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Women’s Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie Review

Is Patagonia’s Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie Jacket worth the investment? Here are my honest thoughts after using this jacket for 4 years.

BFT Founder Kristen wearing a pink Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie in Maui at Haleakala National Park

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As I’ve been hiking and camping regularly over the past decade and more, I’ve tested a lot of outdoor apparel. The more gear I try, I’m always surprised by my love for the basics – the tried and true pieces that I turn to over and over again. 

One of those pieces is the women’s Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie. I’ve used this jacket for over 4 years now. It’s been my go-to outer layer for hiking, camping, running errands, and taking walks with my dog.

My partner Ryan also grabs his men’s version as a mid-layer for skiing and winter hikes with our son in tow.

However, I know this jacket is an investment, so you may be wondering if it’s worth the price. In this Patagonia Nano Puff review, I share what I love about the Women’s Insulated Hoodie, as well as what I think could be improved.

Read on to learn about this jacket’s comfort, fit, durability, warmth, and more. 

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    Women’s Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket Overview

    Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie
    Key Features

    Material

    Recycled polyester

    Weight

    10.8 oz

    Where to Buy

    REI

    $289

    Shop now

    Backcountry

    $289

    Shop now

    Patagonia

    $289

    Shop now

    Nano Puff Pros

    • Versatile Layer: Can be worn as a stand-alone jacket or layered for additional warmth
    • Synthetic Insulation: Performs better in wet conditions than down
    • Packable: At 10.8 ounces, throwing it in your hiking pack is a no brainer
    • Comfort and Fit: It’s very comfortable and the flattering cut doesn’t make you look like the Michelin Man

    Nano Puff Cons

    • Zipper Durability: The zipper failed on Ryan’s Nano Puff and had to be sent in for repairs
    • Hood isn’t adjustable: The hood cannot be tightened or cinched around your face
    • Not fully waterproof: You’ll need a rain jacket on top to fully protect you from the weather
    BFT Founder Kristen smiling in a golden yellow Patagonia Nano Puff and beanie on a snowy hike in Utah
    Bundled up in my Patagonia Nano Puff (size large) on a snowy hike

    Patagonia Nano Puff Performance

    The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie is a warm, functional, and very reliable piece of gear that I love wearing.

    In my Nano Puff review below, you’ll find a breakdown of its key performance features:

    Warmth

    Many outdoor enthusiasts think that the best insulated jackets must be filled with goose or duck down for optimal warmth.

    But the Patagonia Nano Puff proves otherwise for shoulder-season temperatures. Filled with PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation – a synthetic insulation – and lined with a recycled polyester shell, it has a great weight-to-warmth ratio. I also find that the outer shell does a good job of keeping the cold wind from getting through.

    It’s not designed to be a winter jacket, though. While the Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie does cut the wind, it’s not super thick. This makes it the perfect jacket for spring and fall temps or summer evenings around the campfire.

    If you’re winter hiking, you’ll want to layer underneath it to provide enough insulation in freezing temps. When I wear this on my winter hikes, I typically have on an Icebreaker wool base layer top and a mid-layer such as the Patagonia R1 underneath the jacket.

    With that said, on extra cold days, I often leave my Nano Puff at home and instead grab a jacket with warmer insulation, like Patagonia’s Down Sweater or the Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoody.

    BFT Founder Kristen in a Patagonia Nano Puff in Utah Park surrounded by trees, snow, and a cloudy sky
    I always wear two layers underneath the Patagonia Nano Puff in winter

    Packability

    One of the main selling points for the Patagonia Nano Puff is its packability. Weighing only 10.8 oz, this jacket packs down super small and even stuffs into its own internal chest pocket so you can toss it into your day pack when not needed. I don’t think twice about bringing this jacket on hikes because it’s so light and packable.

    It also comes with me whenever I’m on a road trip in my Sprinter Van. As a van lifer, I only have room for a couple of jackets, and because this one packs up small and offers so much versatility, it’s a staple on my van life clothing packing list.

    Breathability

    The Patagonia Nano Puff is designed to keep you warm and dry, which means that it doesn’t have the best ventilation compared to more breathable jackets (like Patagonia’s Nano-Air). The polyester shell does a great job at blocking wind and shedding light rain but at the expense of optimal airflow.

    Because of that, it’s not my first choice to wear when I know I’ll be working up a heavy sweat, but it’s a great option for lighter hikes and outdoor activities. I also wear it as a mid-layer under my ski jacket on cold ski days.

    Durability

    Over my 4 years wearing the Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie, I’m happy to report it has held up amazingly well. It hasn’t torn or frayed or gotten wonky in the wash.

    I’ve worn it on road trips and backpacking trips (sweating every step of the way), and it’s gone through sunny hikes, windy hikes, chilly hikes, every kind of hike you could imagine. 

    No matter how much I abuse this jacket, it has never snagged or torn. Even through camping trips, road trips, resting against sharp rocks, and dogs jumping on me and sitting in my lap in the car, it’s still as good as new. 

    On the other hand, Ryan has had issues with the zipper on his Nano Puff. It started with the zipper not zipping smoothly, and it eventually got to the point where it didn’t zip at all.

    I took it to the Patagonia store for a quick fix, which worked temporarily, but it didn’t quite do the trick. We ended up having to send it in for a free repair. That took about 6 weeks from the time we dropped it off to when we got it back. Now it works like new.

    BFT Founder Kristen smiling in a golden yellow Patagonia Nano Puff on a snowy hike in Utah while snuggling her dog
    My dog Gumbo has the sharpest little nails, and I’ve never experienced any snagging with my Nano Puff

    Weatherproofness

    Compared to down, the Nano Puff’s synthetic materials perform better in wet conditions, making it an excellent choice if you live in a damp climate like the Pacific Northwest or tend to hike in variable weather.

    It’s designed with a polyester ripstop shell to stop wind and a DWR (durable water-repellant) finish to ward off light rain, but it won’t keep you dry in a downpour. If you’ll be outdoors in heavy rain, you’ll want to layer the Nano Puff under a waterproof rain jacket.


    Patagonia Nano Puff Comfort & Fit

    Made from soft, synthetic materials and designed with a flattering look, the Nano Puff hits the comfort and fit marks (so much so that I decided to buy another one when I outgrew the medium size post-pregnancy!)

    Comfort

    The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie makes me feel like I’m wrapped in a cocoon. Unlike some materials, this jacket doesn’t feel scratchy on my skin so I can wear it over a t-shirt when it’s a little chilly or as an extra layer over a pullover when it’s really cold.

    I have full freedom of movement when I’m hiking, and it’s comfortable enough to sleep in on backpacking and camping trips. 

    My only complaint about the material is it’s a bit slippery. It makes holding my baby a bit difficult because he’s always sliding down the side of my jacket.

    Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor on a foggy beach in Olympic National Park wearing a gold Patagonia Nano puff and holding her baby in a carrier
    The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie is made from a soft, silky synthetic material so it can be worn next to your skin without feeling scratchy

    Fit

    I think the cut of the Patagonia Nano Puff is quite flattering. It’s not as puffy as other similar jackets, so you don’t end up looking like a marshmallow.

    I also love the length because it’s long enough to cover my hips and doesn’t ride up when I’m wearing it under a backpack. 

    For reference: I am 5’5”, and pre-pregnancy, I was 135 lbs and wore a Medium (the pink version). Now post-pregnancy I weigh 145 pounds and a large (the gold color) is a lot more comfortable with room to layer underneath. If you’re a large-chested woman like myself who runs in between sizes, you should consider sizing up.

    Woman posing for photo at the summit of Haleakala on Maui wearing Patagonia nano puff jacket
    In this photo, I was pre-pregnancy and wearing a Medium Nano Puff

    Key Features of the Patagonia Nano Puff

    I wouldn’t call the Patagonia Nano Puff a highly technical jacket, but it does have some nice features that are worth mentioning:

    • Horizontal Quilting Pattern: This design feature is made to improve insulation and also gives the jacket a sporty look. 
    • Hood: The hood fits comfortably around my head, providing warmth without being too tight. I can also fit a beanie under it if needed. One downside is the hood isn’t adjustable, which means it can’t be cinched any tighter. Also wearing a helmet under the hood would be pretty tight
    • Technical zipper: The Nano Puff’s zipper features a “wicking storm flap” which makes it very easy to zip up and down. It can be zipped all the way up to your neck to keep you warm without the zipper digging into your chin. It’s also loose enough in the neck area to wear a buff or a turtleneck underneath and still be able to zip it up.
    • Handy Pockets: Who doesn’t love a few subtle and secret pockets? In addition to the zippered pockets on the side for your hands, there’s also a zipper pocket on the inside chest area. I use it to stash chapstick, my ID, a credit card, and keys. 
    • Range of Sizes and Colors: The Patagonia Nano Puff is available in sizes XXS-XXL as well as a variety of color choices. You can opt for something classic (black and grey) or a little brighter (green and blue). 
    • Machine Washable: You don’t have to baby this jacket with special washing instructions. Simply wash it on warm using mild detergent and let it tumble dry low. 
    • Patagonia Guarantee: According to the Patagonia website, if you aren’t happy with how your product performs, you can “return it to the store you bought it from or to Patagonia for a repair, replacement or refund.” 
    Ryan wearing a Patagonia Nano Puff Hoodie in Florida
    The Nano Puff Hoodie is a favorite of my partner Ryan’s too

    Sustainability

    The Nano Puff is made with 100% recycled insulation and the shell and lining are also made with recycled materials. With synthetic insulation, it’s also vegan-friendly.

    Patagonia is a leader in sustainable outdoor apparel and is dedicated to responsible production. They’re part of 1% for the Planet, so 1% of sales goes to the preservation of the environment. Read more about their environmental and social policies here

    Girl wearing a pink Patagonia Nano Puff surrounded by rocks a hike in Joshua Tree
    BFT Contributor Linda wearing her non-hooded Patagonia Nano Puff during winter in Joshua Tree

    As a whole, Patagonia is a brand I feel great about supporting. I am impressed with the quality of their products, and I consistently find my Patagonia pieces perform well for all the things I love to do outside. 

    I’m also a fan of the Worn Wear Collection (where you might be able to score a used Nano Puff) and the repair program, which is designed to keep products in use longer, so they’re on people instead of filling up landfills. 


    Patagonia Nano Puff Alternatives  

    Not sold on the Nano Puff yet? Here are other insulated options to check out in your search for the perfect synthetic insulated jacket:

    • Cotopaxi Capa Insulated Jacket: I love the feel-good bright colors of Cotopaxi’s Insulated Jackets. They’re cute (and would photograph really well), and I like that the colors make it easy for my group to spot me in case I get separated. Compared to the Nanopuff, the Cotopaxi Capa is a bit cheaper, but it weighs almost a pound more.
    • Rab Cirrus Insulated Hoodie: This jacket is ~$100 cheaper than the Nano Puff and only weighs a few ounces more. The baffles are a little poofier though, so the look isn’t quite as streamlined as the Nano Puff.
    • Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie: Very similar in feel and weight to the Nanopuff for a slightly lower price. It doesn’t have a DWR finish though, so it doesn’t repel water as well as the Nanopuff
    • Arc’teryx Atom Insulated Hoodie: My personal favorite runner-up to the Patagonia Nanopuff (before my dog Gumbo ate the sleeve). While this Arc’teryx jacket doesn’t compress quite as well as the Nanopuff, I find it to be more breathable. It has also a more athletic, slender cut than the Nanopuff.
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    Wearing the Arc’teryx Atom Insulated Hoodie on the top of Grey and Torrey’s Peak in Colorado

    Where to Buy the Patagonia Nano Puff 

    The Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie is available through a variety of outdoor retailers including Patagonia, REI and Backcountry. They come in both men’s and women’s and in a variety of styles and colors. It also comes in a non-hooded version and a vest at a lower price.

    Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor on the summit of Maui's Haleakala for sunset wearing a Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
    Wearing my Nano Puff on the summit of Haleakala on Maui for sunset, where it got surprisingly cold

    Final Thoughts

    The Nano Puff Jacket is an outdoorsy woman’s ideal piece of gear, mainly because it’s lightweight and delivers warmth and comfort. Overall, I love mine and would buy it again knowing how well it’s lasted over the years. And even though it’s an investment, the cost-per-wear is low for me. 

    So if you’re looking for a lightweight jacket that will last for the long haul and keep you warm, I’d happily recommend it as a “core” piece of gear that’ll get you through many years of hiking, exploring, and living. 

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    Do you have a Nano Puff? Would you recommend buying one? Let us know your thoughts on the fit, durability, and design in the comments below.

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