Patagonia Micro Puff vs Nano Puff: Which is Better?

The Patagonia Nano Puff range has been available for a long time (over a decade, in fact!) All of the products in the range have proven themselves to be worthy …

The Patagonia Nano Puff range has been available for a long time (over a decade, in fact!)

All of the products in the range have proven themselves to be worthy additions to any outdoor kit and, despite being a longstanding range, still carry a reputation for quality and performance.

Not too long ago, Patagonia launched a new range of products that have been designed to do a very similar job to the Nano Puff range – only they are meant to do it even better!

The Micro Puff range hasn’t had too much time to build its own reputation yet, so you might not be sure which is the best of the two to choose.

In this article, we take a closer look at both the Nano Puff and the Micro Puff collections to see which one is the best choice for you.

Patagonia Micro Puff Vs. Nano Puff Compared

What Are the Differences?

Along with some changes in the design of the Nano Puff jackets, there are other performance-related differences that Patagonia has tried to incorporate into the Micro Puff jackets.

Insulation Type

Patagonia has used a different type of insulation material in the new Micro Puff range.

While the Primaloft Gold Eco Insulation material used in the Nano Puff is extremely good at holding in your body heat and keeping you warm in pretty cold conditions, they decided to upgrade this in the Micro Puff range.

In the Micro Puff, Plumafill insulation is used. This has been designed to replicate the structure of natural down.

The Plumafill tends to perform slightly better than natural down in wet conditions, though, as it is synthetic, it doesn’t clump up when wet like down can sometimes do.

Weight to Warmth Ratio and Packability

Both headline jackets in the two ranges are lightweight, but the Micro Puff is the lighter of the two weighing in at just 8.3 ounces (male size medium). The equivalent Nano Puff weighs 11.9 ounces.

This may not seem like too much of a difference, but it becomes more relevant when you consider that both jackets have pretty much the same amount of insulation in them.

A little under 18 percent of the Nano Puff’s weight comes from the insulation. In the Micro Puff, it’s just shy of 28 percent of its total weight.

If you look at it in that level of detail, you get much more warmth from the Micro Puff compared to the Nano Puff.

Despite the newer Micro Puff being lighter, they both pack down to a very similar size.

Both jackets can be packed into a compact bundle that takes up very little space in your pack. There might be a bit of a weight difference, but size-wise, there isn’t much between the two.


It makes sense that the newer jackets come with a higher price tag.

All of the products in the Micro Puff range cost around $50 more than the equivalent product in the Nano Puff range.

It would ultimately come down to your personal budget whether you want to spend the extra money on a newer style of jacket that weighs a bit less and has a higher percentage of insulation.

One Thing They Have in Common

Patagonia has designed the Nano Puff and the Micro Puff to be mid-layer premium jackets that are highly breathable and very effective at keeping you dry no matter what you are doing.

Both versions are very good at what they do, and the Micro Puff can be seen as more of an evolution of the original Nano Puff instead of seeing it as an improvement.

Neither will be suitable for extremely cold conditions, but they do an awesome job of keeping you warm, dry, and comfortable during wet weather conditions.

The Nano Puff Collection

Nano Puff Jacket
Nano Puff Jacket
Nano Puff Jacket
Our Score

The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket is wind-resistant and water-resistant, which can keep you warm in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

It is lightweight and can be packed down into a very compact bundle that doesn't take up much room in your kit bag.

It is made from 100 percent recycled materials, so it is an ideal outdoor jacket that doesn't damage the environment.

  • Elastic cuffs and adjustable hem to make sure you have the perfect fit
  • Two external pockets and one internal pocket (the internal chest pocket is where the jacket folds up into itself)
  • Fairtrade certified
Nano Puff Hoody
Nano Puff Hoody
Nano Puff Hoody
Our Score

Patagonia has stuck with the very successful design and construction of the Nano Puff jacket by making the Nano Puff Hoody almost identical.

The key difference is that, as the name suggests, there is a helmet-compatible hood on the hoody, which is not present on the jacket.

Sometimes when out in cold, wet weather, a hood can make a big difference, so this is something to keep in mind if you are trying to choose between the jacket and the hoody.

  • The hood can be worn over a helmet which makes the Nano Puff Hoody ideal for skiing or other outdoor activities that require you to be wearing a helmet
  • Primaloft Gold insulation eco keeps you warm and dry
  • Coated with durable water repellent - paired with synthetic insulation, this is a highly weather-resistant hoody
Nano Puff Vest
Nano Puff Vest
Nano Puff Vest
Our Score

The Nano Puff Vest is basically the Nano Puff jacket without sleeves.

Patagonia has kept the design of the Nano Puff Collection very simple in that the same Primaloft Gold Eco insulation is used in all the products, making them all great mid-layer jackets.

The Nano Puff Vest is the cheapest of the Nano Puff collection, which makes sense as less material is used with the removal of the sleeves.

  • The shell material is 100 percent recycled polyester, and the insulation is made from recycled materials too
  • Primaloft synthetic insulation keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable
  • A lightweight jacket with no sleeves makes this (and the other Nano Puff products) ideal sports jacket

The Micro Puff Collection

Micro Puff Jacket
Micro Puff Jacket
Micro Puff Jacket
Our Score

The Micro Puff Jacket is the base of all the other products in the Micro Puff Collection.

It differs in looks from the Nano Puff Jacket as it has a horizontal quilting pattern which makes it look very stylish.

Plumafill Insulation is an evolution from the Nano Puff technology, which adds a new layer of warmth and water resistance in all Patagonia Micro Puff products.

A very lightweight jacket with elastic cuffs and an internal pocket that acts as a stuff sack for storage
Two external pockets and two internal pockets (including the one used as a stuff sack)
Center-front zipper with zipper garage for comfort and convenience.

Micro Puff Hoody
Micro Puff Hoody
Micro Puff Hoody
Our Score

Like the Nano Puff Collection, the Micro Puff Collection keeps things simple and similar throughout the products.

The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody shares all the features of the Micro Puff jacket with the addition of a hood that can be worn even with a helmet.

The Micro Puff features synthetic insulation that is comparable to natural down, although, as it is synthetic, it doesn't form fluffy clumps when wet as down does.

  • Like most Patagonia jackets, the Micro Puff Hoody is made from recycled materials, ensuring it is an environmentally friendly jacket
  • Center-front zipper and zipper garage
  • Plumaflow insulation makes this slightly warmer than the Nano Puff Hoody
Micro Puff Vest
Micro Puff Vest
Micro Puff Vest
Our Score

Both the shell and the synthetic insulation of the Micro Puff Vest make it highly breathable and weather resistant.

The Micro Puff Vest is identical to the Micro Puff Jacket and the Micro Puff Hoody, with the exception of not having any sleeves (or a hood).

It has two external pockets and two interior pockets - one inner pocket is used as a stuff sack when storing the vest.

  • Water-resistant and breathable
  • Extremely lightweight - even more lightweight than the other Micro Puff jackets as fewer materials are used with the removal of sleeves
  • The most budget-friendly of the Patagonia Micro Puff jackets

Patagonia Micro Puff vs Nano Puff: Which One Wins?

Trying to choose a winner in the Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff collections is a tough thing to do.

Both the Nano Puff and the Micro Puff jackets do a very good job of keeping you warm and dry while you are out in the wild.

Apart from the slight change in looks, the biggest difference between Patagonia Nano Puff and Patagonia Micro Puff is in the insulation.

The Micro Puff insulation takes up a higher percentage of the overall weight of the products resulting in a slightly warmer jacket.

That being said, the Nano Puff jackets still have an incredible amount of insulating properties that can’t be overlooked.

When it comes down to actually choosing whether you are going to buy a Patagonia Nano Puff or a Micro Puff jacket – it will most likely be a financial decision as the Micro Puff collection is around $50 more than the Nano Puff.

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Rob Harvey is an experienced outdoor writer with a passion for using and writing about all the gear that makes camping, hiking and fishing fun. He's been a freelancer writer for more than five years and loves sharing his experiences with readers.
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