The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Patagonia Airshed Review

The Airshed is an incredibly breathable and comfortable running layer.
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Price:  $119 List | $119.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Incredibly breathable, comfortable
Cons:  Pullover design, weather resistance
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 22, 2018
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 5
  • Breathability - 30% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 6
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 8
  • Portability - 15% 9
  • Visibility - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Airshed is a strong performer in venting, breathability, and comfort. While we found the performance in other areas such as weather resistance and visibility to be lacking, it's a worthy jacket, as it kept us warm on chilly mornings and vents excess heat and moisture better than many running jackets on the market.

New Colors

The Airshed is offered in some new colors this season, like the turquoise shown above.

December 2018


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Patagonia Airshed
Awards  Editors' Choice Award    
Price $119.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$126.98 at Amazon
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$87.49 at REI
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$130 List$64.97 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Incredibly breathable, comfortableLightweight, packs into pocket, superior weather resistanceGreat ventilation, easy to layer overLightweight, good weather protectionWarm, breathable, good wind resistance
Cons Pullover design, weather resistancePriceyNo hem or hood drawcords, a bit pricey, not extremely wind resistantPortabilityHeavy, no reflective material, less water resistant
Bottom Line The Airshed is an incredibly breathable and comfortable running layer.An excellent jacket for all running occasions.An interesting and unique combination of fabrics that performed about average.The Better than Naked jacket took on some big changes from the last version; it has increased weather resistance but decreased breathability and venting.This is an insulated running layer best suited for cold dry climates.
Rating Categories Patagonia Airshed Arc'teryx Incendo Hoody PhD Ultra Light Sport Hoody Flight Better than Naked Marmot DriClime Windshirt
Breathability (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
6
Weather Resistance (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
Comfort And Mobility (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
Portability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
3
Visibility (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
2
Specs Patagonia Airshed Arc'teryx Incendo... PhD Ultra Light... Flight Better than... Marmot DriClime...
OGL Weight (ounces) 3.6oz 4.7oz 4.9 oz 2.8oz 8.4oz
Number of pockets 1 1 1 1 1
Main Material 20D 100% nylon mechanical stretch ripstop with a DWR finish Lumin 100% nylon 20D Ripstop fabric [shell] nylon with DWR finish, [inserts] 54% merino wool, 46% polyester 29 g/m² 100% nylon 100% Polyester Ripstop DWR 1.5 oz/yd
Unique Features Packs into pocket with clip in loop Media Pocket Packs into pocket with clip in loop, hole in pocket for headphone cords Quiet nylon, no rustling sound Insulation Layer
Vent Type Quarter zip Mesh panels under arm Mesh panels under arm, vents on sholders On back, chest and side panels Mesh pit vents
Compressible? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Media pocket? No Yes Yes No No
Reflective material? Yes Logo and blazes Yes, logo Yes No
Hood Available? No Hooded version available Yes No No
Other versions? No Hooded No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Some jackets tested this year sacrificed breathability to have maximum weather resistance; the Patagonia Airshed has done the exact opposite. This jacket is comprised of a highly breathable material at the expense of weather and wind protection.

Performance Comparison


The Airshed was a great choice on chilly mornings when the clouds looked friendly and unlikely to dump!
The Airshed was a great choice on chilly mornings when the clouds looked friendly and unlikely to dump!

Breathability and Venting


This metric is the bread and butter of the Airshed. Easily one of the most breathable jackets we have tested in the running jacket category, you could wear this model in a sauna and expect to stay dry. While we're mostly kidding, we put the Airshed through a slew of high output activities and felt protected from cold air. Excess heat and moisture were also efficiently dissipated. The Airshed might be the ideal jacket for chilly mornings when you know there is zero chance of precipitation.

Our series of steep uphill runs exposed some breathability issues with several jackets. The AirShed (pictured) performed quite well.
Our series of steep uphill runs exposed some breathability issues with several jackets. The AirShed (pictured) performed quite well.

Weather Resistance


While the DWR treatment was initially fairly effective on the Airshed, the jacket seemed extremely permeable after a few runs, which is likely a result of the superior breathability of the fabric. Our gear tester put all of the running jackets through a rainy bike ride test and was drenched most rapidly while wearing the Airshed. That being said, it dried out quickly and wasn't the most uncomfortable jacket when wet.

We tried to grow our minds with diligent watering and some old-fashioned magazine reading. Unfortunately  the Airshed allowed heaps of water to permeate through
We tried to grow our minds with diligent watering and some old-fashioned magazine reading. Unfortunately, the Airshed allowed heaps of water to permeate through

Comfort and Mobility


Another excellent attribute of the Airshed is the supple material of the body, as well as the stretch material that comprises the waist and wrist cuffs. Even after hours of running or riding in this jacket, it remained comfortable. The pullover design was one of the only detractors from comfort and mobility. If your shoulders are chronically tight like our gear testers, getting in and out of a pullover can make you feel like Houdini trying to escape from a straight jacket. However, this isn't necessarily the fault of the jacket as much as our non-compliance with our physical therapist's recommendations to stretch our shoulders…

Portability


Patagonia has mastered the art of creating portable garments and the Airshed is no exception. In the early days of the Houdini, one needed three thumbs to stuff the jacket into its microscopic stuff pouch; now with the Airshed, the pouch is truly the perfect size.

The Airshed packs down to a handy pocket size. Unlike the older versions of Patagonia's packable jackets  this one fits easily into its stuff pouch.
The Airshed packs down to a handy pocket size. Unlike the older versions of Patagonia's packable jackets, this one fits easily into its stuff pouch.

It packs down to a small size but not so small that it's a chore to cram it into the pocket. The only notable issue is the aforementioned frustration with putting this thing on and taking it off!

105 grams or 3.7 ounces seems like the sweet spot for a highly breathable jacket. Jackets that are made much lighter or heavier tend to have a deficit when it comes to breathability and venting.
105 grams or 3.7 ounces seems like the sweet spot for a highly breathable jacket. Jackets that are made much lighter or heavier tend to have a deficit when it comes to breathability and venting.

Day and Night Visibility


The color choices of the Airshed are all quite dark; this coupled with the minimal reflective badging helped earn a barely passing grade for visibility. The extremely bright reflective material of the front and back Patagonia badges helped salvage some visibility from the gloomy color scheme.

A look at the reflective qualities of the jackets in our test.
A look at the reflective qualities of the jackets in our test.

Best Applications


The Airshed is a breathability specialist. This jacket is best suited for high output activities when breathability is essential. The weatherproofing isn't anything to write home about, relegating this jacket to specific weather conditions, i.e., cold and dry.

Value


The Airshed isn't a bad value. If breathability performance is a top priority in seeking out a running jacket, this is one of the best, making the $119.00 price tag worth it. If you're looking for something a bit more well-rounded, the same $119 can get you a lot of jacket.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Airshed is highly breathable, comfortable, and portable. It struggles to shed precipitation, and when the wind gets strong, it can howl through. The breathability alone is a reason to get this jacket as many other running jackets struggle to offer a satisfactory level of breathability or venting.


Brian Martin