Patagonia Nano-Air – Best Mid-layer Jacket Ever?
I had a chance to test out the Patagonia Nano-Air jacket for the last few months and I feel that it might be the best mid-layer jacket ever. This Nano-Air jacket features some really cool technology that Patagonia has developed for the end-user. The Fullrange insulation is unlike anything else you will find. Read on to find out what separates this jacket from other well-known mid-layer jackets like the Arcteryx Atom LT.
First, the Patagonia Nano-Air jacket is unlike any jacket that we have tested. The closest jacket to this (in our opinion) would be the Arcteryx Atom LT – which is an outstanding jacket in its own right. We have used and abused the Atom LT for years and still find it useful – but the Nano-Air is something altogether different. The Nano-Air features a Patagonia’s new insulation called FullRange. This insulation is designed to be extremely breathable while still performing its duty of insulating the user. How might you ask? Using a combination of highly breathable face fabric and the FullRange insulation, Patagonia achieves breathability ratings of up to 40CFM. FullRange uses multiple deniers of polyester fibers to add stability to the insulation, allowing stretch and recovery without fiber migration. We can attest to the Nano Air’s ability to dump heat as fast, if not faster, than any soft-shell, fleece, or wool layer we have used.
Second, the jacket stretches – a lot! This feature was so comforting (as well as its ability to regulate heat) that we found ourselves wearing it all day – indoors and outdoors – with no hint of overheating. The Nano-Air just fits you well, it moves with you, it is comfortable on your skin (thanks to 20D fabric) and feels like your wearing your favorite hoody. The inner fabric is a 50 denier and the outer fabric is 20 denier – in between is 60 grams of Patagonia proprietary “Fullrange” insulation. All the fabrics and insulation stretch with you and allow for full range of motion.
This jacket is unique in that it has typical insulation characteristics yet breaths better than anything we have used yet. Patagonia claims that it dumps heat at 40CFM – that’s ridiculously good! The outer fabric is treated with a DWR finish that impressed us. Sean wore this jacket for 2 hours while touring and did not have to take it off, nor did it wet out during a mild snowstorm (as you can see in the video review below).
This is not really a con, but rather an observation. This jacket is not waterproof or windproof. It never claimed it was, so let’s give them credit for that. This jacket is made do be a highly useful mid-layer that you grab for any adventure. Couple it with a good hard shell and you will be covered in almost any condition you might encounter. Patagonia also uses cut on the jacket that means it won’t fit everyone. Our other tester found that it was snug in the shoulders, roomy in the chest and torso, and tight enough that it didn’t fit over his backside (which is admittedly robust).
I tested out the non-hooded version and loved it. If you are looking for a one-jacket-to-do-it-all then get the hooded version. All in all, this is a very useful jacket that will find its way on almost every activity from getting a bite to eat to tackling your next adventure.
Info from Patagonia:
• Light, yet durable 100% nylon ripstop shell and plain-weave liner offer generous mechanical stretch and exceptional breathability, with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
• Revolutionary 60-g FullRange™ insulation warms and stretches; combined with the shell and liner, this creates a jacket with generous mechanical stretch and unprecedented air permeability (40CFM)
• Iconic Nano Puff® brick quilting in the side panels, articulated patterning, and other quilting details improve shape and durability
• Center-front zipper has wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort
• Two handwarmer pockets and a left chest pocket are zippered, welted and low-bulk to wear comfortably with a harness or pack
• Stretch binding at the cuffs and a dual-adjustable drawcord hem seal in warmth
• Shell: 1.3-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop. Lining: 2-oz 50-denier 100% nylon plain weave. Both shell and lining with mechanical stretch and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Insulation: 60-g FullRange™ 100% polyester stretch insulation
• 354 g (12.5 oz)
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