Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Nano Air Hoody - Women's Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $299 List | $164.45 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Super mobile face fabric, wide range of thermoregulation, comfortable, cute colors and style
Cons:  Expensive, not very wind resistant, non-adjustable hood, short torso
Bottom line:  This Top Pick touts a mobile and breathable design perfect for your next icy escapade or adventure into the wild.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Weight (ounces):  11.82 oz
Relative Compression (1 = most compressible, 11 = least compressible):  7
Number of Pockets:  4 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest, 1 zippered external chest)
Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The uber-breathable Patagonia Nano Air Hoody waltzed into this review and stole the show - providing a wide range of thermoregulation and mobility. Featuring 60 g/m2 of breathable and warm Fullrange insulation in combination with a super mobile face fabric, wrapped in a stylish package, it earns our Top Pick for Breathability for the third year in a row! Thermoregulating from the mid-20s to the high 50s, we could keep this jacket on while hiking, winter running, and backcountry skiing. Our testers love the full range of colors offered in addition to its incredible features that make it cozy and comfortable in cold weather. Given its form-fitting design and stretchy fabric exterior, we thought it was a perfect piece to either wear above or below another layer. That said, our taller testers mentioned the arm length was a little short, and its look is a little boxier than most contenders.

The jacket that tried to push the Patagonia Nano Air off the podium for the most breathable pick is the brand-spanking new OR Women's Ascendant Hoody. While the Patagonia Nano Air is not as lightweight, compressible, or breathable as the Outdoor Research Women's Ascendant Hoody, our testers liked it better because it performed over a broader range of conditions and seemed to be more durable. The Nano Air also provides better weather resistance than the OR Women's Ascendant Hoody, earning our Top Pick award. So, if you're looking for a reliable insulated jacket that will keep you sheltered from most elements while breathing and insulating all at the same time, this magnificent Top Pick is our recommendation for you! Wear it as a stand-alone piece or as an additional mid-layer in really cold conditions.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Friday
March 9, 2018

Share:

The Patagonia Nano-Air is one of the most breathable and mobile jackets out there offering great protection and comfort when mother nature wails.

Performance Comparison


This Top Pick for Breathability is wonderful for hiking  climbing  running  and more!
This Top Pick for Breathability is wonderful for hiking, climbing, running, and more!

Warmth


Featuring 60 g/m2 of Fullrange insulation and a 20-D Nylon ripstop fully mobile fabric shell the Nano Air provides decent warmth (with a singular layer) from the mid-30's to the high 50's. While the jacket provides warmth sufficient for the Fall and Spring, it won't keep you warm when temps dip into the negatives without many layers or a shell; this is inherent in most breathable layers.


The multiple layers of breathable fabric and the "skin tight fit" provides a wide range of thermoregulation with helpful features including two hemline pull strings and new elastic gusseted wrist cuffs. Additionally, the full hood has articulated collar zips just below the chin to keep the jacket close to your body, ultimately keeping you warmer when it gets super "brrrrr" outside. That said, even though the helmet-compatible hood is stretchy and fits nicely around the face, it would have been nice to have a pull-string to provide a more precise fit.

The hood provides additional warmth  but there are not additional cinches for a more precise fit.
The hood provides additional warmth, but there are not additional cinches for a more precise fit.

While testing in Northern Ontario during a polar vortex, it kept us warm into the mid-30s with a decent base-layer but required quite a bit of extra layering when temperatures dipped into the double negative digits. That said, the Nano-Air can still be used in frigid temperatures, but it functions better as a mid-layer in these conditions.

The two hemline pulls keeps warmth in when it gets cold outside.
The two hemline pulls keeps warmth in when it gets cold outside.

In comparison to other breathable contenders like the breathable jackets like the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody, the Patagonia Nano Air is a little warmer as the shell and liner is a little thicker locking in warmth more readily. The OR Women's Ascendant Hoody is another breathable contender that isn't as warm as either the Arc'teryx Atom LT or the Patagonia Nano Air, scoring relatively low in comparison to both.

The Nano Air is a soft-shell contender that moves with the body.
The Nano Air is a soft-shell contender that moves with the body.

If you're in search of a warmer insulated jacket that also breathes, the Arc'teryx Proton AR Hoody is our favorite, earning a Top Pick for Winter Recreation. It's just not as compressible as other contenders. Also, if you're not searching for a super technical jacket, the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush is a super warm choice featuring a bomber outer shell and 80-grams of insulation throughout. It's also our Best Buy award winner.

Weight & Compression


While this jacket feels light to wear, it comparably falls onto the heavier end of the scale, even though our testers thought that it felt light and airy (hence the name) while wearing it. The heavier feel may be attributed to the new shell fabric while is a little more durable and weather resistant. Also, this jacket does not feature its stow-away system and the mobile, and soft face fabric makes this one of the least compressible jackets tested. It's great for wearing but not the best for stowing away.


Weighing in at 335 grams, this contender not as light as our ultralight and quilted jackets like the Patagonia Micro Puff, our Top Pick for lightweight adventures or the Patagonia Nano Puff; it does not have a stow-away system like that featured in our Editors' Choice winner, the Rab Xenon X While it does compress and can be packed into a backpack, there are better options out there. If anything, one can use a small stuff sack if you plan on using it for missions like backpacking or a long backcountry ski tour. That said, the upside of this jacket is that because it's so breathable, hopefully, you can keep it on while you do what you love to do.

This jacket does not have its own stow away system  but it does roll into its hood easily.
This jacket does not have its own stow away system, but it does roll into its hood easily.

Weather Resistance


While this soft jacket is soft to the touch, we were surprised by its ability to protect from mother nature's wrath. The DWR finish does a great job to combat a light rain and cleans easily while the new heavier face fabric does a better job then it used to at cutting the wind then it did in the last model. That said, it's not as weather resistant as our top performers, but it did better than other breathable contenders.


Water resistance

For all you Patagucci-loving mamas out there, the DWR finish combats not only light rainstorms but also the occasional baby spit up. It's easy to clean up and keeps a light rain out - similar to the Arc'teryx Atom LT. That said, an additional shell is required for a full-blown rainstorm. At first, we thought that our Top Pick for Breathability would absorb more water given its soft fabrics. Though, we were pleasantly surprised in our shower tests when it didn't absorb much water as other loftier competitors and dried quickly. We also noticed that the new shell provided better water resistance than the past model. Overall, we were pretty stoked that the Patagonia Nano Air is relatively water resistant (but not waterproof!).

Our Top Pick for Breathability - the Nano Air kept us warm during ice climbing days and dry on long winter runs. It is the highest quality mobile fabric design in our testing pool.
Our Top Pick for Breathability - the Nano Air kept us warm during ice climbing days and dry on long winter runs. It is the highest quality mobile fabric design in our testing pool.

Wind Resistance

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 on top of a mountain in the San Juan mountains and welcomed 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 mid-weight baselayer we wore underneath. That said it is more protective than the last model.

When our lead tester finally put on the Rab Xenon X Hoodie (which mostly serves as a wind resistant shell), she felt the warmth come back immediately. The Patagonia Nano Air earned low points in the wind resistance because of its porous face fabric. If you want a breathable layer that offers better wind resistance, be sure to check out the Arc'teryx Proton AR Hoody, a jacket intended for winter wear, but features a more breathable fabric. That said, if you pair the Patagonia Nano Air with a windbreaker or shell, you will have an exceptionally versatile system with better wind resistance. But if you're stuck in a windstorm without anything other layers - get ready to shiver.

Comfort & Coziness


As one of the most comfortable jackets in this review, we can't boast enough about the soft and mobile face fabric in addition to the cozy (yet layerable) lining. While it's not the coziest jacket out there, it's one of the best earning an eight out of ten in this category. With several technical features that make it a go-to option for wear around town and in the mountains, our testers truly love this piece.


What do we love? The large zippered hand warming pockets, the outer and inner breast pocket, helmet compatible hood (no adjustable pull strings though), and double adjustable hemline.

The pockets are soft and roomy enough for hands and basic items like keys or a phone.
The pockets are soft and roomy enough for hands and basic items like keys or a phone.

The updated Patagonia Nano Air has gusseted wrists, similar to the Arc'teryx Atom LT which makes the jacket more comfortable than ever.

The garaged zipper and softer face fabric of the Nano Air are both great comfort features.
The garaged zipper and softer face fabric of the Nano Air are both great comfort features.

While there are no fur-lined hoods or extremely roomy collars, like those found in the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush, this is still one comfortable jacket. Wear it as a midlayer during frigid weather or through a wind jacket underneath it. The fabric stretches and conforms to fit over it all.

The new gusseted wrists are awesome. They are glove-compatible and super comfortable.
The new gusseted wrists are awesome. They are glove-compatible and super comfortable.

Breathability


The Top Pick for Breathability is right here! Yes - you can run, ski, hike, and play in this jacket while staying dry and warm. The 1.5 oz 30D 100% nylon ripstop outer shell in addition to the 50D 100% nylon plain weave liner works together to promote a wide range of thermoregulation. Moisture passes easily from the inside to the outside, without giving up full weather resistance, which was true for the even more breathable Outdoor Research Women's Ascendant Hoody.


The new Patagonia Nano Air features a shell that is a bit heavier and not quite as breathable as its last model. However, the differences are minuscule and additional weather resistance is present as a result!

Style & Fit


We think this jacket is flattering with a cute, stylish flair. Our female friends 'ooh-ed' and 'aww-ed' over its cute colors, feminine stitching patterns, and stretchy fit. While the cut is a little boxy and short, many of our female testers liked the brick-cut stitching pattern on the sides of the jacket, that creates an appealing and flattering slimming look. The vertical lines are simple and flattering while the color options are cute and stylish. This jacket scores an average style score of seven out of ten in this metric.


Regarding fit, many of our shorter to medium length testers thought the arms and torso were just right with the length of the jacket being shorter than most. However, the arms were a little short for our tallest testers.

A look at the brick patterning underarm.
A look at the brick patterning underarm.

If you're in the market for a jacket that is a more stylish flair with longer arms and length, be sure to check out the Arc'teryx Atom LT or the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush. The Arc'teryx Atom LT features a continuous face fabric design with a super flattering cut while the Columbia has many unique style features. We also really like the North Face Thermoball for its cute square baffles, flattering lines, and an extended length.

A look at the style and fit of this jacket.
A look at the style and fit of this jacket.

Colors this year include turquoise, camo-blue, pink, and black.

Best Applications


Combining breathability and mobility into a stylish little package. We love to wear it during the Fall, Spring, and Winter for different purposes. In the Winter, it's a wonderful mid-layer during the coldest days and functions well for sports like ice climbing, cross-country skiing, or even cold winter running. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, this is a go-to piece for wear around town, hiking, climbing, biking and more. The mobile fabric is perfect for long alpine missions or rock climbing on colder days. That said, because it's not the most weather resistant option out there, a shell makes it a little more versatile. It wasn't a top choice for backpacking simply because it doesn't compress as small as other jackets like the Patagonia Micro Puff. Overall, it's a great jacket with some different applications that extend from aerobic missions in the winter to hang out sessions in the Spring.

Value


Even though this jacket is magnificently crafted with tight stitching and clean lines, we think the price is a little high. Even though one can find sale prices online less than its retail price of $299, we thought the price point was a little too high. While the jacket is unique for its wide range of temperature regulation and decent weather protection, we have a hard time recommending this jacket to friends on a budget. That said if you want a breathable layer (that isn't as weather-resistant), we like the Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody, which retails for $215. If you just want a winter jacket to wear around town (that is a less technical piece), be sure to scope out the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush (Our Best Buy award winner) for just $130.

Also look at the stitching of your jacket. This Nano Air showed some stitching fly-aways. Other products like the Arc'teryx jackets did not have these problems.
Also look at the stitching of your jacket. This Nano Air showed some stitching fly-aways. Other products like the Arc'teryx jackets did not have these problems.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody is a lightweight jacket that boasts fantastic mobility and breathability. For the third year in a row, it earns our Top Pick for Breathability and has a multitude of uses. While we didn't love its price tag, we sure do love its performance through all three seasons.

Amber King

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 9, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...