I’m a big fan of Patagonia gear, and I’ve got a soft spot for pullovers as practical insulation in the hills. They are lighter and simpler than a jacket.
The Patagonia Nano Puff is a super light 286g (260g (w)) water-repellent pullover filled with 60g of PrimaLoft insulation. To put that weight into perspective, that is 50-100g lighter than your average 100 weight fleece pullover and I suspect this option is much warmer.
The idea of this jacket appeals to me for general use in the hills. As much I like snugging into a down jacket at the end of the day, they are a less flexible solution if you want to keep gear to a minimum. Then there is always the problem of wet down and its insulation value drops to zero.
For me the Nano Puff pullover fell halfway between a decent fleece pullover and a down jacket which in practice means it fills a nice niche for keeping warm in three of our seasons but is not really meant as winter wear. The packed bulk to warmth ratio doesn’t appear to be as good as a down jacket and that is a possible deal breaker for those pushed for room in their lightweight weekend packs.
The left chest pocket doubles as a nice stuff sack and the elasticated cuffs and hem trap as much warmth as possible.
The Nano Puff is available in the inevitable blue and grey colours as well as a pretty sharp looking orange.
The sizing is generous. I got an XL but this isn’t the outdoors company, active user XL. It was definitely the mince pie and beer XL which I’m happy to report was too big for my front row frame.
So after a few weeks testing this product, I remain mystified as to why I’m still on the fence with this jacket. It’s ideal for when you are nestled into that autumn belay stance (or in my case waiting for the last of the evening light), or hanging out at camp on a summer’s evening. I should like it, but I don’t.
Having said that, the next time I’m on the hunt for a pullover I will try on a better size and a better cut of the Nano Puff, just to see if I fall the right way off the fence.