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Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - Women's Review

Price:   $199 List | $139.30 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Stuffs into inner pocket with a carabiner loop, very light
Cons:  Expensive, boxy cut, low quality stitching
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

Introducing a long-time favorite among rock climbers, alpinists, and hikers, the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket is a classic go-to lightweight layer for protection against the elements. This minimalist jacket is ideal for clipping to a harness or tossing into a backpack - it compresses down to the size of a big deli sandwich, while still providing a great warmth-to-weight ratio. Although it doesn't have some of the cozy features that other jackets offer, it is an incredible workhorse piece that you can quickly toss on during a big adventure.

This non-bulky jacket layers perfectly under a shell, but also provides enough warmth to stand alone in not-so-cold conditions. We don't love the its styling or its cheap stitching, but if you're looking for a solely technical piece that compresses super small while keeping your fairly warm, then the Nano Puff can't be beat.

For a warmer, more attractive technical jacket with more cozy features, check out the The North Face ThermoBall Jacket - Women's or the Editors' Choice winner, the Rab Xenon X Hoodie - Women's. Alternatively, the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody - Women's offers sleek styling and high technical performance, but doesn't stuff into its own pocket.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
November 11, 2014

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A few years ago, we tested the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover, but last year, we upgraded to the full-zip jacket version. The two have a lot of similarities in terms of their performance, but the major difference is that the jacket is not as compressible or light as the pullover. Aside from that, the Nano Puff Jacket is an awesomely warm and lightweight layer that is perfect for anything from long multi-pitch climbs, to going on a fall morning hike, to layering under a shell.

Performance Comparison


Alison finds a nice rest on this super fun 600 ft multipitch rock climb! Even though the Patagonia Nano Puff isn't as mobile as the Nano Air  it has been a loved piece by rock climbers  campers  and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It is light  warm  and super compressible!
Alison finds a nice rest on this super fun 600 ft multipitch rock climb! Even though the Patagonia Nano Puff isn't as mobile as the Nano Air, it has been a loved piece by rock climbers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It is light, warm, and super compressible!

Warmth


The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket relies on 60 g/m2 of PrimaLoft Gold insulation, which offers some of the best compressibility of any jacket in this review. As with all the jackets we reviewed, the Nano Puff's insulation is hydrophobic, so it will still keep you warm if it gets wet. The full-zip jacket and hoody have hand pockets and a pull cord at the hemline to seal in warmth, but the pullover version of this product skimps on both these features and instead serves as a much more minimalistic piece.

Alison and Giles are way too cute in their matching Patagonia Nano Puff jackets. Alison (left) wears a full zip  while Giles styles a 1/4 zip pullover. Both options (including one with a hood) is available - suited for different activities.
Alison and Giles are way too cute in their matching Patagonia Nano Puff jackets. Alison (left) wears a full zip, while Giles styles a 1/4 zip pullover. Both options (including one with a hood) is available - suited for different activities.

Surprisingly, this jacket was almost as warm as some of the slightly more bulky pieces like the Rab Xenon X, and significantly warmer than both the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket - Women's and Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket - Women's. On the other hand, The North Face ThermoBall was a touch warmer, offering a little more loft on those cold days.

Compressibility & Weight


The second lightest jacket that we reviewed, next to the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket, the Nano Puff was one of the most compact when compressed. It packs down into its chest pocket to about the size of a big pastrami sandwich on rye. Our testers agreed that this was the jacket's single greatest attribute. It also comes equipped with a sturdy gear loop to clip it to a harness or backpack. Interestingly, other jackets like the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic and the North Face ThermoBall will stuff into the Nano Puff's pocket, meaning that they are just as compressible, but because their manufacturers made their stuff pockets a little extra roomy, they don't pack down into as compact a package.

The Nano Puff Jacket stuffs into its breast pocket and has an incorporated double zipper and beefy accessory loop. It's a perfect addition for those looking to clip and stash their jacket on long missions.
The Nano Puff Jacket stuffs into its breast pocket and has an incorporated double zipper and beefy accessory loop. It's a perfect addition for those looking to clip and stash their jacket on long missions.

Weather Resistance


We weren't overly impressed with this jacket's water resistance, but found it to be better than the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic. Water beaded up on this jacket for a moment, but it soon soaked in, especially on the quilted stitches. We did notice that it did not absorb a whole lot of water through our shower test and was still quick to dry out.

This outer shell is definitely not waterproof  but the jacket as a whole does a great job wicking water and keeping it away from the skin. During this 5 minute shower test  we were left bone dry. To top it off  when we left it out to dry  this was one of the fastest drying coats of the selection. Another point in the technical feature department.
This outer shell is definitely not waterproof, but the jacket as a whole does a great job wicking water and keeping it away from the skin. During this 5 minute shower test, we were left bone dry. To top it off, when we left it out to dry, this was one of the fastest drying coats of the selection. Another point in the technical feature department.

During our wind resistance tests, this piece performed similarly to the ThermoBall and Thermostatic quilted jackets. Although it offers some wind resistance, eventually we were left with the shivers. Continuous shell pieces like the Rab Xenon X and Arc'teryx Atom AR Hoody - Women's do a much better job at cutting the cold simply because those jackets don't have as many seams and stitches as these quilted jackets.

Comfort & Coziness


As a minimalist jacket, this product just isn't that comfy or cozy. Although it has a few features, like a garaged zipper (all versions) and a pull cord at the hemline (full-zip jacket and hooded models), it lacks comforts like fleece-lined hand pockets and fleece-lined chin guards (we love those, especially on the Editors' Choice winning Rab Xenon X). Additionally, its fabric doesn't have any stretch, which makes the jacket pull up when you put your arms over your head. Finally, it has a bit of a boxy cut, making it less fitted, and - in our testers' opinions - less comfy. For a jacket that is more fitted and offers some of those fleecy comforts, try the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic or the Outdoor Research Uberlayer - Women's

The elastic hand cuffs  garaged zipper  and comfortable felted chin liner are additions to this technical jacket's minimalist design.
The elastic hand cuffs, garaged zipper, and comfortable felted chin liner are additions to this technical jacket's minimalist design.

Breathability


Similar to most of the quilted jackets tested, the Nano Puff also demonstrated decent breathability while outside playing. This is one of the reasons it's a go-to piece for many climbers and hikers alike. If you want a jacket geared towards highly aerobic winter activity, check out our Top Pick for Breathability, the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody - Women's.

When it's close to freezing  a windy and shaded belay is not ideal. Luckily Alison could layer her Patagonia Nano over an soft shell to both lock in heat  and cut the wind. This layer doesn't hack it on this exposed  frigid belay.
When it's close to freezing, a windy and shaded belay is not ideal. Luckily Alison could layer her Patagonia Nano over an soft shell to both lock in heat, and cut the wind. This layer doesn't hack it on this exposed, frigid belay.

Style & Fit


Patagonia advertises this piece as having a "Regular Fit." Most of our testers for this review have an athletic build and found this jacket to be very boxy. While the sleeves are long enough for fairly long arms, the cut is a little shorter and rides up easier than other jackets in the review. This year, the jacket has rectangular baffles with a whole new variety of colors. Overall this jacket has a techy look with a little less style.

Brittany is feeling comfy in this coat. Despite its high quality and smooth fabric  the puff jacket has a fairy boxy fit with a shorter torso. Not one of the most stylish  but still cute none the less.
Brittany is feeling comfy in this coat. Despite its high quality and smooth fabric, the puff jacket has a fairy boxy fit with a shorter torso. Not one of the most stylish, but still cute none the less.

Best Applications


Without hesitation, we would say that the best application for the Patagonia Nano Puff is multi-pitch rock climbing. In this scenario, the jacket clips easily to your harness and serves as the perfect extra lightweight layer that you can throw on if the wind kicks up or the sun disappears behind the clouds. It also works well as a lightweight non-bulky mid layer that fits perfectly under a shell or other jacket during cold winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, or ice climbing. However, it's important to note here that this model isn't breathable like the Rab Strata Hoody - Women's or the new Outdoor Research Uberlayer.

The rock is where the Nano Puff is a classic and timeless piece. Being a somewhat breathable  warmth  and thin jacket  it allows mobility and warmth. It compresses to the size of a quart-size sandwich bag  making it perfect for long missions where lightweight and high value additions are needed.
The rock is where the Nano Puff is a classic and timeless piece. Being a somewhat breathable, warmth, and thin jacket, it allows mobility and warmth. It compresses to the size of a quart-size sandwich bag, making it perfect for long missions where lightweight and high value additions are needed.

Value


The full-zip jacket has a price tag of $200, which is the going rate for the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic jacket, Outdoor Research Cathode (Best Buy winner) and the North Face Thermoball Jacket.The Nano Puff is a great technical piece, but we wished that the stitching held up longer, especially for this price tag. One thing to consider is that one of the biggest complaints with this product is its lack of durability through its stitching and zippers. The zipper used has small teeth, and more likely to fail then the burly zippers of all other jackets tested. Needless to say, Patagonia will replace any manufacturer defect including a busted zipper, or undone stitching for the lifetime of the garment.

In general the Nano Puff Jacket will last you a long time  but watch out for the less beefy  small toothed zippers. Although more stylish  they have a long history of blowing out after a year or two. Luckily Patagonia backs their products with a lifetime guarantee and will fix your zipper for free - even if your garment is ten years old.
In general the Nano Puff Jacket will last you a long time, but watch out for the less beefy, small toothed zippers. Although more stylish, they have a long history of blowing out after a year or two. Luckily Patagonia backs their products with a lifetime guarantee and will fix your zipper for free - even if your garment is ten years old.

Conclusion


The Nano Puff Jacket is a great go-to piece when you are looking for an awesome mid layer on colder days or a lightweight belay jacket for long multi-pitch climbs.

Harness  hood  and layering compatible. It also stuffs into its own pocket with an accessory loop if needed. What else do you need?
Harness, hood, and layering compatible. It also stuffs into its own pocket with an accessory loop if needed. What else do you need?

Other Versions


Nano Puff Jacket
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
  • Men's version
  • Weight - 11.8 oz
  • Cost - $199

Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody and Nano Puff Hoody - Women's
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Women's synthetic insulated jacket
  • Hooded version
  • Great for multi-pitch rock climbing
  • Cost - $249
Amber King and Amanda Fenn

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 11, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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4 star: 100%  (1)
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