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Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Review

Probably the most popular insulated jacket of all time, but not the highest performing, it's durable and stylish
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $249 List | $249.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Slick fabrics layer well, stuffs into pocket with clip loop
Cons:  Expensive, heavier than similar lightweights, lots of stiching to abrade
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Andy Wellman & Matt Bento  ⋅  Nov 4, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 5
  • Weight and Compressibility - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8
  • Breathability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is mega-classic, durable, and stylish. It's been around forever and 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. Since it's so small when stuffed into its pocket, it's 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $249.00 at REI
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Pros Slick fabrics layer well, stuffs into pocket with clip loopLight, easily stowable, very weather resistantLightweight, wind and water resistant, quite warm, durable face fabricLightweight, warm, great wind protection, sheds water well, affordableVery warm, great features set, packs away easily
Cons Expensive, heavier than similar lightweights, lots of stiching to abradeDoesn't breathe, expensiveExpensive, no hem drawcords, hood is slightly tight with a helmet onDoesn’t breathe well, fit isn’t very athleticNot the lightest
Bottom Line Probably the most popular insulated jacket of all time, but not the highest performing, it's durable and stylishWhen it comes to features, this jacket has everything you need and nothing you don'tA versatile and lightweight insulated jacket that offers superior weather resistance, and remains impressively warmThe best lightweight insulated outer layer is highly wind resistant and impressively warmWith hi loft, water-resistant insulation, this jacket is a great option for staying warm on cold, damp days, and doesn't break the bank
Rating Categories Patagonia Nano Puff... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Patagonia DAS Light... Rab Xenon Hoodie Rab Nebula Pro
Warmth (25%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Weight And Compressibility (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
3.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Breathability (15%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Patagonia Nano Puff... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Patagonia DAS Light... Rab Xenon Hoodie Rab Nebula Pro
Measured Weight (size) 12.4 oz (S) 10.5 oz (S) 11.0 oz (S) 11.0 oz (S) 20.3 oz (S)
Insulation Primaloft Gold Eco (60g) Coreloft (65g/m²) 65 g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester 60 g Stratus Cirrus HL
Outer Fabric 100% recycled polyester, DWR finish Arato (10D nylon ripstop) 10-D 100% nylon ripstop Pertex Endurance Atmos ripstop Pertex Quantum Pro (30D recycled nylon)
Stuffs Into Itself? No Yes Yes Yes, clip loop Includes stuff sack
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal 2 zippered hand, 2 internal 1 chest zippered, 2 handwarmer zippered 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody receives middle-of-the-road scores in all performance rating metrics. Patagonia has stuck with their classic, generalist design for this model and has also introduced other options when 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, and will save you a bit of cash when compared to other Patagonia synthetic options.

Get the jacket if you don't need a hood
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.

Performance Comparison


Springtime in the mountains can be cold, then hot, then cold again!...
Springtime in the mountains can be cold, then hot, then cold again! It's a good idea to have a lightweight insulator like this one on hand.
Photo: Jason Peters

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 majority of the active insulated layers that now dominate the market.

Weight & Compressibility


This is one of the heavier of the lightly insulated pieces we tested. At 12.7 ounces for a size small, it's a bit heavier than other smalls we tested. 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. Stuffing this thing into its pocket certainly takes a hot minute.

This is the OG stuff-in-the-pocket puffy, and it set the standard in...
This is the OG stuff-in-the-pocket puffy, and it set the standard in packable puffies for the last decade.
Photo: Matt Bento

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.

The included clip-in loop makes this jacket ready for long climbing...
The included clip-in loop makes this jacket ready for long climbing routes.
Photo: Jason Peters

We appreciated the comfortable microfleece 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 straightforward, but not as snug as we would like. The hem cinch has one cord lock located on the right side.

This jacket has conveniently large zipper pulls and a popular...
This jacket has conveniently large zipper pulls and a popular quilted pattern.
Photo: Jason Peters

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 blocks 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. We have found that models with nearly continuous outer fabric perform much better when the rain and wind rolls in, and yet 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 airflow. Many other jackets use advanced insulation and stretchy permeable fabrics that create excellent breathability for high-energy use and are thus better choices if breathability is one of your top concerns. The Nano Puff functions best as a lightweight belay jacket.

As technology has advanced over the years, this has become more...
As technology has advanced over the years, this has become more accepted as a "lifestyle" jacket than a performance piece, but it's still highly effective insulation for the backcountry.
Photo: Jason Peters

Value


While not the most expensive Patagonia insulated jacket you can buy, 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.

This jacket is loaded with features, including a cinch cord at the...
This jacket is loaded with features, including a cinch cord at the hem to seal in warmth.
Photo: Jason Peters

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 more breathable options for high-energy use and more wind and water-resistant options for multi-pitch climbing.

This jacket is available in a ton of colors, brights, and also low...
This jacket is available in a ton of colors, brights, and also low profile colors like gray and black.
Photo: Jason Peters

Andy Wellman & Matt Bento