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Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody - Women's Review

New Color 2016: Epic Blue
Top Pick Award
Price:   $299 List | $208.73 at REI
Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Super cozy and stretchy fabric, breathable, many comfort extras, sassy styliní stitches
Cons:  Expensive, not very wind resistant, non-adjustable hood
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody really made our heart throb during our last few months of testing. With its warm 60 g/m2 of breathable Fullrange insulation, fully mobile fabric shell, and flattering style, we may have fallen in love. To put the cherry on top, its fabric is incredibly breathable, earning it our Top Pick for Breathability award. We would recommend taking this jacket on highly aerobic missions like backcountry skiing, fast alpine ascents, or long winter runs. Can you take out it on the town too? You bet! All that said, we really did not like the $299 price tag or its inability to pack away into one of its own pockets. We would also not recommend standing on any windy ridges without an extra wind resistant layer. An inherent trade-off for fantastic breathability is a lack of wind resistance.

This year, a new competitor, the Outdoor Research Uberlayer - Women's waltzed into this review emulating all things Nano Air. It has a similar design, similar face fabrics, with a similar level of breathability. What's more is this jacket is actually much warmer than the Nano Air (which is one of the Air's downfalls). That said, the Nano Air is much lighter than the bulkier Uberlayer and offers better mobility and stretch. This is why it is still our Top Pick for Breathability. Other jackets in the breathable category include the Rab Strata Hoody - Women's and Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Women's. However, they don't compare to the style, comfort, and high level of performance that the Nano Air Hoody brings to the table.

Looking to Ditch the Hood?
In addition to some sweet new colors for 2016, this award winning jacket is also available in the Nano Air Jacket - Women's. The Nano Air Jacket retains all the qualities we love about the Nano Air Hoody, but without the bulk of a hood. While having a hood does add extra warmth to your layering system, it can also add a little too much bulk if you already have a layer with a hood. Whichever Nano Air you choose, Patagonia has the right option for you.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Wednesday
November 2, 2016

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New Color Options for 2016


Patagonia now offers five new color options for 2016. The new available colors include; Black, Epic Blue, Chartreuse, Drumfire Red, and Harvest Moon Blue. Check out the new colors, pictured in the above order.
New Color 2016: Black
New Color 2016: Epic Blue
New color for 2016: Chartreuse
 
New Color for 2016: Drumfire Red
New Color 2016: Harvest Moon Blue
 

Hands-On Review


Not to be confused with the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - Women's, the Nano Air Hoody is a super mobile insulated jacket made with "soft-to-the-touch" fabric on both the inside and outside. Unlike the Puff, it features stylish additions, like flattering stitching patterns, hidden hand and chest pockets, and a great lightweight feel. Despite not being as lightweight or compressible as the Nano Puff, it still feels light as a feather to wear and is far more breathable. If you're looking for a technical piece that will keep you dry while you move on winter days, be it alpine climbing, cross-country skiing, or early morning running, check out this year's Top Pick for Breathability: the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody.

Performance Comparison


So why is this the Top Pick for Breathability? Well  this jacket was designed for winter aerobic activities...be it a shivering morning run  skate skiing at your favorite track  or finding adventure in the mountains. Plus  it hosts a whole lot of cozy features that made us just fall in love with this down-right adorable jacket.
So why is this the Top Pick for Breathability? Well, this jacket was designed for winter aerobic activities...be it a shivering morning run, skate skiing at your favorite track, or finding adventure in the mountains. Plus, it hosts a whole lot of cozy features that made us just fall in love with this down-right adorable jacket.

Warmth


Made with 60 g/m2 of Fullrange insulation and a 20D nylon ripstop fully mobile fabric shell, the Nano Air definitely doesn't earn top points for warmth. The breathable shell makes this jacket less wind resistant than the Arc'teryx Atom AR Hoody - Women's and Rab Xenon X Hoodie - Women's, but similar to other quilted jackets. As a result, this brought down its warmth score down, making it comparable to the Arc'teryx Atom LT.

Warm for an ultra breathable jacket  it keeps you warm while on the move.
Warm for an ultra breathable jacket, it keeps you warm while on the move.

The Air also has a handful of features that help seal in warmth when it's cold out, including two hemline pull strings and elastic cuffs. Additionally, the full hood has articulated collar zips just below your chin to keep the jacket close to your body and ultimately keep you warmer when it gets "brrrrr" outside.

If you want a similar jacket with more warmth, be sure to check out the Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket.

While up late playing games in the Cascade Foothills  Wendy (right) has to hunker down a little more while wearing the Nano Air  while Amy (left) feels pretty good about not having to wear a hood or gloves to stay warm. Although we loved this piece  it just wasn't the warmest - another trade-off for breathability.
While up late playing games in the Cascade Foothills, Wendy (right) has to hunker down a little more while wearing the Nano Air, while Amy (left) feels pretty good about not having to wear a hood or gloves to stay warm. Although we loved this piece, it just wasn't the warmest - another trade-off for breathability.

Weather Resistant


For such soft, supple materials in the shell, we were surprised to find that this jacket was quite water resistant. For all you Patagucchi-loving mamas out there, the DWR finish not only combats light rainstorms but also the occasional baby spit up you might encounter daily. This piece is easy to clean up and will keep the rain out - similar to the Arc'teryx Atom LT and Rab Strata Hoody. We thought that since it has a softer shell, our Top Pick for Breathability winner would definitely absorb more water, but we were pleasantly surprised when we wrung it out. It absorbed less water than its quilted and loftier competitors like the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic and Arc'teryx Atom AR Hoody. Overall, we were super stoked to find out that the Patagonia Nano Air was fairly water resistant.

When encountering a light rain on the trail  the Nano Air with its DWR finish did a great job of wicking and keeping us fairly dry. It didn't compare to the Thermoball or Xenon X  but did a far better job then the Arc'teryx Atom AR and Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic.
When encountering a light rain on the trail, the Nano Air with its DWR finish did a great job of wicking and keeping us fairly dry. It didn't compare to the Thermoball or Xenon X, but did a far better job then the Arc'teryx Atom AR and Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic.

Unfortunately, this hoody lost points when it came to wind resistance. This isn't surprising as its porous fabric and insulation won it our Top Pick for Breathability. When we stood in the plains of La Junta, Colorado, and ushered in a frigid storm with open arms, we were unhappy to find that we were freezing! The wind cut right through the ultra breathable shell, right down and through the t-shirt we wore underneath. When our lead tester finally put on the Rab Xenon X Hoodie (which essentially serves as a wind resistant shell), she felt the warmth come back immediately. As a result, the Air earned low points in the wind resistance portion of the evaluation. The Arc'teryx LT (another breathable layer) provided a little bit more resistance due to its thicker shell material. That said, if you pair the Nano Air with a windbreaker or shell, you will have a great wind resistant system. But if you're standing alone in a windstorm, expect to shiver.

Riding out this windstorm was a little rough in this Top Pick for Breathability. A trade off for breathability tends to be wind resistance. In this test we were surprised to see that it cut the wind for just a few moments  but we were promptly left shivering. Warmth was returned when we took this off and put on the Rab Xenon X Hoodie  our Editors' Choice winner.
Riding out this windstorm was a little rough in this Top Pick for Breathability. A trade off for breathability tends to be wind resistance. In this test we were surprised to see that it cut the wind for just a few moments, but we were promptly left shivering. Warmth was returned when we took this off and put on the Rab Xenon X Hoodie, our Editors' Choice winner.

Comfort & Coziness


Oh my goodness!! Can we boast about how this jacket scores a perfect ten for comfort? Okay - great! Why you ask? Well listen close - and this is the best part! It features a soft, supple fabric with an integrated mechanical stretch! Yup, a jacket that stretches, has a touchable feel, and is super mobile.

This luxurious insulated jacket is stacked with features. It offers super soft  supple fabrics that feel great on the skin  roomy and hidden pockets with harness or backpack strap compatible chest pockets  comfy elastic cuffs  and felted chin guards.
This luxurious insulated jacket is stacked with features. It offers super soft, supple fabrics that feel great on the skin, roomy and hidden pockets with harness or backpack strap compatible chest pockets, comfy elastic cuffs, and felted chin guards.

Let's talk pockets! The Air was the only jacket with two hidden external hand AND chest pockets. Aside from quantity, the size of the pockets could fit not only your hands, but other fun extras like granola bars or your phone. We also really loved how we could wear a harness or backpack hip strap without any extra bulky material peaking out from the bottom. The hood is also super fitted. There is no extra space and it doesn't slide around like the Xenon's hood does over a helmet. To sum it up, we gave the Nano Air a perfect 10 for its outstanding "soft-to-the-touch" fabric shell and wide variety of comfort features.

Its hidden pockets are quite warm. Insulated and large enough to stuff your hands into if you get cold. If you're wearing a harness or backpack strap  don't be afraid to use the chest pockets. They are equally as large and hidden.
Its hidden pockets are quite warm. Insulated and large enough to stuff your hands into if you get cold. If you're wearing a harness or backpack strap, don't be afraid to use the chest pockets. They are equally as large and hidden.

Compression & Weight


Relatively poor compression and weight were a very small trade-off for the soft, yet durable shell. Weighing in at 11.5 oz, this jacket was not as light as our ultralight and quilted jackets like the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket - Women's and Nano Puff. However, it was still in competition with other continuous shell jackets like Rab Xenon X Hoodie. One of our biggest issues, just like the Atom LT and Rab Strata, was the Patagonia Nano Air does not compress into its own pocket.

When we tried to stuff the Nano Air into one of its pockets  we quickly discovered that it was not meant for this. Although it's same weight as the Rab Xenon X  it is not as compressible. This is a trade-off for the plush  comfortable fabrics that the Nano Air dons.
When we tried to stuff the Nano Air into one of its pockets, we quickly discovered that it was not meant for this. Although it's same weight as the Rab Xenon X, it is not as compressible. This is a trade-off for the plush, comfortable fabrics that the Nano Air dons.

Breathability


The Top Pick for Breathability is right here! Yes - you can run, ski, hike, and play in this jacket without worrying about soaking your layers underneath. The shell fabric and insulation easily allows water vapor to pass easily through its membrane so you don't feel like swamp thing after a day running around in the snow.

Even though this jacket is a little heavier than say, the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic (one of the lightest jackets tested), it's a non-issue because you'll probably never have to take it off!

Style & Fit


We thought this jacket was flattering, minimalistic, and armed with style. Of all the jackets tested, this one got the most attention. Our female friends ooh-ed and aww-ed over its cute colors, luxurious soft-to-the-touch feel, and feminine stitching patterns.

From a stylish perspective  we thought the Nano Air was a hit. Scoring top marks for its slimming stitching pattern  the different coloring for the main fabric to the zipper to the stitches. We also loved the chevron patterning on the back. Still armed with an outdoorsy look  this piece got the most attention of all our jackets tested from other testers and folks on the street.
From a stylish perspective, we thought the Nano Air was a hit. Scoring top marks for its slimming stitching pattern, the different coloring for the main fabric to the zipper to the stitches. We also loved the chevron patterning on the back. Still armed with an outdoorsy look, this piece got the most attention of all our jackets tested from other testers and folks on the street.

Even with its boxy cut (which could accommodate a lot of layers underneath), the stitching patterns create a feminine looking shape. The wide chevrons in the back bring focus back to the center of your body, while the vertical line splitting the back on each side concave in at the waist, giving you an attractive bell-shaped look. Finally, the stitched brick baffles on the side bring focus to the front of the jacket which has no patterning at all. All three components work together to create a slimming and feminine look on a very technical jacket. We also loved the complimentary colors used on the stitching and zipper, which converted into major style points.

Functionality? Check! Style? Double Check! We really loved the stitched baffling  and surprisingly soft material that makes this hoody one of the most gawked at of all tested. Our testers fell in love with its color combinations  and great style overall.
Functionality? Check! Style? Double Check! We really loved the stitched baffling, and surprisingly soft material that makes this hoody one of the most gawked at of all tested. Our testers fell in love with its color combinations, and great style overall.

Best Applications


Other than just looking great, the Nano Air stands out for its breathability. We would highly recommend this jacket for aerobic missions like cross-country skiing or cold winter running. In the spring, summer, and fall we could recommend it for long backpacking and hiking trips. It's also a great addition to any layering system, and has a hood that is helmet compatible so you can use it on long alpine missions or just rock climbing at the crag. However, we wouldn't recommend it for super cold and chilly missions, or as a sole piece on windy ridges. Also, be sure to bring a backpack since you can't stuff it into its own pocket and clip it to your harness.

Check your knot! This jacket is not as warm as the Thermoball  but it has a more comfortable fit under a harness and has a hood - extra bonus! Furthermore  the hood fits nicely either over or underneath your helmet. The mobility of the fabric makes it great for climbing  aerobic winter missions  or just as a stand alone fall jacket.
Check your knot! This jacket is not as warm as the Thermoball, but it has a more comfortable fit under a harness and has a hood - extra bonus! Furthermore, the hood fits nicely either over or underneath your helmet. The mobility of the fabric makes it great for climbing, aerobic winter missions, or just as a stand alone fall jacket.

Value


We really did not like the price of this piece, but understand that with high quality fabric and innovative insulation comes a high price. Thus, the outrageous price of $299. Even though this jacket has a lot of great perks, as well as unmatched comfort and breathability, we would have a hard time recommending it to friends on a budget. (The Outdoor Research Uberlayer is unfortunately also $299). An alternative is the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket (no hood) at just $249, the Outdoor Research Cathode ($200) or Rab Strata Hoody ($245) which are all great alternatives with a similar purpose and rating. However, they just don't have the extra style and comfort perks.

Jack really likes the Nano Air. What he doesn't know (because he's just a dog) is how expensive it is. A little too much for somebody on a budget. Though  if you have the cash  this is a great jacket to add to your wardrobe.
Jack really likes the Nano Air. What he doesn't know (because he's just a dog) is how expensive it is. A little too much for somebody on a budget. Though, if you have the cash, this is a great jacket to add to your wardrobe.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody is an incredible lightweight, mobile insulated jacket that offers serious breathability. It earned our 2014 and 2015 Top Pick for Breathability and can be used for anything aerobic in the winter. We don't like its expensive price tag but really enjoyed its comfort and style features. This will be worn on many mountain missions to come.

The mobility of the Nano Air's fabric was incomparable to any other jacket tested. It moves with you  stretches  and doesn't get in your way. A perfect climbing addition to put on and leave on.
The mobility of the Nano Air's fabric was incomparable to any other jacket tested. It moves with you, stretches, and doesn't get in your way. A perfect climbing addition to put on and leave on.

Other Versions or Accessories


Patagonia Nano Air Hoody
  • Men's version
  • Wins our Top Pick award
  • $299

Nano Air Jacket and Nano Air Jacket - Women's
  • Hoodless version
  • Cost - $250
  • Weight - 12.5 oz
  • Only has one chest pocket
Amber King

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Most recent review: November 2, 2016
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   Jan 23, 2016 - 04:26pm
Kaytee · Mountain Biker · Hesperus, CO
When the Nano Air first came out I was intrigued by all of the reviews. I bought one just to see what it was all about. I was less than thrilled when it arrived. Yes..it was a great fabric. Yes..it was ever so light and comfortable. I wore it a couple of times in the crisp fall weather with a light breeze blowing and I was now disenchanted. It was too warm for 40 degree weather with no wind and too cold for 40 degree weather with a breeze. When would I ever wear this jacket? Well..I decided to give it a try on my winter xc ski and I fell in love with it! It was 10 degrees out and I figured the jacket would not keep me warm. Wrong! It was toasty warm and I loved the way it felt like I wasn't even wearing a jacket. Light and comfy and stretchy. It is now the only jacket I wear for any aerobic activity in the winter. I do wear 2 layers underneath so I can shed as I warm up. I'm 5'6", 125 lbs, athletic build and the medium fits well. My only complaint - no internal pocket.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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