Review by Anna
Bottom Line: I would buy this jacket at sale pricing
Manufacturer's intended purpose: “Any high aerobic start-stop mission in the mountains”
Actual Weight: 12.2 oz / 345 g
Mfg Retail: $299
Toutting catch phrases like “a breakthrough in insulation”, I absolutely had to try the Nano Air Hoodie. Would it replace my beloved nano puff hoody as my go-to mid layer? Almost. Is it the end all-be all to insulation? Not quite, but it comes pretty damn close. My stoke was not stifled with the reality of the functionality of this jacket. Like the popular Nano Puff Hoody, this also comes in a variety of forms: hooded, no hood, half zip, vest….
I ordered my usual medium. I am 5’6, around 145 pounds, slightly bigger than average through the shoulders and chest with not much of an ass to speak of… Anyway, it fits great. I can layer it over a baselayer and vest or lighter mid layer just fine. It fits well enough to not look bulky if I am not layering. The fabric is somewhat stretchy; I was able to ice climb in it without any weird binding, bunching, or pulling from the coat. It only falls short of a 10 because well, I don’t feel drop dead sexy in it. Close, but while it is close to the end all-be all of perfectly cut coats, it falls just a little short. Like all coats have before and probably always will. My standards are high.
If I have to find something to complain about other than the price, it would be the durability. I elected to buy the bright green color from last season. It is already a little dirty on the sleeves, even after washing. I would recommend getting a darker color if you don’t want to accept the otherwise inevitable dirt stains. After a season of use, the fabric on the jacket is showing wear in places where thing rub: think hip belts and harnesses. The trim on the cuffs appears to be similar in design to that of the nano puff, which has not proven to be the most durable design I have tested. For now, the cuffs are holding up well for now on the Nano Air.
This jacket is warm. And cozy. When they claim it to be like “a hybrid of a puffy and a fleece” they mean it. It kind of looks like a puffy. And insulates like a puffy. However, the fabric is softer. It feels more like wearing a soft cotton hoodie. Did I mention that it is warm too? It won’t be replacing my extreme arctic puffy coat for below zero temperatures and wind, but it is an awesome breathable piece for any cold temperature aerobic activity. It is a great layer for a chilly ski tour.
Aside from durability, my only other minor complaint is that this jacket is not the most packable out there. Also, it does not have a pocket that it is designed to fold into like its Nano Puff cousin. I can barely shove it into a 2L stuff sack. My “it is cold but not below -20 yet” Mountain Hardware down jacket packs down smaller. While it does add (a minimal amount of) bulk, it lives up to its “airy” name of being light weight. If I am going out on a warmer day and want a warm layer to throw on during times of lower activity, I will bring another jacket. If it is cold and I need a mid layer to wear all day, this is the ticket. Realistically, once you put this on, you probably won’t want to take it off so this whole section is pretty irrelevant. But really Patagonia, I would give you two more points in this category if it zipped into its own pocket!
News flash: this magical coat will not keep you dry as your outer layer in a downpour or warm in a severe wind storm. Anything short of that, this wonderful fabric will be your best friend. I have worn it as my outer layer in moderate wind and rain and been pleasantly bundled, warm, and dry. The DWR finish seems to work quite well; however the longevity of this finish is yet to be tested. As long as the coat is not overkill for the temperatures to begin with, it breathes well and will keep your body dry. Unfortunately, I was caught ill prepared in a light rain in 50 degree weather with this coat as my only somewhat weather resistant option. It breathed well; everything but my back was dry. However, I was hotter than hell. However, that was operator error, not the fault of the jacket designed to be used in much cooler temperatures.
As a side note, it might still be your best friend if you pair it with a hardshell; its breathability pairs perfectly with a hardshell to keep moisture away from your body.
This is a well designed jacket with nothing crazy. No secret hidden features. Just two well sized and situated zipping waist pockets and two zipping outer chest pockets (that’s right, two chest pockets!). A hood that is secure around the face when fully zipped and has no annoying draw strings to worry about. The zippers are well constructed and will probably outlast the jacket. There is also a draw sting cinch around the waist if needed.
Manufacturer Warranty (8)
I contacted Patagonia regarding the snagged stitching and cuffs coming unsewn on my Nano Puff Hoodie. When I say this, I mean I filled out the warranty form, wrote down my problems the best I could, and set my precious coat and the form away into the unknown. About a month later, I received an unexpected package from Patagonia. I opened it to find my Nano Puff, now snag free! Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the stitching on the cuffs was not repaired. I don’t believe I actually interacted with anyone at Patagonia through this process.
The warranty process was simple and fast. I am sure if I wanted to mess with it, I could contact Patagonia regarding the cuffs and get them fixed. They seem like a pretty solid company to work with.
This coat nearly lives up to the hype. While I am sure that manufactures will continue to impress audiences with the newest innovations in keeping us warm and dry in the outdoors, I am pleased and impressed with this latest break through. It will be replacing my Nano Puff Hoodie on my backcountry ski adventures this winter. It will also be accompanying me on ice climbs, cool weather rock climbing, winter running, cross country skiing, and my attempts to teach my dog how to skiijour. I will also wear it to work. Because it looks great. Except the color-they look great for photos on snow and ice but are a little garish around town, especially when paired with my bright orange softshell. Unfortunately, the colors the year I bought mine were just so-so. They have much better color options available now. I went into the Patagonia Store in Portland and stared longingly at the new blue and yellow option.
Bottom line though, I will now be pushing this coat on my friends and family as a must-have addition to their wardrobe.