weeks ago for her birthday and it has quickly become her most used jacket and her favorite all-arounder.

    Also, I own the Atom LT. It works great as an everyday jacket for Park City for 9-10 months of the year. It’s a bit warm for July and August. I took it on a week long AT trip this winter at Sorcerer Lodge in the Selkirks as well. Pretty impressive DWR during snow flurries and the thinner material along the flanks/armpits allows you to leave it on while skinning a lot longer than you’d expect. It’s pretty comfy in anything but direct sun and above freezing temps. Curious to hear your Atom LT vs Nano Air review to come

    • Marcel November 4, 2014 Reply

      Also curious to hear back about Atom LT vs Nano Air. So far to me nothing is up to the Atom LT, simply the best mid layer insulation piece out there. Haven’t had a chance to check the Nano Air yet though.

      • Andy December 22, 2014 Reply

        I picked up a Nano Air on a crazy good Black Friday sale, and it blows the Atom LT out of the water. Seriously, this thing is amazing. The fabric feels soft and closer to sweatshirt material than the slippery plastic of other puffs. It actually really stretches, which is fantastic if you have broad climber’s shoulders. It breaths, everywhere rather than just under your arms, so that I don’t feel like I’m instantly a sweaty mess as soon as I start moving. Just this last weekend I wore it backcountry skiing over a merino 2 shirt, under a NeoShell (Rab Neo Guide), 32 degrees out, howling wind and sleet and never felt either too hot, too cold, or sweaty. The comfort level of this thing is just surreal… it’s like wrapping yourself in a toasty quilt, instead of a garbage sack.

        Like Pit said, I’m going to be putting my Atom LT up for sale. No other puffy I’ve seen remotely compares to the Nano Air.

  2. Ron October 17, 2014 Reply

    It seems the Rab Strata Alpha with Polartec Alpha is another jacket with similar qualities; have you looked at this piece? It has become my favorite jacket replacing the Atom and other similar jackets.

    • Author
      Will Brown October 19, 2014 Reply

      Hey Ron,

      We haven’t had the chance to test too many pieces from Rab, but are hoping to change that this season, and will definitely include the Strata Hoodie in the mix.

      Best,

      Will

  3. peter October 27, 2014 Reply

    Hi guys,
    Would this be a good winter jacket for the city? I live in NYC and wanted to get a good layer as winters are becoming colder every year… Thanks!!

    • Author
      Will Brown January 6, 2015 Reply

      Hi Peter,

      Very sorry I haven’t replied to you sooner. If you’re looking to stay warm as you’re walking around the city, then I think getting something like the Patagonia Down Sweater would make more sense; you don’t really need the increased breathability (and decreased warmth) of the Nano Air unless you’re doing more high-output activities like skinning, hiking, etc.

      Best,

      Will

  4. pit November 21, 2014 Reply

    G’day…I won an Arctery’x Atom Lt…I used this jacket exclusively last year snowshoeing and bushwaching through the Adirondack Mountains….I just purchased a Patagonia Nano-Air and to be honest with you I don’t think I’m going to use the Atom Lt anymore…I putting the Arctery’x Lt up for sale….The Patagonia Nano Air is awesome…it is one of the best technical pieces I’ve ever worn….I’ve been out hiking in it in mid-20 degrees with winds blowing at 10-to -20 and I’ve stayed completely warm…I’ve been wearing a Patagonia R1 pullover under the Nano Air and when colder I’ve slipped an insulated vest on and my core stayed toasty….I love how the Nano Air feels, how comfortable it is, and how it keeps my warm without sweating…I really like how the hood cringes around your neck when not in use, so cold air doesn’t get into the parts of your core body–something the Arctery’x Atom Lt lacks…The hood is great on this jacket while the Arctery’x hood is useless IM0…I’ve walked directly into the wind with the Atom LT and the hood filled up with air and wanted to slide off my head…I had to hold the hood in place…not so withe the Patagonia Nano Air…..get one of these jackets if you love the great outdoors. You will not regret your decisions to spend the money…

  5. Steve S March 3, 2015 Reply

    Have been conducting extensive comparative testing of the Nano Air and the Mammut Guye, which contains Alpha insulation with Quantum Pertex face fabric. When testing at .7psi vapor pressure diffential, the Guye moves significantly more moisture than the Nano (27% and 34% in two different tests). One test two, conducted with a light base layer, the base layer used in conjunction with the Nano gained more moisture than the base layer used in conjunction with the Guye. This results from the reduced moisture venting capability of the Nano, relative to the Guye. Here is the interesting part: The NANO shows huge air permeability. The Guye shows minimal permeability. Yet, the Guye moves more moisture. I don’t actually understand this. The Nano is a warmer jacket. The fabric R value 1.43 for the Guye and 1.97 for the Nano.

  6. Blister Member
    Slim February 26, 2016 Reply

    I would echo the statements of the reviewers. As you can see it’s overly baggy in the waist, which would make it less than ideal for climbing. otherwise, Id also say it fits true to size.
    it’s quite air permeable, so on windy days you will want to pack a windshirt or hardshell for low output activities, like descending skiing.
    For me, wearing a baselyaer underneath, it was good for downhill skiing around 20-30F and aerobic activities around 5-15 degrees. If it was windy those temps should be adjusted much higher.

    I could see using this on a mountain ski or fat bike tour around 24-35F, climb up in a base layer or maybe a very thin mid layer, then at the top throw on the Noynoair for the descent. The air permeability will allow your base layer to dry out, much better than wearing a shell.

    The other scenario would be 15-25F but windy, wear it on the way up, where the lack of wind resistance allows keeps you from over heating, then throw on a windshirt at the top for the descent.

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