Protection We loved the Nano-Air when it first came out, and we love this Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm waterproof version even more. Start with one of the warmest, lightest, most breathable insulation layers we’ve used and add a two-layer shell with DWR coating, and you get this versatile, foul-weather puffy. “The waterproof laminate kept me dry through a torrent of rain on a late-season ice climb up Bridal Veil Falls in Valdez, Alaska,” one tester says. Bonus: The 60-gram synthetic insulation dries quicker than average.
Versatility This jacket shines in any bad-weather activity, but testers especially liked it for alpine climbing. It has high, harness-friendly pockets, and the sleeves are long and stretchy enough to reach overhead.
Breathability Testers praised the wicking interior lining. “It’s softer than a baby’s tush, without that clammy feeling you get with many synthetics,” says one Wasatch climber. Ding: For gear this pricey, testers were disappointed that the hood didn’t fit well over their helmets, a necessity for any jacket at the belay. m’s XS-XXL, w’s XS-XL