Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover Review
Cons: No pockets, limited weather resistance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Airshed Pro is a unique addition to our running jacket lineup. More of a windshirt than a true jacket, this versatile piece is soft and comfortable enough to be worn as a mid-layer and is warm and weather-resistant enough to be worn as an outer layer in milder conditions. The soft, stretchy material on the sleeves and the hood provides a comfortable performance fit for fast and light activities, and the lightweight construction makes wearing it or stowing it away a breeze.
The Airshed Pro provides reasonable breathability, but falls behind other models that have larger mesh panels in strategically placed areas. The Airshed's main body is made from a lightweight 100% nylon stretch taffeta material that is softer than most other jackets in the lineup, and the lower arms and hood are constructed from double-knit Capilene Cool fabric. While the Capilene Cool fabric is certainly lighter and more air permeable than the main body material, we found that even in these areas, the breathability is somewhat limited because of the snug fit that keeps the fabric tightly bunched against your body.
Another interesting addition to the Airshed Pro is the unique double zipper on the front of the shirt. When the main zipper is zipped up all the way, you can open the bottom zipper for extra ventilation while still providing coverage and protection for your shoulders and head. While this is certainly an innovative idea, we found that this zipper doesn't open up wide enough to provide much noticeable ventilation while running.
Since the Airshed Pro is designed as a versatile windshirt that can be worn as a mid-layer or an outer layer, the weather resistance doesn't quite stack up to other models designed to provide greater protection. While the main body's 100% nylon stretch taffeta is treated with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating that provides respectable water repellency, the Capilene Cool material on the lower sleeves and hood is completely water permeable.
This permeability may not be an issue during light drizzle where larger water droplets don't directly contact the material, but once the real rain begins, those fabric panels will be soaked through pretty quickly. While this reduces the scores of the Airshed Pro in this review, note that Patagonia considers this a windshirt, and its intended use is as part of an overall kit that includes a fully waterproof outer layer.
While the Airshed Pro struggles a bit with water-resistance, it is a strong performer for wind resistance with its soft and light nylon taffeta body material.
Comfort and Mobility
With its well-tailored athletic fit and soft, stretchy materials, the Airshed Pro is one of the most comfortable models that we've tested. The main body material is much gentler to the touch than most other jackets we reviewed, the double knit Capilene Cool material on the sleeves and hood is even more luxurious, and the snug fit of these high-end materials seems to hug your body as you move.
Even the hood is well-fitted and hugs the head closely, eliminating the need to wear a hat or beanie in mildly cold conditions. While there are no cinch cords or adjustable features on the Airshed Pro, it's a tough one to beat if you're looking for the softest, most comfortable materials.
At a measured 4.5 ounces in a men's size medium, the Airshed Pro packs into a stuff pocket on the back of its hood and can compress down to the size of a small piece of fruit. One of a handful of incredibly light and compressible products in our lineup, packing and unpacking this model is quick and easy, making transitions a breeze. When it's time to stow it away in your pack, you'll hardly know that it's there.
As a minimalist design with high-end materials and construction, the Airshed Pro is light on extra features in order to save weight, with no pockets or adjustment cords. It does have a reflective logo on the chest for a small dash of nighttime visibility and a two-way zipper, but this is a minimalist design all the way.
The retail price of the Airshed Pro lands it in the middle of our lineup, which reveals a solid value for a windshirt/jacket. While the soft, comfortable, and high-end materials stand out, so do its limited weather protection and lack of pockets or extra features. For a comfortable windshirt that has the versatility to be a mild-weather outer layer or an extreme-weather mid-layer, this provides a solid value for the runner looking for that specific product. Others looking for a dedicated mid-layer or outer layer may find a better value in other products.
With a snug performance fit and soft, luxurious materials, the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover is a comfortable windshirt that you'll love to wear during the right conditions. It's an interesting blend that blurs the line between a mid-layer and a jacket and could be a great option as part of your layering kit. While we might not wear it by itself when the forecast calls for precipitation, it makes a great choice for fast and light missions in milder weather.
— Nick Bruckbauer