The Patagonia Nano Puff® jacket is loved by both seasoned climbers and yuppies alike. Arguably one of Patagonia’s most popular items, I thought my experience with this jacket warranted a review. I won’t beat around the bush – I started off hating this jacket, and after two years ended up thinking it wasn’t all that bad. So let’s get into the details.
At the time of writing, the Patagonia Nano Puff® jacket retails for $199. Full disclosure – my jacket was acquired on sale for roughly $80 give or take (it’s been a while, I can’t remember the actual price). I had never really considered buying anything Patagonia, always relegating it to the category of overpriced. My wife discovered the sale and asked if I wanted one and I thought that a $199 jacket for $80 was pretty good, might as well give it a shot. That’s how I came to own the Patagonia Nano Puff® Jacket.
At first it seemed really cool and I felt hip. In my mind, I had this awesome technical outdoor piece. How awesome – it could even compact into its own pouch!
Within the first couple weeks and with mild use wearing to and from the office (no outdoor activities), the threads that criss cross the jacket started to snag and come loose. I started to perceive the garment as weak and poorly stitched, and could not believe it was worth $199 let alone even the $80 we bought it for.
However despite the snagged threads, I continued to wear the jacket for two more years so my perspective has changed a bit since then. First and foremost, the snagged threads did not continue to become an issue. After the initial run of snags (which are still visible on my jacket), no further snags seemed to appear and the ones that did have not yet broken.
What I like about this jacket now is that it has a hem cinch, it functions when wet (not tested to the extreme), and makes a great layering piece. The hem cinch is a great feature, which should be standard on any outdoor jacket these days. But after two years of use, the plastic toggle that holds the cinch’s elastic band does not hold very tight and often comes loose. So I find myself constantly having to re-tighten the cinch. I have worn the jacket in light rain and snow, and the jacket continued to keep me warm.
I have found this jacket’s true niche as a layering piece. Alone as a jacket, it won’t keep you warm below 40 degrees (probably add a few degrees if you run cold – I run hot). I almost never wear it alone. However, as a layering piece, it can become an effective part of a system to keep you warm in the 20-40 degree range. It shines when worn in this order:
- Base layer
- Fleece jacket
- Patagonia Nano Puff® jacket
- Shell jacket (I use softshell for colder weather and a rain jacket for slightly warmer weather)
I did have to patch one of the sleeves due to some polyester melting from fire pit embers, but I can’t really ding the jacket for that because any jacket made of polyester would do the same. That said, I would not refer to this jacket as durable.
- Has a hem cinch
- Functions well when wet
- Makes a great layering piece – highly suggest a shell over top
- Threads start to snag very early
- Hem cinch doesn’t hold well
- Small embers will melt the polyester very quickly
Rating: 3 / 5
This jacket is not perfect, by a long shot. For $80, I was willing to overlook some of the faults. But by no means is this jacket worth the $199 it retails for. I give the overall rating of 3 out of 5 merely because it had been useful in layering and held up reasonably well after 2 years – but that’s at $80. If bought at full price, there’s no way I’d rate this as high as I have. I was not impressed by what may be Patagonia’s most popular jacket, and I would definitely not buy this again even at sale prices.
That said, my wife likes hers and would probably have much fewer complaints. But she doesn’t use a hem cinch ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. So, if you’re dead set on buying this, do not – I repeat do not – pay $199. Shop around for a sale.
If you own the Patagonia Nano Puff® Jacket and have your own thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments. I know this jacket has lots of fans, I’m just not one of them. If you’re thinking about buying this jacket and have questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments – I may very well be able to answer them after owning this jacket for two years.
I got mine as a gift, and it’s already got 4-5 of those loose threads after one wear. Also, it seems unbelievably thin. It doesn’t really seem to do anything in terms of insulation. I feel like Patagonia is riding of the strength of their brand now, and the quality of products is falling.
It is a fragile peace of gear for sure, and just serves as a moderate layer of insulation. Not worth MSRP that’s for sure!!