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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover > Test Report by Mike Curry

PATAGONIA NANO PUFF PULLOVER
TEST SERIES BY MIKE CURRY
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - December 24, 2009
FIELD REPORT - March 23, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - May 11, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Curry
EMAIL: thefishguyAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 40
LOCATION: Aberdeen, Washington
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)

I've been backpacking, climbing, ski-packing, bushwhacking, and snowshoeing throughout the mountains of Oregon and Washington for the last 25 years. I'm an all-season, all terrain, off-trail kind of guy, but these days (having small kids) most of my trips run on the shorter side of things, and tend to be in the temperate rainforest. While I've carried packs (with winter climbing gear) in excess of 70 pounds (32 kilos), the older I get the more minimalist I become.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Patagonia
IMAGE 1
Nano Puff (Photo Courtesy of Manufacturer)

Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.patagonia.com
MSRP: US $150.00
Listed Weight: 9.4 oz (266 g)
Measured Weight: 11.5 oz (326 g)
Other details:
Size tested: XL
Color tested: Bonfire Orange (465)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

When I opened the box containing the Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, two things immediately struck me. First was the color, Bonfire Orange, which is very bright without being totally obnoxious. My wife, after I wore it a few days, described it as making me easy to spot in a crowd without making her embarrassed to be seen with me. I think that summarizes my feeling toward it as well . . . it's a very bright, noticeable orange, but just subdued enough that I don't feel conspicuous wearing it around town.

Pulling the Nano Puff out of the box, the second things struck me . . . this garment is insanely light weight. My immediate thought was "will this thing be able to keep me warm?" More on that below under "trying it out." For now, suffice it to say it is the lightest insulated outerwear I've ever owned.

The fabric used is described by the manufacturer as "1-oz 15-denier 100% all-recycled polyester with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish." it has a very small crosshatch pattern that is visible under close examination that appears to be a ripstop-style weave. The fabric feels rather silky, and has visible quilting stitching on the outside. There is no visible stitching on the inside, making me believe the insulation material is quilted to the outside before garment assembly.

Two fine-toothed nylon zippers are found on the pullover, one for the neck zip, and one for the chest pocket. The neck zip is the perfect length in my opinion, being long enough to provide some ventilation without adding unnecessary weight. The jacket stuffs into the chest pocket (with some effort), making it quite compact for inside a pack. When stored in its pocket, there is a small webbing loop that can be used to clip the jacket on to a pack, etc., with a carabiner or similar item. The loop is small, just large enough to be serviceable without adding additional weight.

The insulation is described by the manufacturer as 60-g PrimaLoft® One. The insulation provides a remarkable amount of loft, feeling "wispy" to me. That is to say, it springs back out and provides good volume without feeling bulky.

The manufacturer also states that the garment is recyclable through the Common Threads recycling program.

The waist and wrist openings are slightly gathered by elastic, and are hemmed with a soft material. As with the rest of the garment, this appears well thought out, providing a comfortable feel against the skin while minimizing weight.

The construction seems to be of extremely high quality, and all stitching appears flawless.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

No instructions were provided, however three hang tags were included describing the garment as highly water-resistant, environmentally friendly, and describing the high-loft insulation.

The care tag sewn inside the garment advises to machine wash cold (permanent press cycle), do not bleach, tumble dry low heat, and do not iron (using standard care symbols), and further advises against the use of fabric softeners.

TRYING IT OUT

When I first put on the Nano Puff Pullover, I was very impressed with the feel of the garment and its fit. The garment literally glides right over whatever I'm wearing, making it remarkably easy to pull on and off. Other pullovers I've owned have tended to hang up or grip whatever I'm wearing under them, making removal sometimes difficult. Definitely not the case with the Nano Puff. The pullover also fit very well. I would say it runs very true to size for an XL, and provides me with a good range of motion without being unduly bulky.

Having worn it for over a week now, I can comment on my initial thoughts regarding its warmth and water repellency. Regarding warmth, I wore the Nano Puff for a walk at 20 F (-7C) wearing nothing but a cotton t-shirt under it, and with the neck zipper zipped all the way up. While slightly cool, I certainly could have continued all day, though I wouldn't have wanted to stop for long. What made this possible, I realized, was not just the insulation, but the fact that the fabric is strikingly wind-resistant, and there was very little air movement through the garment. I was utterly amazed at how warm it was.

Several days later, I got the opportunity to wear the Nano Puff on a day hike in some light to moderate intermittent showers. As with most DWR treated garments, the heavier showers eventually saturated the fabric instead of beading up and rolling off. I never, however, felt any moisture on the inside of the garment, and it seemed to continue to remain just as warm as when dry.

Rolling the jacket inside out to store it in the chest pocket takes some effort, as the pocket is just large enough for the task. While it takes some doing, it also forms a relatively small package, which is just what I like for packing.

All in all, my first impressions in trying it out are very, very positive.

SUMMARY

The Nano Puff pullover appears to be a very well-designed, well-constructed garment that provides an excellent compromise between light weight, warmth, packability, and water-resistance. I look forward to testing it under a wide variety of field conditions.

I would like to thank Patagonia and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Micro Puff pullover. My field report will be appended to this report in approximately two months. Please check back then for additional information. This concludes my Initial Report.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have worn the Patagonia Nano Puff pullover almost every day during field testing, including on over a dozen day hikes, snowshoeing trips, and on 5 backpacking nights. Conditions have included heavy rain, light rain, drizzle, sunshine, and temperatures ranging from 25 F (-4 C) to 65 F (18 C). I have worn the jacket in winds up to 45 mph (72 kph).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 1
I like big burls, and I cannot lie . . . the Nano is comfy!
I have used the Patagonia Nano Puff pullover on every day hike and backpacking trip I've taken during the test period, and have also worn it as a daily wear jacket to better assess long-term wear issues. I will describe the jacket's performance in individual areas below:

USES

I have used the Patagonia Nano Puff as a insulating layer under a shell, as an outer garment, and as sleepwear during testing. It layers nicely, and has proven to be a very versatile garment.

COMFORT/TEMPERATURE

The Nano Puff is like my favorite sweater, and that's how I tend to use it. I'd say it is exactly like my favorite sweater, except it's warmer, water resistant, and it weighs less than half a sleeve from that sweater! I slip it on at home when I catch a chill. I slip it on during breaks on the trail. I slip it on when the night chill creeps in on me, and leave it on as I snuggle into my quilt on colder nights. I wear it on the trail on cold days. I've found it comfortable as my only jacket while hiking on sunny, still days as cold as 25 F (-4 C) and comfortable with a wicking t-shirt on underneath in temperatures as warm as 58 F (14 C).

FIT

The cut of the Nano Puff fits me very well. It provides for good range of motion without having too much material. It is roomy enough to wear a couple base layers under, yet form-fitting enough to serve efficiently as a mid-layer. The elasticized cuffs at the waist and wrists are just snug enough to eliminate drafts without feeling snug, and zipping up the neck zipper effectively seals out drafts without feeling too snug. In terms of fit, it is almost as though the pullover was designed around my body.

WATER RESISTANCE

In intermittent light rain or drizzle, the DWR finish has worked very well, and even when the outer fabric appears saturated, I stayed dry and warm inside. It has worked well in heavy downpours as well, at least long enough for me to fish my shell out of my pack and get it on, which in some cases subjected the jacket to up to 5 minutes of torrential downpour. Insulation and overall comfort didn't seem significantly impacted when drenched, but the pullover did feel heavier.

WIND RESISTANCE
IMAGE 2
Kept me toasty on a breezy coastal dayhike


This is one area where the Nano Puff has completely shattered all my expectations. The Nano Puff has struck what I consider to be the perfect balance between wind resistance and breathability. When the wind picks up, I generally add a shell, but in "normal" breezes (under 15 mph/24 kph) the Nano Puff does fine for me on its own. At the same time, the pullover is breathable enough that even with significant sweating I don't ever feel clammy inside it.

FEATURES

The zippers on the Nano Puff have performed flawlessly, and the entire jacket can be stored in the chest pocket, though the pocket is none-too-large for the task. That's good for keeping the jacket small in a pack, but can make it tricky when your hands are cold, as it can be a bear to stuff in.

DURABILITY

The Nano Puff has proven to be reasonably durable. I have noticed some "fuzziness" forming around the quilting stitches which appears to be fibers of the insulation poking out through the stitch holes. Also, I noticed one day that a stitch had broken next to the chest pocket. Unfortunately, the way I noticed it was when one of the loose ends got caught in the zipper, and pulled the thread, puckering the quilting. I don't know what caused the thread to break, but I am returning the pullover to Patagonia for repair and will report on that experience in my Long Term Report. Outside those two issues, the jacket has proven very durable. I have used it off trail and in very brushy areas, and the very lightweight fabric has yet to tear, even given a number of snags. I'm very impressed with the fabric's strength.

SUMMARY

The Patagonia Nano Puff pullover is like my favorite sweater, only lighter, water resistant, warmer, wind resistant, even more snuggly. It has become one of my absolute favorite articles of clothing, not only for its comfort and fit, but also for its remarkable versatility. I am returning the jacket to Patagonia for repair of a broken quilting stitch, but have been pleased overall with its performance and durability.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Long-term testing occurred in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains of Western Washington, and included two overnight trips and three day hikes. Additional use was limited due to transit time for repair (see below). In addition, the jacket was worn as daily wear when not at Patagonia for repair. Weather conditions included rain, sun, and overcast days with temperatures ranging from 35-60 F (2-16 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover continued to perform exceptionally well during long-term testing. No new information was revealed from testing since the Field Report period. It remains one of my favorite layering options, and is comfortable in a relatively wide temperature range, and one of my favorite articles to wear to sleep.

MY CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE:

Shortly after submitting my field report, I sent the Nano Puff in for repair of the broken stitches using the instructions at the Patagonia website. I sent the package on April 2, 2010 via expedited shipping with a note explaining the repair I was requesting and my contact information. I asked to be contacted with repair options.

On April 27th I contacted Patagonia Repair at the phone number listed at their website. The customer service representative was very courteous and located my record in their computer and confirmed it was received an in the repair department. She informed me I should hear from them within a week or two.

On April 30th, the jacket arrived back at my house, via expeditited shipping. I was exceptionally pleased with every aspect of their service, with the sole exception that they didn't contact me as I had requested, which wasn't a big deal to me.

THE REPAIR:

The stitches were repaired expertly. Only because I knew exactly where to look could I even tell that there had been a repair done, and even then it took some effort.

SUMMARY

The Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover is a remarkably light, comfortable, warm pullover that performs well under a wide variety of conditions. I had a positive experience with their repair department in relation to fixing a few broken stitches. It is one of my favorite jackets due to its versatility . . . it keeps me warm at night, beats the morning chill, and can be warn until the day gets rather warm. For a very basic, minimalist pullover, it does everything I expect, and does it well.

CONTINUED USE

Not only will I continue to use the Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, I expect that it will probably be my most used article of clothing due to its versatility. On the trail, in camp, and even to the office, it has become one of my favorite articles of clothing.

I would like to thank Patagonia and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Nano Puff Pullover. This concludes my report.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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