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Patagonia Nano-Air Light?


Original Post
AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

So, it looks like Steve House and Patagonia have assembled their new climbing line, the "High Alpine Kit."

To say the least, it has definitely peaked my interest. From what I've read/watched, I feel they may have something here.

Currently, I climb waterfall ice and low-elevation multi-pitch in a synthetic baselayer, an R1 Hoody and a softshell, either with a Windstopper membrane or no membrane, weather depending. This combination has pretty-much suited me well, except for the occasional 5º F day when I feel the temperature a lot more. The average winter climbing temperature where I live is 15-20º F.

Here's my question, especially for anyone who has experience with Patagonia's Nano-Air series:

Is the Nano-Air Light, which is 40 g/m2 of FullRange insulation better as a midlayer than the original Nano-Air series, which is 60 g/m2, for active climbing? I know most people are going to reply with, "It's all user dependent" and "Do you usually run hot or cold while actively climbing?" Hydration and caloric-intake set aside only because I'm referring to cragging and non-epic multi-pitch. However, I do have intentions to venture west again and do more higher elevation climbing. My winter climbing "resume" is four, going on five, seasons of ice.

According to House, They developed the Nano-Air Light with 40 g/m2 because some "sponsored athletes" and some "customer feedback" reported the original 60 g/m2 of FullRange insulation was too warm for a mid layer or outer layer while actively climbing. Personally, while actively climbing, I tend to run on the warmer side.

Is the Nano-Air Light a better option than the R1 Hoody? According to Patagonia, It's lighter by 2 ounces and can be worn as an outer layer in more conditions than the R1 Hoody can. It appears it will dry way faster as well.

I guess it boils down to: Would it be worth replacing an R1 Hoody with the Nano-Air Light if weight and temperature regulation are more noticeable with the FullRange insulation and one has a Patagonia gift card, LoL?

Unlike Arc'teryx's website where you can ask a question and receive a prompt response, or Westcomb's customer service number where you can actually speak to someone who was involved with the design and production of their products, Patagonia has neither. I called Patagonia's 1-800 number and the guy who answered didn't even know they made the Nano-Air Light. I decided he probably couldn't answer my more "technical" questions, leaving me with no input from Patagonia.

Thoughts?

Mikey Schaefer · · Terrebonne, OR · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 235

I've been using the Nano Air Light since it's prototype stage last year. I hands down prefer it over the original Nano Air. I found the original to be way to warm for me as a climbing layer and not warm enough as a belay layer. The lighter insulation of the Nano Air light has allowed me to be able to actually climb in it and not over heat nearly as much. I prefer the loose fitting nature of the Nano Air light over the R1 hoody, which I stopped using years ago. Before the Light version came out I was using a Nano Air vest layered on top of a Cap4 hoody as my go to colder weather setup. I still go back and forth between the vest and the Light version. The benefit of the vest is added range of motion in the arms which I like. I've found both options to be better than the R1.

Not 100% sure it would be worth replacing your R1 hoody if that setup is still in good condition but if you've got an R1 that is heading towards the recycling bin I'd recommend the next piece to be the Nano air light.

For full disclosure, I'm sponsored by Patagonia.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 495

The Nano Air Hoody is similar in warmth to an R1-R2 plus a wind shell. The Nano Air Light should be similar in warmth to a cap 4/thermal weight-R1 plus wind shell.

I swore the original Nano Air Hoody was too warm for any temps above freezing. But I was doing it wrong and wearing a cap4 as a base layer under it. I blamed the Nano Air rather than the baselayer. Now I use a cap lightweight t-shirt plus the Nano Air Hoody, and it's great. A cap lightweight t-shirt (2.7oz) plus a Nano Air Hoody (13.6oz) is 16.3oz and $340. A Cap thermal weight crew (5.2oz) plus a Nano Air Light (10.9oz), probably roughly equivalent in warmth, is 16.1oz and $340. In the former you get a full zip, pockets, and in my opinion better wicking and more versatility. I debated getting the Nano Air Light, but it's probably not worth it to me over the current setup.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Mikey Schaefer wrote:Before the Light version came out I was using a Nano Air vest layered on top of a Cap4 hoody as my go to colder weather setup. I still go back and forth between the vest and the Light version. The benefit of the vest is added range of motion in the arms which I like.
Mikey, do you have a windshirt like the houdini between the cap4 and nano air vest? Or did you find you didn't need wind protection for your arms when your core had some windblocking from the vest?
AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255
Brian Abram wrote:A cap lightweight t-shirt (2.7oz) plus a Nano Air Hoody (13.6oz) is 16.3oz and $340. A Cap thermal weight crew (5.2oz) plus a Nano Air Light (10.9oz), probably roughly equivalent in warmth, is 16.1oz and $340.
Brian, I currently have a Cap Lightweight T-Shirt and lightweight long-sleeve, so that takes a portion out of your equation. I have a Patagonia gift card & their whole new "High Alpine Kit" intrigues me.

I did a lot of reading on "active insulation" lately and decided I'd like to give the technology a try this season.

With your current Nano-Air set-up, are you able to do a majority go your climbing in just the Nano-Air, or do you find yourself reaching for a shell, either a hard/softshell?

Are you cragging or doing more multi-pitch with your current Nano-Air action suit?
Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 495

The only time I personally use a soft shell is for ski touring. For multipitch climbing in NC it's either a wind shell if it's warm or the Nano Air Hoody. For the wet snow and ice we get here in NC, I still almost never bring a hard shell for single day stuff. It does get wet bushwhacking through snowy rhododendrons, but it dries pretty quickly.

For cragging I'm usually bringing some kind of warm down puffy to throw on when belaying

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AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255
Mikey Schaefer wrote:I've been using the Nano Air Light since it's prototype stage last year.
Stupid question, but are you wearing the Nano-Air Light tucked in to your pants like an R1 Hoody, or are you wearing it directly under your harness, like a traditional jacket ... untucked?

I'm just trying to wrap my head around whether this piece is made to be more of an outer layer or multi-purpose mid layer?

Brian Abram wrote: For the wet snow and ice we get here in NC, I still almost never bring a hard shell for single day stuff.
Thanks for the help, Brian. Much appreciated.
Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 495

The new for Fall 2016 Montbell UL Thermawrap Parka and Jacket both are now made with 40g air permeable stretch continuous insulation and stretch fabric. Like the Nano Air Light, but with a full zip and pockets. The hooded Parka is 9.3 ounces, 1.6 ounces lighter than the Nano Air Light Hoody, and $165. The hoodless Jacket is 8.5 ounces and $139. The Montbell does have 15d/12d fabric rather than the Nano Air Light's 30d.

Hooded:
montbell.us/products/disp.p…;p_id=2301299&gen_cd=1

Hoodless:
montbell.us/products/disp.p…;gen_cd=1

I wasn't sold on a slightly lighter weight Nano Air, but this weight difference at this price with the same features as the full Nano Air Hoody has made me want one for mild temps.

There is also a 7.7oz pant for $135:
montbell.us/products/disp.p…;p_id=2301302&gen_cd=1

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 88

I run very hot. I tried the Atom LT and I don't like it for very active times, because my arms get sweaty. The Nano Air has been quite awesome for the not getting sweaty but still being warm. I was climbing a 3 pitch route and the temps started in the 40's and got into the low 60's and I felt like i never needed to take it off, even when climbing. I am intrigued by the NA Light, but I will wait until it goes on sale since i just got the regular NA. I also would think about the fact that all synthetic insulation loses its loft after the first few months. So 60 g/m2 jacket may turn into more like a 50 or 45 g/m2 insulation after 3 months of use. Just something to think about.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 495

Also know that while you're not wrong about loft loss, the amount of degradation varies greatly depending on the specific type of synthetic insulation, and generalizations do not necessarily tell the whole story. Short staple insulations like Primaloft Gold/One, Coreloft, and Thermal Q are initially much warmer and compress better but can indeed lose loft and insulating value very rapidly. Arc'teryx says Coreloft can lose its loft in 4 months if compressed for 1-2 hours daily by seated driving, or I reckon by a pack.

Continuous fiber insulations like ThermaTek (Polarguard Delta), Alpha, FullRange, and Apex don't compress very well and aren't as warm initially as short staple insulations, but they last much longer. Primaloft Silver is apparently a mix of continuous fibers and short staple fibers, and it lasts longer and breathes better than Primaloft Gold. Some insulations, like Alpha, are similar in construction to Thermal Pro fleece and may not degrade appreciably at all with proper care and washing. Some folks swear that their years old Arc'teryx Dually Belay jackets that use ThermaTek are the same now as when they bought them.

I honestly don't know where Montbell's new stretch version of Exceloft falls into that spectrum, but I'm guessing it's different from their old mixed fiber Exceloft.

See Bearbreeder's post here: mountainproject.com/v/synth…

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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