Patagonia Nano Air Jacket Review
Price: $249 Weight: 12.5 oz
The Patagonia Nano Air Jacket is one of the most popular insulated jackets on the market for those who seek performance and style. While the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket has been around for a few years now, Patagonia quietly revised this jacket after feedback the jacket was too warm during heart pumping activities such as skinning and backcountry skiing.
We at ActiveGearReview.com were able to test the first version of the Nano Air Jacket and Nano Air Vest which received rave reviews as the performance of this material combo has been stellar. The one main exception to getting a gold star rating is that the older versions would get warm when skinning up the mountain while backcountry skiing or going uphill at the resort. More on warmth in a little bit.
Updated Patagonia Nano Air Jacket Performance
Depending on your activity and the weather, the updated Patagonia Nano Air Jacket may or may not fit the bill. We tested this jacket primarily in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, mostly Steamboat Springs, CO. Through our test, we used this jacket while hiking in rain, snow, and cold weather, backcountry skiing and wearing this jacket for everyday use.
For hiking, I have nothing but good things to say about the Nano Air Jacket. Combined with a t-shirt, this jacket is extremely comfortable since the material used on the outside of the jacket is soft to the touch which prevents that slimy feeling you get when you sweat with traditional down jackets that use a shiny type of nylon. Through my use of hiking in the rain, I found the Nano Air Jacket to do a sufficient job at repelling water with the use of its DWR coating. I was never caught in an extended down poor in which I would use a rain jacket, but in shorter moderate rain storms, I stayed plenty dry.
In cases of hiking with moderate elevation gain(1,000-2,000 ft), I found the updated Nano Air Jacket to get a little warm in temperatures ranging between 30-50F, but after opening up the zipper, I was able to keep my body temperature at a comfortable level. In cases of hiking in temperatures below 30F, I found the Nano Air Jacket to provide just the right level of warth.
For skinning, I found the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket to still be a little warm in temperatures above 5F degrees. I usually find a mid layer wool or fleece layer to be plenty warm while skinning. I tried to wear the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket while skinning in 10-15F temperatures and I got pretty hot after about 5-10 minutes of activity and in the backpack it went. Since I don’t skin much above tree line due to my location, I don’t have to deal with the wind too much. For those who often go in windy conditions above tree line, the outer layer of this jacket provides a nice level of wind protection.
Staying Warm When You Want to Stay Warm
While we can be super picky on how much a jacket breaths during activity, it is equally important for the jacket to keep you warm when you’re not active. Through the fall, there were many days in which I would wear this jacket after my weekly trail runs with friends. Instead of sitting in a heated car to keep warm and drink a cold beer, all I had to do was throw the Nano Air on and I stayed plenty warm.
For around town and walking the dogs in the winter, the Patagonia is everything you want it to be and nothing you don’t. This jacket keeps you plenty warm in some of the coldest of temperatures.
Jacket Materials and Features
PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco
Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco has all the amazing qualities we come to expect from PrimaLoft such as being lightweight and performing when it’s wet, but it uses 55% recycled material. As most of you know by now, Patagonia is one of the leads the charge when it comes to developing products that are conscious. Patagonia is using PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco in all of its Nano Air products for 2016 and will be using this insulation throughout its entire line in 2017 where PrimaLoft is used. The level of insulation Patagonia uses in the Nano Air Jacket is 60 grams.
Outer Material on Nano Air Products
The material used on the Patagonia Nano Air products is one of the more aesthetically pleasing fabrics used in outdoorsy jackets. While I am okay with the shininess of down jackets, I understand not everyone wants to look like they are climbing Everest. The outer layer of the Nano Air Jacket uses stretchy 1.3 oz 20D Ripstop nylon and the inside uses a slightly thicker 2 oz 20 Ripstop nylon.
Baffling and Insulation Blocks
To keep the insulation in the right place while allowing a jacket to move with you can be a challenge for designers. To keep the insulation in place on the sides of the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket, the designers used block baffling that are approximately 1 inch in height by 2 inches in length on the sides of the jacket. Along the front, back, and arms, the designers used larger baffles designed for maximum stretch which is great for activities where you need to move.
There are a total of three pockets in the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket. These pockets are located in the standard positions, two side pockets and one chest pocket. The pockets are large enough to fit most things that you want to store such as cell phones, wallets, dog treats, keys, etc.. To provide a clean look, there is a small layer of fabric that covers the zippers to the pockets, although they don’t get in the weight when opening and closing the zippers.
To keep the cold out on windy days, there is a storm flap that sits behind the zipper on the inside of the jacket. Since the teeth on the zipper are a little bit bigger for ease of use, having this extra layer to block wind is a nice feature. To keep your chin from rubbing against the zipper, there is a fleece material on the inside of the zipper near the chin.
At 6’0 tall and 175lbs, I tested out a size medium in the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket and found it to be the perfect fit for during activity and casual use.
The Patagonia Nano Air Jacket has quickly become one of my go to jackets this winter as it keeps me warm and looks good for around town. For cold weather activities, this jacket still has it’s challenges in overheating when you’re super active, but I also think a lot of this is all about finding out the right laying system for your body and activity.