There are a lot of big tag products in the Outdoor 100, and rightly so. It’s inevitable that the majority of our favourite bits of outdoor gear for winter 16/17 are the big, flagship products. However, we’ve also included quite a few pieces of kit that are more understated - bits of kit that quietly find their way into your pack or onto your shoulders more than any other. It’s only over time when the versatility of a product really shines. The Nano Air is one such product.

It’s the kind of jacket that we’ve picked up without thinking to go walking, mountain biking, mountaineering and off around the shops. It’s a quiet hero product, one we’ve used everywhere, one that’s taken a hammering, but is still looking great, and more importantly working well.

“Over time it will prove its worth many times over as one of the most versatile pieces of kit in your wardrobe."

On the surface, Patagonia’s Nano Air Hoody is a simple insulated jacket, but it excels in three main areas. Firstly, it’s warm, surprisingly so. It’s such a light jacket (an amazing 385g) and packable, but blimey it warms you up. We have often slung it in our bag and popped it on when we’re taking a sandwich break. Secondly, it’s got great stretch, perfect for mountain biking or rock climbing. Finally, we’ve found that it’s really breathable – no mean feat with synthetic insulation.

The outer has got a DWR (durable water repellent) coating that sheds water, which is quite surprising considering how soft the fabric feels. This hoody feels wonderful on - fluffy and so comfortable that it rarely comes off. And while it’s water-repellent in its own right, it’s also designed to be worn under a waterproof hardshell, in which case it’s a seriously warm midlayer.

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Other features include two handwarmer pockets, placed conveniently above where a climbing harness would sit, and two smaller chest pockets. The hood fits tightly around the face and moves really well with it – it would fit under a helmet. The cuffs are stretchy and comfortable and there’s a drawcord around the hem. Looking at the photos it may not seem as though there’s much to it, but buy this and over time it will prove its worth many times over as one of the most versatile pieces of kit in your wardrobe.

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Midlayer Stats:

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix