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Patagonia Nano Puff Review

For over a decade Patagonia’s flagship “puffer” jacket, the nano puff, has been at the top of the list for outdoor enthusiasts wanting a “do all” jacket that's packable and extremely lightweight. However, with many outdoor brands following Patagonia’s lead in terms of design, functionality, and competitive pricing, is the nano puff still a good value in 2019? We own 3 nano puffs between the two of us and have been using them for over 4 years now (so we may have a slight bias on the subject). There are many things we both love about this great piece of outerwear, but there are some areas where this jacket simply doesn't perform well.

Cholla Cactus Garden in Joshua Tree - Jan 2019

The fit and finish are outstanding. When you first don this jacket, you can tell they have nearly perfected this product over the last ten years. The silky smooth fabric feels lightweight and airy on your arms and back. Before trying it on, you may think the jacket is too ‘’puffy.’’ Many of these jackets look and feel like you’re wearing a sleeping bag with arms, but the nano puff is actually very slim lined and conforms to your body very well in comparison to its competitors. No one wants to look like the Michelin man, right?


The wearability continues with cleverly designed small touches. At the wrists of the jacket are stretchy, non-constraining elastic, keeping warm air in the jacket next to your body. Also, the neck of the jacket extends almost up to your chin, again keeping heat and air inside the jacket. Patagonia also goes the extra mile by using 55% recycled material for the jacket’s synthetic insulation. Ergo you can appreciate the environment while wearing an eco-friendly jacket!

Another big feature of the Nano Puff is its’ ease of travel. It can pack down into an interior pocket and fit in almost any backpack. However, packing it into its’ own pocket can take some effort, so sometimes you just stuff it with brute force into any available space (which works just fine). However, it’s not just a jacket for traveling or outdoor adventures. The Nano Puff has become a staple in our daily lives. You can dress it up or down; wearing it to work, out to dinner, or around the town.


The Nano Puff is also extremely versatile. Warm and toasty in cool fall environments, it can be layered with sweaters underneath for windy days and waterproof layers on top for rainy days. The jackets smooth material easily slips over or under multiple layers for any given occasion. Also, Patagonia states the Nano Puff series has a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. While the DWR holds up for the first few washes, we’ve experienced a degrading of this feature over time. Caught in a rainstorm unprepared, this jacket can soak up water fast, becoming uncomfortable.


As much as we use these jackets, there are some cons. When walking through brush or trees, the jacket can snag and tear on branches and cactus spikes, ending up looking tattered and grungy. It’s also not the cheapest outdoor jacket coming in at around $200. However, with how much use we get out of these jackets, the Patagonia Nano Puff is well worth the price (in our humble opinion).


Patagonia also offers several versions of the Nano Puff as a jacket, hoodie, pullover, bivy pullover, and vest. We’ve only worn the hoodie and jacket versions. Plus, they offer a variety of colors to suit your personal taste (and my favorite blue!).


Many first-time customers of Patagonia may balk at the price of their wares(we were once among them), but the attention to detail and versatility of the Nano Puff has earned its place as our goto jacket. The attention to detail of Patagonia’s design team shines through in their product line. It’s the small details that are often overlooked by other brands that make Patagonia’s products a cut above. Until you have tried and lived with a product, you can’t understand the genius nuances that the Nano Puff offers to its wearer.

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