Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket Review

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Product name: Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket

Basic summary: A weather resistant and highly breathable jacket made for keeping you warm and comfortable during long duration aerobic activity in harsh conditions. As the name implies, this jacket combines two of Patagonia’s recent fabric innovations: the comfort and protection of Nano-Air on the front, and the soft breathability of stretch waffle knit fabric on the back of the torso and sleeves. The result is a jacket that maintains heat up front where you want it, and dumps heat out the back the way you need it.

MSRP: $199

Features:

  • Weight: 10.1 oz (286g)
  • Slim fit torso
  • Shell fabric: 1.3-oz 20-denier 100% nylon ripstop
  • Lining: 2-oz 50-denier 100% nylon plain-weave
  • Mechanical stretch property in both shell and lining
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Nano-Air Insulation: 40-g FullRange 100% polyester stretch insulation
  • Knit fabric: 6.3-oz 100% polyester stretch waffle knit with Polygiene permanent odor control
  • Air permeability: 40 cubic feet per minute (CFM) on front; 130-CFM knit on back
  • Minimal center-front zipper with low-profile zipper garage
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Low profile stretch knit cuffs with thumb slot
  • Stretch binding at hem to seal in warmth
  • Five color options

Deep dive:

Patagonia jokingly calls this jacket the “Midlayer Mullet” and the description is a very apt one: the Nano-Air Light Hybrid is all business in the front, and effortless in the back. What the nickname doesn’t adequately capture is just how remarkably comfortable the whole jacket is on the inside and out.

First, the business side: the entire front of the torso, as well as the front-facing surface of the sleeves and the tops of the shoulders across the back, consists of Patagonia’s Nano-Air Light midweight material from its high alpine collection. The exterior surface is a thin 100% nylon ripstop shell with four-way stretch, and the interior of the Nano-Air is a soft 50-denier plain weave liner. In between the shell and lining is 40-g FullRange, a polyester stretch insulation that provides impressive warmth for its low bulk. All of the Nano-Air fabric is covered with DWR that is adequate for shedding light precipitation but not a steady downpour. For long-term rain or snow exposure, the slim fit of the jacket layers easily underneath a waterproof shell, and the stretch components keep it from being restrictive as a standalone outer layer.

As for the party in the back: from the tops of the shoulders down the rest of the torso, and down the entire backside of the sleeves, Patagonia uses the same moisture-wicking waffle knit fabric found in its Speed Waffle Crew that was introduced last fall. The majority of this 3D woven fabric sits just off the skin to allow air flow, and the contact points pull moisture from the skin for ventilation and drying. Like the Speed Crew, this fabric on the Nano-Air Light Hybrid is treated with Polygiene permanent odor control, minimizing the need for washings and extending the life span of the jacket.

Testing the jacket in moderate winter conditions (our testing included temps in the 30s, with moderate and intermittent precipitation), you can feel the distinction between fabric construction from front to back: the Nano-Air side retains heat on the front side of your body and around the collar, while heat is actively dissipating out the back when you’re at high exertion. Best of all, the overall feel of the fabric on both front and back is exceptionally soft, and moves extremely well with your body. The only construction element that may be slightly off-putting is the high collar; it rests high against your chin to stay insulated when fully zipped, but it doesn’t easily sit as an open collar when the zipper is open to your sternum.

Smaller design elements that we appreciate include dual handwarmer pockets positioned high to be accessible above the waist strap of a hydration belt or backpack, and thumb slots at the end of each sleeve for improved integration with gloves. The stretchiness of the sleeve material also allows them to be pushed up the forearms if you want to air your extremities out for a few minutes.

Conclusion

Patagonia’s Nano-Air Light Hybrid jacket accomplishes one of the best combinations we’ve encountered for providing warmth and weather resistance in cold conditions without overheating. It has quickly become one of our favorites for winter trail running, and has great versatility for mountain hiking or other prolonged or intermittent cold-weather activity.

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About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, California native, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 25 years of experience in endurance sports. He was a collegiate rower at UCLA, then dabbled in marathons and Ironman-distance triathlons before falling in love with ultras in the early 2000s. His favorite locations to run include Marin County, CA, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, and he loves exploring America's National Parks. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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