Nano Puff vs Micro Puff: What’s the Difference?

Nano Puff vs Micro Puff: What’s the Difference?

Patagonia’s Nano Puff and Micro Puff collections are famous for their attractive designs and functionality. This Nano Puff vs Micro Puff comparison will help you understand the differences between these two seemingly identical collections better.

Each of these collections contains vests, hoodies, and jackets so that you can choose the option that best fits your needs. Like all Patagonia’s jackets, models from Nano Puff and Micro Puff collections are made with the user’s comfort in mind.

In this article, we’re going to focus primarily on the jackets from these collections and provide you with a deeper insight into their features, usability, and performance capabilities.

The Main Differences Between Nano Puff vs Micro Puff

The main differences between Nano Puff vs Micro Puff are:

  • Nano Puff jacket weighs around 12oz, whereas Micro Puff jackets are approximately 4oz lighter
  • Nano Puff collection have PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation, whereas Micro Puff jacket has the PlumaFil insulation
  • Nano Puff’s shell is made of 1.4oz 20-denier, whereas the shell of a Micro Puff jacket is made of 0.7oz 10-denier
  • Nano Puff first hit the market a decade ago, whereas Micro Puff collection was released a few years ago 

Key specifications

Nano Puff Micro Puff
Material 20-denier recycled polyester ripstop Pertex® Quantum nylon ripstop
Insulation PrimaLoft® Gold Eco insulation PlumaFil insulation
Construction type Horizontal quilting pattern Innovative quilting
Zipper type Center-Front Zipper Center-Front Zipper
Number of pockets 3 4
Weight 11.9oz 8.3oz
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Nano Puff vs Micro Puff feature comparison

Here are some of the key features of Nano Puff and Micro Puff jackets.

Nano Puff

Nano Puff

When they first emerged some ten years ago, Nano Puff jackets were at the forefront of the ultra-lightweight jacket revolution. Even after all that time, Nano Puff jackets are still incredibly popular among fans of all types of outdoor activities.

At the time, the technologies used to produce the models from the Nano Puff collection were considered industry-leading, and their innovativeness has secured them a place among the best waterproof jackets of the previous decade.

Besides jackets, Patagonia also included vests and hoodies into this collection so that you can select the option that fits the purpose for which you intend to use it.

It is worth noting that there are only minor differences between jackets, hoodies, and vests from the Nano Puff collection, as the same materials were used to make either of these products. Read our full review of the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket to get more detailed information about its features.

Key features

  • Recycled polyester shell
  • Shell and lining are DWR coated
  • Nano Puff jackets are waterproof and windproof
  • This jacket weighs 11.9oz
  • Elastic cuffs that keep the sleeves in place
  • Available in all standard sizes
  • Equipped with an internal pocket that can be used as a stuff sack

Overall design

The Nano Puff collection went through several redesigns since 2009, but all of the core features of the jackets, vests, and hoodies remain the same.

Although it is unrealistic to expect that the design of this jacket will match everyone’s taste, models from the Nano Puff collection can be described as both stylish and practical.

The shells on these jackets are made of 1.4oz 20-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop, while the lining is made from the 1.3oz 22-denier 100% recycled polyester. Both the shell and lining are DWR coated so that rain cannot reach the user’s clothes.

The PrimaLoft® Gold Eco insulation is created from a 100% post-consumer recycled polyester using the P.U.R.E. technology. The horizontal quilting pattern is utilized to make the insulation more stable and the manufacturer used threads that ensure water can’t reach the jacket’s interior.

Also, the collection contains men’s and women’s models and it is worth pointing out that the women’s Nano Puff jacket models are lighter than those that are designed for men. A men’s Nano Puff jacket weighs 11.9oz while a women’s model weighs 9.9oz.

Warmth and breathability

nano puff vs micro puff

The PrimaLoft® Gold Eco insulation prevents the body heat from escaping and ensures that the user remains warm even when they are exposed to strong wind or heavy rain. Jackets from the Nano Puff series don’t have a hood which limits their ability to protect you from the elements.

In addition, you may feel uncomfortable wearing a Nano Puff jacket at temperatures lower than 29F, and you should consider some hardshell models if you are looking for a lightweight jacket that performs well at sub-zero temperatures.

Breathability is one of the strong suits of these jackets, and people who tend to run hot while performing outdoor activities may find a Nano Puff jacket a great fit as it keeps them dry both from the outside and inside.

The hem features a drawstring that enables you to seal the warmth in or let in some cool air for ventilation. Also, the center-front zipper has a storm flap that adds additional protection against the wind and keeps you warm under challenging weather conditions.

Other noteworthy features

All Nano Puff jackets have elastic cuffs that keep the sleeves in place even while you are performing activities that involve a lot of upper body movement. There are only two exterior pockets and one interior pocket on all models from Patagonia’s Nano Puff collection.

In case you don’t want to wear your Nano Puff jacket you can use its inner pocket as a stuff bag and pack it down to the size of a small pillow. So, despite not having too much to offer in terms of storage options, Nano Puff jackets enable you to save space in your backpack.

The manufacturer utilizes the bluesign® sign system to reduce the ecological footprint created by their products and uses recycled polyester to make each model from the Nano Puff series.

Hence, all models from Patagonia’s collection are eco-friendly as even the DWR finish doesn’t contain perfluorinated chemicals.

Reliability

These jackets are time-tested and after more than a decade on the market, they’ve proven to be durable. So, if you are searching for a lightweight jacket that offers superb protection against the wind and rain, one of the models from the Nano Puff series should be your go-to option.

In addition to being warm and durable, these jackets are practically resistant to tears as they are built from recycled ripstop polyester. Consequently, a Nano Puff jacket isn’t going to look worn out a couple of years after you purchased it even if it is frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Also, you should read our Nano Puff vs ThermoBall comparison to learn more about the differences between these two jackets.

Micro Puff

Micro Puff

The striking resemblance between Nano Puff and Micro Puff can be misleading, as a brief look at their features doesn’t reveal major differences.

However, the upgraded insulation, different shell material, and enhanced wet weather resistance are some of the areas in which Micro Puff jackets outperform the models from the Nano Puff series.

Patagonia’s Micro Puff collection was released a few years ago, and it hasn’t gone through a major makeover in the meantime. Both Nano and Micro Puff collections include jackets, vests, and hoodies that are designed for similar purposes.

Vests and hoodies from the Micro Puff collection are made from the same materials as the jackets and their wind and water protection performance is nearly the same.

Hence, the only real difference between the Micro Puff hoodies and jackets is the helmet-compatible hood that can be useful if you have no other way of protecting yourself from rain.

Key features

  • Ultralight Pertex® Quantum 100% nylon ripstop shell
  • Shell and lining have a 0.7oz 10-denier
  • 2.29oz PlumaFill insulation
  • This jacket has two external and two internal pockets
  • The Micro Puff jacket weighs 8.3oz
  • All products from the Micro Puff collection are available in all standard sizes
  • Features elastic cuffs and a hem with an adjustable drawcord

Overall design

Visually the Micro Puff and Nano Puff jackets are similar, as the models from the Nano Puff collection have a horizontal brick quilting pattern, while the quilting pattern on Micro Puff jackets can be both vertical and horizontal.

The shell and the lining of a Micro Puff jacket are made from Pertex® Quantum 100% nylon and they have a DWR finish. This material is lighter and more water-resistant than the 100% recycled polyester used on Nano Puff jackets.

The insulation material you can find on models from the Micro Puff collection is arguably their most distinctive feature. Patagonia developed the PlumaFil continuous synthetic insulation material that mimics the properties of the down insulation method.

Also, this insulation material makes Micro Puff jackets lightweight as the men’s models weigh 8.3oz while women’s models weigh 7.3oz. All products from Patagonia’s Micro Puff collection are available in a broad spectrum of colors, and all conventional sizes.

Warmth and breathability

Warmth

Despite being lighter than a Nano Puff jacket, the Micro Puff jacket is slightly warmer, because it contains 2.29oz of insulation material, while a Nano Puff jacket contains 2.11oz of insulation material.

Consequently, hoodies and jackets from the Micro Puff collection will keep you comfortably warm at temperatures higher than 24F. Even so, models from the Micro Puff series are not designed for winter conditions and you may find them to be too cold for backcountry skiing or alpine climbing.

In terms of breathability, Micro Puff and Nano Puff jackets have the same performance capabilities, as these are sports jackets that are designed to keep their users dry both from the inside and the outside.

In addition, both jackets have elastic cuffs and a hem with an adjustable drawcard that enables you to control how much air you’re letting in. The center-front zipper is equipped with a storm flap and it has a zipper garage located next to the chin.

Other noteworthy features

The Micro Puff jackets have one more pocket than Nano Puff jackets, as they feature two interior pockets instead of one. The left interior pocket can be used as a stuff sack in situations when you need to pack your Micro Puff jacket quickly.

The impressive compressibility of this jacket allows you to reduce it to the size of a small pillow, but when compared with the compressibility of a Nano Puff jacket, Micro Puff models don’t have a significant advantage.

Although they are not made from 100% recycled material, the material from which the Micro Puff jackets are made is bluesign® approved.

Also, all models from the Micro Puff collection are Fair Trade Certified® sawn which means that all workers who contributed to their production and distribution received benefits that were directed towards the improvement of their lives.

Reliability

Jackets, vests, and hoodies from the Micro Puff have been on the market for just a few years, which isn’t enough to test their long-term durability.

However, within a limited timeframe, the Pertex® Quantum hasn’t really shown that is drastically better than the material used to make models from the Nano Puff collection.

Micro Puff jackets are generally warmer and more water-resistant than the Nano Puff jackets but not as much to justify a large price difference.

Even though there is no doubt that all models from the Micro Puff collection offer excellent protection against the elements, they are not significantly warmer or more durable than the products from the Nano Puff collection.

Also, check our Patagonia Torentshell review if you are interested in other brand’s models that offer similar features like the Micro Puff jacket.

Nano Puff vs Micro Puff – Pros and Cons

Nano Puff

Pros

  • The shell is made from 1.4oz 20-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop material
  • Nano Puff jackets weigh just 11.9oz
  • Excellent protection against the wind
  • Less expensive than jackets with similar features

Cons

  • Nano Puff jacket has just three pockets
  • Not suited for temperatures lower than 29F

Micro Puff

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight and easily compressible
  • Features Patagonia’s PlumaFil continuous synthetic insulation material
  • Excellent protection against the elements
  • The front zipper features a storm flap

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Micro Puff jacket’s durability can be improved

The best alternatives to Nano Puff and Micro Puff jackets

A lightweight jacket that is both windproof and water-resistant can be very useful, especially under volatile weather conditions.

Patagonia’s jackets from the Nano and Micro Puff collections are unquestionably among some of the best lightweight waterproof jackets on the market but they are facing a lot of competition since brands like the North Face or Marmot offer a broad range of models with similar features.

We selected a few of the best alternatives to Nano and Micro Puff jackets, so let’s take a closer look at their core features.

Marmot Precip Eco

Marmot Precip Eco

A nylon ripstop shell and a 2.5-layer NanoPro fabric membrane make the Marmot Precip Eco one of the best waterproof jackets you can have in wet weather conditions. In addition to DWR coating, this jacket also has taped seams that prevent water leakage to its interior layers.

The breathability rating of the fabric from which this jacket is made is at 17,000 g/m2, while its waterproof rating is 10,000 mm. Besides having remarkable breathability and water resistance, the Marmot Precip Eco is also ultra-lightweight as it weighs just 11oz.

Read our Marmot Precip Eco review for more information about this wet weather jacket.

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Shell Jacket

Priced similarly to the models from the Micro Puff collection, the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Shell grants you more versatility than Patagonia’s jacket.

The 3-Layer 100% polypropylene fabric ensures a lightweight construction while providing a high level of water resistance and breathability.

The HH’s model has a C6 DWR and microporous membrane that keeps you dry from the outside and inside regardless of the weather conditions. Also, the jacket has three exterior pockets and 2 interior pockets that provide you with ample storage space.

This is an all-season jacket that will keep you warm even at sub-zero temperatures.

The North Face Venture 2

The North Face Venture 2

If you are searching for an inexpensive jacket for rainy weather you should take a closer look at the North Face Venture 2 jacket. The DryVent shell has the DRW coating and fully sealed seams to ensure that it can’t get soaked after prolonged exposure to rain.

Besides, the DryVent 2.5L fabric is highly breathable, which prevents you from getting too hot while performing strenuous activities. The Venture 2 jackets have underarm vents that enhance their ventilation properties and allow you to keep cool at all times.

Check out our guide to the best North Face jackets to find out more about the brand’s waterproof models.

Frequently asked questions about Nano Puff and Micro Puff jackets

Question: Do Nano Puff jackets have taped seams?

Answer: The seams on Nano Puff jackets are not taped, which leaves some room for the water to reach its inner layers.

Question: Are Nano Puff jackets available in different colors?

Answer: Yes, they are. The manufacturer offers a broad spectrum of color options, but you should keep in mind that Nano Puff jackets are always monochrome.

Question: How long are Micro Puff jackets?

Answer: All models from Patagonia’s Micro Puff collection are designed to reach the user’s hips, and they have a slim fit.

Question: Do Patagonia’s products have a warranty?

Answer: Yes, they do. Micro Puff and Nano puff jackets come with the Ironclad Guarantee that enables you to repair or replace them.

The Verdict: Are the Micro Puff jackets considerably better than the Nano Puff jackets?

Staying dry and warm is one of the prerequisites for being comfortable while performing any outdoor activity. Nano Puff and Micro Puff collections offer jackets, vests, and hooded models that are designed to protect you from the elements.

The Nano Puff models are among the best lightweight waterproof jackets on the market for more than ten years, while Patagonia’s Micro Puff collection was released in an attempt to improve the features of jackets from the Nano Puff series.

However, their features don’t really justify their price tag, which is the reason why we recommend choosing a Nano Puff jacket over a model from the Micro Puff collection. In case, you’d prefer an all-season lightweight jacket, then the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain jacket may be one of your best options.

We hope that our Nano Puff vs Micro Puff comparison has helped you decide which jacket is a better choice for you. Share your opinions with us in the comments or read our Patagonia Down Sweater vs Nano Puff comparison to learn more about the differences between these jackets.