Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody Review
Let me just tell you straight up, right off the bat: I love this jacket. I currently spend most of my outdoor time galavanting around the western North Carolina mountains and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. If you’ve spent much time in this region, you probably know that it is humid. Very humid.
So, while cold temperatures are generally pretty mild in these parts, for me it’s essential to have an insulating piece that can stand up to not only cool weather but also moisture. The Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody does precisely that and is perfect for layering or as a stand-alone piece.
Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody At-a-Glance
Weight: 278 grams (9.8 ounces)
Materials: Shell: 1.6oz, 30-denier, 100% recycled polyester air permeable shadow ripstop with four-way stretch and a PFC-free DWR finish | Contrast panels: 5.7-oz 100% recycled polyester jacquard fleece with hollow-core yarns | Insulation: 40g FullRange 100% polyester (93% recycled)
Circumstance of Review
I tested the Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody from late March through June while running, hiking, and backpacking in the North Carolina Piedmont, the western North Carolina mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and one excellent trip to the Catskills. Weather conditions included pouring rain, drizzling rain and mist, and chilly with no precipitation. The jacket performed extremely well as a layering piece in heavy rain and as a stand-alone piece otherwise.
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Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody Features
There’s not much to say here besides, “it works!” As a person who is perpetually cold, and honestly kind of a wimp when it comes to wet cold, I was super comfortable in all conditions wearing this jacket.
I wish I had a better understanding of what the 40g FullRange insulation actually is; I read more about it here, and the gist is that it’s a smart blend of synthetic fibers. In any case, the combination of the multi-denier, synthetic-fill insulation and the R1 Air fleece panels keeps you warm, even in moist conditions (regardless of whether the moisture is coming from: you, the environment, or both).
Breathable Quick Drying
It’s hard to isolate the features of this jacket because everything is connected. Because of the way the garment is designed, the features that generate warmth also contribute to breathability.
For example, the R1 Air fleece panels allow for ventilation when you’re wearing a pack, and the yarn is sewn in a strategic zigzag pattern that enhances breathability while also wicking moisture and allowing the garment to dry quickly. I was extremely comfortable in the Nano Air going from moving to stopping, and it dried out quickly and easily on overnight trips.
This is true for most Patagonia gear, I think, but it’s worth stating. The Nano Air has a sleek, angled cuff, a front zipper, and two low-profile pockets to keep your hands toasty. Nothing more than what you need and nothing less than what you need. Bravo, Patagonia.
This is a really winning aspect of the Nano Air for me. I get pretty annoyed by hoods that don’t work well. That could mean it falls off/doesn’t hug my face, or it blocks my vision, or I have to unzip the jacket more than desirable just to put the hood up.
I’m delighted to report that this hoody has none of those problems. The elastic allows the hood to nicely hug my face, the super soft material of the jacket—including the hood—feels nice on my skin, and the middle zipper gets parked in a zipper garage so it doesn’t rub your chin. No complaints.
Patagonia Nano Air Pros
I move so easily in this jacket. Despite some annoying bunching (see below), it never limited my range of motion. Because the jacket is so light and breathable, it’s honestly kind of easy to forget you’re wearing an insulating piece; I actually had this happen to me a couple times. The material is very soft and feels pleasant next to my skin, it comfortably allows for a thin baselayer underneath, and it also very comfortably pairs with a number of hard shells.
You can wear the Nano Air hiking, running, backpacking, biking, climbing, paddling, walking the dog, and going to the grocery. You can wear it in cold conditions as a layering piece, or in cool conditions as a stand-alone piece. You can wear it in dry conditions or wet conditions. This hoody is basically the green eggs and ham of mid-layers. It is so good, so good, you see!
I love the minimalist design of this jacket. I personally am not a bells-and-whistles kind of gal and I appreciate when a piece of gear or article of clothing simply does what it needs to do. For me, the design also contributes to the versatility of the jacket both in terms of recreation and lifestyle.
I don’t know about you, but when I buy a piece of gear I want to know about the company that produced it and what they’re about. Patagonia is fairly well known for its efforts to ameliorate the environmental crisis, so I won’t go into too much detail here.
But I think it’s worth noting that Patagonia Action Works is designed to connect you with local organizations supporting environmentalism. Last September, the company also announced a change in ownership that makes “Earth (its) only shareholder.” Patagonia is also vocal about racial justice and economic justice, and their clothing is Fair Trade certified. I encourage you to read more about what Patagonia is up to here.
Patagonia Nano Air Cons
The only major con that I can think of about the Nano Air Hoody is that there’s no petite sizing option. As you can see here on the product page, the models are 5’9″ and 5’10” and the jacket appears to hit right at their hips. The average female height in the US is 5’4″, and I personally am shorter than that. As a result, the jacket comes down pretty far on my hips and, in order to not limit motion, has to ride up to around where it hits on the models.
That creates a bunching effect that isn’t my favorite, though it’s not a deal-breaker. It baffles me that so many clothing brands continue to make clothing suited to fit people who are 5 to 6 inches taller than the average. I think it would make sense to simply stop doing this, but at the very least it would be nice if companies would automatically make a petite size run.
As with most gear, another inevitable con is the cost. I actually think Patagonia’s gear is very reasonably priced, especially given their fair labor practices and environmental stewardship. But still, money is money. Lucky for us, Patagonia Worn Wear is a terrific option that offers gently used items at more affordable prices. And, bonus, buying used clothing further contributes to Patagonia’s environmental goals by offsetting carbon emissions associated with textile production.
I’ll repeat the same thing I said when I started: I love this jacket. It is warm, breathable, versatile, and comfortable, and I am happy to support Patagonia as a company. It doesn’t matter what type of recreation you’re into or how many types of recreation you need one piece of gear for; the Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody will be an excellent investment.
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The Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Hoody was donated for purpose of review.
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