Patagonia Nano Puff Review:
10 Oz of No-Wind, No-Cold
& No-Worries

by | Oct 2, 2020

In a chaotic world, the Patagonia Nano Puff is pleasantly predictable. As we’ll cover in this Patagonia Nano Puff Review, it does everything you hoped it would do, in exactly the way you hoped it would do it. It’s ultralight; it’s ultra-warm; it’s exceedingly packable. It’s sustainably-made yet technical. Functional yet stylish.

You may be thinking, “hmm, jack of all trades but master of none?” A valid question, but one I am happy to report need not be asked. As Patagonia tends to do, it has perfected this down jacket. So much so, in fact, that I’d like for this Patagonia Nano Puff jacket review to double as a name change proposal—the Patagonia Chameleon.

(More on that fantastic idea and the ins-and-out of the jacket du jour below.)

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First, let’s review my very elementary knowledge about chameleons. They change color to adapt to their situation. Blending in, standing out, and even regulating their temperature is all just a hue away. 

patagonia-nano-puff-jacket-imagePatagonia Nano Puff, with its hyper-warm (100% recycled!) PrimaLoft insulation, water-resistant DWR finish, legendary compressibility, and comfortable fit, knows a little something about that. It seamlessly transitions from a backcountry sunrise to a sunset happy hour, all while looking and performing like the perfect piece for either.  

If you’re anything like me, this earns the Patagonia Chameleon, ehm Nano Puff, major points. It’s my backpacking jacket AND my city-touring jacket. It’s my corn hole tournament jacket AND my morning surf check jacket.

And through all of that, it’s light, discreet, and fantastically warm. 

One jacket, one million uses? Consider that another coin in Patagonia’s already overflowing sustainability bucket. (1% for the Planet member? Check. B-Corp? Of course. Fair Trade Certified? Obviously. Revolutionizing the outdoor industry with recyclable, sustainable materials? Chu know it.) These guys are good.

Our Buy Ensemble Rating: Patagonia Nano Puff

Product

5/5

The four W’s are nailed. Warm, windproof, weight ratio, water-resistant. You get so much functionality in a 10 oz package. It’s kind of ridiculous.

PEOPLE

5/5

I’d award one billion stars if I could. They’re like heat-seeking missiles designed to find and destroy the sustainability gaps in their industry.

PLANET

5/5

Patagonia all but writes the book on social and environmental business ethics. We’ll summarize with this: they’re aiming to be carbon neutral by 2025.

PRICE

4/5

They don’t call it Pata-Gucci for nothin’. Cheaper products exist. But the price tag feels worth it knowing that they’re not cutting any corners.

Nano Puff FAQs:

patagonia-man-running-in-jacket

1. Is the Nano Puff down?

The Nano Puff is a synthetic down jacket. Patagonia intelligently swaps out the down of jackets past for 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco. A 100% postconsumer recycled polyester (see ya, plastic water bottles) made with P.U.R.E. (Produced Using Reduced Emissions) technology, it boasts a super low carbon footprint, slashes the typical CO2 emissions of a synthetic jacket, and rocks a solid warmth-to-weight ratio. 

The synthetic down composition comes with an added benefit—if the rain sneaks past the DWR finish, the synthetic down can still perform. It provides substantial warmth even when wet and will dry pretty quickly when the clouds clear.

2. How warm is the Patagonia Nano Puff?

Temperature might be a number, but cold is a feeling. And Patagonia doesn’t want to tell you how to feel. (Respect.) 

So, although you won’t find any official temperature ratings associated with the Patagonia Nano Puff, the universe seems to agree that 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit is its sweet spot. 

In a more abstract interpretation—it’s perfect for shoulder seasons, a California winter, as a layering piece beneath a wind shell, or for cold weather wanderings where you’re constantly in motion. It’s a winter mid-layer and a spring outer layer. It is…not to push the topic…a weather chameleon.

3. How does Patagonia Nano Puff Fit?

Described as a Standard fit by Patagonia, the Nano Puff sports a boxy, athletic shape. The sizing runs a little big—as a generally tried-and-true medium gal, I could easily fit a cotton sweatshirt base layer beneath it. 

In the name of warmth optimization, I opted for the Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody. The hoody is snug, but not so snug as to prevent me from wearing a beanie beneath it. Which I always opt to do, since the elastic fit around the face makes me look like a q-tip if I don’t wear one (that might be a personal problem though). 

If we’re being practical, the elastic features around the face and arm holes, plus the drawcord along the hem, are for sealing in warmth. Not for creating human q-tips. Or easing the boxiness around the bottom of the jacket. Although, they happen to do both.

4. Is Patagonia Nano Puff Waterproof?

The Nano Puff is not waterproof, although it is coated with DWR (durable water repellent). This makes it weather-resistant and comfortably able to tolerate a light rain.

Down jackets and rain? Typically a bad combo—but the synthetic insulation keeps doing its job even when wet and dries relatively quickly. That being said, if you know stormy skies are inevitable, you easily can and should layer the Nano Puff beneath a rain shell.

5. How Do You Wash a Nano Puff Jacket?

You can machine wash the Nano Puff and that is something to celebrate. No hand washing or dry cleaning necessary; the synthetic insulation and polyester shell fare just fine in a warm water cycle. Even better, you can machine dry the jacket. 

In an effort to extend my sweet, precious puff’s lifespan, I opt for hang drying. But if you’re out of time or patience in the wash-and-cycle dance, the dryer will do her no harm.

Our Patagonia Nano Puff Review:

Patagonia came out with the first version of the Nano Puff in 2010. That’s a decade ago. 

patagonia-old-jacket-rowing-boat

Do you know how many fashion trends have passed through the last decade? How many photos of yourself circa 2010 you could look at and not think, “What was I thinking?” 

And yet, this puffy, packable piece has endured as a top-seller throughout all that time. It’s reached legend status in more closets than just mine, and for good reason. 

It’s a timeless, portable blanket that warms and dries and stashes and protects with complete and total ease. All things to love, to be sure, but Patagonia wouldn’t dare stop there. 

While functionality in a premium outdoor jacket is something you can comfortably expect, unwavering equity between sustainability and functionality is something that only this brand has truly mastered.

Every detail, from the stitching to the insulation is layered with good news. We’re talking 100% postconsumer recycled polyester, BLUESIGN approved fabrics, and fair trade certified construction. And that speaks to the jacket alone.

As a company, Patagonia sprinkles activism into everything they do. Their website is almost as much of a marketing site as it is a motivational speaker. Environmental & social causes, ethical business—it’s all a part of their ethos, and they make no compromises.

  Next Step

If you want to get to know the man (and reluctant entrepreneur) that started the sustainable, uncompromising, adventurer brand, check out Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My People Go Surfing (or shortcut it by just skimming our review).

Patagonia Nano Puff yellow jacket

👍 The Good & Bad of Patagonia’s Nano Puff 👎

 PROS

  • Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Light & packable; fits in pocket stuff sack
  • Intelligent details like handwarmer pockets & zipper garage
  • Water-resistant; warm when wet and dries quickly

 CONS

  • High price point
  • Requires layering for very cold conditions
  • Limited breathability during high activity

The Deets on the Jacket!

It’s time this gear review got serious. You’re starting to get an idea of the Nano Puff’s chameleon-like functionality, but what really makes it so special? Let’s assess: 

Lightweight Ripstop Shell:

patagonia-nano-puff-ripstop-fabricMade of 100% recycled polyester, the 20-denier shell of the Nano Puff features a DWR finish and horizontal quilting pattern for extra durability and abrasion resistance. But like…what does that really mean? 

Denier and ripstop simply mean “I’m tough” in jacket speak. The DWR finish helps that surprise rainstorm literally and figuratively roll off your shoulders, and the quilting pattern keeps the synthetic down where it should be—spread evenly, for maximum warmth. 

100% Recycled Synthetic Down Insulation:

patagonia-jacket-recycled-materialsIn these modern times, why do with geese feathers what you can do with recycled water bottles? The Nano Puff’s 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco rebuttals, “We wouldn’t.” Built with P.U.R.E.™ (Produced Using Reduced Emissions) technology, Patagonia’s Primaloft reduces their polyester production footprint by over half. 

Still not sure if synthetic down beats out the real thing? Besides being a cleaner source of lightweight insulation, synthetic down stays warm when it’s wet and dries über fast. It also does a great job at regulating your body temperature—rather than turning your body into a raging inferno susceptible to the jacket-on, jacket-off game, it keeps your temp at an even keel. 

So, the geese keep their feathers, Mother keeps the Earth, and you keep your body warmth even when the weather takes a turn. And that’s that. 

Weather Proof Details:

patagonia-nano-puff-jacket-waterproofFor a small package, the Nano Puff is pretty effective at neutralizing weather, in all her moods. The polyester shell fights off wind, the synthetic down shuts down cold, and the fine details in between make sure things stay that way. What fine details do you ask?

The zipper garage at the chin provides next to skin comfort, even when you’re fully zipped. The zippered handwarmer pockets provide strategic warmth and spill-proof protection—while the drawcord hem and elastic hood trim lock the elements out. 

Total Packability:

patagonia-total-packabilityIt’s time for the main event. Allllll that goodness comes in a super, teeny-tiny package. The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody weighs in at just 10.8 oz. Light as a feather. (A synthetic feather.)

The zippered internal chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack, meaning all that warmth comes in a supremely small package. One that can easily fit in your purse, backpack, briefcase, and beyond.

Style Options:

patagonia-nano-puff-style-optionsWhile I opted for the Nano Puff Hoody, the Nano Puff technology comes in all sorts of flavors. Parkas, pullovers and vests, hooded or hoodless—there’s a Nano Puff for every taste.

So whether you’re a backpacker or hiker, into rock climbing or city cruisin’, there’s a puff with your name on it.

What are the People Saying about Patagonia’s Nano Puff?

Everyone has good things to say about this lil’ puffy. Everyone.

Review Worth Every Cent
Review Yes and Yes
Review Nano Puff Hoody

Still Not Convinced? Other Options to Explore… 🤔

A puff is a puff is a puff, some might say. While I’ve found that each puff is a little different than the last, there’s certainly a lot of really great puffs out there. Here’s a few options if case you’re not sure Patagonia is the puff for you:

The North Face Thermoball

northface-thermoball-jacket-imageA strong competitor, The North Face Thermoball is their version of the Nano Puff. Honestly, they’re pretty darn similar.

Also made with 100% postconsumer recycled synthetic insulation and blue sign fabrics, the Thermoball boasts much of the same functionality with a slightly slimmer fit. If you’re a backpacker counting ounces, the hooded version is also about 2 ounces heavier. It runs about the same price as Patagonia’s Nano Puff.

Arc’Teryx Proton LT

Arcteryx-Proton-LT-Jacket1Another formidable player in the lightweight, packable synthetic down jacket game is the Arc’Teryx Proton LT. Word on the street is that this jacket is far more breathable than our friend the Nano Puff. So if you’re looking for a high-octane layering piece, this could be the puff for you.

In addition to being slightly more expensive than the Nano Puff, Arc’Teryx isn’t nearly as much of a go-getter in the sustainability realm. Not that they’re doing poorly. Committed to using BLUESIGN fabrics and sporting a solid philosophy centered on product longevity, there’s still a lot to love here.

Patagonia’s Nano Puff The Magic Jacket

patagonia-nano-puff-stasherSo there you have it, friends. The weather-defying, ultra-light, ultra-loveable, carry-on friendly, last-minute chill savior, and space-saving superhero: the Patagonia Nano Puff. Besides the day-to-day functionality, this product is built to last the ages. 

And if it doesn’t, their Ironclad Guarantee has your back. And if it does, but your needs change, you can dabble in the Worn Wear game. Ugh, Patagonia. You think of everything. 

(Oh, and if you were wondering—I did cross-examine the Nano Puff with my Stasher bags. It fits in the stand-up Stasher. Score.)

Rebecca Cruse

Rebecca Cruse

Grow Ensemble Contributor

Rebecca writes stuff from her home in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Whether it’s the outdoors or travel, ethical brands or local breweries, Rebecca is always excited to share stories about the things she loves.

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