They say, once you go Patagonia, you’ll never go back. At least, that’s what we say when it comes to high quality insulated jackets. In this post, we will compare two of Patagonia’s lightweight jackets: the Patagonia Nano Puff vs Patagonia Nano Air.
We think the Patagonia Nano Air is the jacket that can’t be beaten. However, we will explore every aspect of the two to help you decide which jacket is right for you.
Patagonia is a top of the line outdoor clothing company that puts the environment first. They have ethically manufactured sustainable clothing since they opened in Ventura, California in 1973. Still to this day, Patagonia gives back to environmental charities with every purchase.
This company is highly ranked among customers for the quality of its products. Patagonia clothing is expensive. However, the longevity and performance of each product far outweigh the price tag.
Patagonia created the Nano Air jacket as a “smart” layer. It is designed to insulate your body all the while extracting excess heat, so you don’t need to stop to change sheets. The fabric is thin and stretchy and available in a hooded version as well.
The innovative insulation technology used in creating this jacket omits the need for a quilting pattern. Instead, this jacket has a simple aesthetic appearance.
Patagonia Nano Puff
The Nano Puff design is lightweight, warm, and extremely compressible. This style has the traditional brick quilting pattern that you see on most down jackets. It is designed with many small features that make a large impact on wear and performance.
The water and rip-resistant fabric along with the aesthetic design of the Patagonia Nano Puff has made its way to one of the most popular jackets in both outdoor and urban settings.
This style was one of the first of its kind. The fact that it is still highly sought after is a testimony to this jacket’s quality. However, with new designs constantly being engineered, the Patagonia Nano Puff is starting to become hard to come by.
Features Face to Face
Every product made by Patagonia is environmentally friendly.
The shell and lining fabric of the Nano Puff are made with 100% recycled material. The insulation consists of 55% postconsumer recycled content.
The Nano Air is made of 87% recycled polyester for the shell and lining fabric. The insulation used in the Nano Air is made up of 40% recycled material.
To create a product with just a small amount of recycled materials is beneficial to the environment. Patagonia’s construction of the Nano Puff with 100% recycled polyester and 55% recycled material for the insulation is truly phenomenal. The Nano Puff sets the standard for eco-friendly products.
The shell and lining fabric of the Patagonia Nano Puff are made with 100% lightweight polyester ripstop. In addition, the material has a DWR (durable water repellent) finish to combat rain, sleet, and snow.
The insulation of the Nano Puff is 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco. This synthetic, water-repellent material maintains 98% of its warmth even when the material is wet.
The Nano Air is also 100% polyester, but it is much different than that of the Nano Puff. The polyester used on this jacket has a plain weave with a DWR finish.
The FullRange insulation used in the Nano Air has been engineered to maintain its warmth when wet.
In terms of water resistance, the materials used in both the Nano Puff and the Nano Air are essentially the same. These two styles do a good job at resisting water. However, if you are expecting rain, we recommend bringing a waterproof outer shell along with you.
Patagonia markets the Nano Puff as windproof, whereas the Nano Air is labeled as only weather-resistant.
The material of the Nano Puff is more weather protective than the Nano Air because it is made solely to insulate your body. The Nano Air jacket can insulate and shed heat, which makes it less weather protective.
Both jackets have several features that maximize weather protection. Both the Nano Puff and the Nano Air have a storm flap behind the zipper, a zipper garage at the top of the zipper, and an adjustable drawcord hem.
If you’re looking for the most protection against wind, the Nano Puff is a better option than the Nano Air.
The Nano Puff by Patagonia is what most would call a regular fit. It’s roomier than a fitted jacket without being boxy. The Nano Air is more fitted, especially in the sleeves.
The fit of the Nano Puff has enough room to allow for a 1-2 layers underneath. A base layer as well as a hoody or sweatshirt, could comfortably be worn underneath the Nano Puff.
The same could not be said for the Nano Air. The Air is much more fitted and has tapered sleeves. A base layer can comfortably be worn under the Nano Air, but a sweatshirt or hoody could not. However, the slim fit and tapered sleeves make the Nano Air easy to pair with an outer shell.
The Nano Puff Jacket does not have a hood, but the Nano Puff Hoody does. The hood on this style is a scuba hood that has an elastic band, which makes the hood fit snug up against your face. The hood on the Nano Puff Hoody is helmet-compatible but is designed to be worn underneath the helmet.
Like the Puff, the Nano Air Jacket does not have a hood but the Nano Air Hoody does. The hood on this style is very much the same as the hood on the Nano Puff Hoody.
The winner of this category is dependent on what you are shopping for. If you’re looking for a fitted jacket, the Nano Air is a better choice than the Nano Puff. On the contrary, if you’re looking for a coat with a standard fit, then the Nano Puff would be a better choice for you.
Range of Motion
The standard-fit of the Nano Puff gives it a pretty good range of motion. However, your movement is somewhat restricted because of the many seam lines stitched into the brick quilting pattern.
The Nano Air was designed with freedom of movement in mind. The stretchy fabric, and strategically placed quilting provide complete range of motion. Patagonia made sure that your movement would be unhindered when engineering this jacket.
The Patagonia Nano Air has better range of motion than the Nano Puff without question.
The Patagonia Nano Puff is lightweight which offers some degree of breathability. However, this style was designed as an insulated, windproof jacket. This means its main function is to lock in heat and keep airflow out. The Nano Puff is not highly ranked in breathability because of its windproof design.
The Patagonia Nano Air was designed for maximum airflow. This jacket not only insulates but allows airflow up to 40 cubic feet per minute. This feature makes the Nano Air great for outdoor activities because it eliminates the need to layer up or down depending on body temperature.
The Nano Air is by all standards more breathable than the Nano Puff.
Both the Nano Puff and the Nano Air are versatile in nature. These styles are seen in outdoor and urban settings alike. And, both can be layered to adapt to a wide range of temperatures.
In addition, both the Nano Puff and the Nano Air can be compressed and stuffed into themselves when not in use.
When it comes down to it, the Nano Air does prove to be more versatile than the Nano Puff because of its revolutionary insulation. The Nano Air has a unique type of synthetic insulation called FullRange insulation. This insulation allows the jacket to regulate your temperature by insulating your body when you are cold and shedding heat when you are warm.
The innovative insulation technology of the Patagonia Nano Air makes it one of the most versatile jackets on the market.
The material on the Nano Puff is 20-denier polyester with ripstop, which is standard for a jacket of this kind. The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket, and the Marmot Highlander Down Jacket are both constructed of materials with similar strength.
The material is strong enough to keep from snagging on twigs and branches, but its lightweight nature is nowhere near impenetrable. If tears do occur, the ripstop technology prevents the tears from spreading.
The brick quilting pattern of the Nano Puff also aids in its durability. The many seam lines strengthen the material against wear and tear.
The Nano Air is also designed with durability in mind. When first debuted, the Nano Air was known to have issues with the fabric piling. Patagonia has resolved this problem by redesigning and releasing a new and improved version of the Nano Air. The material is now more durable than the original design.
The Nano Air has extra stitching only where necessary to optimize durability while simultaneously providing ample range of motion. The reinforcement seams are located around the hips. This strengthens the material against the wear and tear from hip belts and harnesses.
Like the Nano Puff, the Nano Air has ripstop material to stop snags and tears from growing.
When it comes down to it, the Nano Puff is the more durable of the two. However, we admit that it is a close call. The sturdier material and the intensive quilting pattern of the Nano Puff give it a little bit more grit than the Nano Air.
The Patagonia Nano Puff is less expensive than the Nano Air.
The Patagonia Nano Puff retails at $199 but can be found on sale for about $130.
The Patagonia Nano Air retails at $299 but can be found on sale for about $250.
The price difference accounts mainly for the different insulating features between the two jackets.
Standout Features of the Patagonia Nano Puff
The Nano Puff is designed with a drop-tail hem. This feature is highly favored among customers because it helps the jacket stay in place during movement. You won’t ever have to worry about the wind catching your bare back when you’re wearing the Nano Puff.
Standout Features of the Patagonia Nano Air
The Patagonia Nano Air is revolutionary because of its insulation. Patagonia created this insulation with a blend of polyester fibers.
The FullRange insulation is innovative in the way that it does not migrate. This eliminates the need for a brick quilting pattern to hold the insulation in place. Because of this, the Nano Air has more stretch than most insulated jackets.
Additionally, FullRange insulation regulates body temperature by allowing airflow and insulation at the same time. With this jacket, you won’t need to stop ten minutes into your hike to layer down.
The pockets on the Nano Air are strategically sewn in slightly higher than the traditional placement. Patagonia designed the jacket this way so you can access the pockets while wearing a hip belt or harness.
Which is better, Nano Puff or Nano Air?
Use the Patagonia Nano Puff if:
- You want the option to add layers underneath
- You’re looking for a durable insulated jacket
- You like the drop-tail hem
Use the Patagonia Nano Air if:
- You want a slim fitted jacket
- You need unhindered range of motion
- You hate constantly layering up and down
- You’ll be wearing this jacket with a hip belt or harness
Patagonia is a phenomenal company that makes long-lasting outdoor clothes. Whether you choose the iconic, tried and true Nano Puff or the innovative Nano Air, it’s almost certain that the jacket will be a lifelong staple in your closet.