'Patagonia's iconic lightweight insulation gets an eco upgrade for winter 2016, but is it actually all inside out?'
Outdoors Magic: Lightly insulated and packable, reasonably warm, distinctive looks, iconic status, knock-about, damp-friendly performance, upgraded eco credentials.
Outdoors Tragic: A lot of exposed stitching. A little sweaty on the move. Not cheap.
Outdoors Grabbit? The Nano Puff is an iconic bit of Patagonia kit with its distinctive brickwork quilting pattern and damp-friendly PrimaLoft fill. It packs down small, has a useful, close-fitting hood and is a handy all-round stand-by. The stitch lines look neat, but have abrasion potential and are also potential heat loss points in windy conditions. In purely functional terms, non-quilted alternatives arguably have an edge, but with the latest Nano Puff you're also buying into more sustainable fabrics and philosophy alongside the performance.
Nano Puff Jacket Ratings
Outright Warmth [rating score="2"]
Packability [rating score="4"]
Damp-proofing [rating score="3"]
Overall: [rating score="3.5"]
Light, packable PrimaLoft-filled jacket / 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco with 55% post-consumer recycled content / 100% recycled polyester shell fabric with DWR / twin hand-warmer pockets / elasticated cuffs / adjustable hem / internal zipped pocket doubles as stuff-sac / Brick quilting pattern with durable thread stitching.
Full Review Below
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody 2016 - The Fill
For this year, the Nano Puff range has had an overhaul with more sustainable components. For the fill that means 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco with 55% post-consumer recycled content. Patagonia says it retains '98% of it warmth, even when wet'.
PrimaLoft's the market leader in technical outdoor insulation, but what makes this fill different is its recycled content, something that's bang in line with Patagonia's commitment to sustainability.
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody 2016 - Performance
The Nano Puff's simply a no-nonsense, all-round piece of portable, water-resistant, all-round outdoor insulation. It has a trim fit, a neat, close-fitting hood that also sits nicely under a climbing helmet and packs just enough warmth to up your comfort on short stops and for general pottering about.
It's completely windproof too, but we found it a little bit too sweaty to use for long on the move. We were also a little dubious about the brick-pattern quilting. The stitching holds the insulation in place and looks good - it's the iconic Nano Puff pattern - but it also both exposes the stitching to potential abrasion damage.
And also creates relative cold spots along the seams. You won't feel the wind whistling through as the inner fabric is unstitched and windproof, but it will rob heat from the insulation. Does that matter? We think it's one reason why rivals like the Rab Xenon X feel warmer in real life use, despite having a similar spec on paper.
What that doesn't take into account is the sustainability angle. Not only does the PrimaLoft Eco fill use 55% recycled content, but the liner and shell fabrics are both 100% recycled, Bluesign approved Polyester with a water-repellent DWR finish.
That may or may not matter to you, but it's one of the things that defines Patagonia as a great brand with a real commitment to sustainability.
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody 2016 - Verdict
We like the Nano Puff in a slightly irrational way. It's something about the combination of Patagonia's sustainable ethics and those iconic looks. It works well enough too, small enough to stuff in a pack with just enough insulation payload to make it worth carrying.
In purely functional terms though, that cool-looking brick-pattern quilting should probably be on the inside of the jacket, leaving the outer stitch free to cheat the wind more effectively and hiding the stitching away from abrasion damage. As an experiment, we wore the jacket inside out and it was noticeably warmer, though to be fair, we looked pretty stupid.
In purely functional terms then, we'd go for the Rab Xenon X or the new Berghaus Reversa - review coming shortly - over the Nano Puff, but if you want the looks and the sustainability, the Patagonia jacket is where it's at.