This time, we are looking at two popular lightweight jacket options that are synthetic for backpacking the Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff. In our search for the perfect lightweight jacket for backpacking, we narrowed our search down to the Patagonia Micro Puff and the Patagonia Nano Puff. We wanted to test them out then compare and contrast them to each other and see what might be the better bang for your buck.
To begin with, both these jackets are of synthetic insulation which is important to people who lives in the place where it’s much rain and wet the majority of the time. So, you may want something that could do well in rainy and wet conditions. You know synthetic insulation does a lot better than down when it comes to getting wet. It can still keep its warmth and loft when it is wet. Unlike, down insulation that compresses really low and really tight together and doesn’t maintain its work when wet. So, we wanted something that was synthetic also that can compress really well but also have similar attributes to down in terms of good warmth to weight ratio and come up with Patagonia Nano Puff and Micro Puff. But, which one is better, Nano Puff or Micro Puff?
First of all, here we listed the main differences between Patagonia Nano Puff and Patagonia Micro Puff:
- The Price; Nano Puff is around $199, whereas, Micro Puff is around $249.
- Nano Puff comes with 20-Denier Face fabric, on the other hand, Micro Puff comes with 10 Denier Fabric. So, it is expected from Nano Puff to be more durable.
- Amount of insulation and insulation technology are not the same. The Nano Puff has 60-grams PrimaLoft Gold ECO. However, Micro Puff has 65 grams PlumaFill. Yes, in terms of insulation Micro Puff is better than the Nano Puff.
- The Nano Puff is 337 grams or 11.9 ounces the Micro Puff is 235 grams or 8.3 ounces. There is 102 grams of difference.
- There is more warmth to weight ratio with the Micro Puff in comparison to Nano Puff.
- The Micro Puff has front pockets which are a bit higher than Nano Puff. In this case Nano Puff feels natural, but Micro Puff can be better with the backpack straps on.
- The Nano Puff has one zippered inside pocket, but Micro Puff has two large internal drop-in pockets.
- We have the cinch cord on the bottom hem of Nano Puff. On the other hand, the Micro Puff doesn’t have the cinch cord in an effort to be less weight. However, it does have the elastic there to serve as a way to kind of tighten it around your waist to an extent.
- The Micro Puff offers better range of motion compared to the Nano Puff.
Most probably, you understand what will be our decision for Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff comparison. But, we encourage you to keep reading to see how we justify our decision and why we pick Micro Puff over Nano Puff.
|Nano Puff Hoodie
|Micro Puff Hoodie
You might also wondering our picks for jackets in Down, Winter, and Rain category. We made in-depth search and tests to come up with the best jackets of the year. We strongly encourage you to check our following articles, since it is really hard to choose a fine jacket:
Related Article: Patagonia or the North Face Which one is Better?
Similarities Between Nano Puff and Micro Puff
It is better to start off with the similarities between them before going into the differences. Now, these jackets have a lot of similarities:
- Both these jackets are lightweight and made of synthetic insulation.
- They have great warmth to weight ratio.
- These jackets can also stuff down into their own pockets.
- They have elastic on the cuffs.
- Both jackets are excellent jackets to use in a layering system.
- They have water repellent technologies to keep you warm and dry.
- Both are windproof to an extent.
Nano Puff vs Micro Puff: Key Differences
First off, considering the Nano Puff, it has been one of Patagonia’s top selling jackets which has been around for over 10 years with little alterations. It comes in multiple sizes and colors and even can come in a hooded version. This jacket has a regular fit and sells for 199 dollars but can often find it on sale. It has a very good weight to warmth ratio and is made of recycled materials. So, it is environmentally friendly. Also, it has been one of the lightest synthetic insulated jackets for a while, until the Micro Puff has come along.
The Micro Puff is a newer addition that is slightly lighter than the Nano Puff and retails for $249. So, $50 more than the Nano Puff. It also comes in multiple sizes and colors but it has a little less color options than the Nano Puff does. The Micro Puff can also come in a hooded option. Now, the Micro Puff is touted as being able to provide the best warmth to weight ratio of any of the Patagonia jackets that they have produced.
Now let’s focus on the differences between Nano Puff and Micro Puff and compare them side by side in the following sections:
Face Fabric and Durability
First, the Nano Puff comes with a 20 denier 100% recycled Polyester ripstop fabric with a DWR finish. So, it does repel water nicely and is windproof. On the other hand, the Micro Puff is a 10 denier Ripstop Pertex Quantum and coated also with DWR finish. It’s lightweight, durable, windproof and water repellent as well as Nano Puff. But, the Micro Puff is a slightly thinner material at 10-denier than the Nano Puff. So, you can expect from Nano Puff to be more durable than the Micro Puff. This is true considering the only numbers. But, we did not see any durability issue with the Micro Puff; it is so far so good yet.
Insulation & Warmth to Weight Ratio
Looking at the insulation, the Nano Puff uses a 60 gram PrimaLoft Gold ECO. The PrimaLoft Gold ECO is the best type of PrimaLoft available for insulation that exists. It offers the highest warmth to weight ratio than any other PrimaLoft on the market. However, the micro puff actually uses 65 gram of PlumaFill synthetic insulation. This is an insulation that is newer and replicates the structure of down while providing similar warmth and compressibility. They both do a good job of what they were made to do. Both are lightweight and have a good warmth to weight ratio and can compress down pretty nicely.
The weight of the Nano Puff is 337 grams or 11.9 ounces, whereas, the Micro Puff is 235 grams or 8.3 ounces. There is 102 grams of difference. So, the weight to warmth ratio favors the Micro Puff as the insulation is more than a quarter of the weight of the jacket. The Nano Puff insulation is a little over 17% of the weight. So, there is more warmth to weight ratio with the Micro Puff.
Now, as you can see from the photos below, another difference is the quilting used. The Nano Puff uses a signature brick quilting pattern. We think it actually looks a bit more stylish with this brick pattern. It also has horizontal quilting pattern on the sides to keep you nice and warm. But the Micro Puff does not use the quilted brick system that the Nano Puff does. Instead, it uses horizontal seams. These horizontal seams are an innovative alternative quilting pattern that seeks to maintain minimum stitching. But it also helps to maximize the loft. So you can see this pattern they’re all horizontal. When you do this it really helps maximize the loft.
The cool thing is minimizing the stitching. Because where the stitching is that you lack the loft. So, the more stitching the more you allow cold air to get through. Therefore, Patagonia decided to use minimum stitching to have more loft and more insulation on the Micro Puff. Also, less stitching is the less weight.
Pockets & Features
Looking at the pockets, both have side pockets in the front where you can warm your hands nicely. The Nano Puff has these side pockets and you can notice they are a bit lower than the Micro Puff. So, Micro Puff has them a bit higher now it’s not a big deal, but it does feel like the Nano Puff is a bit more natural as far as where the pockets are for your hands. However, Micro Puff Pockets does better for activities where you have backpack. So, with the Micro Puff, its pockets are out of way and you can fully use them while backpack straps on.
Both Jackets have inside pockets. The Nano Puff has one zippered inside pocket that also features as a compressible pocket. So, you can compress your jacket down into the pocket pretty nicely. On the other hand, the Micro Puff has not a zippered pocket but actually has two large internal drop-in pockets with elastic on it. These are really nice, if you want to put gloves or if you want to put goggles or anything like that. In this regard, it really resembles those ski jackets where you can just put a lot of stuff inside. We really like it, because they use elastic rather than zipper. Actually, it does save on the weight.
Some additional features that the Nano Puff has that the Micro Puff does not is cinch cord on the bottom hem. The Nano Puff has a cinch cord so you can tighten it up as you like or loosen it to allow some warmth to get out. But the Micro Puff, on the other hand, doesn’t have this in an effort to be less weight. However, it does have the elastic there to serve as a way to kind of tighten it around your waist to an extent.
The price tag of the Nano Puff is $199 where the price tag of the Micro Puff is $249. So, there is about a $50 difference with that.
|Nano Puff Hoodie
|Micro Puff Hoodie
Looking at the compressibility, the Nano Puff compresses really nicely into the inner chest pocket. It compresses into the sleeve and it also has the little cord that you can use to hang it on anything. The micro puff also condenses really nice into the left outer pocket. When it’s in there, it also has a double YKK zipper that you can compress it down into its zipper. It also has a nice little cord. You can see how that is done here, the one on the left is Micro Puff and the one on the right is Nano Puff:
Looking at the size of this, you can see what they look like when they are compressed. So, both compress nicely. The Nano Puff compresses more into a square like feature where the Micro Puff compresses a little bit more irregular and round.
The big difference though is the weight. You can really feel the difference when you lift these two up, you will see that the Micro Puff being far lighter of the option.
Bottom-line for Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff Comparison
Who is the winner of Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff comparison? We will recommend going with the Patagonia Micro Puff and the reason is it had a lot of pros that weighed the cons. First of all, it’s very lightweight and lighter than the Nano Puff. It is an important thing for people who are counting all the grams and seeking to become ultra-light. Also, the Micro Puff offers premium breathability in a lightweight package. It has really cool internal two large drop in pockets, whereas, the Nano Puff really just has that zippered pocket.
Also, elastic on the bottom of the Micro Puff does a plenty good job in order to seal in the warmth.
One more point goes to Micro Puff in terms of range of motion in the arm. It seems a lot better with the Micro Puff. Especially, when we are wearing with our pack, we were feeling a little bit of tension with the Nano Puff, whereas, with the Micro Puff we do not have that and we really enjoyed it.
One con about the Micro Puff is, it’s not as eco-friendly as the Nano Puff. The Nano Puff is made almost of entirely recycled material which is a really good thing for the environment. Well, the Micro Puff does have some recycled material, but not as much as the Nano Puff. Therefore, this could be something to consider, if you’re looking to have an eco-friendly version of a jacket.
If you are in between of down or synthetic insulation, we also prepared a comparison table for Down Sweater and Nano Puff. We strongly encourage you to check out “Nano Puff vs Down Sweater” comparison, before making you final decision.
If you are into Nano Puff jacket, but not the Micro Puff, you may wish to learn more about the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket. Don’t worry; there is an in-depth review of Nano Puff Jacket we prepared for you.