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Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Review

Patagonia Nano Puff Hood
Price:   $249 List | $174.30 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Slick fabrics layer well, stuffs into pocket with clip loop
Cons:  Expensive, heavier than similar lightweights, lots of stiching to abrade
Bottom line:  Probably the most popular insulated jacket of all time. Not the highest performing, but durable and stylish.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is to insulated jackets what the The North Face Denali is to fleece: mega-classic, durable and stylish. It's been around forever and basically started the lightweight synthetic jacket category. It is simple, layers well, and packs into its own pocket; however, many of its newer competitors are a bit lighter and warmer. Whereas other jackets focus on either weather resistance, or breathability for high energy use, this piece is more of a general workhorse. That said, the Nano Puff has been around for a long time and continues to be a favorite for many, especially for multi-pitch rock climbing. For this season, Patagonia chose to use Primaloft Gold insulation Eco, which is produced with 55% post consumer content, and a 100% recycled polyester shell liner.

For a lighter, warmer, less expensive, more weather resistant jacket, check out the Editors' Choice award-winning Rab Xenon X. This model has a lightweight Pertex shell that offers greater wind protection than the Nano Puff Hoody's quilted design. The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody received middle of the road scores in all performance rating metrics. Patagonia has stuck with their classic, generalist design for this model, while introducing the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody for high energy activities, where breathability is key. The Nano Puff compresses very small into its chest pocket and remains an excellent and classic choice for clipping to your harness or carrying while backpacking and hiking.

Get the jacket if you don't need a hood
Nano Puff Jacket
The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket has no hood and is a little lighter and less expensive. Without the hood, it's easier to layer under other hooded jackets. For example, it much easier to wear under a ski jacket. It also just looks better around town. Both models are classics although the hoodless version is probably the best selling insulated jacket of all time.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Synthetic Insulated Jackets of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Matt Bento
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday
April 13, 2017

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Performance Comparison



This jacket kept our tester warm on the ground  but he took it off to climb since it doesn't breathe very well.
This jacket kept our tester warm on the ground, but he took it off to climb since it doesn't breathe very well.

Warmth


This insulated jacket uses 60 g/m2 Primaloft Gold insulation Eco held in place with quilted squares. All the stitching in these squares lets some air pass through, which is nice if you're looking for some breathability, but not great when the winds start howling. This insulation compresses better than Coreloft and Polartec Alpha and will maintain its warmth when damp. An elastic cinch at the hem lets you seal in warmth, but the loose wrist cuffs let heat escape. We found this model a bit warmer than the Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket and less warm than the Rab Xenon X.

Weight & Compressibility


This is one of the heavier of the lightly insulated pieces we tested. At 12.3oz, it's an ounce heavier than the warmer Xenon X, but it's much lighter than the similarly constructed North Face Thermoball Hoody. What the Nano Puff Hoody does offer, however, is excellent compressibility. It stuffs tightly into its chest pocket, creating one of the smaller stuffed packages we tested. This makes it very popular for multi-pitch climbing. Having a jacket with a low stuffed profile is great for squirming through chimneys in Yosemite and Zion, but keep in mind that the smaller the stuffed size of a jacket, the longer it takes to pack away. The Rab Xenon X could compress as small as the Nano Puff, but since it isn't compressed as tightly, it packs away much more easily and quickly.

The packed size of the Nano Puff  as compared to this tasty can of beer.
The packed size of the Nano Puff, as compared to this tasty can of beer.

Comfort


This insulated jacket's minimalist features make it a lightweight and functional piece, but it earned a relatively low comfort score overall. Slippery fabrics allow it to layer well under a shell, but those same fabrics feel sticky if you start to sweat. Though designed with climbing in mind, the short hem length tends to ride up when raising your arms. Patagonia uses a snug-fitting, non-adjustable hood design that fits well under a climbing helmet.

We appreciated the comfortable micro fleece patches that form a "zipper garage" when the jacket is fully zipped up against the face. Two deep, zippered hand pockets lined with slippery nylon and an internal zippered pocket on the left chest provide ample storage. The jacket stuffs into this chest pocket, while the main zipper and the hand pockets have easy-to-grab zipper pulls. The wrist cuffs are simple and comfortable, but not as snug as we would like. The hem cinch has one cord lock located on the right side.

We'd prefer tighter fitting cuffs. This jacket has conveniently large zipper pulls and a popular quilted pattern.
We'd prefer tighter fitting cuffs. This jacket has conveniently large zipper pulls and a popular quilted pattern.

Weather Resistance


This is one of the light models we would call fairly weather resistant. While the outer shell is sewn-through, the interior nylon liner serves to block wind that penetrates the seams. While the DWR on the Puff's outer fabric beads water well, there is tons of stitching sewn through it. You definitely want to have a light shell layer handy if you're heading out in threatening weather. The Xenon X, with its near continuous Pertex Quantum outer fabric, performs much better when the rain and wind rolls in. The sewn-through design seen in The North Face ThermoBall Hoody creates thread holes that go all the way through the jacket's layers. The Nano Puff's liner fabric resists the wind once it comes through the exterior.

Breathability


This is not one of the more breathable models we tested. Both the outer shell fabric and interior liner contribute to blocking air flow. The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody and the Outdoor Research Uberlayer both use advanced insulation and stretchy permeable fabrics that create excellent breathability for high energy use. The Nano Puff functions best as a lightweight belay jacket.

Style


The quilted square pattern featured on the Nano Puff has been popular for years. We think it looks nice, and this year it is available in five colors. Our black test model has been dragged through the dirt, camped in, and slept in. Like the other high quality jackets in this review, a quick spin through the wash will leave will leave the Nano Puff looking good as new, and also help revitalize the DWR treatment.

A beloved classic  this jacket is light and simple. We wish that the hem didn't ride up so much when reaching above our heads. Sized snug  it makes for an excellent mid-layer.
A beloved classic, this jacket is light and simple. We wish that the hem didn't ride up so much when reaching above our heads. Sized snug, it makes for an excellent mid-layer.

Best Applications


This insulated jacket is very small when stuffed into its pocket, which makes it perfect for carrying on multi-pitch climbs while clipped to your harness. Throw it on at belays or when the route passes into the shade. The slippery fabrics inside and out also make it a good cold weather layering piece for backpacking, hiking, and skiing.

Value


With a street price of $250, there are much better values to be had. Still, we think it's cool that the Nano Puff is constructed from so much recycled material, and it is backed by Patagonia's excellent warranty. If you love the Nano Puff design, but want to save some money, check out the non-hooded and pullover versions listed just below in our Other Versions section.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is a classic generalist jacket. It stuffs really small and is great for clipping to your harness or toting in your backpacking kit. That said, lightly insulated jackets are quickly becoming more specialized. We prefer the breathable Patagonia Nano-Air for high energy use, and the more wind and water resistant Rab Xenon X for multi-pitch climbing.

A favorite of many desert rats  this jacket has gained a lot of mainstream popularity over the years. Here it layers nicely over a light fleece.
A favorite of many desert rats, this jacket has gained a lot of mainstream popularity over the years. Here it layers nicely over a light fleece.

Other Versions


Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
  • Cost - $199
  • Weight - 11.8 oz
  • Hood-less version of the Nano Puff Hoody

Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover
Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover - Men's
  • Cost - $169
  • Weight - 9.6 oz
  • Pullover model
  • PrimaLoft Gold insulation Eco
Matt Bento

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 13, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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