Put it on in the morning, and leave it on all day … or if you really love it, go ahead and sleep in the thing too.  Patagonia’s Nano-Air Hoody is indeed that comfortable and versatile.

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Features:

  • Shell: 1.3-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop with mechanical stretch
  • Lining: 2.0-oz 50-denier %100 nylon plain weave with mechanical stretch
  • 60-g FullRange insulation warms and stretches while providing air permeability
  • Nano Puff brick quilting on side panels
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Stretchy hood with elastic binding
  • Center-front zipper with wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Two zippered chest pockets
  • All pockets are welted and low-bulk for comfort under a harness or pack
  • Stretch binding at cuffs
  • Dual-adjustable drawcord hem
  • Slim fit
  • 385 g (13.6 oz)
  • Four color options
  • MSRP $ 299.00

Patagonia Nano-Air: Put it On and Leave it On

Sometimes you just know.  With certain products, you know as soon as you try them on that they’ll be on your short list of must-have items for many future adventures.  Such was the case with Patagonia’s new Nano-Air hoody, with an immediately attractive combination of great looks and exquisite comfort, and with its advance billing as a “Put it on, leave it on” active layer for a variety of outdoor conditions.

Early morning in Little Yosemite Valley

Early morning in Little Yosemite Valley

Of course, we still have to do the testing – and over the last several weeks we’ve used the Nano-Air hoody from the High Sierra to high desert, for camping and running and caving and hiking and slacklining and general all-purpose outdoor use.  We even slept in it a few nights on a pad under the stars.  The Nano-Air didn’t simply handle every task, but provided exceptional performance as well.

Along the way, two features that continually stood out were the Nano-Air’s overall comfort and its impressive stretch characteristics.

First, the comfort aspect: the Nano-Air’s material construction could double as a baby’s quilt, as the fabric on both the interior and exterior surfaces feels plush and smooth against the skin.  The fabric is highly breathable, allowing airflow up to 40 CFM (cubic feet per minute), but also has strong insulation properties when temperatures get cool or when the material is wet.  It’s an ideal garment for intermittently strenuous activity, because it wicks moisture and ventilates well during heavy under exertion, and prevents the chills you get after hard efforts in cool conditions.

It breathes like fleece, but gives the warmth and protection of a puffy shell; basically, it takes the place of your middle and outer layer combined.  Our testing ranged included temps in the mid 30s to low 60s, and the Nano-Air material was comfortable during on again/off again activity in all these conditions.   However, for prolonged aerobic efforts, it will run a little on the warm side.

Full range of motion for slacklining.  The line is higher than it looks.

Full range of motion for slacklining.  The line is higher than it looks.

Patagonia’s patented FullRange insulation is a multi-denier synthetic fill made from several different types of polyester fibers, with construction elements that prevent fiber migration while simultaneously allowing great stretch and recovery. The hydrophobic fibers also repel moisture, allowing the insulation to maintain its warmth and loft even when wet or sweaty.   And both exterior and interior layers have four-way mechanical stretch properties, so range of motion is never compromised.

patagonia nano air hoody hood

The Nano-Air even nails the hood, which utilizes the same stretch and elastic capabilities to be form-fitting around the head (even on top of a ball cap or headlamp) without interfering with vision, and it can be positioned on or off without adjusting the fully closed front zipper.  It has the same soft feel against the skin as the rest of the garment, and stays securely in place with activity.

A number of other design details highlight the commitment to comfort and performance Patagonia put in the Nano-Air.  There are four generous storage pockets on the front, all of which close with trim, low-bulk zippers. The hand pockets are seamless, to eliminate any discomfort from a waist strap.  Soft elastic wrist cuffs can be pushed up high on the forearms or pulled over the hand for enhanced thermoregulation.   Nano-brick quilting on the sides provides more stability under a pack, while larger torso panels maximize stretch in these areas.

The biggest drawback we found with the Nano-Air is that it’s not nearly as compressible as many of Patagonia’s down garments such as the Nano-Puff top layers, so it does add some bulk to your pack when it’s not in use.  However, you’ll probably be wearing it for the majority of the time you’re using it, so stuffing it inside your pack may be a rarity.

Exploring Lava Beds National Monument

Exploring Lava Beds National Monument

The Good

  • Supreme comfort
  • Great stretch properties for full range of motion
  • Effective temperature regulation in a wide range of temps
  • Sharp styling

The Bad

  • Runs warm for prolonged steady-state efforts
  • Lack of compression quality for storage

Bottom Line:  Patagonia Nano Air Hoody

Very few garments nail the combination of comfort, performance, and styling as successfully as Patagonia’s Nano-Air Hoody – and you’ll be hard pressed to find another active layering piece that is suited for a wider range of activities and conditions.

Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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