Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – Climbing Gear Review

Nano Puff synthetic insulation from Patagonia, shave off weight and move faster….

Performance *****

Quality ****

Value for money ****

RRP £160.00

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket used as outer wear on the summit of Mt Blanc in August. The clean lines of the garment work well underneath or over a climbing harness.

Patagonia say: “Windproof and water-resistant, the Nano Puff® Jacket is warm, incredibly lightweight, highly compressible and can be worn as insulation or outerwear in cold climates.”

Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket is a lightweight, Primaloft insulated, windproof and water resistant layering piece designed to offer maximum warmth for minimum weight. It features a full length zip and 2 zippered handwarmer pockets as well as an internal zippered valuables pocket into which the jacket can be stashed. It follows on in their Nano range from the super-popular pullover. The range has now expanded to feature a Vest or gilet (I have one and love it!! In fact I may need to have it surgically removed!!), full zip Hoody and Nano Storm which includes a waterproof hard shell outer.

The first thing I’d say is that the Nano Puff Jacket is it’s incredibly versatile. I’ve used it for wandering around town, as a belay jacket for summer cragging, around campsites on cool summer evenings, worn it rock climbing, on Alpine north faces, skied in it and used it as a lightweight belay jacket in Scotland in winter. That’s a lot of use!! And it works!!

You can wear it as outer wear over a base layer or midlayer and it will keep the wind off and keep you warm.  Or stick it under your hard shell as an insulation piece when the weather is properly foul. When you stop at a belay or for a brew stop it also works well as a simple belay jacket. The outer and inner fabrics glide effortlessly over or under layers so there’s no awkward snagging or bunching when getting it on or off. This is helped by the simple elasticated cuffs and smooth zipper with glove friendly tab.

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket perfect for in-a-day Alpine north faces. Here Kev wears his at the bergschrund about to start Le Ginat, Les Droites North Face, France in April 2011

Featuring a simple set up of 60g of Primaloft One polyester insulation held in place by a stitch through quilted construction, the Nano Puff provides ample warmth for minimum weight and pack size. The lightweight (and recycled) polyester ripstop shell stops the wind and the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish sheds moisture effectively in all but proper rain. And if the Nano does get wet, it still insulates you from the cold! It isn’t a full warmth super duper belay jacket but it does the job as long as you’re not stationary for too long. If that’s what your after then you might be better off trying Patagonia’s DAS Parka instead, which is a real haven of cosy niceness!

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket worn belay jacket stylee during a brief stop on the North Face of Les Droites, Chamonix

The fact that the Nano has a full length zip adds to it’s versatility as it can easily be vented should you start to warm up whilst on the move and as I said earlier it slides on and off over layers with no effort at all. This coupled with the fact that you can stuff it into it’s inner pocket and then use the clip in loop to attach it to your climbing harness means you can always have the Nano Puff Jacket ready on a climb should you need it. Otherwise it’s minimal pack size won’t take up much room in your pack either.

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - perfect for fast moving alpinism. Here Kev finishes off a quick solo lap of the Cosmiques Arete on the Aiguille du Midi. The Nano tackled the cold damp conditions with ease due to it's light weight, great cut, excellent breathability and water resistant outer.

Patagonia call the fit of the Nano “standard”. My test one is size Small and this is the size I usually wear in most garments. Whilst it is trim enough to wear over a baselayer for technical rock climbs, it is also accommodating enough to wear over my R1 top and softshell should I decide to use it as a belay jacket. In order to stop any unwanted drafts there is an elasticated hem drawcord which is easily adjusted even when wearing gloves.

Why should I buy this and not a down filled one such as Patagonia’s Down Sweater?

The main benefit Primaloft and other synthetic fibres have over down is that they maintain their insulating properties even when wet. If down gets wet it gets soggy and no longer traps air effectively. Synthetic fibres such as Primaloft tend not to absorb water (they are hydrophobic) and therefore do not have this problem. That means synthetic filled jackets are a very good idea for the UK climate!!

So in conclusion, the Nano Puff Jacket is a well made light weight insulating piece ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities from cold days out walking to light and fast alpinism. It looks great in the pub but cuts the mustard in the toughest conditions too. A truly versatile piece of insulation clothing which marries light weight modern materials with minimalist styling. Good work Patagonia!


  1. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  2. Thank for the review. Was looking at getting this jacket and now just need to decide if I want the hoody or not =\ Anyways its often most if not wet where I’m at in the north west states. So this should work great for me as a outer and inner layer. Peace.

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