Patagonia Men's Nano Puff Jacket

Patagonia Nano Puff.jpg

The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket ($199) is a very warm layer that is lightweight, packable and  made from recycled fabrics and materials. It has a water repellent shell and insulation that touts extreme heat retention. It also packs down into its inside pocket for maximum stow-ability. I decided to test those features while working, playing and traveling.

Patagonia logo.  Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

Patagonia logo. Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket packs into its pocket.  Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket packs into its pocket. Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

Testing Conditions

Damp winter weather in Oregon & Washington state

I’ve had this jacket for a little over two weeks now. In that time I’ve worn it to work, on whitewater kayaking trips and during a trip to the Bahamas. While none of those activities fall under ‘suggested use’ I found the jacket is functional in both alpine and non-alpine settings. Its abrasion resistance and water repellent features also held up during whitewater kayaking trips and long days outside in the chilly Pacific Northwest winters.

My full time job involves spending 6-8 hours outside, rain or shine. At work I am generally hauling, cutting or processing large downed trees. I also scale trees using a system of ropes and harnesses in order to cut limbs and process them for removal. The nano puff was a great mid layer for light work on the ground and a comfortable layer for colder days spent outside at 35-40F.

I also decided to test the manufacturer’s claim of “98% warmth retention when wet” by layering the jacket underneath my drysuit on several whitewater kayaking trips. The material is compressible enough that I wore it as a base layer. Even when it was damp, the jacket kept me warm and comfortable.

The tapered, elastic sleeves also help keep out the cold.  Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

The tapered, elastic sleeves also help keep out the cold. Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

Use

This jacket is warm. I used the adjustable drawstring along the waistline to either vent, or trap heat as needed. Additionally, the wrists and neck have tapered openings which help keep the wearer nice and toasty.

The waist drawstring allows the wearer to trap or vent heat as needed.  Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

The waist drawstring allows the wearer to trap or vent heat as needed. Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards


The jacket is intended to be worn with a midweight or lightweight base layer, depending on outside temperatures. The large fits nicely over a second  layer. It can also be worn underneath a shell if you need more protection from the elements. It really earns high marks for insulation, breathability and a comfortable fit. The jacket insulates and breathes enough for you to maintain a steady and comfortable temperature. On days when I intended to be very active, I wore the jacket with a light layer underneath and was very comfortable. In windy or extra cold temperatures I paired the jacket with either a shell on top or a second base layer underneath and achieved the same result.

I tested the Patagonia Nano Puff on several whitewater kayaking trips by wearing it as a baselayer underneath my dry suit.  Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

I tested the Patagonia Nano Puff on several whitewater kayaking trips by wearing it as a baselayer underneath my dry suit. Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

Fit and Comfort

The jacket is described as a regular fit on Patagonia's website. Think neither slim nor particularly boxy. It’s roomy enough in the shoulders to allow for solid range of motion without the entire jacket riding up—which makes it a great choice for active lifestyles.

Photo by Adam Edwards

Photo by Adam Edwards

Limitations

While the outer-shell is durable and forgiving, that doesn’t mean it’s snag proof! I recommend avoiding dense underbrush to keep your Nano Puff I’m good condition. The jacket is more wind and abrasion resistant than rough and tumble. This jacket is a mid layer, and while the heat retention features are selling points, it is not a shell and is not guaranteed to protect you from the elements or a polar vortex.

Summary

The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket is a great mid layer for most outdoor activities—whether you’re a climber, skier, hiker or simply in search of a well made mid layer.

Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards

Photo courtesy of Adam Edwards