The Patagonia Nanopuff is a legendary puffy jacket in the outdoor world. It’s lightweight, fits well, and is great for layering. It’s stuffed with synthetic insulation, so it retains more of its insulating properties when wet. This is a favorite for backpackers and winter sports alike.
Patagonia Nano Puff
✅ Great fit
✅ Good for layering
✅ Works as an active layer
✅ Insulates when wet
❌ Not the lightest synthetic insulated jacket
- Weight: 11.9 ounces
- Fill: Synthetic 60-gram PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco
- Shell Material: 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a PFC-free DWR finish
- Shell Denier: 20D
- Lining Material: 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a PFC-free DWR finish
- Lining Denier: 22D
The Patagonia Nano Puff is one of the most popular lightweight insulated jackets in the outdoor community. This jacket is one of the most comfortable lightweight puffy jackets we’ve ever worn. It is a staple of a great winter layering system and an excellent standalone insulating layer for summer backpacking trips.
Beloved by thru-hikers, backpackers, skiers, and the like, the Nano Puff uses Primaloft® Gold Eco synthetic insulation to provide an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. This synthetic insulation contains 55% recycled materials and retains its insulating properties when wet. For this reason, the Nano Puff works better as an active layer than down-insulated puffy jackets. And its 20-denier recycled ripstop shell material is more durable than many ultralight synthetic insulated jackets.
So, you can wear this jacket while hiking overgrown trails. Lightweight backpackers and thru-hikers would be hard-pressed to find a better synthetic insulated jacket. Though it’s not the lightest puffy jacket out there, we think the extra 3-4 ounces is worth the weight for all but the most ultralight thru-hikers.
Performance Test Results
What We Tested:
For ultralight backpacking, we recommend a puffy jacket that weighs between 7 and 12 ounces. At just under 12 ounces, the Patagonia Nano Puff is at the higher end of this weight range. It is a lightweight synthetic jacket, but it is certainly not the lightest. Some synthetic puffy jackets are much lighter, weighing under 8 ounces. But, the Nano Puff is still a respectable weight for a synthetic insulation jacket.
Lightweight synthetic jackets tend to be less expensive than down-insulated jackets, and this is the case with the Nano Puff.
The Nano Puff is slightly more expensive than many synthetic puffies. But, this jacket is a great value for the price. It offers excellent performance at a price that's a little less than the ultra-premium models while providing great features and unmatched durability.
The Nano Puff is exceptionally well made. Some synthetic jackets feel like a trash bag when you’re wearing them. On the other hand, the Nano Puff feels like a high-quality jacket and costs only slightly more. This jacket has all the features you would want in a synthetic puffy–zippered hand pockets, zippered inside chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack, a cinch cord waist, and DWR coating. This jacket offers a good warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s not the warmest jacket, but it’s warm enough for lightweight backpacking.
The Patagonia Nano Puff is slightly more costly than other options, but its quality compensates for its price.
The Nano Puff jacket is warm enough to be the only insulating layer you take on a summer backpacking trip. When sitting at camp on cold nights, this jacket is warm enough to keep you comfortable into the upper 30s as long as you have warm leggings, a beanie, and gloves.
This is a 3-season jacket. So in winter or extremely cold conditions, you’ll want to have more layers than only a Nano Puff. This jacket is very popular with skiers because it’s a great layer to use in conjunction with others for a winter layering system.
Since it’s synthetic, you can use the Nano Puff as an active layer, and it will still retain its insulating properties when you sweat in it. I recently wore it on a 45-degree day while backpacking in light rain. Even as it got wet from the rain, it was hot inside as I went uphill. This jacket does well in windy conditions, too. The jacket kept me warm as a cold wind blew over a hill. When I stopped for a break to take in the view, it continued to keep me warm as my body stopped creating as much heat.
The Nano Puff is about as warm compared to other synthetic jackets on the market with the same amount of fill. This isn’t magically warmer than other jackets, but it’s certainly not less warm. For lightweight backpacking, we recommend about 60-80 grams (2-3 ounces) of synthetic fill. The Nano Puff contains 60 grams per meter of PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation, a comparable amount of insulation to other lightweight synthetic jackets.
The Nano Puff can be compressed into its inner chest pocket, which doubles as a stuff sack and zips shut. When compressed into this integrated stuff sack it measures 8 x 6 x 3.5 inches. When compressed, this jacket is not bulky. It is easy to fit in your pack to carry while backpacking. The stuff sack has a small hang loop so you can clip it outside your pack.
This jacket packs down to a comparable size to most insulated jackets when packed into its stuff sack. However, many synthetic insulated jackets do not have an integrated stuff sack pocket. This feature sets the Nano Puff apart from those jackets.
Material & Durability: 10/10
The shell of the Nano Puff is a 20-denier recycled ripstop nylon with a DWR coating. Though it isn’t waterproof, this jacket is highly water resistant. And, when it gets wet, it retains most of its insulating properties. It also dries surprisingly quickly after getting wet.
Some synthetic insulated puffy jackets use as thin as a 7-denier fabric as a shell material. Compared to the 7/10D fabrics of these other jackets, the 20-denier fabric on the Nano Puff is exceptionally durable. The shell material on this jacket feels like it will last a long time.
After a few months of testing this jacket–stuffing it into packs, wearing it on rocky summits, bushwhacking, and generally abusing it–it shows no signs of failing. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this jacket in situations where it would rub against rocks or sharp, thorny plants. I wouldn’t say that about many ultralight puffy jackets out there, either.
Another factor worth mentioning here is Patagonia’s stellar Ironclad Guarantee. They will repair or replace anything they make for the life of the product. This is not the case with most ultralight products, which are guaranteed for a year or two at best. Since Patagonia still hasn’t gone out of business, we can assume they don’t regularly need to replace items they make.
As mentioned above, this is a great piece for a layering system in any season. This is in large part due to the jacket’s breathability.
The Nano Puff works as an active layer because it breathes better than many puffy jackets on the market. When hiking uphill, the full-length zipper and looser fit allow enough airflow to keep you comfortable.
This jacket balances breathability and warmth very well. The ripstop material and just enough insulation create breathability when you’re moving in this jacket. It is still an insulated jacket, so it will get warm during high output activities, but we think it breathes better than most puffy jackets we’ve worn.
Comfort & Fit: 10/10
The Nano Puff is very comfortable and fits remarkably well. When I first put this jacket on, I immediately noticed that it was much more comfortable than the other puffy jackets I’ve worn over the years. This jacket is comfortable enough to hike in and roomy enough to bike or ski in, with layers underneath and on top.
The inner lining material is buttery-soft compared to other ultralight jacket materials. Patagonia also nails the overall cut of this jacket. It’s no wonder that this jacket has been a favorite of outdoorsy folks for years.
Some ultralight jackets feel like they were made based on a two-dimensional model–they’re boxy and don’t fit like a well-tailored garment. Well, the Nano Puff is different. This jacket feels like it was designed using real people as models. This awesome fit makes it one of the most comfortable jackets we’ve ever worn.
The fit of this jacket also allows you to layer a base layer and a fleece underneath easily. Even though it's big enough to layer under, the cut is trim enough to fit under most shells, too. I often have problems determining whether I should buy a small or medium top from brands, but Patagonia’s sizing chart made deciding that I should buy a small in this jacket easy. And even though I went with the smaller of the two sizes I’m usually between, I’ve had no issues layering with this jacket.
The Nano Puff has similar features to most ultralight puffy jackets. However, Patagonia does a better job than most in implementing these features. The Nano Puff has a few unique features, too: a fleece chin guard and integrated stuff sack.
The Nano Puff has two well-placed hand warmer pockets that zip shut. They’re deep enough to bury your entire hand inside each one. It also has an interior zippered chest pocket. The interior pocket is the perfect size for storing a cell phone, map, or both. This internal pocket is also a great place to keep things dry when hiking in the rain.
There is a hem adjuster on the right side of the waist hem of the Nano Puff. This is a simple toggle and shock cord system similar to what you will find on many jackets. It works well and is easy to adjust with one hand while hiking.
BUILT-IN STUFF SACK
The Nano Puff’s inner chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack. This is a very convenient feature that allows you to easily pack this jacket away into a small, compressed size. This feature is simple, yet not all puffy jackets have it. Though the extra zippered pocket adds to the overall weight, we think this is a useful feature worth the extra grams.
The Patagonia Nano Puff's built-in stuff sack.
The wrist cuffs at the end of the sleeves are a stretchy and cottony-soft material. It isn’t the most stretchy material, nor is it adjustable. But, the sleeve cuffs find the right balance of comfort and fit. This material feels good on your wrists and hands even as it rubs on your skin while you move.
The main zipper on the Nano Puff has a zipper pull that makes it easy to grab and operate while on the move or wearing gloves. The zipper is big enough to seem like it won’t fail anytime soon, either. We’ve seen many thru-hikers with their puffy jackets taped closed to make the jacket a pullover after the tiny ultralight zippers failed. We’ve never seen this with the Nano Puff, and we don’t expect to.
The Nano Puff has a chin guard: two small strips of soft material inside the zipper. These strips of fleece-like fabric protect your chin and neck from chafing when wearing the jacket zipped all the way shut. This is a small feature, but one that you don’t often see on ultralight puffy jackets. When wearing this jacket in cold conditions, this small feature makes a big difference.