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NEW REVIEW: Patagonia's Women's Nano-Air Hoody

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 UKC Gear 04 Nov 2014
Heather Swift alpine climbing in the Patagonia Women's Nano-Air Hoody, 4 kbThere's been a big buzz around Patagonia's Nano-Air Hoody with rave reviews and a '2015 Outside Gear of the Year' Award.

We sent intrepid gear tester Heather Swift up the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses wearing one to see if the hype was true. She survived to bring you this review...!

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=6798

 aldo56 04 Nov 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

Is this just Patagonia's version of the Atom LT?
In reply to aldo56:

Looks like it doesnt it? Only 9 grammes less in weight compared to the LT, same characteristics but more expensive and more stretchy than the LT.

First glance, chest pockets look useless, right in the way of rucksack shoulder and chest straps.

Other than that, looks ok but I wouldn't exchange my LT for it.

http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-nano-air-hoody?p=84260-0
 BnB 04 Nov 2014
In reply to Denni:

I've tried one on in Needlesports. The chest pockets are fine and won't interfere with a strap, but something as heavy as a modern smartphone deforms the shape.
I think the Nano Air is more akin to the Rab Strata than the LT. The LT doesn't breathe as well as the Strata (I have the Rab, my wife the LT). The main differences are:

a) stretch, the Strata has some but the Nano Air really strrreeetttccches

b) 2-way permeability. The Strata (and other polartech alpha pieces) is basically windproof, the nano air is not. This matters because on the one hand it allows for more cooling on the move (good) but requires you to throw on a shell (wind-or hard-) when resting for prolonged periods in the windy UK (bad). This latter weakness makes a nonsense of the claim that this garment does away with frequent costume changes. Patagonia puts a better spin on this weakness by stating that " pull a lightweight shell on over the Nano-Airâ„¢ and it's thermal properties skyrocket!" So you still have to throw off your pack and put on a shell. You won't need to do this with the Strata or LT until conditions are somewhat more severe, but you'll cook faster on the move.

All in all I liked it. Super lightweight and very comfortable but cut rather baggy for the typical Patagonia prop forward cum rock climber. I'd like to try one in the field (=own one) but between my ME Eclipse microfleece and a Rab Strata I'm not sure if the niche is big enough.
 flaneur 04 Nov 2014
In reply to UKC Gear:

How does this differ from the MEC Uplink - also 350gm, stretchy, lightly insulated and wind resistant - other than being twice the price?
The Uplink is more tailored to a climber's fit than Patagonia's fat old men styling.
http://www.mec.ca/product/5025-734/mec-uplink-hoodie-mens/?h=10+50089+50020+50122&f=10+50021+500...
 BnB 04 Nov 2014
In reply to flaneur:

> How does this differ from the MEC Uplink - also 350gm, stretchy, lightly insulated and wind resistant - other than being twice the price?

There is a whopping difference in breathablility, not to mention the Nano Air isn't particularly wind resistant.

Of all the garments mentioned, the Nano Air would be the most comfortable to wear under a shell, but also the first to need a shell thrown over it.
In reply to BnB:

My LT is really comfy under any shell I've used and I've found it very wind resistant and also sheds a fair amount of drizzle before it developes wet patches.

I don't get too sweaty in it either finding the stretchy side panels let in the air enough for me not to feel too uncomfortable.
 BnB 04 Nov 2014
In reply to Denni:

> My LT is really comfy under any shell I've used and I've found it very wind resistant and also sheds a fair amount of drizzle before it developes wet patches.

> I don't get too sweaty in it either finding the stretchy side panels let in the air enough for me not to feel too uncomfortable.

Yes, the LT certainly beats the Nano Air for wind and water resistance but breathability, not on your nelly. Depends what's important to you.
In reply to BnB:

Can't compare as I haven't used the Nano Air but I'm more than happy with the LT as far as breathability goes.
Most important thing for me is to be comfy with whatever I'm doing and looking outdoorsy down the pub ;0)
 BnB 04 Nov 2014
In reply to Denni:

Why stop at the pub? My wife wears her LT in bed on special occasions
In reply to BnB:

Lucky you! Our boiler is currently on the blink so I'll suggest that tonight ;0)
 aldo56 04 Nov 2014
In reply to BnB:

Is it basically a stretchy fleece replacement then? Both are air permiable (the wind rips through them) and add insulation under a shell.
 BnB 04 Nov 2014
In reply to aldo56:

That's sort of the conclusion I came to. But in practice it falls in between the two (traditional fleece and insulated Atom LT clones like the Strata).

The breathability of a fleece is c200cfm, that of the Nano Air is 40cfm.

Perhaps this is a sweet spot, just the right balance of insulation, breathability and wind-proofing. But the marketing department insists on exaggerating its claims in all three of these categories instead of celebrating its capabilities as an all-rounder
Athletic climber 04 Nov 2014
In reply to BnB:

I've got the strata flex jacket and really rate it. Like you say, the benefit is it's wind proof. I think patagonia has worded it quite well in saying to through a shell on at belays lol
 sbc_10 04 Nov 2014
In reply to flaneur:


> Patagonia's fat old men styling.

Great!! a jacket that will fit me. Where do I buy one?


In reply to sbc_10:

> Great!! a jacket that will fit me. Where do I buy one?

Not from me Sean, you've already bought all of mine!
Hope life is good with you and Stu.
 sbc_10 05 Nov 2014
In reply to Denni:

Hi Denni,
yep we are still pushing back the frontiers of scrambling and designer outdoor fashion.
One photo in the Alps this year of us two contains about six items of your old gear!!
Are you getting out much?
In reply to aldo56:

> Is it basically a stretchy fleece replacement then? Both are air permiable (the wind rips through them) and add insulation under a shell.

I take it that the Nano-Air is just Patagonia using Polartec Alpha under a different name like they used to with Goretex - although if anyone knows that I'm wrong on that please say! But, if that is the case, I reckon aldo56 is right. I tried a Marmot piece made with Alpha last winter http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/marmot-isotherm-hoodypolartec-alpha.html and while its an ok jacket it didn't seem an advance on a fleece and a windproof.

 Kai 07 Nov 2014
No, Patagonia is not using Polartec Alpha. I thought that too because they are (or were) making insulated layers for the U.S. Army using Polartec Alpha. However, that's not what they are using for the Nano Air. The insulation in the Nano Air is a proprietary insulation from Toray Japan.

In reply to TobyA:

> I take it that the Nano-Air is just Patagonia using Polartec Alpha under a different name like they used to with Goretex - although if anyone knows that I'm wrong on that please say! But, if that is the case, I reckon aldo56 is right. I tried a Marmot piece made with Alpha last winter http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/marmot-isotherm-hoodypolartec-alpha.html and while its an ok jacket it didn't seem an advance on a fleece and a windproof.

 BnB 07 Nov 2014
In reply to TobyA:

The Toray insulation in the Nano Air is very different from Alpha in, say, the Strata. It is twice as thick and stretchier and allows a lot more air through, although this last factor may be down to the face fabric. I would guess (and it is only a guess) that under a windproof layer it would be considerably warmer than the Strata, but I can say for sure it'll be less warm without that windproof in anything other than completely still conditions.

In the end it falls somewhere in between a fleece and an Atom LT/Strata, and my hunch is that it would be very comfortable indeed (less sweaty) but not nearly as comforting when the wind gets up. Once you have to throw a windproof over I can't see the point, which is kind of your point, but backwards...
 aldo56 07 Nov 2014
In reply to TobyA:
Is their H2No just rebrandred gore pro? Strange move considering how strong a brand gore is already.
Post edited at 09:41
In reply to Kai:

Cheers Kai - interesting to know! I wonder how different it will be from Alpha then... I still think its the face fabric which is the crucial issue.
In reply to aldo56:

No, but IIRC back in the 90s they did "PTFE 3 layer membrane waterproofs" and I think they said the fabric was from Gore.
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