Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Vest Review

A super versatile, lightweight vest for all mountain sports.

The Nano Puff and Air range of jackets and vests are now well established in the Patagonia offering. There is a full range of jackets and vests hat we have been using at CGR for a while. The Patagonia Nano-Air Hybrid Vest is a great addition to the range – think R1 and Nano-Air mash up.

The idea, though works really well and the vest been a constant companion throughout the autumn and winter months from running (which I’ve been using it most for) to mountaineering and rock climbing (in the gym). In fact, any fast moving activity in cold conditions is the ideal environment for this bit of kit.

The Nano Air Hybrid Vest was great for thos cold running days.

The vest is made up of two materials, the front and shoulders of the vest is Nano-Air and the back R1 gridded fleece. This works well as it provides some warmth and breeze protection at the front and plenty of ventilation and wicking at the pack which is especially good when wearing both a climbing and running pack/vest.

The outer material on the front is air permeable (breathable) and worked well with a windproof for those breezy days. It’s super breathable and has a DWR that shed light (very) showers. Most importantly though it dried out unbelievable quickly – so an uphill approach wasn’t any problem and I often kept the vest on all day under a shell. For a superlight day it worked well with my Patagonia Alpine Houdini.

Breathable enough to work under winter outer layers. It dried out superfast.

The 40g of Full Range insulation on the front provided some warmth when needed but it wasn’t too over powering when on the move. The baffling is wide but I have’t  noticed any clumping of the insulation. I think Patagonia have got that right – I often find that a full insulated vest is too hot on the approach and are better suited to activities like climbing where there is more start stop. The Nano Air Hybrid is designed for more active wear – it all feels tight and moves like a base layer.

The gridded back performed as a great base layer – warm enough with trapped heat in under a shell but wicking when worn without or when wearing a pack. It also has a Polygene treatment for odour control and I haven’t noticed it smell at all when I use.  As I have used it mostly for running and mountaineering I have washed it at least 6 times and it’s come up fresh every time. That’s the beauty of synthetic fills – just throw them in the wash with everything else. If it looks a little deflated after drying – then pop it in the tumble dryer on a low heat with a couple of tennis balls and hey presto!

It it also super stretchy and feels if moulded to my body. It works well with a harness and I’ve worn it for indoor training, sport climbing, bouldering and winter mountaineering. The two zipped handwarmer pockets are reasonably accessible with a harness on. I would have preferred a large zipped chest pocket as I find that more versatile than hand warmers so I’ve dropped a star for that. The elastic beading around the arms and the hem kept the heat in without feeling too tight, especially under the arm – which can often be a problem with vests.

All in all I have found the Patagonia Nano-Air Light Vest a super versatile item of clothing. I’ve used it for absolutely everything this season: hiking, mountaineering, running and climbing. For running I’ve found it better than my Patagonia Windshield Vest on those colder days as it more breathable. The insulation works a treat and the vest has withstood plenty of abuse and has proved quite durable. On top of that by using the vest not only are you getting top quality design and materials you are subscribing to the Patagonia philosophy of committing no unnecessary harm and a responsibly managed life.

The Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Vest is available in sizes XS to XXL and three colour options. The women’s version comes in two colour options and sizes XS to XL

SRP: £140

Available from The Patagonia website and various retailers.


Dave Sarkar has tested and reviewed climbing, mountaineering and outdoor equipment for over 10 years. He works as a qualified MIA both in the UK and Internationally: working as a mountaineering instructor for his company Wild Spaces. When he isn’t working in the mountains he’s playing in the mountains and enjoys all aspects climbing and mountain sports whether bouldering at his local crag or ice climbing; as long as he’s going upwards he’s happy!

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