For a winter trip to India’s Ladakh region, high in the Himalayas, I was faced with many gear considerations. Pretty much everything needed to be comfortable and allow me to function in possible temperatures to -20 Fahrenheit, while I would be hiking to places to try and spot a snow leopard.
Sounds romantic, and while the actual trip was amazing, finding the right clothing items created a bit of a task. Ultimately, the jacket that accompanied me on the journey was the Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm Jacket.
The insulated, waterproof breathable Alpine jacket was exactly what I needed while at high elevations in the winter.
Patagonia boasts that it’s a belay parka and storm shell in one, and while I didn’t use it for the belay aspect, I appreciate that the multi-functional jacket allows travelers to pack one jacket and not more than their checked-baggage allowance can handle.
The H2No Performance Standard 2-layer shell fabric is lightweight and stretchy (and made with 100 percent nylon stretch ripstop), and the 60g FullRange insulation keeps you warm, while also stretching to accommodate your active adventures, as well as layering underneath.
I paired my jacket with a light puffy layer on the coldest days.
The hood can fit over an Alpine helmet, and adjusts in two directions for comfort and functionality. I discovered that the hood adjustments are easy to operate, even with gloved hands.
Waterproof chest-pocket zippers are coated with polyurethane, and two handwarmer pockets sit high enough to not get in the way of a harness, in case your mountain exploits include climbing. Inside the jacket, there are two drop-in pockets for more space to carry your essentials.
The jacket’s articulated pattern and seamless shoulder design work with the stretchy fabric to give you enhanced ease of movement, whether you’re skiing, trekking, climbing, or reaching for another cup of masala chai while watching a snow leopard through a telescope.
Venting pit zips help you in the temperature self-regulation department, and the adjustable cuff closures work with ease when you have to change things up and add gloves or other layers.
I’m already identifying the future adventures when I’ll bring this jacket along. There are plenty.
The Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm Jacket comes in black, French red, and harvest moon blue, and lists for between $314 and $449 on the Patagonia site. It’s also available at REI.