Gear Review: Patagonia Nano Air Hoody
Everyone’s got that one piece of gear that they can’t get over. Gear nerds love to gush on and on about their kit, but there’s always that one piece that they’ll never shut up about. For me, that’s my Patagonia Nano Air Hoody. I’ve ran this bad gal through the gauntlet, done things with it that it was never built to do. Taken it places no sane person would take an expensive jacket. To be honest, she’s become less of a jacket and more of a security blanket in my life. In celebration of Patagonia’s 50% of Summer Sale: Here’s my Patagonia Nano Air Hoody review and why I wouldn’t mind being buried with it.
Criteria for My Review of the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody
To say that I’ve put this baby through the gauntlet would be an understatement. This versatile piece of clothing goes nearly everywhere with me. Although I’m evaluating it primarily for outdoor use, it has tremendous value as a jacket for every day use. I’ve worn this jacket backpacking, snowshoeing, backcountry touring, in-resort snowboarding, mountaineering, at construction sites, or just walking the dog. It has logged well over 200 miles of travel and been with me in three countries over the past year, including my trek through the Himalaya of Nepal.
Layers on Layers on Layers
The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody is a staple item for any layering system. Throw it into a complex layering system, or simply zip her up when you stop for a break on the trail. She breathes well, keeping you feeling just right. This jacket is best paired with a base layer and a windproof layer. Although the Nano contains water repellent fabric, it would soak through on a wet, rainy day. With that being said I smashed through powder all day at Mt Rose Ski Resort through 18 inches of fresh with just this jacket and I didn’t ever feel cold.
This bad gal is ultimately made to breathe, and that’s exactly what she does. From 60 deg F to 0 deg F this jacket works to regulate your body temperature. I naturally run cold, and the Nano Air Hoody keeps me comfortable, ultimately enabling me to summit winter peaks in less than ideal conditions. I summited Gokyo Ri wearing my Nano Air Hoody where temperature was zero degrees.
Back when I was an architect, I took this jacket to the job site with me every day. The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody isn’t built to withstand the environment of large, sharp metal objects strewn about. One day, the sleeve ripped in the middle of the fabric about a half inch. I’m assuming this is from brushing against a raw metal edge, something you’re not likely to encounter in the wild.
However, Patagonia stands behind their product. I brought this into to store about three weeks before I was scheduled to leave for Nepal. The wait to get the jacket fixed meant I wouldn’t have it for Nepal, a non-option for me. The gal at the register gave me a large chunk of tenacious tape-esque adhesive and told me how to fix it. She said the tape might not hold, so she gave me a sheet of it for my journey. Eight months later and the patch is still holding.
Although Patagonia is a polarizing gear company, the fact that they try to be as transparent as possible with their efforts to be socially and environmentally conscious puts them ahead of 90% of gear companies. Anyone who knows anything about material sourcing knows how difficult it is to actually trace all of the sources of your materials.
Let’s take a zipper for example. The zipper may be sewn on at a socially-conscious factory that Patagonia oversees. However, that zipper was assembled in a separate factory. Each of the individual parts of the zipper came from a different factory. The materials that made those parts? Somewhere else. It is easy to see how quickly tracking materials and source materials can be. Patagonia makes a public effort to track that. In this case they site the Quant Viet Enterprise Co. for their manufacturing factory. On the product description they spell out the efforts that the factory makes in order to promote healthy social and environmental practices.
Overall this jacket is perfect for anyone looking to stay out in the winter longer. It’s primary function is to regulate your temperature while you give off heat. The more active you are, the better this jacket works. It’s built for movement.
- Light weight
- Built for movement
- Expensive (however it goes on sale at least once a year)
- The hood is built for function, I look like a 1980s cosmonaut when I wear it
For specs check out Patagonia’s website.