I decided to share this post because buying a coat is an investment, and you want the product you buy to last and to fit properly. The women's Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody and the women's Black Diamond's LT Hybrid Hoody, which might be phased out because I've owned it for at least two or more seasons, are the best coats for climbing throughout the year. I definitely would opt to top off these two coats with my trusty '08 puffy in the winter, but I will wear either one while out at the crag in the spring, fall and even on some summer nights. I might be more inclined to continue wearing the LT Hybrid Hoody while actively climbing because I feel that the fabric stretches amply in the armpits to allow me to freely move. The LT has stood up to granite and has no holes or tears. In the colder months I find it distracting to be weighed down by extra layers. The Nano-Air is certainly a high performing coat, and one that I want to hang on to for many more seasons to come. The wrist fabric has cuffs that do not bunch up, the sleeves are the perfect length on my small frame, and the hood offers a snug fit over my head. The Nano-Air also remains dry in inclement weather. The zipper zips tight up to the tip of my nose without irritation, and it is an overall super comfy and warm coat. One of the best features Patagonia offers is their product guarantee; it lasts a lifetime! I found that small in both brands offered me the best fit.
When I decide to purchase new clothing, for climbing or just in general, I now choose to avoid buying additional down or animal fibers like wool. I also pay attention to a company's ethical stance regarding the environment and how animals are treated in the supply chain. Patagonia did have an issue with wool a year or so ago, but they steadfastly corrected the egregious misstep by a South American supplier. Animals that are bred for their wool are at a later date sent to the slaughterhouse. And that realization, before Patagonia's supply news shed light on the issue, caused me to stop buying new wool products. Years ago I decided to get rid of leather products that I might have acquired in the past, so no leather belts or shoes, but for now I am keeping my old wool sweaters and base layers. To me, the amount of effort and cost put into the production of new products just to replace all of my old garb would be contributing to the overabundance of "stuff" and is not feasible. That being said, if you need a few synthetic coats to last you a long-ass time, choose one of these or both.