Patagonia products are favourites among those who love outdoor adventures, including hikers, climbers, skiers and campers. As both of us have owned our adventure outerwear for some time, a Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff comparison post is probably long overdue!
Are you wondering – Patagonia Down Sweater or Nano Puff? If so, this review is most definitely for you. Does each of these outdoor garments live up to the brand’s excellent reputation? Having used our jackets throughout all seasons, hopefully, you’ll consider us well placed to talk about these products in depth.
Rather than a single review, this Patagonia Nano Puff vs Down Sweater jacket is aimed at those who want to compare the two products before deciding which one to purchase. Covered in this post are matters like how warm the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is versus the Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody, when you would want one jacket over the other, and an overall review of both products.
During the course of this Patagonia Nano Puff jacket vs Down Sweater comparison, we’ll also take a closer look at weatherproofing. Is the Patagonia women’s Down Sweater jacket waterproof, for example, and how windproof should you expect the Patagonia men’s Nano Puff jacket to be?
Also addressed are questions surrounding the fit, the materials and the quality of the product. By the end of this article, you’ll know all about Patagonia Down Sweater sizing and whether Patagonia Nano Puff jackets are made to last. As each will set you back several hundred dollars, it’s important to get the scoop before pulling the trigger and purchasing one.
If you’re interested in investing in Patagonia outerwear but aren’t yet sure which product will suit your needs best, read on to find out everything you should know before buying. First, we offer a quick reference comparison table so you can see the main features at a glance. Next is a quick rundown of what to look for when buying this type of outerwear, before we go into detail about each option.
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Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff Comparison Chart
|Feature||Patagonia Down Sweater||Patagonia Nano Puff|
|Shell material||1.4oz 20×30 denier ripstop recycled DWR* polyester||1.4oz 22 denier ripstop recycled DWR* polyester|
|Filling material||800 fill traceable goose down||PrimaLoftⓇ Gold eco polyester insulation|
|Pockets||Internal chest pocket & front zipped pockets||Internal chest pocket & front zipped pockets|
|Hem||Adjustable hem cord & drop tail hem||Adjustable hem cord & drop tail hem|
|Cuffs||Elasticated cuffs||Elasticated cuffs|
|Packing||Packs into chest pocket||Packs into chest pocket|
*DWR – Durable Water Repellent
Buying Down or Puff Outerwear – What To Look For
Before focusing on the Patagonia Down Sweater hoody review and Patagonia Nano Puff review, here’s the lowdown on the main features to consider before making that purchase.
How much the weight of your Patagonia men’s Down Sweater jacket or Patagonia women’s Nano Puff jacket may not matter so much if you’ll always be wearing it, but it’s a different matter when you need to carry it.
Do you camp, hike or climb in changeable weather conditions, such as where the temperature rises noticeably during the day? If so you may carry your outerwear more often, meaning you may want it to weigh as little as possible.
There is little difference between the weight of the two jackets, but even an ounce could be significant if you have a lot to carry.
As the table above shows, there are two issues here – the material the outer shell is made from and the filling.
Both of these jackets feature recycled ripstop polyester, which is pretty tough. Their denier – or thickness – varies a little, however.
As for the filling, this is one of the main differences between them, and this is reflected in the price. The more costly Patagonia Down Sweater with hood contains real goose down, while the less expensive Patagonia Nano Puff jacket uses a synthetic filling.
Down is warmer than even the best man-made insulation, making jackets made from it more lightweight than their synthetic competitors.
One key consideration between down and synthetic insulation is how they handle the rain. Down insulation clumps together and loses most of its insulating capabilities when it gets wet. Synthetic insulation is much better in rainy conditions and will still help you retain warmth even when it is wet.
As well as the shell fabric, it’s worth taking a look at details like how the bottom hem and cuffs are finished. Both of these Patagonia products have a drop tail hem that’s longer at the back than the front.
The Patagonia hooded Nano Puff and the Down Sweater come with a drawcord to the hem, so you can easily adjust the fit. This can help to keep out the chills, so it can be important when you’ll be out in cold weather.
Both also have elasticated cuffs, for precisely the same reason.
Do you take a backpack with you? If not, you may really rely on using pockets for storage. Even if you do take a bag, you may wish to keep certain items close at hand for when you need them.
Whether it’s for keeping a pair of sunglasses, your cell phone or a pack of Kleenex handy, pockets can be very useful. Both jackets come with an internal chest pocket as well as two zippered outer front pockets.
Another of the differences between these two products crops up here. The Patagonia Nano Puff with hood can be packed into its own internal chest pocket, while this isn’t possible with the women’s or men’s Patagonia Down Sweater.
Again, how much this matters depends on whether or not you’re likely to have to carry it around.
Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff – In Depth
Now let’s take a look at the key features of each jacket in more detail.
- Down Sweater: 13.1oz (average)
- Nano Puff: 11.9oz (average)
There’s not a lot in it, weight-wise: you’re looking at a small difference of just over an ounce. If you have a lot to carry, however, every ounce may count. As is the case during an arduous climb.
When comparing the Patagonia Nano Puff and Patagonia Down Sweater, it is the Down option that is slightly heavier in weight. That being said, it is made using real goose down, which simply cannot be beaten when it comes to warmth per ounce. The slight increase in weight makes it the warmer option as well.
- Down Sweater: Shell: 20×30 denier recycled ripstop DWR polyester
Filling: 800 fill traceable goose down
- Nano Puff: Shell: 22 denier recycled ripstop DWR polyester
Filling: PrimaLoftⓇ Gold eco polyester
There isn’t a huge difference between the two outer materials – both are made from strong ripstop polyester fabric that’s 100% recycled. The shell on the men’s and Patagonia women’s Down Sweater hoody is a little thicker and therefore tougher, however.
The second major point to note concerns the filling materials. The Patagonia 800 fill down sweater contains real goose down, which is prized because it’s warmer yet lighter than synthetics. It is also more expensive, however.
Containing 800 fill natural down, a men’s or women’s Patagonia Down Sweater will keep you warmer than the Nano Puff. Despite this, the former also weighs less. For hikers, campers and climbers it may suffice on its own, while for skiers it can be used for layering up.
The Nano Puff, by contrast, is more suited to conditions with slightly higher temperatures. It’s more of an in-between season jacket than the Down Sweater, depending on where you live or are traveling to, of course. When used as a base layer in very cold conditions, it is very effective.
We have to cover windproofing in this Patagonia Down Sweater jacket review, and it follows on naturally from warmth. A jacket that keeps you warmer will clearly insulate your core from those wind chills more effectively than one that’s less toasty. The Down option is, therefore, more windproof.
Both jackets have elasticated cuffs and adjustable drawcords to the hem to help ward off the cold. This helps to stop drafts from entering via the sleeves or hip area, insulating you further from wind chills.
The outer shell of both products features a Durable Water Repellent finish. This is designed for superior waterproofing, so neither jacket should let too much water in. AS such it’s suitable for most weather conditions.
However, this type of material is not comparable to the likes of Gore-Tex, the breathability of which helps the fabric dry out more quickly.
For most conditions either of these jackets should do well, but if you are expecting heavy rain a Gore-Tex product could be a better choice.
The environmental credentials of both products are impressive. Both feature a shell made from 100% recycled polyester, so they’re equal in those terms.
What about that down filling? Well Patagonia has taken care to use only Advanced Global Traceable Down. This means the down used is NSF International certified for animal welfare standards. The geese it comes from aren’t either live-plucked or force-fed.
By comparison, the Patagonia jacket Nano Puff contains 55% post consumer recycled material in the filling. This is better than many manufacturers, but this means it still comprises 45% newly made material.
How about the Patagonia Down Sweater fit versus the Patagonia Nano Puff fit? The Nano Puff is a little more close-fitting than the Down Sweater. This makes it more suitable for wear as a base layer, as touched on earlier.
The man-made filling is also easier to compress than real goose down, making the Nano Puff’s silhouette a little more slimline. While you can wear the Down Sweater beneath other layers, it is a bit more bulky – although as it’s warmer you’re less likely to need another layer when wearing this one.
The Down Sweater is more generously cut and therefore allows for more freedom of movement than the Nano Puff. In terms of shape it feels just right – not too loose and not too tight either. That’s something we love about our Down Sweaters – it makes then really comfortable to wear.
If you want a chunkier, more boxy cut, the Down Sweater could be for you, while the Nano Puff creates a more sporty appearance due to the more snug fit.
Both jackets pack down to a very similar size as they both come with a chest pocket that’s designed to hold it all neatly when packed down into itself. Simply stuff into this pocket and you have a compact, fairly flat little rectangle to carry.
This stuff pocket has a loop attached, so you can secure your jacket to a hook or carabiner, saving space in your backpack. The materials these are made from also make them easier to compress.
Due to the extra stitching on the Nano Puff, there are more points where water and wind may seep in more easily.
Moisture in particular is likely to get in as the jacket ages and the thread holes become bigger over time. As for the appearance of one style of stitching over another – that’s simply a matter of personal preference!
- Down Sweater:
- Men’s: 11 colors
- Women’s: 10 colors, including 2 with stripes
- Nano Puff:
- Men’s: 7 colors
- Women’s: 9 colors
While other Patagonia Down Sweater reviews may not mention color, it’s important to many people. And why not? If you’re going to spend a few hundred dollars on outerwear then surely you want to love your new purchase!
The Patagonia men’s Nano Puff hoody comes in 7 colors – black, gray, blue, navy, 2 shades of green and ‘barn red’ – a rusty tone somewhere between red and orange.
For women, the Patagonia Nano Puff with hood comes in a choice of 9 shades. Many are the same as the men’s, but there are also separate red and orange tones, a teal color and an off-white.
The Down Sweater for women comes in 10 colors, including 2 options with horizontal stripes across the chest. These are available in light gray or deep green. Other options include neutrals plus ‘alpine blue’, ‘rosehip’ and ‘dark ruby’.
The men’s Down Sweater comes in 11 color options, similar to the female version, with 2 striped colors included in the selection.
If you opt for a hooded version, vest or other type, the colors available will vary, and of course is subject to change at any time. Availability at the time of purchase may also be different.
- Down Sweater: 18 products
- Nano Puff: 13 products
The Patagonia Nano Puff and Down Sweater jackets come in other options too, including kids’ sizes, a vest and a hoody.
For the Down Sweater, you can buy everything from a full snowsuit for infants to a vest for kids, men and women. There are also jackets available in all sizes from infants to adults, with or without a hood. In total, 18 products are offered
The Nano Puff comes in 13 options, ranging from a pullover, vest or jacket for males or females of all ages to the Nano puff scarf and mitts.
Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff – Summary
From the superior Patagonia Down Sweater temperature rating to Patagonia Nano Puff sizing, we’ve looked at all sorts of features that might place one jacket above the other. Here’s a quick overall recap, highlighting the pros and cons of each jacket.
Patagonia Down Sweater Pros
There’s no doubt that the Patagonia Down Sweater warmth level is better than the Nano Puff. Containing real goose down, it’s lighter in weight yet suitable for colder temperatures.
Patagonia Down Sweater fill weight aside, this one is more likely to last the distance than the Nano Puff. This is because of the stitching and the tougher shell. The natural filling should stand up to the test of time better than man made materials, as is the case with feather pillows versus synthetic ones.
Patagonia Nano Puff Pros
It may be important to remember when reading these Patagonia Nano Puff reviews that it comes in at a cheaper price than the Down Sweater. Depending on your budget, this could be a deal-breaker.
If a key concern of yours is how to pack a Patagonia Down Sweater, you might be better off buying the Nano Puff. This one packs down into its own pocket, making it easier to carry. A loop is also fixed to the end product so you can simply hang it from a carabiner or hook.
Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff – The Verdict
While both of these Patagonia jackets are top-quality products that will perform very well indeed, each is suited to certain uses.
The Down Sweater is a better quality product. It’s warmer and roomier than the Nano Puff and can stand up to colder weather better. The shell and natural filling are also made to last in the longer term. While it costs a little more, it is a great investment for keen fans of outdoor activities.
As our favorite Patagonia outerwear, the Down Sweater gets our vote and is well worth paying a little more for.
If you want a jacket that will fair better when it gets wet, go for the Nano Puff. The price tag is also more attractive. Whether used as a base layer or outerwear, it’s a versatile jacket that you won’t regret buying.
The Nano Puff is cheaper, closer fitting and easier to compress, while the Down Sweater offers superior warmth. If you want a warm jacket to carry for when you need it pick the Nano Puff, but for colder weather conditions the Down Sweater really is unbeatable.
Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff – Final Thoughts
We hope this guide has helped you pick between the Patagonia Down Sweater and the Patagonia Nano Puff. Whichever you choose – or maybe it will be both – they are excellent products from a responsible, reputable brand that we outdoor types really can rely on!
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