The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody was released in July 2014 and was the best performing all-purpose active insulation jacket until the Arcteryx Proton LT Hoody came out in 2016.
Our testers have put both of these jackets through the wringer. Many expeditions later, we are highly confident in our conclusion: the Arcteryx Proton LT Hoody offers the highest performance as an all-purpose active insulation jacket. It is more comfortable, has more durable fabrics, a tougher insulation, and more refined features. However, we suspect Patagonia will release an updated version of the Nano Air Hoody within the next year. Thus, we only recommend buying this version for a heavy-discounted price, i.e. 50% off.
Features & Specifications
- 13.5 oz (383 g);
- Two chest pockets, two hand warmer pockets, helmet-compatible hood;
- Highly breathable stretch insulation and fabrics.
Description of Field Testing
Max started using the Nano Air Hoody in July 2014 as an experiment to see if it could replace his R1 Hoody, which had gone mostly unused for a year because he switched to the Capilene 4 Hoody (it's now called the Capilene Thermal Hoody). Wanting to own just one warm mid layer, and finding a greater appreciation for wilderness trips and alpinism than rock climbing, he found the R3 Hoody to be better than the Nano Air Hoody. The R3 kept him warmer, especially when wet, and it wasn't hard to toss on a shell when the wind whipped hard or the snow started to fall. Max concluded the experiment in summer 2015, calling the Nano Air a luxury mid layer for alpinists and ski mountaineers.
In December 2015, Luc Mehl, who helped test the jackets on our comparative review, forced Max to reconsider his conclusion. Shortly into testing, Luc, a very avid ski mountaineer (he’s skiing from October to the end of May) and wilderness packrafter (in the unfrozen months), fell in love with the Nano Air. He nearly refused to use all other lightweight synthetic insulated jackets. He also found the R3 Hoody to be too warm for most hard-charging winter activities. Thus, Max resumed using the Nano Air and its competitors.
Now, after three and a half years, a suite of testers have used the Nano Air Hoody for a wide variety of applications and expeditions. Our photos below tell some of the stories.
Member's Only Content
- Performance Assessment
- Weather Resistance
- Fabric Durability
- Insulation Durability
- Strengths & Limitations
Word Count: 1,724
A comprehensive Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report will be released on March 25, 2018. When that report is published, we’ll update this review with a comparison summary of this product with other notable products in the review.
Review Rating - Recommended
We recommend the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody for active use in cold weather. See review ratings for more information.
Where to Buy the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody
This review is part of a comprehensive State of the Market survey of synthetic insulated jackets that has been ongoing for the past two years. Included in this survey:
- Arc'teryx Kappa Hoody Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Hoody Review
- Outdoor Research Uberlayer Review
- Rab Xenon X Review
- Montbell Thermawrap Guide Review
- Rab Nimbus Review (TBA March 11)
- Patagonia Nano Air Light Review (TBA March 11)
- LLBean Primaloft Packaway Review (TBA March 11)
- Arc'teryx Proton LT Review (TBA March 11)
- Black Diamond Heat Treat Hoody Review (TBA March 11)
- Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review (TBA March 18)
- Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Review (TBA March 18)
- Nunatak Skaha Apex Review (TBA March 18)
- Montane Spitfire Parka Review (TBA March 18)
- Arc'teryx Nuclei AR Parka Review (TBA March 18)
- Patagonia DAS Parka Review (TBA March 25)
- Synthetic Insulated Jackets State of the Market Report (TBA March 25)
The manufacturer provided a sample of this product to the author with no agreement, requirement, or obligation for media coverage of any kind. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, Backpacking Light gets a small commission on the sale. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps support Backpacking Light’s efforts to publish authoritative and valuable information about lightweight backpacking gear and techniques, inspiring stories and film festivals, and remain an active member of the outdoor industry to promote and protect opportunities for public outdoor recreation.