The Nano Air Light Pants and Hoody form part of the hotly anticipated and sought after Patagonia High Alpine kit. This is a specialist collection designed to be used in the high mountains. It has been designed by Patagonia’s top designers with advice from their sponsored alpine climbers who include the alpine stars Matt Heliker, Zoe Hart and Jon Bracey.
I got the Nano Air Light set in June soon after their release. I love my Nano Air Jacker which has been worn continuously since I got it, so I had high hopes for it’s super technical little brothers.
Nano Air Light Pants
To be honest when I first got my hands on these I thought, these are going to be great for camping pyjamas, but surely too hot for actually climbing or skiing in.
I was right, they are fantastic pyjamas. But also amazing base layers. I tested these properly for the first time on a recent ski trip to Courmayeur and Chamonix. They are made of a lovely lightweight material which is super stretchy and really soft against your skin. I wore these bare against my legs with my Patagonia Super Alpine salopettes over the top. They have a stretchy waistband with a pull cord to tighten them if you need. The ankle cuffs are made of a strip of thin stretchy material. Although these are full length and not boot top I found they fitted really nicely inside my boots with no discomfort but if required, because of the stretch cuff could be pulled up your calf to accommodate ski boots.
For winter skiing these were the perfect warmth. We had temperatures of between -15 degrees celsius (windchill) and 10 degrees celsius. These were warm enough when they needed to be but super breathable when I got warm, especially if I unzipped my salopettes to let some air in.
The only odd thing I find about them is the Bombay fly which runs front to back. I can never imagine I would use this as with knickers underneath and salopettes on top you would have to have a super skill to be able to use it! However, it is a really thin zip and well concealed within the trousers so you actually would not realise it was there if you chose not to use it.
Although not tested my self I’ve been told that these trousers are great for alpine routes with a big walk. On the walk in when you get hot and sweaty wear them on their own and carry your waterproof/soft shell trousers and then put the waterproof/ soft shells over the top for climbing.
Nano Air Light Hoody
Made of the same lovely material as the Nano Air Light pants this hoody is a winner! It is lighter and not as warm as the Nano Air jacket but much warmer than a fleece. My temperature fluctuates a lot through the day depending on the intensity of skiing, wind and sunshine. I therefore like to wear lots of layers which I can take off or put on during the day. When testing this hoody I wore either a wicking t-shirt(for touring) or a thermal base layer (for lift served skiing) underneath and then my Super Alpine Jacket on top. I also had a Nano Puff vest which I took on or off depending on the conditions.
The Nano Air Light Hoody is super breathable. When touring I took off my water proof and just wore the hoody with a t-shirt below. The wind resistance and breathability helped keep me cool enough on the up hill slogs but it was warm enough that I didn’t need to put on a wind proof for the decent. Maybe in colder conditions it would be good to have a lightweight windproof over the top but for spring touring just the hoody was perfect.
The Nano Air Light Hoody has a comfortably snug fitting hood which can be worn beneath a climbing helmet. The hood zips up high allowing you to cover up your neck and chin when its cold and windy but it also zips down to the belly button allowing you to dump heat when you need to and get a bit of air movement. This is really useful when transitioning between working hard (touring uphill or climbing) and easier work (skiing downhill or belaying).
The sleeves of the Nano Air hoody are long with a soft stretchy wrist cuff. This can be tucked into gloves creating a comfortable seal.
The hoody has just one pocket on the chest for storing lift pass, lip balm or phone. This simple design keeps it light weight which is its purpose. The hoody will pack down pretty small so can be shoved into your bag if you ever decide to take it off (unlikely!).
Overall I give the Nano Air Light set a 5/5 as both a technical climbing piece and an expensive pair of pyjamas!! The Patagonia High Alpine collection is available from selected retailers in the UK (including Up and Under, Cardiff) and online at patagonia.com.