SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear (P)review: Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket and Hoody

Tailor-made for high output winter activity

The new Nano-Air pieces are less lightweight belay jackets than a wind shirt and fleece rolled into one, but with more stretch and quicker drying time. The Nano-Air pieces are something new conceptually, and are made possible by advances in material, in particular by proprietary FullRange Insulation, a stretchier cousin to Polartec Alpha.

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody anxiously awaiting winter.

Design features

But does the lofty (ha ha) promise justify the $249 MSRP for the Jacket and $299 MSRP for the Hoody? Cold weather hasn’t arrived in Southern New England as of early October so I’m not able to offer up any observations based on hard use of my own Nano-Air Hoody as of yet. I will do just that on into the season, but in the meanwhile this photo preview lays out some of the design features of the Nano-Air pieces. At the end of the day the proof is in the pudding, but from having laid hands on one I can at least confirm that the design is done right and that the quality of construction holds up to initial inspection.

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody and Jacket.

I have had the opportunity to take my Hoody out once. I toted it along for some AM stargazing at 3,000+ feet on Mount Greylock—Massachusetts’ highest peak—followed by a view of the sunrise in the summit winds. I wasn’t on the move enough to put the jacket’s breathability to the test, but I can confirm that the fabric really does stretch both crosswise and lengthwise. And the nylon facing preformed better in the wind than I had expected.

The temperature at dawn was around 40℉/5℃ with steady winds of 20mph/32kph gusting to 35mph/56kph and I was fine for the 20 or so minutes spent watching the sun rise. The elasticated cuffs and hood kept the wind out of the jacket, as did the cinched cord locks at the bottom hem. A hard shell would remain my outerwear of choice for extended stationary periods in those sorts of conditions, but I do believe the Nano-Air would do the trick for me if on the move (the temperature and wind combination has to add up to honest to goodness cold for me to not sweat up the interior of a GORE-TEX jacket in short order!).

The Nano-Air Hoody features a helmet-friendly scuba style hood and enough stretch for the sleeves to be comfortably pushed up to the elbows.

Nano-Air Hoody stitching.

The Nano-Air’s front zipper is backed by a storm flap and the hem may be tightened and loosened by means of a segment of shock cord and two cord locks.

To find out more

To learn more, visit the Patagonia product pages and check out the video below. And when the snows start to fall in Southern New England I’ll be chiming in with my own experiences with the product! I’m not one who gets outside just as an excuse to use his kit, but I do have to say that I am honestly enthusiastic about this piece.

Author information

Matthew Timothy Bradley

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