Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Review

12 06 2012

Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody…

Vancouver Island is a land of cool damp windy weather. It can be dry and hot, but that’s rare. It’s challenging to pack light and be comfortable. To get enough insulation from fleece you end up with a bulky load. So some form of compressible insulation is mandatory. There are quite a few lightweight down and synthetic jackets on the market. I tried on a MEC product, but it didn’t fit well. Next up was the Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody. It fit pretty well so I bought it. Really Sharon got it for me as a birthday present – thanks! 🙂

Product details – click on image for larger…

I’ll let you read the product details above. What I like about this hoody is:

  • fit me pretty well
  • warm in our typical cool temps
  • windproof
  • rain resistant [don’t get your hopes up too much on this feature!]
  • packs small
  • dries reasonably fast
  • bright colour pops in photos
  • priced similarly to other products I looked at
  • lifetime warranty
  • Patagonia has good environmental policies

Warm and toasty at Nitnaht Lake…

This hoody and similar garments are pretty useful, but they have limitations:

  • there isn’t that much insulation in this hoody so don’t expect it to keep you warm in a Edmonton blizzard.
  • while it’s windproof and water resistant don’t mistake this for a rain jacket…you will get wet.
  • if you get wet the synthetic insulation won’t work so well…it’s better than wet down, but not that much better. What synthetic insulation buys you is a shot at drying out the hoody after it gets wet.
  • to get so light the outer fabric is delicate…it won’t explode while hiking, but it’s not going to survive a ton of bushwhacking or being rubber against sharp rocks.

As long as your expectations are realistic you’ll be happy with this hoody.

Almost too red for my camera!

I’ve only had the Nano Puff for 3 months, but it’s become a regular resident in my backpack or bike bags. It’s almost always handy to have around and it packs small enough that if I don’t use it I don’t feel like it’s a burden to have along. My only concern is how durable it will be. The fabric isn’t very heavy duty, but on the plus side the sewn through quilted construction is easy to repair with a patch so it shouldn’t be too hard to get a few years of use from it.

Are you a Patagoniac?

Almost every major brand has a comparable product these days. Although I appreciate Patagonia’s environmental policies and lifetime warranty – getting a good fit is critical for the minimal insulation to work for you. Definitely try on before you buy and select the garment that fits you the best.

Scott packing his bike…

I have to give Scott credit for demonstrating how practical these lightweight insulated jackets are. He was right…=)



9 responses

12 06 2012
Chris Major

Our local surf shop has recently started stocking these and I’ve always fancied one. I may have to invest come autumn

12 06 2012
Steve Jones

I have something similar by Haglofs. Works great in cool and cold weather and is insulated nicely. Used it for everything. hiking, biking.camping etc.
Much more compact and easier to carry than a fleece and the water resistant coating on the Haglofs REALLY works for commuting in heavy rain. A great investment.

12 06 2012
DanSwick (@DanSwick)

I’ve had a bright orange nano puff pullover for the last 6 months or so and I really love it so far. I actually just officially broke it in on a 12-day touring and camping trip and really learned to love its versatility. Perfect for sitting around camp at night, more breathable than a shell on cold days with hard riding and it doubles as an amazing pillow at night. Toward the end of winter this year I discovered the joys of pairing the nano with a windshirt (houdini in bright orange, ‘natch). Keeps the heat in while being lighter and more breathable than any softshell or hi-zoot membrane I’ve used, at least for biking. And let’s be honest, there’s just something cool about having two jackets that weigh less than 15 oz combined and pack into a small saddlebag with tons of room to spare.

12 06 2012

I have the nano-puff (non-hoody). I love it. Have worn it in the Pacific NW nearly every sub-50 degree day for the last year or so.

But yes, the jacket is very fragile. I’ve gotten 3 tears, and that is without subjecting it to any major abuse or bushwhacking other than getting into and out of a car.

My jacket is black, and I’ve found that I can “patch” it reasonably well with black gaffer tape (like duct tape, but better). One of the patches has lasted about 8 months now and shows no sign of coming off. The tape is not very visible either.

12 06 2012

These are the best jackets I’ve ever found, as a nice compromise for just about every sort of mission.

I’ll probably start hoarding them soon…


13 06 2012

I picked up the Down Sweater full zip from Backcountry and have come to like it. As far as these type of jackets holding up, I believe you do have to consider how they are marketed – to be worn under a shell. I like mine for around camp at night and early morning, and having some extra insurance in case the temps drop below the rating of my bag. They pack up silly small even without a compression sack, and are very comfortable.

13 06 2012

Another thing of note on most Patagonia down jackets is that they are designed to be stuffed into one of their own inside pockets, so they basically carry their own stuff sack!

17 06 2012

found lots of good deals on these $99, $129 via mail order from the US, only to be told they can’t ship Patagonia to Canada. The ones here in Edmonton are $200+. grrr.

14 01 2013

I just got a hoody and a vest. They are very awesome and handy! I use my vest to run in over a tech shirt. The hoody is for errands and just wearing around. The fabric is very crepe like, so I worry about durability long term. The supposedly have a good policy about fixing them. Warm for sure though! A definate “buy”!

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