If you know anything about outdoor wear, you’ve no doubt heard of Patagonia and its well-deserved vice-grip on the world of hiking and backpacking gear.
They straddle the line perfectly between high-end durability and affordability. A good Patagonia jacket is going to last you for years of regular wear, and the Nano-Air Hoody is no exception. We took a couple of trips in various weather with this jacket to really put it through its paces, and here’s what we learned!
The Nano-Air Hoody is in the Nano-Air family of Patagonia Jackets. These are lightweight jackets that are perfect for insulating your body while you’re casually wearing them or taking a low-intensity walk, and when you ramp up your physical activity their breathable material will dump the extra body heat you generate.
All of this means that it’s a mid-layer jacket that’s designed to be worn during aerobic exercises like early morning jogs in the early spring or late fall, or difficult hikes in heavily shaded areas. These jackets are insulated with Patagonia’s 60g FullRange filling.
This combined with the breathable polyester (made from 87% recycled material) makes for a thin jacket that’s competent enough at trapping warm air, without being so strong that it leads to overheating when you’re hitting the more difficult parts of your outdoor trips. The Nano-Air Hoody, as the name suggests, comes equipped with a hood attached.
This makes it a touch heavier than the Nano-Air, but it also provides another avenue for warmth. It’s especially valuable when the temperature drops a couple of degrees lower than you were anticipating. These jackets are incredibly light and hyper compressible.
Depending on which size you get these will weigh between 9.5 ounces (a women’s small) to around 11.1 for the larger men’s sizes. This range is pretty impressive, and if you’re bringing this jacket along for a trip where your outdoor temperature range is going to be dipping in and out of “jacket range,” then you’ll be happy to know that you can roll it into some pretty tight spaces.
The women’s small can literally roll down into a pocket-sized package if you’re clever enough with your technique.
The most interesting thing about the Nano-Air Hoodie is how it handles heat. Its place as a mid-layer jacket is firmly cemented. They were able to create a jacket that’s warm enough to take the chill out of your hikes when the weather is particularly brisk, but the Nano Air’s focus on being an athletic jacket means that it’s capable of “dump[ing] excess heat when you’re working hard.”
This is accomplished by making the jacket hyper-breathable which, depending on when you’ve decided to don it, can be a huge plus or a massive knock against it as a jacket. When we tested this jacket ourselves, it was a great companion in medium-low temperature excursions.
It’s not so lightweight that it can’t do the work ofo a good jacket, but it’s not magic, once you start dipping into the 30-degree range, you’ll have to layer on a little bit more. The hyper-breathability of this jacket can be an Achille’s heel. It’s a great jacket for providing a layer of warmth between you and late fall weather, but once the wind kicks up, it tends to cut right through this jacket.
That’s where its ability to dump heat when you’re engaging in aerobic exercise can come back and bite it in the butt. We acknowledge that it’s an amazing jacket for cool morning jogs, but it runs into the “Jack of All Trades” problem.
Because this jacket wants to be something that can shed heat when you’re exercising, that means it can never truly be a jacket that’s going to be as effective as dedicated windbreakers or heavier jackets designed for winter temperatures.
We can confidently say you’re going to enjoy wearing this jacket. It’s easily one of the more comfortable lightweight offerings from Patagonia. The slim fit, the hood, and the breathability of the material all combine to create a jacket that’s just natural and easy to wear.
The polyester of the jacket and the FullRange insulation are both soft and stretchy enough to move naturally with your body while you complete any complex tasks that come along with your aerobic outdoor exercise. That can be as simple as the shifting of your torso while you jog or the reaching and bending you’ll do if you’re foraging for mushrooms.
Whatever you’re up to, the jacket is unobtrusive and forgiving. It’s an incredibly comfortable jacket for chilly days and nights. The hood is incredibly pillowy so even if you don’t have it over your head, it’s an extra degree of comfort to have it near your neck, holding in a little bit more heat and providing something soft on the back of your neck.
Overall this is an amazing jacket. As long as you understand what an appropriate temperature range for it is, then you’re going to love having it as a part of your collection. It’s perfect for the unpredictability of the seasonal transitions.
It’s highly compressible making it easy to transport when you no longer need it, and its ability to shed heat when you’re approaching uncomfortable internal temperatures can’t be overstated. It’s perfect for aerobic exercise when the temperatures outside start trending downwards, and it’s the perfect piece to layer if you’re going to set yourself up for treks in the dead of winter.
The slim fit, the breathability, and the light weight of the jacket make it the kind of jacket that’s easy to slip into and out of, be that underneath a heavier jacket or shell or on its own. If you’re looking for a comfortable jacket to carry you through your spring backpacking trips or to accompany you on your intense hikes to snap the perfect autumn picture from the peak of your favorite trail, then you’re going to find a lot of utility in the Nano-Air Hoody.
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